Husband’s Sexual Needs: Man Or Monster?

Husband's Sexual Needs Photoclub

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, my husband’s sexual needs are 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.”

Husband’s Sexual Needs for 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 sexual 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 your husband’s sexual needs 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 Wife’s and Husband’s Sexual Needs Together

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

IF YOU ARE MARRIED and you have additional tips you can share, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.

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

  1. Married 21 years. My wife doesn’t want sex anymore but once each 7 weeks. Drives me insane with resentment. I have stopped asking or hinting for sex; rejection hurts too much. I will share this article with her this evening. When we talk about sex or rather lack of it she gets on the defense and her common remark is “I get it. It is all my fault” I expect this remark when she reads this article.

  2. This is so misogynist, so the wife just has to do whatever whenever? Im so sick of hearing the “man has needs” while the wifes needs do not matter whatsoever. Bring this article into the 21st century

    1. Yes, the wife has needs too. And the husband should work to meet those needs. That’s all a part of marrying. But this particular article is addressed to wives to explain a husband’s needs. There are many other articles posted on this web site that are addressed to husband that explain a wife’s needs. And then there are husbands who post under those articles that they do those things and yet their wives don’t try to meet their needs. What can we do?

      But then there are individual spouses that look at the articles that are addressed to them and they make positive changes because they never knew that info before. That is our hope–to help individual spouses and to help couples, as well. We’re sorry that this doesn’t meet your standard of acceptance. Just look elsewhere for the help you need. We sincerely hope you are able to find the info that works for you in your marriage partnership.

      1. Mira you have no idea what is like living with a person that makes you feel “cheap”, that makes you feel miserable and he acts like the most miserable person if you don’t give him his “treat” as if sex was the ONLY human way of getting happiness. Stop right there, you are not gonna tell me what it’s like feeling used, like a sex toy, you have no idea what it’s like living in a hell just because your childish husband feels that it is your fault that you don’t want sex.

        STOP right there because you have no idea what it is like letting that beast on top of you finish his sexual desires and you just have to turn yourself to the side of the bed sobbing what GOD is only watching. The more he demands for sex the more it’ll make you hate sex with him. So, now because men have needs I have to become a porn actress? Mira, I know tons of men that could spend long periods of time without sex and still act normal, not like a jerk. I am not a TOY, I am not a TOOL, I also have needs and I need to be RESPECTED. Period.

        1. Why is it that every time someone dares open his or her mouth to say something supportive of men, which is very rare, immediately some women must come along to write invariably lengthy comments talking about themselves? You just can’t stand to ever let men have a voice, can you? What does your questionable story have to do with this article? What, all men are garbage, any male who has a need must be an abuser, their needs don’t matter, you’re a ~*WOMAN*~, not a servant, etc.? Good for you! Well, take a number, because so are all other 7 BILLION people on this planet. GROOOWWW UUUUPPP!!!

          1. Bob, I think there are people, both men and women who are not married to right thinking reasonable people and therefore resent blog posts like this one. This type of blog post is probably not for Amarilis and she probably shouldn’t be reading it. We don’t know what is going on in her marriage, but obviously something is wrong. I don’t think she was talking about men in general, just her husband.

            I hope she seeks the help she needs and the outcome, whatever it is, is a good one. You say that whenever someone speaks on the side of men, there are always women who come along and just want to talk about themselves. The reverse is also true. In articles which explore the real and often heartbreaking reasons why some women have difficulty being intimate with their husbands, there are umpteen men in the comments who don’t seem to have absorbed one word and only seem concerned about the fact that they are not getting the sex they think they are entitled to. Blog posts are often read by the people they are not really aimed at.

    2. Where do you get this view? I was completely shocked to come across an article – written by a woman, no less – that communicated something I’ve been thinking for a long time, privately: namely, the author’s chocolate-in-a-briefcase analogy. With this and the rest of her piece, I can’t believe another human being actually gets it. She’s not even the same sex as me and she gets it!

