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Are you holding back sexually?

145 women and 248 men answered
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© surveymonkey.com

  • Twenty-eight percent of women and 22% of men are holding back a fair amount to a good deal.
  • Only 23% of women and 36% of men say they are not holding back at all.
  • For women holding back was more common at younger ages. Those who did not hold back at all was 14% for women 25-34, 27% for women 35-44, and 32% for women 45-54. (Low number of respondents in the under 25 and 55+ groups did not allow for a good average)
  • In men greater age slightly increased the likelihood a man held back, and held back a great deal.

© surveymonkey.com

  • For women “other” reasons included past abuse, adultery, or porn use by husband, low desire, fear of pain, and unable to verbalise their desires.
  • Men’s “other” reasons included hurt by past rejection, fear of ED, fear asking will mean less sex, and was previously involved in homosexual activity.
  • Note: “Trust” and “spouse does not like what I want” were added during the survey because they came up often in “other”.

 

How age affected answers:

  • For women, holding back so as not to emotionally hurt their husband was most common for younger women – 22% for those under 25 to 3% for those over 44.
  • For women trust issues were most likely between the ages of 25-34, then falling with each age range – 31% for those 25-34 to 13% for those over 44.
  • For women fear of what he might think dropped with age. From 44% for those under 25 to 20% for those over 44.
  • For women embarrassment was fairly steady across ages, but slightly higher for those 25 to 44 years old.
  • For men age did not affect most answers significantly. Fear of what she would think was highest for those 35-44, being lower for younger men and dropping again for older men.

 

Women’s Comments:

  • I refuse to try anal sex. My husband has asked for it many times before and has stated that he really wants us to experience it together. I attempted it once or twice and found it to be very painful. I don't think I should have to subject myself to physical pain so he can be satisfied sexually.
  • My husband had an emotional affair a few years ago. 2 months ago I found out he was on sites talking to others and he admitted it may have went physical this time had I not found out. I have chosen to forgive but it takes time to be able to move past what you can't forget. So I hold back for fear of being hurt again.
  • Sometimes I "poot." It's the worst embarrassment.
  • I am not 100% free and open to fully love my husband sexually because he has severely damaged my trust for him. He is also very selfish. I hold back to keep something of mine to myself.
  • After 24 years of marriage there is nothing we won't try as long as it’s not a sin such as watching porn together.
  • Watching porn
  • I am held back by insecurity & fear of what I'm being compared to. It greatly dampens my ability to respond.
  • I have a lot of sexual shame in my past and was taught by my parents that who I am is basically not good enough. That translates into my marriage and mostly in our sex lives. Add to that my husband's former pornography addiction, and I am very, very guarded and closed-off when it comes to sex. I hope that one day we will be able to work through it.
  • You don't have to watch porn or read erotica to have an active imagination about what you would love to do with your husband. But sometimes I'm afraid that if I suggest something I’d like to try, he might think I've been looking at something I shouldn't be looking at so I hold back a little. We've been married 30 years and have an active sex life and I just like to keep it evolving and fun.
  • Not comfortable initiating sex
  • Emotionally I'm not engaged.
  • Possibly starting menopause? Kids in the house, hard to relax.
  • I hesitate to give specific directions on things I enjoy but am too shy to ask for, like fingers inserted during oral.
  • My husband and I share every fantasy we have and try new things. You have to be open and not ashamed of wanting to try new things.
  • My husband withholds sex from me
  • We have sex everywhere and when we can we love it all the time
  • I feel it hurts him if I make too many sexual advances when he doesn't feel like sex (I'm the higher drive spouse)
  • Afraid to try new things because of embarrassment, or fear of rejection.
  • How tired or worn out I am has a huge impact on how much I hold back. But the few things that I can't bring myself to do at this point, not because we think it's wrong, I just have an "ick" factor to them and that is anal play on him and OS to completion .
  • I've been working on not holding back, it's a process and I'm happy to be making progress.
  • I held back in my first marriage, but the trust and love we this marriage has enabled me to be vulnerable enough to enjoy intimacy with no hesitation. We spend much time developing our love and bond which makes the sex fun and adventurous. I can't say enough how much a difference it makes to do the simple activities together often, just sitting together and sharing a cup of coffee or other drink helps. Praying together, walking together, and sharing deepest thoughts together, all help with sexual intimacy. I'm very thankful my honey and I share this kind of blessed love.
  • I have some fantasies that he doesn't know about and I feel that he would judge me if he knew about. I would love to engage in more than simply oral and intercourse, more foreplay and more than just "get to sex" in the bedroom. Why not play around and have fun? He just wants to get right to sex, maybe a little oral, then he's snoring. I want more.
  • I hold back sometimes because I am afraid that our specific anatomy won't make other ideas work (such as new/different positions), and could very possibly lead to pain for me, and that will probably lead to feelings of embarrassment or inadequacy. So I don't do or suggest anything different, even though I sometimes wish we would. I also have a hard time asking for an orgasm when I want one because I can't during regular intercourse and am always worried he really thinks it's just extra work and boring.
  • I hold back because I feel like crap about myself
  • My husband isn't as adventurous as I am and seems either embarrassed or uncomfortable talking about sex-we have a good sex life but I'm hoping he'll grow more comfortable. If we do try anything new I have to suggest/initiate it-I long for him to take charge, to talk to about our desires, fantasies, ideas, for him to be the one who puts a spark, fun, freshness in this area of our relationship!
  • One of the biggest things I hold back on is touching myself for my husband. Whether it's turning him on by letting him watch me, or just guiding his hand to show him how I like it.. I just can't bring myself to do it. I do NOT believe it's sin, I just feel.. gross. I feel insecure, shy, dirty/ shameful, etc. I hope one day to be able to conquer this fear and give myself fully and unabashedly to my husband!
  • Physically tried.
  • Struggle climaxing, totally letting go.
  • He is always loving and caring with his requests and I trust him without reserve. After 23 years we have a deeply passionate love life and are still trying new things!
  • I held back for the first 15 years of our marriage because of a lethal combo of wrong teaching and self-doubt. God healed me of that and I'm thrilled to say I no longer hold anything back from him!
  • It took me a long time to get to the point where I'm totally free with my husband. I wasted a lot of years of great sex that I could have had if I would've had the courage to speak up and communicate.
  • I hold back from orgasm while he manually stimulates me. It's almost scary feeling like I can't control my reactions.
  • I am so blessed to have a husband I don't have to hold anything back with sexually or otherwise! We have had issues with my drive being higher in the past, but that is no longer an side and we are both so grateful!
  • I sometimes hold back when I feel like initiating sex but I know my husband is tired.
  • I'm good to go anytime. My husband is the one holding back.
  • I hold back from oral sex because my husband feels it is wrong (to receive or to give). I also hold back from being adventurous in other ways because he is so.......vanilla. Our sex life is boring and unsatisfying; he does not even like trying a different position.
  • Loss of libido
  • I hold back asking for what I want because he refuses anyway and his attitude afterwards hurts. I hold back from really engaging with him...looking at him, etc. Also because he doesn't tell me what he likes when I ask so I don't know what to do with my hands, my mouth.
  • I hold back not because I think what I desire is wrong, I know my husband doesn't think it to be wrong. I just find it weird. I have a hard time separating myself from mom, to wife mode. Hopefully that will change.

