We’ve all heard the analogy that when it comes to sex, men are like microwave ovens and
women are like CrockPots. The premise here is that men are quickly and easily aroused while women take in stimulus over a longer period of time. While at a very basic level, this may hold true, there are flaws with it in practice. Over the course of conducting our Shocking Marriage workshops, have have come to learn the following truths:
- Men are formulaic. In a man’s world, 1+2 ALWAYS = 3. When faced with a situation highly complex or hard to understand, men will fall back to a formula or set of rules to make sense of things. Therefore, when men hear the CrockPot analogy they tend to take it literally. If a man decides in the morning that he would like to have sex with his wife that night he might make a special attempt to rub her shouldersbefore he leaves for work. He will make a special effort to call her during the day, and make sure that he compliments her on her appearance upon arriving home. In his mind, he has performed all of the required steps to ensure that an eager and willing wife will be waiting for him at bedtime.
- Women hate to be manipulated. It’s no secret that many (most?) women struggle with control issues. So when they see the above scenario beginning to play out, their reaction is far different than what the man is hoping for. When her shoulders are unexpectedly rubbed, the thought “I know what’s on your mind” pops into her head. While she appreciates the call from work the feeling is likely “You never call from work unless you are wanting sex”. When the highly predictable compliment is received after work she may dig in her heels thinking “I know exactly what you want,and that’s just not going to happen”. Because she feels manipulated through this process, the thought of sex can be almost repulsive.
One of the most common complaints we hear during our workshops is that women crave more non-sexual touch from their husbands. Men are not opposed to non-sexual touch, but in reality physical contact with his wife will lead to sexual thoughts (ala the microwave oven). In an environment where sex may not be welcomed, it is far “safer” to avoid casual touch than to start an argument. When he really wants sex, he will initiate contact as part of his formulaic process which of course leads to the feeling of manipulation from the wife’s perspective… What can be done in a marriage to overcome
this very real concern?
First, it’s important to realize that God designed marriage and He provided us with very practical advice on how to best thrive within it. 1 Corinthians 7:4 says “The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife” (NLT). There’s a very real benefit to following these words for both husband and wife. If a man knows that sex with his wife is a “given”, then he no longer has to worry if his timing or techniques are sufficient in terms of persuading his wife to be willing. In turn, ashe holds his wife’s hand, or strokes her hair, she need not feel manipulated, because he no longer “has to do” these things in order to make love.
Sex should never be used as a tool, or a reward within a marriage. We should express our love to our spouse in many ways on a regular basis, and have sex when either partner desires it. God did not create us in the image of countertop appliances, its not realistic that we should act like them.