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Who Controls Sex in Your Marriage?

100 women and 384 men have answered

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© surveymonkey.com

  • Most men, 79%, and 20% of women say she has 75% to 100% of control over how often the couple has sex.
  • Only 6% of men and 40% of women say he has 75% to 100% of control over how often the couple has sex.
  • Forty percent of women but only 15%of men say they have about the same amount of control.

© surveymonkey.com

  • Three-fourths of men and 19% of women say she has 75% to 100% control over what the couple does sexually.
  • Seven percent of men and 30% of women say he has 75% to 100% control over what the couple does sexually.
  • Half of women but only 19% of men feel they share control over what is done sexually.
  • The situation here is more balanced than who controls how often, but not by much.

© surveymonkey.com

  • Twenty-nine percent of women but only 9% of men are having about the amount of sex they want.
  • Eleven percent of women and 7% of men are having sex more often than they find ideal.
  • Thirty-nine percent of women and 64% of men are having less sex than they want.
  • Fifteen percent of women and 28% of men are having less than half as much sex as they would like.
  • Seventeen percent of women and 20% of men are having little or no sex.

 

Women’s Comments:

  • We'd have sex more often, but we're dealing with "season of life" issues. Fortunately we are open and honest, and know we'll work through it.
  • He is verbally critical, which is fine but doesnt make up for it with 'real' connection or compliments. Emotionally bucket ends up in a negative. It is hard to connect with someone who does not/not able to connect with you. Good listener.
  • My husband and I are among what I've come to think of as the lucky few who are on the same page sexually. We are both high drive, and we're both open to trying things the other wants, and usually we both end up either liking or not liking them. We both seek to please each other, and we strive to put God at the center of even our sex life, and our marriage in general. In the years I'd walked away from God for a while, if you'd told me God cared about my sex life I'd have laughed, but I've come to believe that He truly does.
  • My husband is very gentle and always caring over my feelings, so if he even gets a hint of me saying no he backs off without much complaint. He very rarely voices frustration. I don't want sex ever, and no amount of foreplay can get me in the mood. I try to act interested but I'm mostly bored and wanting to get it over with quickly. May be hormones and being pregnant for so many years it seems (5 kids under 5) but that's why I say I am in control and it's more than double what I want, bc I don't want it.
  • He Has To control IT because I love him much.
  • Hubby controls frequency - 4 times in almost 11 years, last time was 5+ years ago. He suffers from addiction to codeine and depression.
  • My husband and I try to be generous lovers towards each other. There may be times when one of us express the desire to make love and the other doesn't want to, but we meet each other's needs anyway.
  • My husband is often tired and/or stressed from work. This has decreased his libido dramatically, but we're working on it!
  • My husband's sex drive has dropped since his affair came to light. We are in counseling and overall we're better than ever but his drive hasn't come back.
  • Can go for periods of months without.
  • I have never told my husband no with the exception of a few occasions where my monthly was heavier than normal. I am constantly rejected and the list of excuses grows daily.... Too tired, not tired (doesn't want to come to bed), too full from food, rather watch tv, rather play computer games...etc
  • I love having the same strong drive as my husband. It makes for an awesome marriage.
  • My husband travels for work, which causes us to have less sex than we want due to separation.