 

Men’s Comments:

  • Giving and receiving oral sex.
  • I hold back from asking for out of the normal routine things. Things that my spouse may not enjoy, it may judge me for asking.
  • I want to try anal, but she's not interested. But that's ok with me. :-)
  • My wife doesn't feel comfortable receiving OS or MB inside (only outer stimulation. She also does not feel comfortable taking me to climax during OS. So I've learned to simply Pray for her and let God change her desires if that's what he wants me to experience. I've learned it doesn't go well if I ask often like I did when we were younger. I can't change her. Only God can. And the rest of our sex life is great, so I'm not planning on messing with a good thing.
  • Mostly, I don't hold back. The only areas I do hold back, are based on differing preferences. Example: Oral. We both enjoy the activity, but if I selfishly had my way, it would be all about me. Instead, we meet in the middle, and both enjoy it, and I don't force her to do things that she would prefer not to do. Because, I love her, I show her respect. Out of that respect/love, I hold back a tiny bit, so things are mutually fun.
  • I don't hold anything back from what my wife likes/ enjoys. Just things I would like to do sexually. Or do more of.
  • I do not hold anything back sexually. I will give anything to my wife she wants in the form of sex. I am willing for a hot passionate romp on the bed every other night. I give freely and so does the wife to me. We have a very healthy sex life except no oral sex... I hope sometime in my lifetime that the wife will be willing to give and receive oral sex.
  • She suffers from some chronic pain issues, which really put a damper on our sexual activities. She is willing, but unable to have more than short sessions due to this pain.
  • I have the higher drive and am more adventurous (and desiring of adventure). I feel like I need to be slow and gentle in asking for new things.
  • Much of what I'm holding back is because we are still working within her comfort zone to help her develop a desire for sex. I pray that there will come a time when she has a passionate desire for me sexually. Once we have that we will be in a better place to start gently expanding our repertoire.
  • My wife and I agreed before we married that unless there was a physical problem between us, there was NO reason to say no to each other. We have had a great and fulfilling sex life, and marriage for over 16 years now.
  • I feel that my spouse and myself should explore more together, but she feels that certain things are inappropriate for us.
  • Fear she thinks it's something I saw in porn.
  • I'd like her to do some anal play with me Butt plug or small strap on.
  • My wife is a lot more inhibited than me.
  • I hold back asking for certain things for fear of rejection and I'm afraid of what she'll think of me. I want to ask for prostate massage, swallowing, mutual masturbation, anal, and multiple sexual acts over the course of a day. There are others, but these are my top ones.
  • Your survey needs more work...
  • Simple things like oral sex.
  • I prefer oral sex more than my wife does (giving or receiving). It is a huge issue for me, but I refrain from bringing it up anymore. I've decided to accept the fact that we are two different people with very different preferences.
  • Anal Sex would be great, but she is not there.
  • Sexless marriage for 3 years
  • I just hold back from really trying. I feel like my expressions and discussions of wanting to have a healthy sexual relationship is falling on deaf ears.
  • It is a viscous circle sometimes because I fear not being able to perform by keeping my erection firm enough for intercourse, and disappointing her. So it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and then those thoughts lead to inability to complete intercourse. And so rather than disappoint her, I avoid the situation which means avoiding sex and intimacy when I know we both really need it. Still let fear win out much of the time.
  • I've told my spouse before that there is virtually nothing that she could request in the bedroom that I would not try to oblige her. If she did ask, I'd know it meant it was significant to her and a tremendous opportunity for me to bless her and to grow in our sexual intimacy. I really get off on giving her pleasure, trying to keep the spice in our sex life, and discovering new things even after 20+ yrs of marriage. Sadly though, she doesn't often ask and she does not offer the same to me. She's aware of my use of porn in the past (I've been working hard to stay clean), and think she's a little freaked out by what my requests of her might be. I'd not expect her to do anything she's completely uncomfortable with, but sometimes if I do bring up something, I kind of feel shamed or made out to be a bit of a freak - and it's not even that out of mainstream. Sometimes less frustrating if just don't bring up. Would really like for her to be more open-minded.
