Are You in the Mood

Here's what husbands and wives need to know about each other's sexual wiring.

"Gary makes me feel like I'm something he uses just to satisfy himself," Sue, a patient, once told me. "It seems like thirty seconds after he reaches for me when we go to bed, he's ready, and I feel like he doesn't even care about my feelings. What can I do? It turns me right off."

Gary and Sue had failed to understand the great difference between a man's arousal response time and that of a woman's. Sue needed more time. She needed to be able to enjoy her own feelings of arousal without feeling that Gary was only considering his own needs.

I recommended to Sue if she was too intimidated by the thought of an actual discussion about this, or if she worried about shattering his ego, she could simply whisper in his ear, "Oh, honey, let's not hurry—it feels too good." Gary can learn or be motivated to slow down his responses and to give Sue time to respond to his lovemaking. She, in turn, will want to give him more pleasure now than she did before.

Arousal is perhaps the most fascinating phase of the sexual cycle. In my opinion, most people pay far too little attention to their wonderful, God-given ability to become suddenly, amazingly excited by their mate. You need only to read the Song of Solomon to glimpse the heights of arousal God wants us to enjoy. When the Shulamite maiden opened the door to her beloved, she describes becoming so aroused that "my hands dripped with perfume, my fingers with lovely myrrh" on the handles of the lock (Song of Sol. 5:5 [NLT]).

Let me offer my description of sexual arousal. It will not be phrased in the Bible's poetic language, or even in the romantic promises of the silver screen. I offer it in the language I know best: physiology. I think it is important to understand your body's sexual function. Far from being a subject of embarrassment or shame, knowledge of how we are designed to function frees us from incorrect assumptions, fears, and all the side effects of human ignorance.

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Intimacy; Marriage; Sex
Today's Christian Woman, Fall, 2001
Posted September 30, 2008

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