Ministry Resources

Understanding Your Spouse’s Sexual Needs

Author: Dr. Wayde Goodall

Both the husband and the wife need to understand the sexual needs and desires of their spouse.

Understanding Your Husband’s Sexual Needs

  • Often times the man’s sexual desire is stronger than the woman’s. A woman can increase her readiness for sex by thinking about her husband and the pleasure he brings. Much female desire begins in the mind. The bride in Song of Songs thought about and looked forward to joining with her husband. “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth— … Take me away with you—let us hurry! Let the king bring me into his chambers” (Song of Songs 1:2, 4).
  • A husband enjoys viewing and loving his wife’s body. This tends to be major source of pleasure, for men especially. God created man with a desire to see his wife naked. Some wives are embarrassed by being naked. This could be due to past experiences, fears, or discomfort in your own body. They may not feel comfortable being bare. They want to make love in the dark. Boundaries and comfort during sex should always be discussed, but consider that a part of your husbands pleasure may be loving all of you, even the parts you are insecure about. The body does not have to be ‘perfect’ in your eyes to be a source of pleasure to the man who loves you for who you are. Be open with your husband about your fears and let him reassure you with his love. A husband can make his wife feel good about being naked by always saying good things about her body—and never saying anything negative about her. Soft words and soft light—such as light from a candle— may please both the man and woman who are just getting comfortable with exploring each other.
  • A husband likes his wife to feel free to express her sexual desires. Shyness and modesty have their worth. But they lose much of their value in the marriage bed. A husband enjoys having his wife explore and love his body, just as he wishes to explore and love yours. The bride in the Song of Songs even takes the lead in seduction. In chapter 6:13–7:9, we see her dancing before her husband. He admires her body as she entices him to love. Never feel the need to be ashamed in front of your loving husband! Though it may be hindered if there is no comfortable private place for the two to enjoy one another. No spouse likes to have sex if children or others might hear or enter the bedroom. So a wise and loving husband provides a private, safe place for married love.
  • A husband likes to be praised when he pleases his wife. Much of a man’s confidence is in his sexual ability. He feels stronger and more committed when he knows that he is pleasing his wife. Be vocal and honest about how you feel. Don’t be afraid to lovingly tell him what makes you happy and what needs to change. A true husband will listen and aim to please! Communication and understanding from both sides is key here.
  • Try not to increase his anxiety if he is unable to perform because of physical or emotional stress. Let him know how to please you. Praise him when he satisfies you emotionally and physically. He will work hard to do it again.

Understanding Your Wife’s Sexual Needs

  • A wife likes her husband’s attention throughout the day and not just when he wants sex. A woman wants to be valued as a unique person, your partner. For her, sex is an expression of the whole relationship with her husband. If her husband does not show interest in her thoughts and feelings, she will feel ‘used’ during sex. A husband’s willingness to talk, to listen, and to pay attention in other ways brings joy to the wife’s sexual love. Husband, show physical love sometimes without seeking sex. Do kind things for your wife when you are not hoping to get her into the bed. This will help her to feel loved, and your sexual life will be better.
  • A wife likes help with the housework. Caring for your home is not a gender role, but a partnership. Neither spouse likes hearing, “I’m too tired” when in the mood. But too often, this is not an excuse; it is the truth. Around the world, women often work longer hours than men. Especially in todays modern era where many marriages are double income families. One spouse should not expect the sole responsibility of housework to fall on the other, regardless of gender. However, there are cases that exist where the man works a 8-5 while the wife stays at home. In these instances a man usually has a time of the day when his work is over. But a woman often works all day, including after the husband -should he refuse to help- comes home. If you want to see your wife with more energy for sex, then help her with her work, share the energy of caring for your home! Then she will not be so tired. If you are both exhausted after work, set schedules and times to share the workload and meal prep during the weekends, freeing up energy and time after work. Also, teach the children to help with work in the home!
  • A wife likes to see more romance in her life. Song of Songs gives good illustrations of how to create romance. All of the senses come alive in a romantic setting. The mind is awakened. A beautiful setting for sex is prepared. The scents of clean bodies and perfumes are present. The taste of the mouth is refreshing. The touch upon the skin is slow, tender, and exciting. The woman is caused to feel beautiful, valuable, and loved. Her husband may even bring her a gift. Her pleasure is valuable to him. A husband who approaches sex like a carpenter on a hot roof—dirty, sweaty, and eager to get the job done—is not a romantic husband. Any husband can learn to approach sex in a romantic way—he will be kind, clean, neat, patient, grateful, cheerful, friendly, tender, thoughtful, generous, interesting, loving, treating her like his loving companion in this exciting adventure rather than a tool for use.
  • A wife likes to be free to respond as she desires. A wife desires sexual climax with her husband. Some husbands stir up a wife’s desire by kissing and touching, and then go to sleep and leave her in frustration. If a wife desires sexual climax, the husband must not be content with his own satisfaction. This is a selfish husband and not the marriage God intended. God created us to enjoy this experience in unison. Make sure your wife is satisfied just as you are. Listen and work to understand her body and needs.
  • A husband should follow his wife’s lead in this. Sometimes the husband pressures his wife to experience a climax, which can be painful. He may feel like a failure if his wife does not reach her highest sexual level. But understand that there are many ways to enjoy sexual love. Just as it may not always be your goal, never assume that climax equals satisfaction for your wife. Ultimately, while climax is not always the goal for some people, make sure to communicate and understand your wife’s need’s and desires during the adventure. It may be that just being vulnerable with your spouse is enough for the other, but never assume this!

How do you decide as a couple what the limits are for sexual experience? First, do not do anything that shames or hurts either person. Second, anything that breaks marital vows is wrong. Third, do not do anything that harms a person’s conscience. Within these guidelines, a couple can experiment with many sexual pleasures for the years to come!

The content of this article is used by permission of "Faith & Action Series" and Dr. Wayde Goodall. Please learn more about them at and

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