      We’re not supposed to acknowledge that men are human beings who have needs that are just as legitimate as women’s. This article unexpectedly wrenched me from the ongoing suffocation of this mercilessly oppressive culture of she-woman man-hate and knowing I have no choice now but to return to my usual daily experience of asphyxiation in which nobody else “knows” (everyone’s pretending not to know) men are human — the shock of it makes me want to vomit, or cry.

      Respectfully, your comment underscores how mind-numbingly oblivious women are today. You don’t have a clue! How entitled you have become! How much better are your grandmothers, by and large. But, you men are far worse, because ignorance is largely forgivable, but cowardice and sloth are not. Stand up for yourselves, you weak fools! We must be the most pathetic generation of men in centuries. “Everywhere, at all times, men and women deserve each other.”

    3. This is selfish, Jamie, simple as that. No, a woman doesn’t HAVE to do this. That woman can be alone, also. Nobody is a misogynist simply because you don’t agree with them. Grow up.

  3. Amarilis, here is my response from a male perspective: While it is true that some men do go too far with controlling their God-given hormones as it sounds like your husband is, I think the poster’s point is 100% accurate and valid. The men that have strong sex drives and ‘could spend long periods of time without sex and still act normal, not like a jerk’ are good guys that do a great job of controlling or suppressing their feelings. They’re still feeling the rejection and resentment that the poster says her husband feels. They’re just sucking it up. It IS a normal hormonal need though. The snickers bar in the briefcase is spot on. As a man, I don’t have the option of satisfying my need with another person and masturbating is no different than satisfying hunger with a protein bar. You can’t eat protein bars every day.

    Look, some men are horrible. It’s true. Some express their emotions in an abusive way. Many men are irresponsible and don’t do what they should be doing as husbands and fathers. There is no excuse for that and this article was not written to address that. No one is suggesting a woman should reward a horrible man.

    However, so many women don’t understand how important sex is to men. It messes with a man’s brain, with their emotions, with how they feel about their spouse.

    Women have many needs that should be met as well, and they have to do with being supportive, equally sharing in responsibilities in the home and in parenting, and making them feel safe and secure (many other things as well). Because it’s important to her, I do it. I love her.

    I don’t feel the same need she does to complain about things without wanting a solution. I can go long periods of time without anyone cleaning the house or putting the laundry away and it’s fine. Women may read this and feel this is a sign of a lazy, irresponsible partner. Perhaps it is. However, why is sex not viewed the same way? Women don’t view it as a responsibility in the relationship and it makes men feel unloved and rejected much like women feel with unsupportive husbands. I understand that doesn’t make sense to many women, but it’s how many men feel.

    Women, if your man is doing what he should be doing as a husband and father and you are not regularly having sex … he is definitely feeling the feelings the poster has described in this article. If he’s stopped asking, that is definitely a problem. Just ask him if he wants to have sex tonight and see how he reacts. That will quickly tell you how much it weighs on him. Sex is a good, healthy, necessary thing in a marriage. God gave it to us as a gift. It’s not a bad thing.

    1. SO well said. Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to respond here. I realized years ago that my husband’s needs are different than mine. That doesn’t make mine right and his wrong or visa versa. And just because we don’t understand certain perspectives on our differing needs, it doesn’t mean that we should dismiss or ignore them.

      Yes, there are selfish, narcissistic husbands, just like there are selfish, narcissistic wives. This article is not addressing that issue. Those types of situations need to be addressed differently. This article addresses “normal” husband and wife sexual issues–trying to bring this need to the light of what happens pertaining to a “normal” husband’s sexual needs. We have other articles posted that address other angles to the needs of husbands and wives and what they need from each other.

      I look at a (good) husband’s sexual needs much like hunger. If your husband or wife is hungry, you don’t tell them to grow up and forget about it, and just go on without meeting that need for days or months or more. Sure, you can go without a meal or so here and there, if the circumstances warrant it. But eventually the nagging hunger can start to get to you. It’s a biological need. This is a physical, as well as an emotional need that most men (and many women) have. As husband and wife we pledge to love one another and look to meet each other’s legitimate needs. And this is a legitimate need, much as my need is to be close to my husband in talking together and connecting and working together in many different ways.

