Why Men Need Words of Affirmation in the Bedroom

words of affirmation

Today’s post is about the needs of men, but husbands, your wives need words of affirmation too! Here’s 102 ways you can do that for your wives.

Today we’re wrapping up our monthly series on The 5 Sex Needs of Men and Women. Today’s topic: A husband’s #5 sex need – Words of Affirmation.

Most wives may not realize how much power their words and attitudes carry: Words can tear down their husbands or build them up. If a wife wants her husband to be all God created him to be, she needs to affirm him in every way possible.

Words of affirmation are so important to a husband that 55 percent of the men who responded to our survey rated it as a top sex need. What many wives don’t understand is that a man’s self-esteem is often fragile—especially in the area of sex. He needs his wife—more than anyone else—to affirm his masculinity. If his wife doesn’t do it, who will? Anyone can affirm his job skills or intellect or sports ability. But only a wife can get to the most sensitive, deep, vulnerable, intimate part of a man. Only his wife can affirm him sexually.

The woman in the Old Testament book of Song of Songs understood the importance of affirmation. Throughout the ­dialogue, she boasts of her beloved’s ability as a lover. Look at this passage as an example: “How handsome you are, my lover! Oh, how charming! . . . Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my lover among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste.” (Song of Songs 1:16, 2:3) Maybe you don’t feel comfortable using those words, but no husband will resist a woman who tells him, “You are an incredible lover. You turn me on. You satisfy me. I bet no other woman has a husband who satisfies her the way you satisfy me.”

Without hearing those kinds of words of affirmation, a husband can become insecure. Or worse, hearing negative words can cripple him.

One woman asked us, “But what if my husband is not that good in bed?” If a wife has difficulty experiencing orgasm, if she does not feel the tingly sensations that come with foreplay, if she’s bored by sex, then she needs to communicate with her husband—but in an affirming, encouraging way. Blurting out “Just forget it. This isn’t working,” in the middle of sex is not the way to do it. Instead, say something like, “I love you, and I’m so attracted to you. I want to experience the best sex I can with you. I want you to make me scream out in passion. I’m just not there yet. Will you help me?”

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That does several things. First, it says, I want you. Second, it respects a husband’s self-esteem. Third, it gives him a problem to fix. Remember, men love to fix things. And if a wife calls on her husband to help her “fix” her sexual response, he very likely will take on the role with seriousness. 

Wives, here are some ideas to get you started in meeting your husband’s need for words of affirmation.

1.      Affirm him for who he is. Affirmation starts outside the bedroom. It’s a lifestyle, not a technique. Let your husband know that you value him. When you admire him, say it out loud. When he makes a decision that took courage, recognize it and commend him. Notice when he shows perseverance in his work, and say something about it. Help your husband know all the good things you see in him.

2.      Affirm him for being a good lover. Tell your husband what you like about the way he loves you. Tell him what you like about his body. If you aren’t sure how to do this, ask your husband for advice: “I want to affirm you as a lover, but I want to do it right. How can I best tell or show you what a great lover I think you are?” We can guarantee that not one man will rebuff such a question!

3.      Practice the Golden Rule. This is one place where the Golden Rule works well. Treat your husband the way you would want him to treat you. Talk to (and about) him the way you would want him to talk to (and about) you. It’s that simple. Become lavish with your praise and admiration.

4.      Understand that for men, body image does matter. A man’s body image is important to him. As men age, their bodies change. Their muscle tone diminishes, they begin to lose their hair, and they have a harder time staying in shape. A husband loves to hear that his wife is impressed and turned on by looking at his body, by holding or fondling him. Since a wife is typically not stimulated visually, she probably is not that aroused by viewing her husband’s body. But a husband needs to know that his wife likes what she sees, that he’s “got what it takes” to be her one and only. This may be a stretch for some women, but when a wife makes an affirming comment about her husband’s body, his confidence soars.

*For more revealing insights about what your spouse’s most intimate sex needs are – and how to meet them – check out The 5 Sex Needs of Men and Women in our online bookstore!