This past week we received an email from a listener asking why her husband won’t come right out and ask for sex.


There is cuddling, kissing, and yet he won’t come out and ask for sex.

Join Tony and Alisa as they talk about the fear of rejection, the different love languages in marriage and why it’s so important to have conversations about sex before they grow into something larger.

The 5 Love Languages (affiliate link via Amazon)

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10 thoughts on “127: ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE

  1. I am a newer listener, and find myself really enjoying your perspective on marriage. In listening to this episode, I wondered if part of the reason a guy might not out and out want to ask for sex might stem from a place of not wanting to appear like a sex addict or pervert. Society has come a long way, but I think there is still a negative stigma connected to sex that deep down guys don’t want to be thought of that way. Just wondering what your thoughts might be in that regard.

    • We are glad to have you as a listener Gloria. How did you hear about the ONE Extraordinary Marriage show?

      What you bring up is something that has been rooted in society for some time. I think it is a great point that needs to be mentioned and glad you did. Some men may subconsciously think this way and because of that not ask their wives for sex. It’s easier to take the passive route than to ask as well. Doing this over time tends to put a strain on the marriage as we see with this couple.

  2. Dear Tony and Alissa,

    Sure appreciate all the work you do.

    You asked about suggestions for a one day seminar.

    I would suggest that you use your seven day sex challenge book, stripped down, or both as the basis for the seminar. Share an overview of your testimony up front. It is so powerful. Then go through the chapters one by one sharing things you learned, practical applications, and even failures. Maybe share the time Tony lost oomph for one day during the seven day sex challenge.

    After 3 or 4 chapters, have couples break out privately to share ideas with each other about how they can implement ideas you have shared in their own marriage. Maybe point out to them that if they are not up to seven days of sex in a row- use the ideas in each of seven days to have different kinds of sex, the next seven times they do have sex, or maybe they agree to have sex every other day, or whatever.

    Have them discuss some ways they can build financial intimacy, or recreational intimacy.

    One presenter I know who presents alot about sex- hands out cards at the beginning for people to write any question about sex on anonymously and then at the end he goes through and answers a selected number of those questions. I always thought that sounded great.

    My wife and I have done one day or day and a half seminars. What we have found is that people like hearing our personal testimony, and then us teaching tools( we happen to teach Pairs tools http://www.pairs.com) and then giving them time to practice privately and then ask us questions if they need help.

    Often after a time of individual sharing we will ask if anyone wants to share something they learned or experienced. If they don’t, that is ok.

    The younger generation especially seems to like the hear and then do format.

    If you have more questions- send me an email and we can chat more.

    • Rich, thank you so much for these ideas. We are working on compiling all of them to figure out what the best format is going to be for us and our audiences. It definitely helps when we have feedback from our audience.

  3. This is a topic I feel pretty strongly about. Thank you for discussing this! My wife and I run into the same problem. I’ve been married 11 years and I am very guilty of this asking problem. Here’s where I think it stems from for me. I used to be direct early in our marriage about wanting sex, and when we were newlyweds, that wasn’t a problem because my wife was into it as well. Within a year of marriage, my wife’s desire dropped significantly, as the initial rush of hormones and newness wore off. It continued to drop even more after we had our 3 children. The rejections increased, and they were harsh at times. I know I took them personally for a long time because it was such a vulnerable side of me that she wanted nothing to do with (or so I felt).

    Did any of you have a parent growing up that was kind of a tough butt when it came to asking for stuff? I know I did. Asking my Dad to spend the night at a friend’s house, for example, required him to be in the right mood and relaxed enough so he wouldn’t just fire off a quick reaction based rejection, just because of how he was feeling at the time.

    I totally brought this into my marriage. My wife’s predominantly negative attitude toward sex over time makes it very difficult to come out and ask directly because I usually get a quick, negative response. I could just say nothing (which I’ve done), but all that does is build resentment when there has been almost no physical contact between us for weeks and even months at a time. I feel she has this shield that’s actively deflecting the arrows of sexual desire by her husband. Part of me thinks if she can commit to other forms of physical touch or affection, that sex might be a possibility as she relaxes (it’s all about several smaller closes instead of going for the home run every time). The problem with that is, every time I am physically affectionate with her, even if I just kiss her on the lips, she thinks it’s because I haven’t got any in a while and I have an ‘itch to scratch.’

    So what does a guy do? Our affection level has dropped significantly over the years because I don’t want her to feel like I have ulterior motives when I am affectionate with her. I tell her that I am very attracted to her (because I am), but I feel really taken for granted in this department. I feel that my desire and affection for my wife are being minimized to merely primal sexual urges.

    • Thanks JM for your response to this topic. I totally know where you are coming from because what you describe is where our marriage was at year 11. One main reason we did the 60 Days of Sex Challenge was precisely because both Alisa and I needed to figure out how we could best serve one another when it came to our sexual intimacy.

      By being intimate for that many days it forced us, me to, to not reject one another and reclaim the joy we had as newlyweds.

      Now, most folks don’t want to do 60 days, but we do know that a 7 Days of Sex Challenge can change a marriage. We’ve seen it many times over the last 3 years. This might be something the two of you discuss and do in the upcoming month.

      Another option is the Intimacy Lifestyle. This has totally transformed our sex life because each week both of us are responsible to initiate once on our given days. I have to romance her, but she also has to do the same. No rejection is allowed when either partner is initiating.

      Would either the 7 days or Intimacy Lifestyle be something the both of you would be willing to try?

      Love you guys.

  4. I stumbled on to the show via Dr. Corrie Allen’s show. I have been enjoying listening to his show and Mark Gungor while I work in the office. I have added yours to the list. 🙂 Keeps me in the office longer while doing bills etc.

  5. I’m slowly catching up on the podcasts since being out of the country.
    When i heard what the letter said, i was worried that maybe i wrote it and forgot about it. It sounded exactly like something i would say. it feel like my husband feels it would be a bad thing to admit that he wants to have sex with me. Because my husband can be very affectionate it can be difficult for me to work out if he’s touching me because he wants to have sex, or if its just because he wants to touch me, so quite often i have to directly ask, because i don’t want to get all worked up just to find out that wasn’t what he had in mind at all.
    This week, i realised i’ve started doing the same thing. After being away for 5 days for work, i was ready to go as soon as i got home. I asked my husband what he wanted to do, and he said he was happy just sitting together and reading. Instead of just saying i wanted to have sex, i decided that I had been rejected. Because really, i don’t want to be the only one who openly admits to wanting to have sex. later that night we talked about it but we both need to remember to communicate about this.

  6. Definitely a success story, because really figuring out that you both need to communicate about your desires is huge! We so often fall into replaying negative events and putting our own spin on them and really if we just talked about it, life would be so much easier.

    We’ve also heard from a number of men who say that they have stopped asking because they feel like it plays into the stereotype that they are sex crazed and would have sex all the time if we women would only say yes. They desire intimacy with their wives but don’t want it to just be about sex.

    Something to think about.

    Glad to hear from you!