  • We have sex maybe twice a month (which isn't technically sexless, but I picked the near sexless option because we have sex way less than have as much as I would want). If I had any control over frequency, I'd prefer more like 3-4 times a week. Maybe even more. I would also like to try new things -- different places, different positions.
  • PTSD has removed all desire for sex. At first, it just dwindled. Now it is non-existent. It is a daily battle for me.
  • Early in our marriage it was a 50/50 ratio. Then my husband was out of work and depressed. I was working long hours and he was feeling very lonely. He had had a problem with porn before we were married and during this rough time his port habit flared back up and did major damage to our relationship, this all happened during our first year of marriage. I was very angry and hurt and didn't understand what had happened. I pretty much cut him off and it has taken a long time for me to heal and be more willing to be intimate. He did some support groups and things got better. When life gets rough the porn comes back and we have to start all over. It's been a hard road to earn back trust and not be tight-fisted gate keeper, as I'm afraid of getting hurt again. To my knowledge he has been free of the porn problem for ~ 4 years and our frequency and openness has been improving.
  • I would like it 1 more time in the week.
  • We currently have a schedule to solve the problem of frequency, two weeknights and "sometime" on the weekend. I would like more, but he is busy and tired. After 30+ years together, we're only one year into our marriage fixer-upper season, so not only is the frequency issue blissfully more stable, we are also spending more time on other kinds of intimacy and I have to admit that the time-on-task for all marriage improvements has been tremendously increased. We've recently discovered that our personalities play a huge role in driving the selection of intimate activities. Hubby is content with a rather limited variety and prefers routine when he is responsible for choosing, but I'm far more creative and willing to put time and energy into planning and preparations for a wider variety of, ahem, outcomes. This used to drive me nuts - the disparity in investment - as it somehow equated with how much he valued me and intimacy itself. However, we've realized that he enjoys variety and spontaneity, just has no imagination - LOL! So now we often take turns being The Activities Director, and the rest of the time I have his permission to formulate The Best Laid Plans (!) with a small budget for Necessaries.
  • Just to clarify, I am struggling with physical issues surrounding menopause which makes sex physically uncomfortable and at times unpleasant. My husband is also struggling with post-prostate surgery issues which makes sex somewhat mechanical and often impossible. These days it seems like it's more work than pleasure. At present, sex is for him but controlled by me.
  • We are dealing with my husband's sexual addiction. Before he realized it was a problem we had sex two to three times a week and he always wanted more. At the time he was having affairs with two other women and having sex with them two to three times a week as well. I didnt know it was happening at the time. We are working with both a sexual addiction counselor for him and a marriage counselor for us. Sex has been something difficult to address because of all this. I am the one who has made more of the decisions in the past on if we have sex because he would always be so angry at me and then approach me as if everything was okay. I felt used. That all he wanted me for was sex. We are working through this and both are seeing how God really intended sex in marriage to be. It a hard process, especially for me with dealing with trust issues.
  • Do to my health issues I'm in the driver's seat because I'm the one who knows my pain, nausea, and energy levels. I don't ever think, "sex sounds good right now!" But I so much want closeness with my husband. I know that, even though there are varying levels of pain that prevent orgasmic pleasure for me, and I don't have anywhere as much energy as we'd like, sexual intimacy can still leave us feeling satisfied, and closer physically, emotionally and spiritually. I don't "want" sex, but I know that hubby does, and I have a big "want" for closeness, and happy "us", so I try, with pretty good success, to get us there in SOME variation, at least 3 times a week. It's so far from perfect, sometimes hardly tolerable, and regularly we both struggle with disappointment.
