The Importance of Being Selfish During Sex

Recently I read Love Worth Making by sex therapist Stephen Snyder. Rather than focusing on the physical aspect of of getting enough blood pumping to create orgasm, he focuses on the interplay of relationship dynamics and their impact on sexual satisfaction. An area of sexuality hard to measure or even study in the laboratory most women intuitively understand its importance. For us, the majority of excitement comes from our mind – how we feel about ourselves, how connected we are to our spouse and what we believe about sex. A key concept Snyder addresses is the importance of being selfish during sex.

Mind Shift

That might sound a little strange at first, especially for men. Teaching usually focuses on learning to love your spouse by asking what feels good, studying them, and putting them first. These are all good and important principles; especially as young couples learn about each other.

But we also know that one of the most erotic moments during love making happens when our spouse lets and gives us a peek into their own excitement. Them desperately asking for the push they need to finish, or finally letting their body take over and move like it wants to, arouses us. Seeing our spouse get excited, gets us excited. Seeing them go after what they want, makes us hot. Selfishness feeds passion. Without it, sex feels mundane.

Can you imagine if every time you had sex, your spouse asked, “what can I do for you?” or “show me what you like?”

Maybe if they never asked before…, or once in a while… but what if they asked every time. How would that feel?

A spouse constantly striving to meet your needs would seem boring after a while. Rather than feeling wanted or desired, you would feel like they were meeting a duty or an obligation.

Do It Because You Want To

I often tell husbands; your wife does not want you to give her oral sex just to give her an orgasm. She wants you to explore, tease and devour her because you can’t help yourself, you love it so much. Your wife wants to know that you desire her. If you don’t like doing it, don’t do it. If you like doing it, then act like it. Giving oral sex should almost feel selfish because you enjoy it as much as her. It doesn’t matter if it is what you are doing to them, having them do to you, or doing together, you should enjoy it too.

The other morning as my husband and I lingered in bed I asked my husband what he wanted to do.  Immediately he tantalizingly described the position he wanted us to end up in. But when I asked him why, all of his answers had to do with why it was advantageous to me. Though I love my husband’s thoughtfulness, I gently explained that I would love to hear why he loved the position. For himself, not for me.

Selfishness Takes Courage

Being selfish takes courage. Sharing what you like or why you like something can back fire. Vulnerably exposing your desires can lead to scrutiny or ridicule. If every reaction from your spouse causes you to crumble, then you will crawl into a hole and hide. When you know and understand that you are God’s amazing creation filled with creative ideas and born into His freedom, then we develop a resilience to share ourselves openly. Sometimes things fall into place and you experience passion and intimacy beyond your expectations. Other times things don’t go quite as planned and afterwards you talk it through or laugh about it. But if we never share ourselves, then we settle for safe, vanilla, boring sex.

In order to create passion in your marriage bed, you need to be a little selfish. To let loose and say, “I want to ….” To do things to your spouse because you love to and not because you have to. To selfishly enjoy the touch of both giving and receiving. Dare to create passion in your marriage bed by being selfish.


Comments 9

  1. How true! And yet how difficult to do!
    I think this approach works best when both are on the same page and able to equally express what they like and how they want to go about it.
    I can sooo understand Jim!
    My wife often tells me that I am a very unselfish lover. There is something about it (being recognized as unselfish) as a man hat makes us feel honorable and respectable.
    If my wife truly would like me to act a bit more selfish in bed, I wish she would say that some times. I usually feel guilty just for expressing desire when she may not be in the same mood. I still do it occasionally but don’t feel all that great about myself if it ends up leading to sex but she never really got into it.
    I love it when my wife expresses what she wants and goes for it, but does so not just with herself in mind.

