For Men: Why Sex Starts With the Dishes




Let me start by getting a few things out of the way:

No. I don’t recommend having sex while doing the dishes.

No. I don’t think you have to do the dishes in order to have sex.

No. You won’t have more orgasms if you do the dishes (well, maybe).

No. This is not an article about “Every man should bow down and serve his wife in order to get some.”

No. I’m not saying that all women are stay-at-home moms and are expected to do the dishes.

Ok. Now that we’re clear on what I’m not saying, let’s dive into what I mean.

We all know that healthy sex is designed by God for intimacy and connection.

Yes, it feels nice, but God’s purpose for sex goes so much deeper than how your penis feels. If you only want sex because of how it feels physically then you’re selling yourself short. Not only that but more than likely your wife is quietly feeling a great deal of emotional lack… or even worse… she’s feeling obligated to give her body in order to “help” you manage your sex drive. Sex was never meant to be a physical expectation…it’s supposed to be a celebration of your connection.

Genesis 4:1 says, "And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD" (American King James Version). 

The word “knew” in other translations says that Adam “had relations” “had sexual relations” and “made love to.”

So the question you have to ask yourself is: What does it mean to “know” your wife?

It starts with an understanding of what she needs and a willingness to respond to those needs in a tangible way. There is nothing in this world that is designed to have more companionship, teamwork, and connection than a healthy thriving marriage. When you are co-existing instead of being on the same team, the core purpose of sex is distorted.

One of the many by-products of sex is that each time strengthens the “team” aspect of your marriage. In essence, it is designed to be a spiritual, physical, and emotional bond. The outcome of that creates a sense of “us against the world”… not in a destructive way, but in a sense of “we are in this thing called life together.” Each time you have sex, it renews your covenant. You are physically and emotionally recommitting to your wife, and saying she is the one and only woman that you will know in that way.

Not only that, but it is one of the purest forms of worship that you can express. It is holy. Do you want to “be a man” in your marriage? Risk inviting Holy Spirit into your bedroom. He sees it anyway, but your willingness to acknowledge His presence amplifies the experience to a place that is hard to put into words.


Start doing the dishes

This is why sex starts with the dishes. Well, technically it’s more than just the dishes…. but the dishes are a great practical place to start. It’s common knowledge that action speaks louder than words. When your actions communicate that she is a priority and that you know her needs, it shows that you care enough to intentionally go out of your way to make sure she feels supported in life. It’s the first small step towards “knowing” your wife.

The more you choose to be intentional with those things, the more she will feel pursued by you, which is why you need to see doing the dishes as more than a task to do because it is. It’s the first act of foreplay because sex is primarily an emotional experience for her. Let me explain.


Emotional Driver Vs Physical Driver

We all know that an orgasm feels amazing for both men and women. When I say that sex is an emotional experience for your wife, I’m talking about what motivates her to want to rip your clothes off.

For women to want sex and have great orgasms during sex it requires that she feels connected first. This is why it takes longer for women to orgasm than it does men. She won’t go from 0 – 100 just because our penis happens to be hard. She needs to feel safe, relaxed,  undistracted and pursued. Why? Because giving her body to you is the most emotionally intimate thing she can do. When she feels a sense of connection it creates the desire to do that intimate act. She’s allowing you to put your penis inside of her…that’s as vulnerable and intimate as things can get. Which is why foreplay is important during sex and pursuing her throughout the day increases her emotional desire to return and respond to that pursuit.

For us men, it’s the opposite. If she looks at us the right way and starts to kiss our neck then it’s game on. We don’t need the emotional connection first because that comes after we orgasm. When we orgasm it triggers the release of dopamine in the pleasure center of the brain. When this happens you’re overwhelmed with feelings of attraction and excitement, which in turn makes you “fall more in love” with your wife. It’s the emotional high you feel after sex when you can’t name one thing you’ve fought about in the last 10 years. You’re high on love. So sex for us is physical enjoyment first which then creates an emotional connection. For women, it’s emotional first, then physical enjoyment.


Help her be fully present

These are just a few pointers for when things start to heat up. As I said before, she needs to feel safe, relaxed and not distracted. Some of that is up to her, but there are several things you can do to help. Here are just a few:

• Take time to talk. Don’t start kissing her and saying sweet nothings right away. That time can create a sense of connection for her.  After all, that’s what she’s looking for.

• Give her a massage. I can’t tell you how many times a massage turned into some of the best sex we’ve ever had. Why? Because it helps her unwind and get in the moment and makes me touch her naked body, which in turn makes for incredible orgasms.

• Make sure you have privacy.  If you have kids, they should be in bed, gone or at least unable to walk in. So lock the door. It will help her be less distracted.

• Make her comfortable. Too hot or too cold can be a major turn off.

• Be clean. If you want her to enjoy your body make it something that smells good.


Sex and money

When Danielle and I were going through premarital counseling, I heard a phrase that I’ve never forgotten. Our counselor, who was also Danielle’s grandfather, said “Money is like oxygen. When you have it, you don’t really realize the value, but when you don’t it’s like having someone stepping on your throat. Everything is harder to do when you can’t breathe properly.”

The topic of money could be a post by itself, and most likely will be, but I’m just relating it to sex for now. When finances are tight we all feel more stressed than when things are going well. That’s no surprise, but understand that it’s harder for your wife to disengage from that stress and desire sex. It’s like having white noise in the background that you can’t shut off.

This is just something to be aware of. If you are currently in financial hardship then be understanding to the reality that this could be affecting your wife’s sex drive. The worst thing you could do at this point is to say, “Then I’m going to work 90 hours a week, make a ton of money and enjoy weekly blowjobs.” Doing that will cause your wife to feel emotionally abandoned, which destroys sex faster than almost anything else.


Sex is not porn management

To be clear, this point is coming from a guy who struggled with porn for a long time. I was only able to remove it from my life when I was willing to go on a journey of facing the emotions I was trying to block by looking at porn.

Most men use porn to self-medicate pain and avoid the reality of what they’re feeling. Saying things like “I struggle with porn because we never have sex” or “I wouldn’t be tempted to look at porn if she would put out more” is cowardly and manipulative. If you have a porn addiction don’t use your wife as a scapegoat or cheapen God’s design for intimacy. Instead, try to find out why you need a false sense of intimacy to be able to cope in life. A good first step is becoming more self-aware and begin to identify the real reasons you struggle.


The Challenge

Take time to identify ways to pursue your wife this week. Don’t take the easy route and start doing the dishes looking for sex. Dig deeper and find what makes your wife feel like you’re on the same team in life. Then begin integrating those small things on a regular basis. Over time, she will feel more loved and want to reciprocate that.

P.S. Don’t expect an immediate change. Consider it an exercise in delayed gratification. Over time the payoff is more than worth the effort you put in.