  • Perhaps the reason that I perceive the control of sex to be shared 50/50, is because neither of us asks for more than what each of us thinks the other spouse wants. For this reason, neither of us asks for what we want. The result being that neither of us gets what we would like. We each give the other control without telling the other spouse that they have control.
  • Fortunately, our desires usually coincide in frequency. However, in the occasional time that I need sex but he isn't interested enough to initiate, I have learned to usually not mention my needs. The times when I do feel bold enough to try to initiate, it doesn't go very far. It does seem to be very one sided in this respect, and makes me feel like my needs are not important. I am too scared of direct rejection to verbally express my needs so I will usually start "playing/fondling" him, but it isn't reciprocated, and because of that, it quickly ends. Because this is a common scenario when our needs don't match up, I have learned to usually suppress my needs at the times that my desires do not match up with his. :(
  • NOT. FAIR. My husband stopped wanting to have sex with me years ago. At least 7-8 yrs. The feeling of loneliness and rejection is deep. Partially as a result of being sexually STARVED, I developed a porn habit for about 7 years. I have been "sober" now for almost 10 months, thanks to a lot of prayer by a few friends/pastors, and attending a "Woman at the Well" workshop with Shannon Ethridge. I have not looked at porn since I came back from the workshop. But I still get angry and hurt that my husband won't have sex with me or hardly even hold my hand or put his arm around me. He has a Rx for Viagra, but refuses to use it. I could go on, but you get the picture.
  • I put 10% my control and 90% his because he says no when he wants and I am to respect that. I have never said no, and said not now once and it wasn't respected. Also, I had to give up oral and foreplay the way I like in order to get sex at all. Our "compromise" meant I gave in a lot more than he did, but what we have works ok, and ok is better than bad.
  • I have more control than I want. I think my sweet hubby doesn't want to "bother" me because we have very young kids, but then it feels like if I don't initiate we would almost never have sex. I think he is trying to be thoughtful but it actually makes me feel worse. I want him to want me like he used to. Even controlling what we do doesn't feel all that great for me because I don't even know what he wants anymore or if I am satisfying him. But maybe I am overthinking it and he isn't picky because I am pretty sex-positive and come up with good ideas on my own? I just wish he would take control more often and be more aggressive instead of passive; I love being pursued.
  • I am a very sexual woman, I've known that since I was 15 or 16, but I was an unmarried virgin until 25, so it became very apparent at 23 when my body craved sex often. More than once I'd lay prostrate on my bed crying out to the Lord to send me a husband. I could never understand women who could be in a sexless marriage, be ok with it and even swear that they loved their husband and he loved them. Heck if I'm over 2 days without I'm very antsy. But the Lord has given me a heart for young couples and I have been convicted of my judgemental attitude. My husband and I view each other as equals, so though he usually initiates it's because I have the higher drive and if he's not feeling it I really try to relieve the pressure by saying "we don't have to do anything tonight." However, lately he's been up for every night, which is fine by me!
  • I wish I'd known early in our marriage what I know now! Our sex life would've been so much better in those early years. And I think that would've spilled over into improving all other aspects of our marriage too.

