Husband’s Sexual Needs: Man Or Monster?


After 27 years of marriage, I’m just beginning to understand my husband’s sexual needs.

I DO know that his need for sexual contact is much stronger than mine. While I would be thrilled, with a romantic rendezvous about twice a month, his need is more intense.

I noticed a pattern: the longer he went without sexual intimacy, the more irritable he became. On the days when we made love, Ron was mellow and easygoing about things that might normally have bothered him. During the day after, he was still patient, kind, and cuddly as a six-foot teddy bear. On the third day after our “session”, he would start to get restless and make sarcastic comments like, ”Don’t worry about me. You just live your life and I’ll wait here.”

Then, if we hadn’t “played doctor” in four days, the veins in his eyes would get red and bulgy and his upper lip would start to twitch. If we went into the fifth day, he’d start to gnaw on the sofa.

The longer he went without release, the more pressurized —that is, grumpy —he became. If we ever went a whole week without sex, it’s as if his skin would turn green, black bolts would pop out of his neck, and he would morph into Franken-Husband.

Ladies, if you aren’t “taking care of business” a couple times a week, you may be creating your own monster.

Ron and I talked about my theory, and he agreed with it. He said, “After several days without sex, I start to feel like you don’t care about me. It isn’t a conscious decision, but my resentment just starts to build and keeps getting worse each day that you ignore or reject me.”

Men Need Release

Then, I did some research and it confirmed our experience. Men’s need for sexual release is based on actual physical, hormonal needs. Many studies agree that because of sperm production, natural testosterone, and other factors, men naturally want sexual release about every seventy-two hours, or three days.

Men need sexual contact. God designed them that way. It’s not bad or dirty or perverted, it just is. If a wife makes an effort to meet her husband’s needs, he’ll be more willing to meet hers. Sex is number one on Ron’s priority list and approximately number forty-seven on mine, but I have learned to honor its importance to him.

You are Sex-Driving Me Crazy!

I don’t fully understand the hormonal, physical male sex drive, but I do know a thing or two about the female hormone cycles. Ladies, have you ever gone on a PMS-driven mission called “Gotta have chocolate, or someone’s gonna die?” I have. I once ransacked every drawer in my son’s room looking for last year’s semi-sweet Easter Bunny’s ear.

I’ve clawed through the kitchen cupboards like [the movie character] Indiana Jones on a quest, looking for a little golden bag containing stale chocolate chips. As I ripped it open and blissfully inhaled the aroma, my pulse reacted as if I’d just found the necklace that the old lady threw off the Titanic.

Now imagine that you’re on a take-no-prisoners chocolate chase and your husband has a Snickers bar in his locked briefcase —but he won’t give you the key. He has the capability to relieve your hormonal obsession, but he refuses. How would you feel about him? Would you think that he was selfish? Mean? Cruel?

Ron says that’s how a man feels when his wife rejects his sexual needs.


Would You Like a Me-Burger?

If you think of a man’s sexual need as a hunger, his desire can be satisfied in many different ways. Each “feeding” does not have to be a banquet. His wife could “feed the need” with a snack, a meal, or a feast.

Often, a quick snack will satisfy his appetite. (Use your imagination here) Other times, he’ll be thrilled to sit down (lie down) for a simple meal. On special occasions, however, get out the good china (satin sheets), send the children to Grandma’s house, and flambé a fabulous feast.

Ladies, next time your husband gets hungry for you and you’re too tired to prepare a banquet, ask him, “How about a quick snack?” He’ll probably be thrilled that you’re not rejecting him, and you’ll be able to meet his need without resenting it.

Don’t Make Him Beg

Bambi had four children in five years. She went from being a sex kitten to a fat cat who craved catnaps. She lost all interest in sex and was so tired that she had a “headache” for most of the next decade. When her husband tried to get frisky, she’d often arch her back and hiss, “You must be kidding!” He wasn’t. She refused him so many times that he quit asking. Not surprisingly, they’re now divorced and in the middle of a bitter custody battle over the kittens.

Men have fragile egos in this area and, in order to avoid rejection, they may stop pursuing their wives. Ladies, if your husband isn’t asking anymore, immediately sprint into a lingerie shop. I mean now, this minute! March in there, and buy a little —and I mean little —something. Then call your hubby and say, “I’m cooking up something special for dinner —hurry home!”

Unless your husband is a eunuch, he has sexual needs. Do your best to satisfy them.

“But I’m Embarrassed”

I don’t know why, but men are stimulated by visual cues. That’s why they’re much more likely to look at pornography than women are.

That’s also why they like to make love with the lights on. I’d prefer the flattering glow of a single votive candle, but Ron wants to use the same wattage a dentist uses for a root canal. So we have a conflict.

We’ve been married for 27 years and my body is almost fifty years old, and it’s showing signs of wear. I think of it as a comfy sofa: lumpy, frayed, and a little saggy. I try to avoid full-length mirrors, but my hubby still wants to see me —and that’s a good thing.

Several years ago, we discovered a wonderful compromise: we use a red or pink light bulb in the lamp next to our bed. I know it sounds crazy, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. The rosy glow diminishes most flaws, wrinkles, and stretch marks. You can buy these magic bulbs at most larger grocery stores for less than five dollars.

