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I had a pastor once say that intimacy in the context of a relationship can be understood as “in to me you see.” You get the extraordinary privilege to experience your spouse in the most transparents relationship they will ever have. That means you have the extraordinary responsibility to nurture and love them in ways no one else can. This includes having sex.

Why should I pursue sexual intimacy with my spouse?

Sexual intimacy encompasses so much more than just the act of sex. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, sex is ultimately a physiological need of humans. Looking at sexual intimacy within the scope of a relationship can paint a beautiful picture of how that need can be met.

Sexual intimacy within your marriage can serve as a reminder of the commitment you made to each other - you chose your spouse to love and support them. There is a joy in seeing your spouse fulfilled and a closeness that is only shared between the two of you. There isn’t a replacement for the bond of sexual intimacy with your spouse. But a lot of couples let this be one of the first things to slip away.

Ian Kerner Ph.D. - sex counselor says, “Sex seems to be rapidly falling to the bottom of America’s to-do list; but, in my experience, when couples stop having sex their relationships become vulnerable to anger, detachment, infidelity and, ultimately, divorce. I believe that sex matters: It’s the glue that keeps us together and, without it, couples become ‘good friends’ at best, or ‘bickering roommates’ at worst.”

There are grave consequences of not keeping sex a priority, so let’s focus on the truly magical experience you can share with your beloved.

Maybe you’re in a good rhythm and are looking to enhance what you’ve already built or maybe you’re going through a period without much sex. Either way, you want good sex. So how do you get it?

Communication is the key to great sex!

It’s not too difficult to identify when sex isn’t great, but what actually makes it good? Is it different positions or locations? The use of toys or pillows? It turns out, the key to satisfying sex is communication and lots of it.

A 2006 study of 38,747 married men and women found a high correlation between the level of sexual satisfaction and level of sexual communication despite frequency.

“Greater amounts of sexual communication were associated with increased orgasm frequency in women and greater relationship and sexual satisfaction in both sexes. We also observed important differences in the associations of sexual communication and general communication on satisfaction levels,” Another study reported.

Both of these studies also made note that the couples who communicated about their sexual interactions, needs, and desires also reported a much greater sense of closeness with their partners apart from the frequency of their sexual encounters.

So more sexual communication can also help to improve the emotional intimacy you feel with your spouse! I’d say that’s a win-win!

Here are some discussion points to get you started:

  • Talk about your expectations and preferences.
  • How often do you want/expect to have sex?
  • Are our sex drives uneven or are they matched? How can we compromise?
  • Are one of you always saying no? Get to the bottom of why!
  • What does sex mean to you?
  • Do you think we both need to reach orgasm for it to be considered good?
  • Tell each other in the moment what to do.
  • What is your ideal sex encounter with me? (Explain what helps you get in the mood)
  • How do you feel about quickies, manual stimulation, and oral sex?
  • Why didn’t you orgasm this time? I did the exact same thing as last time! What can I do to help you get there?
  • Read a book together! We were given Sheet Music by Dr. Kevin Leman by our premarital counselors and we LOVE this book. We have shared our copy with so many couples that it’s starting to fall apart! It has 16 chapters of topics and situations that you can easily apply.

Do you feel shame around the topic of sex? Maybe you feel awkward talking about sex in detail, but are ok in general terms? That’s totally ok to be starting out in these places. The more you have discussions around the topic, the easier it will get.

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What’s my responsibility when prioritizing sexual intimacy?

Healthy sexual intimacy with your spouse is all about mutual respect.

While testosterone levels statistically may make men crave sex more often than women, it is not their responsibility to drive this topic in the relationship. Women can regain their voice in this space by taking charge of their bodies, learning what turns them on and then communicating that to their spouse. It’s all about understanding each other and approaching sex with an “us” mentality.

Determine frequency together!

Listen to each other’s expectations and desire for sex. Don’t worry if you’re not matched. Most couples do not share identical libidos. Working through your differences may take some negotiation and compromise to agree on the frequency, but establishing the expectations will help.

“If your sex drives are out of balance, your aim is to meet in the middle, having sex a bit more than one partner likes, but probably a bit less than the other likes.” – Dr. Gail Saltz, psychiatrist

You both have a responsibility to make the other feel desired.

You can achieve this through changing the way you’re initiating based on the way your spouse gets turned on, it could be starting to initiate more, and it could even be occasionally saying yes to your spouse’s desire even if you’re not in the mood. It’s much easier to compromise when you’re focusing on that mutual respect.

No assuming here! Talking to each other about how they can make you feel desired is a great place to start! For example, I feel cared for when Jake takes care of choices that I would normally have to make. That’s not as obvious as something like kissing your neck or spontaneously dancing in the kitchen. So ask, you might be surprised!

Schedule it if it’s not happening

This might sound like it will deflate your romantic balloon, but it can actually rekindle a regular desire to prioritize sex.

For the spouse with the higher sex drive, it is a respectful act so they’re never feeling isolated in their desire or wondering when the next time will happen. And if you’re having trouble getting in the right mindset, having it scheduled can help take the surprise out of it.

You may also find scheduling sex helpful during the busy seasons in life. The seasons may be long seasons or short ones…like during the holidays when you’re just fried from running from one event to the next. Something is going to take your energy and attention and you get to control what gets prioritized. So schedule sex to keep your marriage and connection a priority!

Sometimes, just do it!

Do you ever have so much going on that sex just feels like a chore? It’s easier to say “next time babe” instead of “yes!” right? But how many of those times do you actually regret once you get started? I bet not as many as you might want to believe!

Sometimes our own unwillingness to see outside of our immediate feelings can be the thing that keeps us from greater intimacy with our spouse. You may be tired or busy, but they may be missing connection with you. Whose feelings get to win? This is when mutual respect will lead toward compromise.

This isn’t “give in every time because it’s your duty” advice. That’s not it at all. It’s a mindset shift of compromise. Yes, this is easiest to do when you have a spouse who is also looking to serve you. But often, self-reflection and understanding your own motivations are the keys to understanding roadblocks.

So sometimes, just do it. Not out of duty, but out of a heart that prioritizes your spouse and marriage.

So how can I prioritize sexual intimacy with my spouse?

Grab your partner and find a few minutes to begin communicating about it today.

If talking about this doesn’t come naturally, start out simply by asking each other how frequently they desire sex if they don't have to take anything else into consideration. Then you answer it yourself. That question alone can spur on a great discussion about how to meet each other’s needs without getting too descriptive. We all start somewhere!

If this is an easy topic for you to discuss, you can go into depth using any of the topics above. The main message is to add sexual communication to your repertoire. It will create a deeper emotional intimacy with your spouse and probably lead to some great sex!


Things like trauma, abuse, cultural/religious taboo and more can have a deep impact on how you allow yourself to feel and experience your sexual nature. If you are experiencing any sort of roadblock to your wholeness, we suggest getting help and healing through counseling.

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