Reprinted from "The Surrendered Wife: A Practical Guide to Finding Intimacy, Passion, and Peace with Your Man," with permission of Fireside Books.

Think of the distinct differences between a man and a woman as gender contrast. Opposites really do attract, so the higher the contrast, the greater the magnetism between the couple. The more feminine you are, the more masculine your husband will be. For greatest attraction, set your contrast to high.

To do this be as feminine as possible when you're together. Make an effort to be soft, gentle, delicate, and receptive. The more you act like the woman you are, the sexier you'll feel and the more attractive you'll be to your man.

Surrendering All the Way to the Bank

Laura Doyle's best-seller is less about submitting to your husband and more about controlling you, the surrendered consumer.
By Charlotte Allen

Instead of saying "let's have sex" or "we haven't had sex in two weeks," seduce your husband with your manner, your scent, your body, and your voice. There are lots of ways to let him know you're interested without putting a demand on him, so find the ones that work for you and use them when you're in the mood.

High gender contrast in a marriage is what makes things exciting in the bedroom. It means that instead of striving for agreement and sameness, you highlight and appreciate each other's unique characteristics and special traits. Just as we can't see stars without the cover of darkness, so the grandeur of our husband's masculinity is obscured without the foil of our femininity. By being feminine, we allow our husband's masculinity to shine. There can be no yin without yang, but the two together are sweet fulfillment--especially when it comes to sex.

Controlling wives are usually in charge of the contrast knobs because we have taken on so many masculine characteristics that our gender contrast is typically set very low. Your husband will respond to you with low contrast too, so that he matches you. That means he's going to be less attractive to you because he'll seem more feminine. For years we've said that we want men to be more sensitive, but as soon as they start talking about their feelings, we're not as attracted to them. I tell men not to fall for this trap, because what women typically want is a manly man--someone with his gender contrast set high. Of course the best way to have that is to adjust your own control setting. He'll adjust his to match soon enough.

Most couples start their relationship with plenty of gender contrast, which is part of the reason that sex is so exciting initially. But then not only does the novelty wear off, the gender contrast diminishes as you become more sexually aggressive (a masculine characteristic) and he takes less sexual initiative (a feminine characteristic). Suddenly, even reruns of Gilligan's Island are more appealing than lovemaking.

Your physical union will intensify and have greater drama when you set your gender contrast to high. Just as our bodies are perfectly and intricately designed to fit together and bring each other pleasure, a feminine and masculine spirit complement each other brilliantly. Since you're the woman, come to the bedroom as female as possible. That means being soft, delicate, and receptive. Wearing something feminine never hurts either. It also means pretending that you never knew the meaning of ambition, aggression, or...control. It means that instead of being the aggressor in sex, you are the seductress.

Remember that we're more attractive to our husbands when we're soft, tender, vulnerable, and receptive, since those qualities are fundamental to the nature of a woman. Your husband married a woman because it's women--in body, mind, and spirit--who turn him on.

A Demand Is a Demand

In my own marriage, I made the mistake of telling my husband that I didn't think we were making love enough and that I wanted him to initiate it more. Without missing a beat, John told me he would add "have sex with Laura" to his list of chores--right between "take out the trash" and "weed the garden." Clearly he felt I was making a demand for him to perform, and he didn't like it. As you can imagine, this did absolutely nothing to enhance our sex life.

Next, I decided that I would simply take matters into my own hands by saying "let's have sex" when the moment seemed right. Another strikeout. John saw my strategy for what it was--simply another attempt to control an aspect of our marriage. Not surprisingly, John was increasingly reluctant and disinterested.

I had thought that making demands for sex (which all men crave, right?) was different from telling him to make the bed or watch my nephew while my sister and I had lunch. But the truth is, a demand is a demand.

Announcing that I wanted to have sex now created a miserable domino effect. I preferred to be aggressive because I felt more in control, but John was completely turned off. When he didn't respond enthusiastically, I was hurt, and I was less likely to engage in any flirting, playing, or sexual teasing with him, which made the possibility of getting together even more remote.