  2. Hi Ruth, my path took to me this post this morning as it essentially hits on something I’ve been pondering making a post within our community. It relates to the importance of being selfish, and that is the importance of specific desires. Oftentimes, when one reads material (blogs, books, etc.) regarding sex, the advice is rather generic – focusing on libido, on frequency, on hangups, on breaking through notions one might have, etc. One thing I don’t see enough of is the importance of specific desires being part of one truly is, and how talking about – and then engaging in those desires – is so incredibly important.

    Of course, I’m talking about desires that fall within the range of things you can do within a marriage – which is a vast list. The desire doesn’t have to be some fantasy, either, though there is nothing wrong with that – it could just be a specific act or position that for whatever reason captivates one or both in a marriage.

    A good example of this is the “learning to like oral sex” post you made that’s drawn so many comments. Clearly, the specifics matter to people – the act itself all the way down to whether to finish and where to finish. I think many Christians visit sites like this looking for answers on those specifics – or at least validation that what they desire is desired by others.

    I believe that each of us has signature desire(s) – specific acts that really just get us going and we’d be profoundly disappointed if they weren’t a frequent part of our sex lives. If we’re to be selfish, that starts with being able to comfortable communicate what those desires are. Maybe it’s a position, a pace, or being vocal in the bedroom. Maybe it’s 2 or 3 of those things.

    Does that make sense?

    • mm

      Yes. But the impacts of culture create challenges. When a wife shows up and says I want to explore light bondage because she has been reading 50 shades of gray, then is she expressing what turns her on or is she trying to recreate what she has read about. When a husband wants to enjoy oral sex and his wife knows men in pornography use and degrade women though acts of oral sex, then might she wonder if her husband wants to use her like the men in pornography.
      Letting each other selfishly express desires requires the ultimate trust in the marriage bed. Because my husband and I guard our eyes and minds, and because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my husband would never try to use me or degrade me, I trust that his desires are simply him expressing himself. I feel honored and excited that he feels safe enough to express himself sexually to ask for what he wants or share ideas.

      • One thing i think is important is that it shouldn’t really matter, ultimately, where the idea came from. Maybe it was from 50 shades or a movie or maybe a blog like this. Maybe it’s a desire to experience something, such as being in charge or even being dominated, as you suggested with the light bondage. Within marriage, there should be freedom to talk about those things. Now, sometimes they aren’t as say, controversial as light bondage that came from 50 shades. Maybe it’s just a position that really gets one stirred up…that’s a pretty basic thing, but i would bet you many men and women won’t even express how something even simple like that really excites them.

        • mm

          I think it depends. Sex was intended to create intimacy – a deep knowing of each other. If my husband watched pornography and was trying to just recreate a scene, and he wasn’t even there with me emotionally during sex, I think I would feel used and lonely. If my husband had read about a certain technique or something and he told me, I want to try this and see if you like it, then that sounds great. If my husband shared a fantasy of us the sex playing out a certain way between us, then that could be certain fun to play out between the two of us. Sex is not just about the biggest orgasm or creating an adrenaline rush because of trying something new. It is about sharing a piece of ourselves.
          I agree that many of us don’t express what really excites us because we are afraid of rejection. Many people settle for boring sex because of it.
          To me, motivation makes a difference. There is a big difference between my husband wanting to watch during oral sex in order to stay connected with each other, and my husband watching during oral sex, because he is trying to compete with porn.

  3. Im living in brazil and here the church is very conservative. Ruth, you said: “To me, motivation makes a difference. There is a big difference between my husband wanting to watch during oral sex in order to stay connected with each other, and my husband watching during oral sex, because he is trying to compete with porn.”

    Are you saying there are situation that watch movies are not wrong?

    • mm

      Watching porn is always wrong. And to take that even further, doing things to try to recreate what you see in porn, or even trying to make sex feel like porn is wrong. So when a husband wants to watch his wife give him oral sex, it can make her wonder, ” Does he just want to feel like he’s watching porn?”, and that turns her off. If he explains that he wants to watch her because it helps him to stay connected to her and admire her, then she might feel more trusting and ok with him watching her give him oral sex.

Join the Conversation by Leaving a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.