      This is all hard to explain. And it is a subject that is greatly misunderstood. But it comes down to putting one another’s needs before our own as we’re told to do in the Bible… and all the more so as husband and wife. Thanks again for giving your insight… always good to have different perspectives on this important issue.

      1. But does your husband really get that sarcastic (‘don’t you worry about me, you just live your life and I’ll wait right here?) on Thursday if he hasn’t had sex since Monday? Seriously?? I’d consider that a bit childish on his part to be honest, not the way a grown man should be behaving. Okay, he can desire sex and initiate it, but why get petulant and sarcastic about it? This would be on my list of ‘turn offs’, definitely.

    2. It amazes me how often we reassure women that yes, we respect their needs, only to have to go on reaffirming this again the next day, and the next day, and the day after that… ad infinitum, ad nauseam… And the topic is always “women’s needs” and “women’s wants”, and we are, again, constantly admitting to them that we understand and are already doing our level best, the vast majority of us, to take care of them (women) with oftentimes absolutely zero concern for our needs and zero respect for our humanity in return.

      Women today just never stop taking, and the younger they are, the worse their myopia and sense of entitlement. They just keep demanding and complaining and talking about themselves 24/7 and it just never ends. But it has to. We men have collectively done enough explaining ourselves and apologizing to women for being male these past decades; those who would still bully us for being male, they’re just idiots. They can seem to be acting in good faith when they are really just trying trying to deflect, redirect, change the topic, etc. I won’t name names.

  4. I’m almost 70 – my wife of 47 years is 66. I still have a big sex drive – she does not. We talked about it – I still look at her like 47 years ago – she is self conscious about here aging body – so I told her I would not push her to satisfy my fantasies – now I take care of myself out in the open and sometimes she lends a hand. We are totally open about it and respect each other’s desires

    1. I am 70 years old and sex has been a problem with us for the last 30 years. I have developed atherosclerosis and there is literally no blood flow to my pelvis or my extremities. For 20 years I have participated in sex but just 3 years ago I told him I could not go on. I dreaded it every time.

      For his part, sex was always a scripted affair, with no conversation or humor involved what so all, and I feel badly about ending it, for his sake, but it has been a weight lifted off me, not to dread his approach. I wish someone would tell me it’s okay to quit. He is 73. At least he can masturbate but there’s nothing for me.

  5. I know exactly what you mean. And I get resentful because of his meanness from not getting it. Thanks for helping me see “his” side of the mountain.

  6. I thank you. I’ve been married for 18 years now, with 4 kids. My wife is by the way ill, which worsens things. I’ve read that our marriage should comprehend taking care, passion and organization. We can match with the last one; I think I’m trying to take care of her and she does her best with me. Passion…

    During their staying in the hospital, I felt a greatly reduced amount of desire. When she’s with me… I yet love her, but I can’t even get nearer… I must conceal that I’m desiring her. Our sexual life together has always been our weakness, but in the last years it’s grown up as a nightmare. In the past I’ve tried everything to take out passion from her. It worked a couple of days, then my new trick would be unuseful.

    I’m even searching for some help in a language she won’t be able to understand (you can easily see that I’m not an English mother tongue). I’ve got no answers, but once in a while, I’ve felt it’s not completely my fault, me being a stupid sexual monster. She would never say this, but, as Rocky said, when I tried to cope with this trouble together, her answer would have been: “It’s all my fault.” But I don’t want to humble her; I want to love her! I feel so teenish, getting nearer to my fifties!

    That’s why I thank you. You solved no trouble of mine, but you helped me for a minute to understand that maybe my trouble is without a solution, but at least I’m not the trouble.