Finally, out of sheer desperation I decided I would focus strictly on receiving from him, and that I wouldn't ask about sex. Besides, I actually preferred that John pursue me, because it made me feel sexy and irresistible. Without saying a word, I decided that rather than dragging him to me, I would strive to attract John.

As my more feminine approach sunk in, things began to shift in our relationship. Eventually, my husband noticed I was no longer making explicit or subtle demands for sex. He started to initiate lovemaking more, and as he did, I realized why I was so invested in controlling our sex life. I felt afraid of losing my cool exterior by responding to primitive pleasures. Just receiving and responding to my instincts left me feeling precarious. I wanted to know what was going to happen before it happened in order to feel safe. I couldn't handle spontaneous sex.

Now I realize he prefers to pursue me, and to see the very thing I tried to hide with control--my vulnerability. I'm simply more attractive to him now that I'm the coy target of his affection. Now I feel anticipation and excitement where I used to feel fear. Those were missing when I tried to start things by announcing it was time to do it.

Seven Ways to Get the Ball Rolling

The women in the Surrendered Circle had similar experiences with initiating sex. Still, none of us wanted just to sit and wait for our husbands to come to us if we were feeling amorous. So we thought of other ways to get the ball rolling when we were in the mood.without making demands or requests. The solution? We decided to show him we were available to receive sexually. There are hundreds of ways to do that, each with a varying degree of risk. Here are some examples:

1. Squeeze his arm and say "Oooh, you're strong."
2. Put on a negligee and lay on the bed with a book.
3. Tell him he looks sexy in those jeans and squeeze his butt.
4. Give him a long, slow kiss and a hug.
5. Snuggle up with him in bed.
6. Tell him that you're feeling especially erotic today.
7. Take off all your clothes and get into the bed or the shower with him.

Showing Is Always More Powerful Than Telling

Telling your husband you think the two of your should have more sex is much less scary than making yourself available, of course, because with the former, you avoid really putting yourself out there where you could be rejected. Even if he says no, you won't feel much of anything because you have your armor on.

On the other hand, once you're laying on the bed in front of him in a lacy teddy and your intentions are unmistakable, anything short of an enthusiastic response will be disappointment. That's the vulnerability of receiving, instead of initiating. Because of these inherent risks, it may be temping to read the obituaries or search the Internet for a bargain on vitamins instead of making yourself available.

When I surrendered sexually, I did the best I could to keep breathing and remember that I was with a man who loved me and wanted me to be happy. I told myself that I was safe and I focused on enjoying being pursued and desired. I admit, this tested my surrender limits, but I am also proud to report that my new behavior was blissfully rewarded.

If your husband responds enthusiastically when he sees that you're available, you will get what you wanted in the first place--sexual intimacy with your husband. That can be scary too, because true physical intimacy brings both partners to a very vulnerable state. But the more vulnerable you are, the more potential there is for passion, and that will take you on a journey to intense connection and satisfaction.

Improve Your Availability With Self-Care

But what if your husband is not approaching you as much as you might like? Patty's story illustrates the importance of staying focused on our own self-care in this situation instead of trying to manipulate or make demands.

One evening when Patty's husband came home from work, she found herself wishing he would approach her to make love. She also knew that she was just too tired to put energy into seducing him. Instead of saying anything, she asked herself what it was she needed right then. The answer was a nap, and she announced that she was going to lie down for a while. When she woke up two hours later, her husband had put the kids to bed and washed the dishes. Patty felt refreshed and grateful. When her husband came to bed shortly thereafter, he wanted to have sex with her, and everyone went to bed happy.

Had Patty not taken the nap, she would have felt tired and less available. Had she asked for sex, her husband might have felt controlled and resentful. The moral of the story is, as with all surrendering, to put your own needs first and let go of the results.

more from beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad