What If I Don’t Like Sex?

Tasha Levert

The Question:

What if I don’t enjoy having sex with my husband?

The Answer:

Finding the fun in sex is a common problem for both men and women. Whether a couple has never quite figured out what’s with all the fuss or they’ve lost that lovin’ feeling, a lot of people view sex as:

  • An obligation, chore or duty
  • Something that makes them feel insecure and uncomfortable
  •  An act that feels wrong
  • Necessary if they want to have kids
  • A way to keep their spouse from being unfaithful
  • Boring and predictable

Duty sex, agenda sex, guilt sex and humdrum sex are never fun. Ever.

God’s plan for lovemaking involves passion, pleasure, excitement, joy, trust, vulnerability, commitment, faith, selflessness, self-esteem and fun. Sex is good. Sex is beautiful. Sex is wild. Sex is playful. Finding the fun in sex may involve rethinking your understanding of sexuality and the role it plays in your life.

Common reasons why couples struggle to enjoy sex:

I’m afraid I’ll lose control.

Perfectionism and the need for control blocks intimacy. Sex feels too messy and out of control for people who need their lives to feel predictable, neat and scheduled.

Solution: Perfectionism and control are overrated. Perfection is an unattainable carrot-on-a-string pursuit. Reject the lie that says, “People won’t love you if you fail or lose control.” You were created by a God who loves and accepts you — failures and all. When you understand and embrace this truth, you will no longer need to fear failure and you will no longer need control. (For more on breaking free from perfectionism, read Robert McGee’s book, The Search for Significance.)

I come from a family that didn’t talk about sex.

Sex-shaming parents run the risk of raising sex-shaming kids. After a lifetime of hearing sex is wrong, it is difficult for some to transition into an understanding that sex is now good once the wedding vows are spoken.

Solution: Rethink your beliefs about sex. Sex isn’t bad or dirty, but it isn’t casual or recreational either. Sex is more than just an action – skin touching skin. God’s design for sex is soul touching soul, making it both sensual and sacred. (For more on a healthy theology on sex, read Douglas Rosenau’s book, A Celebration of Sex.)

I don’t trust my spouse.

Loss of trust can be devastating to a relationship. Vulnerability cannot exist without trust, and fun cannot share space with anger.

Solution: Restoring trust may require getting help from a trusted friend, pastor, or counselor. Most trust issues do not get resolved without intentional conversation and a commitment to change.

Sex became mechanical and emotionally painful when we were trying to have a baby.

Trying to have a baby can feel like a fun-filled adventure for many, but for some, the pressure to conceive makes some feel used and inadequate.

Solution: Take a break from trying to make a baby and allow for some time to make love. In other words, make love on the fertile days and the not-so-fertile days.

I can’t relax or shut off my mind.

It’s difficult for some to relax and turn off an overly busy, sleep-deprived and stressed-out mind.

Solution: Pray and ask God before and during lovemaking to help you clear your mind, become present in this moment, relax, have fun, and make your spouse feel loved. (Yes, prayer and sex are very appropriate in the same moment).

I don’t experience orgasm. 

The inability to experience pleasure in sex is more common than you think. If this is you, you are not alone and there is hope.

Solution: A good therapist can help you discover what’s preventing you from experiencing pleasure. It may feel embarrassing to you, but as a counselor who does this kind of work every week, it’s an honor to get to help lead a person into a more fulfilling love life.

I’m not having fun in any part of my life.

You need laughter. Don’t allow the responsibility of parenting get in the way of your playful side.

Solution: Follow your kids’ lead and have some fun. Laundry can wait. A schedule can be broken. Make a mess. This life is a gift. Cannonball back into life and play. 

Enjoying sex is a choice, and it’s yours for the taking. You may have some work to do to, but the challenge of figuring things out together can be a tender part of the journey. Let today be your first day back to reconnecting with the playful side of yourself and your spouse.

What questions do you have about marriage or sex? Because we want to answer them! We posted this answer to a popular, but not-often-talked-about, question about the female orgasm last year, and it became one of our top 20 posts of the year, so we know you’re thinking about ways to improve things in the bedroom with your husband.

Tasha Levert is an expert on female relationship needs and has her Ph.D. in marriage and family therapy. Plus, she’s witty and honest, and we love her. Send an email with your questions tomagazines@mops.org (yes, even the embarrassing ones), and we’ll start getting answers for the questions we’re all asking but don’t know who to ask.

how-to-feel-better-than-sexy-1Tasha Levert, Ph.D., is a licensed professional counselor in New Orleans who provides face-to-face and online care. She is a conference speaker, worship leader and the author of  Stories of Hope for the Sleep Deprived. Tasha and her husband Tim (Pastor with Students at the Vineyard Church of New Orleans) have three beautiful daughters and a lazy schnauzer named Gumbo. To find out more about Tasha or her practice go to tashalevert.com or broomtreecounseling.com.