 

Men’s Comments

 

  • Although I may ask frequently or try to initiate sex frequently, she often says no, so we do not. I respect her choice, but wish we could enjoy sex more frequently. I usually try to initiate 5-7 times for every time she actually says yes. Occasionally she will initiate sex and in those instances I don't think I have ever turned her down. She typically is only willing once every 9-14 days, and sometimes much longer.
  • It has been 10 months since the last time we had sex . She says she doesn't even think about it. I would be OK with just having sex once a month if she would, but I think about it all the time.
  • I do my best to support my wife with household chores and raising our 10 month old. But she constantly puts intimacy off with tiredness and breastfeeding hormones as an excuse. It's tiring to be always begging. I've given up
  • I'd like to say that I want more, that's the guy thing to say, but really, we're right where we need to be. She would actually prefer a bit less if I ask her when she's not aroused, but she's at the point where she knows that even if she isn't into it at the beginning, she can get there and it will be good. She's also happy to do it because it blesses me. The result is that we share sex when either of us wants it and it's great. Yes, I know, I'm unbelievably blessed with my wife.
  • She is usually willing, but only if I approach her, and I've learned over the years that if I ask more than once or twice a week, she will say no all the time.
  • I guess by "control" it's mean one won't rape the other one to get what they want. Sometimes she says "yes" to "just make me happy" but I won't force myself on her. I wonder what her response would be to this survey! :)
  • I am learning that I have more control than I believed in the past. I have been self-limiting, expecting her to say no.
  • There a survey on openness of communication of sexual desires? I bring 90% of new ideas to the bedroom. She brings almost none and shows no desire to share anything. It's all guesswork and intensity frustrating. I get the idea she thinks sex is something that happens to her, not something 2 people do mutually to bring each other sexual gratification.
  • It feels like everything with this topic is on her schedule and it doesn't matter if there's a time I want it and she doesn't. What can I do about it?
  • Control is an interesting question. I think the fact that she controls what we do (or don't do) automatically puts a governor on how much we do it (which always just becomes intercourse). It has taken away so much of the interest on my part that she would likely say that I limit how much we do.
  • We have sex very infrequently. I’m not sure whom to assign responsibility for that, so I will take the lion’s share of blame. I really can not divine what days she will assent. When in the past I've tried to assess my chances earlier in the day I have been rebuffed. In light of a message you repeated a few weeks ago I have probably often been hinting instead of asking. In the state that we've gotten to simply openly asking would be awfully awkward . We're too much like roommates now. Besides I'm not a caveman, l want it to be at least slightly romantic for her. I am working up the courage and talking points to have a clarifying conversation with her. She is good-willed but I don't think I could call her sex-positive. As the partner with the weaker drive. she has control. As the partner with the stronger will, doubly so.
  • We have been married 30 years and there has only been one occasion where we had sex two consecutive days. I'm recognizing that I am bitter and angry because I have lived faithfully to honor my wife and tried to do what is right by what the Bible says a husband should but she has not from my perspective. She talks a good but actions don't follow or match. Pity sex is awful and I'm tempted to look elsewhere but my conviction won't allow me so my anger grows and my depression deepens.
  • Doesn't person who says no by default have control? I'm tired of asking. Tired of feeling rejected. Tired of not being able to know or anticipate. Sex either matters or it doesn't. Can't both be against MB, adult try etc. and not value desire being with spouse. We are together 1-2x a month It always coincides with her cycle (so her desire) 1st week after or few days right before p starts. I'd want 1-2x a week.
  • The answers for this survey are only taking into account the past 1-2 yrs. Things have drastically changed from a very Wife controlled and limited sex life to a very open and frequent one. It took 5 yrs but if you both want a better marriage it can happen. Pray and do everything you can to improve yourself and hope your wife is willing to change as well.
  • My wife has restricted our sex life (both refusing and gatekeeping) the entire 23+ years we've been married. We've had numerous conversations about how sex is one of the primary ways I feel emotionally connected to her. And yet she continues to distance herself sexually from me, or give me the feeling that anything we do intimately is simply a duty for her. This crushes me emotionally. I really have no hope that anything will change. It's quite depressing knowing that I'll likely never know what it feels like to be truly desired and wanted by my wife.
  • We tend to end up with, "it's been so long!" because I hear, "didn't we just do it?"
  • It has been her with control for our entire marriage. I would like to have sex more often and with more variety. She just wants plain and vanilla.
  • As to who controls WHAT we do sexually, she has set the boundaries of what our options are but I usually decided what we do in each encounter.
