Does Your Husband Need Sex?

Why it's not an obligation; it's good news
Does Your Husband <i>Need</i> Sex?

In many marriages (but not all), sexual intimacy is very high on a husband’s list. In books like William Harley’s His Needs, Her Needs, sex is listed as the number one thing a husband needs in marriage. Many men would nod in agreement and tell their wives in so many words that they need sex; however, I’ve never known of a man dying because he didn’t have it.

I’ve heard Christian speakers say things like, “A woman should never say no to her husband’s sexual advances.” Talk about a guilt trip! Wives in this situation would naturally feel manipulated, with a cloud of guilt hovering over every initiation. If he needs sex and you’re the only one who can give it to him, sex becomes less romantic than cooking him dinner. You may feel like a “sex dispenser,” just there to meet your husband’s biological needs. Even if you once liked sex, all pleasure and anticipation has been drained out of it.

This is certainly not God’s design for sexuality in marriage. A couple who operates with this thinking is doomed to experience no “intimacy” in sexual intimacy. So how do we reconcile the “need” factor without sex becoming an on-demand obligation?

Is Sex Really A Need?

We have a strange relationship to the word need in our society. We claim to need everything from a cup of Starbucks to the most recent smartphone. In reality, we need very little to survive. Food, shelter, community, and family. However, there are other things we don’t need for survival but that are necessary to function in our world. For example, you don’t need a car . . . but you do. You won’t die without a car, but unless you live in a big city, it would be very difficult to navigate life without one. We also have emotional needs, like feeling loved and valued. While we won’t die without feeling loved, we also may not want to keep living.

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Juli Slattery

Juli Slattery is a TCW regular contributor and blogger. A widely known clinical psychologist, author, speaker, and broadcast media professional, she co-founded Authentic Intimacy and is the co-author of Passion Pursuit: What Kind of Love Are You Making?

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May 25

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