Women long to have a solid relationship with their husbands, but the sex part—at least the way they feel that their husbands view it—keeps getting in the way. When we surveyed more than seven hundred women, we discovered they do want sexual intimacy. They want a great sexual relationship with their husbands. As we looked at the wives’ top three sex needs, we realized the needs are closely interwoven: affirmation, connection, and nonsexual touch.
Husbands, if you want your wife to desire you sexually and initiate and enjoy sex with you, it’s important to understand that a mutually satisfying sexual relationship doesn’t just happen. The good news is that if you understand one of these sex needs, you will more than likely grasp the others too. It takes work—but the benefits are worth it.
Affirmation is essential to a successful sexual relationship. It is so important that 65 percent of the women we surveyed rated it as their number one sex need.
So what exactly is affirmation? Simply put, affirming your wife means building her self-esteem. It’s giving her genuine compliments, actively listening to what she says, giving her the opportunity to slow down from her busy pace of life, saying complimentary things about her in front of other people, and encouraging her when she’s discouraged. Affirmation is pointing out what she does right, overlooking her failures, and reminding her how much you appreciate what she does.
Affirmation is especially important during sex. Women need to hear how beautiful they are and how much they satisfy their husbands. The truth is, a majority of women struggle with body image. It doesn’t matter how old or how fit they are, they are always comparing themselves to other women or to themselves at their best form—which may have been when they were in high school
More than 59 percent of the women ranked connection as a top sex need. One key to a wife’s sexual excitement, responsiveness, and ability to initiate sex is a strong connection to her heart. These women feel that their sex lives are satisfying when both partners receive first an emotional and/or spiritual connection and then a physical connection. In other words, when a husband emotionally connects to his wife, he prepares her for sexual intimacy.
Women need physical closeness, but for them it doesn’t start there. They first need emotional closeness They need to experience an emotional connection with their husbands every day.
There is something most women need and desire: physical touch that does not lead to sex. They need to feel secure that every physical expression their husbands make isn’t with the expectation of moving toward intercourse. In our survey, more than 59 percent of the women ranked nonsexual touch as a top sex need.
Guys, you may be thinking, Is there such a thing as nonsexual touch? Isn’t most touch between a husband and wife supposed to lead to sex? The answers are: yes, and no. Simply put, nonsexual touch, or affection, is intimacy in and of itself. It’s not the means to an end. In many situations it is the end
First, let’s differentiate between nonsexual touch and foreplay touch. Nonsexual touch is loving affection. It may have the tone of sexual arousal “around” it, but the goal of nonsexual touch is not intercourse. Foreplay touch, on the other hand, leads to sexual intimacy for a couple. The problem is, to a man, touch is touch is touch. It all feels the same. But that’s not the case for his wife. When you touch her without any expectation that you will end up between the sheets, she will feel much more secure with you and much more open to sexual activity later on.
For a woman, great sex happens in the context of being held, laughing together, feeling accepted, and sharing feelings. Emotional intimacy is intensely fulfilling for a woman. Although it does not replace her need for sex, her emotional need is as intense as her husband’s physical need. When her husband fulfills her emotional need and sustains it through affirming her, hanging out together, and being affectionate, she feels replenished and safe, making it much easier for her to be open to sharing herself physically with her husband.
*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!