  • I feel like my wife might answer exactly the same as I did. We both initiate about evenly, but sometimes circumstances (infant refusing to sleep, for example) precludes us getting as much sex as we'd both like.
  • We are growing in our sexual frequency through biblical counseling. Although I may want sex more, I am learning how to effectively communicate my desire WHILE honoring her desires when she is not in the mood. We are learning to be generous with one another in these instances. In addition, I am learning to be self-controlled when she says no, which is building spiritual fruit in me.
  • Wish wife would engage more. After many discussions it always falls back to her controlling it. If I start asking too much she gets annoyed and it turns into duty sex. I don't really want that3
  • Seems there's a missing question about variety.
  • For starters, I would say that our children have a lot of control over our sex life. This is very frustrating of course but also pretty normal for couples with young children I would assume. But I think it's worth noting that outside factors can have a lot of control over our sex lives. Secondly, I think there is a big jump between 50 50 and 75 25. I would say in our relationship my wife probably has about 60 percent control to my 40.
  • Don't get me wrong with my answers for the survey. Our sexual relationship is out of this world. But She is the hottest thing in this entire world. I can't get enough of her. She is my weakness. I still have that teenage love life mindset. I would be on top of her every minute of everyday if I could. But she is way more realistic about things. And with jobs four kids and animals and everything else in life. Somebody has to be the adult and keep track. Lol. I am not saying she denies me anything. Just that it ends up being that she says yes or no at the end of what is
  • At our age we are glad to enjoy sex at least once a week!
  • Things are much better, but we have a long, long way to go. I do think we will get there.
  • Our sexual frequency was not ever close to what I desired in our relationship until about two years ago. We had sex eleven times the year we got married including the honeymoon. Each following year was less. We had the perfect marriage except for our dead bedroom. We had a sexual awakening after coming to the brink of divorce over our dead bedroom. My wife knew I was unhappy and asked if divorce might be our answer. When I accepted her offer, I think she was surprised. She wanted to wait a few weeks until after the holidays to make any moves toward divorce. Two weeks later my wife initiated sex. She never initiated and I never initiated due to years and years of sexual rejection. Then again the next night. She did this every night for months. She had tried a thirty-day experiment of having intimacy every day for thirty days. I would ask why the sudden change and she said just be happy. I thought any moment it would stop but it didn't. The more sex we had the more her libido was raised. I had never pushed when she didn't want intimacy. The answer to our prayers was more intimacy that would ignite the fires of her libido. More than two years later and we continue with daily intimacy. We wish we had known twenty years ago.
  • After over 35 years of marriage my wife finally agreed a few months ago to try harder to work together and to be accountable. For the first time she agreed to commit to sex three times a week and to be held accountable for that in a weekly "couple's inventory." I agreed to some things as well. Would have been thrilled to do this 35 years ago. I have no idea why she changed. Previously when she needed to make changes to something she was doing in any area she would just "try harder." But being accountable, writing a chart, etc. was something she just wouldn't do. I would say on something like 80% of life we have done well together. However, this is because we came to marriage with similar ideas about these subjects. On the other 20% we have had significant conflict. Sadly, sex and romance were in that 20%, although they were not when we were dating and during the first part of our marriage and before our oldest was born. For many years I tried to talk to her about how important it was that we be unified on core matters, and that this would require compromise. I thought we should try a tentative compromise and see how it worked, and then talk about it and readjust if necessary. She didn't want to do that. Or more precisely she didn't want to make a commitment and then be accountable. She wanted to do it her way and/or "try harder." It was obvious for a long time that this approach wasn't working. But suddenly she decided to make a change and I have no idea why. I only hope that it sticks.
  • We have been mismatched in desire/willingness for sexual intimacy for about 30 years. During our marriage, that mismatch has ranged from "slightly off" to "grand-canyon-sized" mismatch. As I've gotten older, my raw need has declined, making it easier to deal with the mismatch. But, I still regret that there is the huge gap between what I want and what she is willing to provide. These days, I've largely come to grips with the fact that I am never going to have the frequency of sexual intimacy that would make me happy. I've simply given up on that idea.
