What is that elusive, secret switch you can flick to turn women on? I wonder whether you men suspect we women have one, whether we’re all in a giant conspiracy to hide it from you, sort of like Samson and Delilah in reverse.

If I could share any secret with you, it would be this: we women don’t actually know what that switch is either. After almost two decades of marriage, I’ve decided women’s sex drives are such a mishmash of competing elements that only God knows what’s really going on. We’re largely hormonal. We’re also emotional. And we’re spiritual. Get the right mix, and things fly! If one’s out of whack, you’re likely out of luck.

But I don’t want to leave you even more depressed than you already were, so let me give you a few thoughts that will at least send you in the right direction.

1. Tell Your Wife She’s Beautiful

Counting your wife’s calories is not cool. If you want to love her sacrificially and empower her to change, then caress her. Love her. Show her what body parts you adore, because chances are she’s way harder on herself than you ever could be.

And if you really would prefer that she lose weight, then do it with her! Suggest you take a walk together after dinner. Start cooking healthful meals. If you don’t find her attractive, then you’re part of the problem. Be part of the solution too.

2. Touch Her Without Expecting It to Go Anywhere

Many women stop kissing as soon as they walk down the aisle because too many husbands give their wives the message that kissing equals a promissory note for sex later. If you give that impression, then you’ve also guaranteed you’ll have a lousy sex life.

Why? Because women aren’t always sure they want the touch to go somewhere. So they’ll stop touching to avoid a fight. But if they stop touching, they eliminate one of the primary ways they feel safe, close, and even desired. You need touch in your relationship if you’re going to boost her libido. Start touching and kissing—not groping—your wife regularly.

3. Don’t Increase Her Exhaustion

Women’s number one reason for not wanting sex is that they are absolutely exhausted. We have to be able to concentrate to enjoy making love. If we’re tired, we can’t concentrate.

If you want more sex, then go out of your way to make sure your wife isn’t exhausted.

If you want more sex, then go out of your way to make sure your wife isn’t exhausted. Pick up a mop. Put the kids in bed. Help her figure out what commitments she can eliminate. Sometimes she’ll resist because most women are control freaks; they get testy if a man tries to help. But push through because she needs to feel she doesn’t have the world on her shoulders.

4. Talk to Her

Want more action in the bedroom? Better make sure there’s action outside the bedroom too! Just take a walk with her every night and catch up, giving her a chance to share her heart. Ask about her day and what she’s worried about. This helps clear her head too so that she won’t be so distracted when making love.

5. Figure Out What Feels Good to Her

If your wife isn’t having a good time in bed, she certainly may have sexual issues. But for the vast majority of women, when sex doesn’t feel pleasurable, it’s because her husband hasn’t taken the time to learn how to make her feel good, and she’s given up.

Take time to discover how she likes to be touched (hint: chances are it’s a lot lighter than you like to be touched). Many women are embarrassed to tell their husbands what they want, and others may not even know what feels good. Don’t take her silence to mean you’re doing everything right. If she’s not in ecstasy, you have work to do.

6. Trash the Porn

Pornography rewires your brain so that what becomes arousing is a picture or an image rather than a live human being. It will make your wife feel like trash, and it will make her feel angry and unwanted. It is not OK. It is not harmless. It is not something you do just to give your wife a break sometimes. It is wrong. Always. End of story.

7. Clean Is Sexy

Often the best foreplay is a shower. If you’re a guy who has never really enjoyed brushing his teeth and considers showering a waste of time, then it’s time to reevaluate your priorities. If you’re turning her off, it will be a lot harder to turn her on.

8. Love Her Anyway

Will taking these seven steps totally assure your bedroom heats up? Not necessarily. There are no guarantees, and all too many women are insensitive to their husbands’ very real sexual needs. But love her anyway. When you aren’t getting your needs met, the answer isn’t to withdraw. Love, acceptance, and selflessness can turn a marriage around. And even if they don’t, you’ve stepped out in faith to love her as Jesus called you to (see Eph. 5:25). If your wife doesn’t notice or appreciate it, rest assured that God always does.

005644085This article is an excerpt by Sheila Wray Gregoire from 33 The Series Volume 5: A Man and His Marriage.

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