I was recently asked to speak at a large men’s conference. Besides speaking from the main stage I was scheduled to give two breakout sessions as well. One of the breakout sessions was on the topic of my newest book, Becoming Your Spouse’s Better Half. Upon arriving at the venue I looked at the participant guide and discovered that the event producers had promoted this workshop as a “how to get more sex in your marriage” event. Needless to say about 580 out of the 600 men in attendance showed up at the workshop. The twenty who didn’t come were the teenage boys who were forced (somewhat reluctantly) to attend the workshop on sexual purity.
However, rather than discuss sex during the workshop, I talked mostly about a woman’s true needs and how best to fulfill them. For instance I talked about how romance is a key factor in having an enjoyable sex life for women--that women are physically stimulated through romance because it meets their key needs of feeling cherished and loved. To be romanced is to feel special and of value. To be romanced is to be pursued. It makes a woman feel loved and attractive. When a woman’s need for non-sexual affection is met she is programmed to respond with physical affection. Nearly all women derive at least some self-esteem or self-value from being desired and wanted by a man.
I also explained how many women are unable to separate sex from the context of their daily lives and relationships. That might sound strange to us men, but know that if you have been arguing with your wife or if the kids are sick, she is not likely to be in the mood for sex. And while men use sex to heal the problems of life, women are just the opposite. In fact many women report that if the house is messy or the dishes dirty they are unable to relax and concentrate on having sexual relations.
I also told the men the importance of speaking words that their wives need to hear such as “I love you” and “You’re beautiful.” When a woman feels beautiful she is more likely to be sexually responsive. A wife needs to hear several things daily. She needs confirmation that her man loves her, and she needs to know he finds her beautiful. She needs to hear those things frequently to allay her fears and insecurities. Most women are very insecure about their appearance. She magnifies in her mind any perceived imperfections or flaws in her physical appearance. I use the word perceived because they are usually just that—figments of her imagination. The great mystery is that even the world’s most beautiful women think they are ugly or have features they are insecure about. These negative whispers in her ear are strategies by the evil one to strike her where she is most vulnerable and where it hurts most.
As we discussed the need to actually “talk” to their wives you could see an almost pained expression come over the faces of the men. I reassured them by talking about the importance of just listening to a woman and not trying to solve her problems.
Frankly, the men were pretty stoic during the entire presentation. I had not given this workshop before so I did not know what to expect. But surprisingly to me were how many men came up to me afterwards, many with tears in their eyes, and expressed genuine thanks at the epiphanies they had received regarding their wives’ needs. I have since received half-dozen emails from men at the conference commenting on, according to their wives, how much the information I shared has already improved their marriages.
I believe the average guy is sincerely confused about his wife’s needs and how to fulfill them. Women are complex creatures to most men. Every man I know wants to make his wife happy, and most guys would be willing to do whatever it takes—provided they knew what to do! Rather than advice from a Lothario’s perspective (which is what most books in our culture promote), we need to teach men (young and old) down to earth, practical, common sense advice on how to fulfill their wives’ deepest needs, thus creating harmony, joy, and contentment in the lives of their spouses. And if they happen to get a more fulfilling sex life because of it—so be it!