  • He is the one who has to initiate sex 99% of the time. However, she is the one that is always unavailable. - She is uncomfortable having sex when the boys are in the house and awake. This was OK when the boys were little, but now they are 17 & 20. They don't go to bed until late and I (he) am a morning person, so; I'm usually asleep before them. - She was working crazy hours at work, but her job got eliminated back in June and she is not working outside the house. I thought frequency would improve, but she always has to help the boys with homework or something. - The boys used to be have AWANA in the late afternoon on Sunday and that was a time we could have sex. However, they moved AWANA to Sunday mornings. - I've tried to talk to her about more 'us time' and we say 'we will work on it', but that doesn't work. It has gotten better from ~ 2-3 times a quarter to 3-4 times a quarter, but nowhere near what I would like. I give her oral sex almost every time we do have sex but she won't even consider it for me. Living a Frustrated near-sexless marriage in Texas. Mr Bill
  • Not desiring to make love "to" your spouse communicates "I do not love you" no matter what else you say or do.
  • My wife has chronic pain issues, but chooses to spend much of her daytime on a hobby, Internet, and watching tv. Thus, by the end of the day, she is too tired and hurting to be able to interact. Sex is out of the question ("How could you suggest something like that when I'm hurting so badly. You must not really care or love me."). But I do my best to stay positive and persevere. God answers all prayers, but in His time.
  • No sex for two years, very little in the years before. Two years of counseling with different counselors, yet I continue to be blamed for not being able to read her mind and do what she would or thinks should be done (and she seems to think money grows on trees). My prayers have become prayers for (earthly) death or divorce the past several months... I would file for divorce, but have been advised that since she is the weaker vessel, I need to wait for her to do so, otherwise she will continue to blame me for her issues.
  • I just want to feel wanted. I want her to invade my space, initiate sex, just put her hand on my chest, her head on my shoulder, even fondle me !
  • Sex means nothing to my wife. She does not value intimacy with me.
  • Please pray for me, that I find the strength to continue with a spouse that says she does love me but is "comfortable with me" after 30 plus years of marriage. I am supplied with a minimal amount of "duty" sex but long for real love. Hate to think about divorce (I am mid 60s, she is mid 50s) but I am sooooo lonely.
  • Full blown gatekeeper! Only when she needs it. Refuses to address it. Says it is my problem......
  • My wife has some fairly serious control issues, so she calls the shots most of the time. I said we have somewhat less sex than I'd like, but her drive is highly dependent upon her cycle; for two weeks she's right about where I am in terms of frequency, and then it drops off pretty severely for two weeks. She's working on that, and we're both working on our communication so my 10% say can be a bit higher.
  • While I have less than what I want in most areas of our sex life, she does not refuse me. She is just much less interested than me. I have expressed my desires continually in numerous ways over the years, but there is not much change. If I specifically ask her, she will make herself available to me, though frankly masturbation is easier and she is OK with me doing that. And while it is frustrating, I have had to recognize that there is no sin on her part and, thus, have had to ask God to help me see this similarly to her having a limiting physical infirmity. In a sense, He has called me to suffer her lack of desire for sex/me.
  • Currently in counseling, because I am at the end of my rope. FINALLY convinced her to go with me.
  • Stress can kill erections?
  • Combination of different desire, feelings about whats ok, and health problems put her in the difficult spot of being the gatekeeper in our relationship.
  • I am married to a very sex-positive wife! Your teachings over the years have helped her, plus her dad told her to "not be inhibited" - GREAT PRE-MARITAL ADVICE from my father-in-law. And she determined, based on her mother's advice, to do anything I might would seek from an affair. So I am very satisfied. And I believe she is too. We are both in mutual control of our sex life, and since we both seek to please the other, we are both very blessed!!!
  • The control is limited because we don't seem to be able to DISCUSS control / frequency. I need to step up on this.
  • We would have sex way more often and try way more new things if I was the gatekeeper.
  • This is a difficult area for us. She wants me to be the initiator, which I understand and agree with. But she doesn't want me to verbally request sex and she is offended if I pursue her physically. She says she feels pressure from me, I try to not pressure her but it seems any overture feels like pressure. I don't know how to pursue her in a way that she feels honored and delighted in. This is an on-going problem and it's not insignificant.
  • My wife has 100% control over our sex life in that she has to yes, but that doesn't mean she necessarily uses that ability to control our sex life.
  • When we have sex, it is great. She is generally into it, is willing to be adventurous, and orgasms. However, the frequency is minimal and she fails to make it a priority. She controls what we do and when we do it during our love making. Seldom does sexual intimacy take place 2 nights in a row, much less 2 times a month. I love my wife and love being with my wife, but her sex drive has drastically diminished over the past 19 years...
  • I am not encouraged to talk about my thoughts on it, fantasy, or even to talk about what I liked after the fact. She says she has no fantasy and won't talk about any sex topic really.

 

 

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