  • Betrayal affects all aspects of a marriage. It is very difficult to give your all in all areas of your marriage when you don't trust your spouse.
  • I hold back from doing a lot of things at my wife's request. She was sexually abused as a child, and that has left her with a lot of things that sexually she can't deal with. We are in counseling, and things are slowly improving, but she still has a way to go. But I love her and am willing to wait for her. Some sexual positions, oral sex, wearing lingerie, etc, she may never be comfortable with.
  • My wife does not desire to feel pleasure during sex and will not allow me to do anything that might possibly cause her to feel pleasure.
  • Live in a sexless marriage, my wife was abused as a kid and is unable to get through it.
  • My wife does not crave creativity and adventure in the marriage bed as much as I do. There are times when I bring up new ideas that she becomes very defensive and wonders why what we are doing now isn't enough. I straddle a fine line between wanting to make sure she's comfortable in our MB and allowing us to try new things (which I love).
  • I hold back from asking when I know that it will just get me a long verbal response of why she can't
  • It’s my wife you should be asking.
  • I would like to give and receive more oral sex, I'd like to try other positions and introduce toys to our lovemaking.
  • I don't hold back but she sure does.
  • I think I'm much more spontaneous then her and up for it when and wherever. I think for her she has to be in the mood every time etc. I don't remember her ever saying oh you need sex let me help you with that. So I just stopped asking. Seems the busier her life gets the less we have and we don't talk about it because we just blame. Sad!
  • We don't have oral sex because my wife says that she thinks it's "animalistic" and gross. I've never been able to understand the underlying issue because she won't have a discussion. I would love to go down on my wife to help her have orgasms. I'm sure I could do more with my mouth and tongue than I can do with my hand or vibrator. She has a hard time having orgasms and I'd just like to do more to help her finish. It is far less important to me for her to perform oral on me though I'm sure I'd like it. I so enjoy climaxing in her -- I don't mean in her mouth -- that I think I would want oral only as part of foreplay.
  • There should be no reason for spouses hold back from each other except when it's life threaten or agreed upon as best explained in the bible.
  • I don’t ask her to give me a hand job or oral bc she doesn’t like it... And if I ask, she gets turned off and sex is out of question.
  • Asking for more.
  • I hold back from asking for sex from my wife. Due to many times my request for sex from wife gets turned down with a No, I get hesitant in asking. It is the worst feeling when you ask for sex from your spouse and they reject your request stating different reasons.
  • Based on our 24yr relationship, I think she would not want to do some of the activities I want to try, so I hold them back & introduced only what I think she will consider
  • There are some things I really like that my wife did once or twice but has indicated she does not like, so I do not pressure her.
  • Normal vanilla sex, for reasons written above.
  • Perhaps I'm not sure what you mean by "hold back". There are things that I could do that would injure my wife, but I don't want to do them because they would injure my wife. We talk about what we want to try or do and we're willing to try things with each other, so I don't see any holding back, but we aren't out to hurt each other, we're simply trying to make sex better for us, both individually and as a couple.
  • Anything and everything goes!
  • Spouse has past abuse issues and there are some things I hold back from doing as to not trigger a negative emotional and physical response. Other than that, I'm wide open!
  • I only would say I hold back as not to put stress in to the situation. If she asked for anything I would be happy to bless her with it..... I don't ask anymore as I know the answer already.
  • I only would say I hold back as not to put stress in to the situation. If she asked for anything I would be happy to bless her with it..... I don't ask anymore as I know the answer already.
  • I hold back from telling my wife every time I want to be intimate
  • anal play, toys,
  • One additional reason is that its required for me to hold back in order to maintain peace in my marriage. My wife is sensitive and sexually inhibited, so if I were to be my "true sexual self" with her, it would be a disaster. I hope to see healing in this area one day so that I no longer have to hold back parts of myself with her. This is not a healthy thing to do.

 

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