Does a woman truly view sexuality different from a man? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.
Obviously, this account will not be a firsthand perspective.
I have made it a point to try to understand how women think. I have done this largely due to several years of seeing guys with their girlfriends at various places, such as when I worked at an arcade, and noticing mistakes in relationships. I have made it a point to learn from other marriages around me and to really listen. Some women who have been married and are married are some of my closest friends and we’ve had numerous conversations about their own thought lives and my approach and treatment of women.
I also will say that while I hope I do a good job, I am in no way a master of this. I am seeking to learn more and more how to respond better to the opposite sex, most importantly my own Allie, who I seek to love so she can be the best she can be. I take the statement “As Christ loved the Church” very seriously.
If I am wrong in any of this, I do welcome correction from women. I am sure that I will not have everything down perfectly, but I hope I get a general idea and that it will also help my fellow men know the better way that we can approach women.
I wrote yesterday that generally a man can consider sex an end in itself. This doesn’t mean he doesn’t see other benefits. He can enjoy the acceptance, affirmation, intimacy, etc. as well as the great physical pleasures, but for him the physical pleasure can be one of the greatest drives.
Of course, a woman is designed to enjoy sexuality. This is in fact why women have a clitoris. It is the way that they can enjoy the physical sensations of sexuality. Yet the woman’s appetite is not normally as strong as the man’s. I happen to like the statement I’ve seen of a marriage counselor in a video saying (paraphrased)”Some of you men are married to women who love sex. They can’t get enough of it. They want it constantly. I think I speak on behalf of all men here when I say ‘We hate you’.”
In today’s society, a woman often feels a lot of pressure to look and be her best. Now to be fair, there’s nothing wrong with a woman wanting to have a good appearance. She should want that. There’s something wrong with a woman putting all her identity in her appearance. I think the Dove commercial with the artist doing a sketch of women and then having a neutral observer describe the same woman is quite revealing in this regard.
A woman just as much as a man seeks to be affirmed in her beauty. If I was asked what the chief marker of a woman is, it is beauty. Everything about her is to radiate beauty from her inner character to her outward appearance. It is the focus on the outward alone that really damages women. God created women to be the representation of his beauty on Earth. The union of strength in men and beauty in women will be strong and beautiful both.
What a woman seeks to know in sexuality is if she’s beautiful or not. She wants to feel the security and acceptance of someone else. It’s not the physical sensation so much as it is the relational connection. She wants to know that she is in right relationship with a man.
Naturally, we men who aren’t as relationship oriented as women are have a hard time understanding that.
This is also why a woman can take longer to be in the mood for sex. A woman needs to fill love and have that love brimming up inside of her until she can’t take it and has to fully express it. This is also why some women have to work to do things to get set to be in the mood if they want to please their husbands that evening. I know of one woman, for instance, who on the days she planned on romancing her husband wrote T.S. on the calendar for “Think Sex.”
Note to men then. Because she is not as ready to leap at the possibility of sex as you are, it does not mean she does not love you or does not care about you. It just means that she’s wired differently and it could be that you have to try harder. Note that she wants to know you truly care about her and are interested in her and not that she’s just an object for your sexual pleasure.
Today, many women give sex in order to get love. It is the idea that if they sleep with the man, he will come to love them. He could. He might not. My thinking is such women are already treating themselves as object saying that the only way they can be loved is sexually. If they are not desired sexually, then they are not lovable and they need to know they are desired sexually.
In fact, if a man is just interested in pleasure, then he could be with you just because he sees you as easy pleasure. You want to know a man who truly cares about you? Look at the man who is willing to put everything on hold for you, who is willing to walk down that aisle with you, and who then says “Only after I have made that covenant with you will I enjoy the fruit of the garden.”
This is not to say that this happens with every couple that doesn’t wait. Some can be very loving and no doubt are. Do I still think it’s a mistake to not wait. Definitely, and I will be writing more on that later. It also doesn’t mean that even Christian couples who make a mistake are doomed to an unloving marriage. They’re not. What it does mean is that I’m convinced you’re putting up a barrier for your future.
For women, sex begins at breakfast. What does that mean? It means a man cannot do nothing all day, come home, have his wife bring him dinner while he sits and watches TV, and then give her a wink as he prepares to go to the bedroom thinking that she’ll be all gung-ho to be with him.
A man who wants a romantic evening had better be living a romantic lifestyle.
This is also why I recommend a couple getting set for marriage or already married go through a book like “The Five Love Languages.” By knowing your spouse’s love language, you can better know how to speak to them which will lead to more sex. More sex leads to more intimacy and more love. It then becomes a beautiful spiral that grows and grows.
My love languages for instance are words of affirmation and physical touch. Allie’s are gifts. One of the benefits of the book and learning it is that you realize you have to speak another language. If I get Allie a gift, it speaks far more than a word of affirmation or physical touch would. Note that this does not mean I have to buy a gift. Allie has been quite happy with me drawing a picture for her. (She studies art with a teacher on Wednesday nights, but the teacher has me learning some too. Allie thinks I have a natural talent.) On the other hand, Allie can get me great gifts and I really appreciate them, but speaking my languages is what really speaks to me. Thus, if I’m at the store, I can see if I can find something, even a small thing, I can get Allie. If we’re driving together, Allie knows she can reach over and put her hand on my leg and I immediately feel the love.
So women, I hope that I have done so far a noble attempt to try to understand where you are coming from in discussing this issue and I hope I have set a point for women who are not yet married, a point I wish to expound on later on. Please remember as much as you want to be understood, and that is a good thing, your man will also want the same thing. I honestly encourage couples to have real candid talks on sexuality and what each of them expects from the other. For couples about to get married (Advice to you is coming later), I suggest that in pre-marital counseling, you talk about this together. If you’re not married, don’t talk about it in person. Talk can too easily lead to action.
And men, keep this in mind with your women. If you want to enjoy a healthy harvest, you have to cultivate your garden very well. If you want sex, and we all do, then that means you have to treat your women well. I have often said that biblically, I think a man should lead. A man is the king of his castle. If that is the case, then that means the woman gets treated like a queen. She is not a servant.
Protect her. Cherish her. Let her know that she’s loved every single day. Set aside time for her regularly. Realize when you’re married that this woman has done something incredible. She has said she loves you enough that she wants to spend the rest of her life with you. She’s willing to put up with all of your obnoxious behavior. (This goes for me as well. I’m sure there are times Allie sees some of my crazy behavior and thinks to herself “What in the world did I get myself into?”)
The reality is both the man and woman have to learn from one another. There are times I have some insomnia and to calm my mind down, I read Philippians. I’d like my readers to consider the first four verses of chapter 2.
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
In reading this last time I thought “This is the way all marriages should be.” Indeed it is. Imagine if we all in marriage strove to be of one mind, to do nothing for ourselves, to seek the interest of the other person, etc. Imagine if our marriages could indeed be a little example of the relationship of Christ and the church. (And wouldn’t you know it, Paul has that same idea in Ephesians 5)
Men need to realize that women are a treasure. We men should all be thankful we found someone who loves us. Women can realize the same thing. They’ve found someone who loves them and that is something indeed worth celebrating. By seeking to build up one another, you can make things better and better. It could be that in fact the more you love one another, your spouse will also do those loving things so you’ll get your own needs met. Suppose they don’t? Oh well. You’re still doing what you’re supposed to be doing.
Well that’s our foundation for how men and women perceive matters differently. Again, I welcome the comments from women on this. I hope with this kind of foundation laid, we can get into some ethical reasons for why Christians believe we should behave the way we do.