Discussing Sexual Needs

Ideally, you should be at a place in your marriage where you can ask each other, “Are you happy with our sex life?” If one of you is not, ask, “Why not?” As a married couple, it’s vital that you are able to discuss your needs openly and honestly. If it’s important to one of you, it needs to be important to both of you.

Metaphorically speaking, if the wife waters the husband and the husband waters the wife, they will both be satisfied. “Drink water from your own well —share your love only with your wife [husband]” (Proverbs 5:15 NLT).

This article is adapted from the book, Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome, written by Nancy C Anderson, published by Kregel Publications. It was written by Nancy, who strayed to the other side of the marital fence —and returned to find forgiveness and restoration. Author Nancy C Anderson and her husband Ron, speak nationally to couples’ groups of all denominations. They share their message of hope and restoration with tenderness and humor. If you live in the United States and would like for them to speak with your group please contact them at You may also want to visit their blog at

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277 responses to “Husband’s Sexual Needs: Man Or Monster?

  1. I’m conflicted about this. Yes, I love my husband and want to follow God’s word about marriage and respect. But I’ve been very sick. I’ve been diagnosed with MS, and nerve pain overwhelms me. I can’t wash my hands without crying in pain. My medication, which is the most effective for me after trying others, numbs me. My husband wants intimacy more often, and to compound that expectation he wants me to enjoy it “fully” too. But I can’t.

    Even before my diagnosis when we were newly married, I had trouble anticipating and enjoying intimacy as much as he did. Now it hurts to be touched, hurts when we try other things that focus on him. Meeting this need is very difficult. But when I don’t meet this need, he becomes grumpy and mean. After day three I feel like my value has been reduced to a means to an end. Am I not worth being nice to if I’m not healthy enough for intimacy? Yes, there is a link for men, which causes physical intimacy to affect them emotionally. But let’s not forget that we are not only our bodies. The two are joined, yes.

    But if my body is sick and cannot make your body feel relieved, does that mean you are justified in your grumpiness? If women are told that we have to meet men’s needs in marriage, the same effort should be put in to teaching men that it’s not ok to get moody if they aren’t getting physical intimacy as often as they want. It’s a two way street. A husband who doesn’t help with cleaning or cooking should not wonder why his wife resents him and doesn’t see him as attractive after she washes up after the dinner she planned and cooked by herself when he didn’t help again, even though they both work full time. That arrangement is not a partnership, it’s parenthood. This is a very complex issue.

    Why are the women not as interested in intimacy as men? It cannot all be hormonal. Many women I know at church feel their husbands are in some ways too dependent on their wives for domestic support. He creates as much work for the wife as a child does. He creates laundry; he never cleans. He spills coffee on the cupboards and two months later still hasn’t cleaned it when he said he would. He never plans meals, but will expect dinner to be available. But he expects applause for taking out the trash once a week, and after that if you don’t have intimate relations with him every three days he will start being unkind to you. This cycle has many Christian women I know having intimacy just to keep their husbands from being jerks to them. And that should never be a motivation for physical interaction.

    I know it is not true for all, but many women I know just can’t be turned on by a man who is like a dependent child at home. And many women won’t say it, but the enjoyment of the physical interaction often benefits the man more. If intercourse is reduced to an act of obedience, a way to prevent verbal abuse and to keep a man from being rude to you, and an act where you have to feign enjoyment to keep his ego from being damaged, then we are missing the mark.

    Intimacy in marriage should be something we both seek because there is a mutual benefit, not just a way to keep a man from being a monster. If I’m supposed to bite my tongue when he hasn’t done the dishes in four weeks, then he should equally be responsible for checking his attitude. Are we creating monsters when we don’t share intimacy, or are men choosing to be monsters because they have a stimulus that makes the monster choice the easier one? I’m not sure it’s so easy to determine who is to blame.

  2. I am male, now single and 62 years old. I was happily married for 34 years until my wife died. My wife understood my need for frequent ‘intimacy’ and I got ‘It’ almost every 2 days. Sometimes it was just a snack or a small quick meal but many a time it was a feast. So I can relate 100% to what the author says. Unfortunately after her death I am completely starved of this intimacy for the last 4 years. I feel so frustrated that I feel like ending my life. Yes, excellent article.

  3. I found this article when seeking help about my other half’s behavior. What was described in the beginning of this article was very accurate.. 1-2 days of no sex, results in malicious behavior. Any argument or issue always comes back to sex, even if we had done it that day. I began being treated as though I ‘deserve’ to be ignored, mistreated, put down, called names, etc. because I wasn’t giving ‘it’ up enough.

    Men should NOT shift the blame of this type of behavior solely on their partner. If you are old enough to do the business, then you are old enough to take accountability for your behavior & actions. (This goes for women too!)

    Imagine if this article were the opposite.. how a man needs to cater to his wife indefinitely while she’s menstruating or going through menopause, because of her bodily ‘needs’ (aka raging hormones). Would it then be okay for her to belittle her husband until he did what she wanted, when she wanted it? Absolutely not.