  7. What about the fact that sex is a need for women, too? I am a woman who wants sex daily and my husband was content with every couple of months (he now has Alzheimers and so we don’t have it at all). Why is it always assumed that only men want and need it?

    1. That is the school of thought about men. Plenty of women want sex too. When I was a teenager I had a married guy tell me “do your homework or someone will do it for you.” Pretty crude advice; I would not necessarily tell this to someone, makes you think that you can’t trust your spouse. But it let me know that women have desires too. Sorry about your situation with your husband.

  8. Just look at the hateful, selfish comments from the women. It’s not all about you; he has needs that God has given you responsibility to meet as well. And American women wonder why men are no longer concerned about marriage or relationships; it’s because of their self-centered, entitled attitude.

  9. I love this article. Thank you. This is us for sure. The sugar craving scenario really helped me see my husbands side, b/c I could see that actually happening and yes I would be pissed. We have been married 14yrs (7 kids). He can be hurtful when he says I don’t love him or I only need him for his money b/c I rarely initiate sex. I do love him. I don’t reject him very often, but he does get really offended when I do. I know this is his biggest issue cuz he is always telling me he needs it and that I hate him if I say no (I never really understood). I can help this for sure.

    1. Thanks for sharing this. This is encouraging for us too. This article would have helped me many years ago if I would have read it at that time. Unfortunately, we had to learn much later than we had to. But at least we/I did. And I’m so glad this is helpful for you to perhaps grow closer in understanding and in intimacy. This type of understanding sure has helped us! I pray that for you too. :)

    2. It depends on how often he wants it though. Sometimes her needs might be a bit less of his need. Compromise. He won’t explode.

  10. I am a couples therapist who often works with couples in sexual issues and how that affects the relationship in a greater sense. I am distressed reading this article, because it validates abusive behavior. The definition of abusive behavior is “aggressive, coercive or controlling, destructive, harassing, intimidating, isolating, or threatening”. A man being a “monster” to his partner unless she gives him what he wants sexually, is coercive, intimidating, and isolating. It sets up a premise that a woman’s body is not under her control. As a therapist I can confirm that men often conflate sexual attention with love and worthiness. But this does not justify abusive behavior. There are many other options for expressing a desire to feel loved and cared for, such as expressing these feelings in a vulnerable, non blaming way, educating your partner on your love language, getting affirmative consent, and going to couple counseling.

    1. This is a great article and is spot on with most of the country. What you speak about is not reality and by the time you mold your patients into what you think they should be it may be too late. We need to take the situation at hand, understand, find a solution, not mold people into something that came out of a book or college class that is so far from reality; its usless. Great article, well written. My wife and I laugh as we read it and couldn’t agree more to its contents. Thank you.

  11. This isn’t politically correct, but sometimes in relationships, you have to suck it up and take one for the team. He might not feel like getting out the ladder and putting a few displaced shingles back onto the roof after a bad storm has ripped them off, but he does it. She might not feel like doing laundry, but she does it. He might not feel like hearing her go on and on about the trivial happenings of her day, but he at least puts up a polite pretense of being interested. She is uninterested in listening to him go on and on about an upcoming football game, but she at least pretends to care. The way I see it, sex is like that too — and on both sides. Sometimes, he’s going to be in the mood and she’s not. Sometimes, the opposite is true. Either way, if you want a peaceful relationship, sometimes you have to just suck it up and take one for the team.

    It only becomes a problem when one person does most of the ‘sucking it up’ in the relationship, and the other person does little or none. This is when resentment, a sense of being exploited or taken for granted — and yes, often eventual affairs and divorces as well — begins.

    1. Thank you Hazel for being blunt here. You’re right; this isn’t politically correct, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t true. It’s very true. We appreciate you for saying it.

    2. Good point, I have always said that a few minutes of sex from my wife keeps my heart and mind at “home”. We are 60, she is on HRT, somedays her sex drive is thru the roof. We are FINALLY empty nesters (WHOOO HOOO!!) so we have a little more freedom.