Say Yes, Enjoy Sex With Your Spouse

written by Nathan & Kelli

Sex. You know how this works, right? Good looking man, beautiful woman, passionately kissing, excitedly ripping each other’s clothes off, jumping into bed. By the conclusion they are both breathlessly waiting for the next time. But is this true?

That isn’t how it has ever been in our relationship. It was more like, “how about tonight?”, “maybe tomorrow”. Things changed a few years ago when we made a choice to start saying “yes”. We almost always enjoy sex, there wasn’t really a reason we were saying, “no”, we just weren’t turned on at that moment. That was the story in our head. We thought we should be turned on, desiring our spouse, desiring sex, in order to say yes. Then we learned that often, that isn’t how it works. Often, desire follows arousal, not the other way around. Hence if we’re willing, once we start kissing, the arousal will instigate the desire. So, we started saying “yes”.

Instead of looking at sex as a time where we needed to be passionately, hungrily tearing each others clothes off. We started to focus on some of the less obvious benefits of sex:

  • Stress relief. Wanting to relax, sex can be the perfect antidote.
  • Exercise. Want to burn a few extra calories, some engaged love making can be just what we need.
  • Energy. Tired from a day at work, sex can put some bounce in our step.
  • Time away from the kids. Lock the door and enjoy some adult time with your spouse.
  • Headache. Sex has been shown in many people to be as, or more, effective than medication, especially for migraines.
  • Tired. Sex can help us sleep more soundly.
  • Relationship repair. Sex, even when not sweaty and passionate, can still be a good way to tell our spouse we love them.

A word of warning, we aren’t saying anytime our spouse asks for sex we need to say yes, in fact that is a counter-productive path. When we feel obligated to do something it can create feelings of resentment. That is exactly the opposite of our goal. What we are saying is if we are willing to have sex, go for it. If we aren’t enjoying sex as much as we would like, then spend the time learning how to have fun with sex. We have found that an ongoing, open, vulnerable discussion with our spouse can get us working together to make love making more fun for both of us.

There are many other counter-productive thoughts we tell ourselves that hurt our ability to enjoy sex. Here are some more we have found in our marriage:

Need to orgasm. When we feel like the only acceptable conclusion to sex is an orgasm, it can create a distraction to enjoyment. Instead work on dropping the expectations. Have fun; enjoy being with each other.

Frequency of sex. Stop, worrying, about, frequency. If either of us are setting limits, “once per week is the most I am doing this” or “I expect sex five times per week”. Then of course one or both of us is going to feel anxious.

Expecting spontaneity. For years… 23 in our case, we had this idea that sex was supposed to be spontaneous. We have realized, that it is okay to schedule sex, in fact, it makes it clear how important it is. Now sex is a consistent part of our bedtime routine (yes, we still sometimes say “not tonight”).

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Great marriages aren’t built in a day. Talk to your spouse, see which of these ideas speak to both of you. Try those ones first. Which ones do you want to try, which ones do they want to try, negotiate, compromise, find ways that you can both win.

One final thought. Be present. When you say yes to making love, are you willing to be there physically and mentally? Or are you letting them have sex with you, but you are busy thinking about work, that YouTube video you watched earlier, the dishes, the children, or something else? This is a surefire way to create resentment. You will resent them because sex is never fun for you, how can it be when you aren’t there. They will resent you because you aren’t really making love, you are just indulging them.

We have found that when we are truly present for sex we are better able to relax and enjoy the present moment. We are more prepared to help our spouse enjoy the experience. We are ready to pay attention to our body, give our spouse feedback, and enjoy the sensations we are experiencing.

If you are willing. Say “Yes”. Enjoy sex with your spouse.


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The purpose of “The Couple Project” is to learn more about what makes a strong marriage or relationship. We share what we are learning, which ideas we are trying, and which ideas helped improve our relationship. We realize not everything that works for us will work for you, but we still hope you will find our journey valuable.

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