A Conversation With Kevin Leman


The book (Turn Up The Heat) includes a list of five, practical things that a man can do for a woman. These are all very nonsexual, aren’t they?
Oh, yeah. You make love to your wife outside of the bedroom. There’s all kinds of things you can do. Sex is an all-day affair. That’s what I try to teach men and women. Women thrive on relationships but, as I’ve said for years, women don’t have a clue —   don’t have a clue —   and it’s been fun to see women catch on to understand what they need to do on their end to make sure this man would take a bullet for her.

Why would you say “women don’t have a clue” ?
It’s the opposite of what everybody thinks. Women thrive on relationships; They hug anything that moves. Watch two women, they’re really fun to watch. They really are.

I use the word-picture of a seal sitting on a rock jetting out of the Pacific Ocean outside of Monterey, California. When that woman says something complimentary about her husband, especially in front of other people, you’ve thrown a three-pound fish to this little seal and he’ll take his little flappers and he’ll bang them together. You throw him a ball and he’ll balance it on his nose. He’ll do anything, ladies, to please you.

You have to know how to approach this man. He’s not as complex as you are. He can probably eat the same dinner every Saturday night and never complain. He could wear the same shirt for a week. We men do their nails at a red light with our front teeth. These are  basic differences that exist between the sexes that make sexual intimacy fun to think about.

Sexual intimacy really is an important part of a healthy marriage, isn’t it?
I’ve been at this a long time, Jim —   I hate to tell you how long it’s been —   but I’ve never, never had one couple come in and say, We’re getting a divorce. Oh, and P.S., we’ve had a great sex life. I’ve never heard it once. So having a great sex life is something to strive for.

We hear from couples frequently on the balance challenge with kids, work, even ministry —   and sex. One would think that sex would come naturally, but it really doesn’t. It seems couples have to be intentional to the point of scheduling sex.

Yeah, I call it scheduling spontaneity. You have to block it out. Children —   the hedonistic little suckers that they are, unionized little control freaks who want every piece of you —   will drain the energy out of most women. If you’ve got the little ankle biters underneath your feet all day long, I’ve got news for you: You’re exhausted. And unless you have a husband who understands, is helpful with the children, and helpful around the house, the last thing on a woman’s mind is sex.  Jim, for a woman, sex takes a lot of work. And for us men, it’s no work at all. We just need a place and we’re happy.

If a man wants to set the stage for an “encounter” later in the day, how should he establish that environment?
Well, it gets down to some pretty basic stuff. Try to get behind your wife’s eyes in seeing how she sees life. If you understand how different we are, you’re on first base. And then practice getting good and getting better at seeing life from behind her eyes.

Your job is to figure out what your wife is all about. What is she like? My wife loves clean countertops. You say, Oh, my goodness, clean countertops what does that have to do with anything? I’ve learned that if you clean the kitchen and you don’t clean the countertops she’s not happy. And if Mama’s not happy Papa’s not happy.

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By the way, as people of faith, we don’t do this thing very well. When was the last time you walked into a church and heard a pastor say, Listen, starting next Sunday, I’m gonna start an eight week series on sex. We have ourselves to blame. We don’t talk about sex in healthy terms and we’ve allowed the world to dictate for us what sex is all about.

I’m glad we finally got the clean countertop issue out in the open. I thought I was the only husband who was accountable for countertops.
Women think differently than we do —   trust me. And so the guy who understands his wife becomes the Arthur Fidler in the bedroom. He’s the great conductor. He can make things happen. But for a woman to really enjoy the sexual side of life she’s got to feel like she’s valued and loved and cared for. And then on top of that a lot of things have to just sort of fall in line.

Have you seen the movie When Harry Met Sally, the restaurant scene, “I’ll have what she had”? I rest my case. Women are purely capable of enjoying this wonderful gift of sex much more than we men are, but it takes forever to get there for many women.

Kevin, what would you say to parents of small children? That seems to be a big obstacle.
There were nights when our kids were little I would hit the pillow and I’d say, “Sex” and my wife would hit the pillow and she’d say, “Sex” and we’d look at each other and say, We’ve had sex. Let’s go to sleep now. You know it’s just the way it is. These euphoric wonderful, romantic, interludes quite frankly don’t happen enough and they don’t happen with great frequency obviously. But the word “quickie” comes to mind; the word “let your fingers do the walking” comes to mind. There are all kinds of ways of satisfying your partner without getting involved in the whole enchilada.

Here’s a suggestion for moms.  Usually when a mommy gets her kids to lay down for a nap, they turn into whirlwind cleaners and work like crazy around the house. My suggestion is: take a nap. You know, nap with the kids. Lay down. Take your own little nap and try to save something for your husband.

You know the kids will be gone some day.  Start now getting your priorities right.

A women’s number one need is not sex. It’s affection and communication. Men, on the other hand, need to feel needed and respected, wanted —   and sexual fulfillment is very much a part of that. It’s the smart woman who has a husband who’s trapped in a dead-end job and has four kids and doesn’t make as much money as he should. She should send him an email that says, “Hey, great news. The kids are gonna be gone tonight and if you hurry home I’m gonna be wearing some hor d’oeuvres I know you’re gonna enjoy.” There’s a smart woman.

If you don’t think that sex is important, let me boldly tell you that you will end up in a divorce or you will end up with a husband or a wife who has many affairs. Now that’s a strong statement. In other words, if you don’t have a love affair with your husband or your wife, somebody else will.

Copyright © by Growthtrac.

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About Jim Mueller

bio-jim-muellerJim is the founder, with wife, Sheri, of Growthtrac Ministries as well as Program Director of GrowthtracRadio and the architect behind growthtrac.com. Jim holds a B.S. in business management and is a facilitator for PREPARE/ENRICH, the most widely used customized couple assessment tool. He has authored numerous articles, interviewed leading relationship authors and Christian artists, and has contributed to Dr. Les Parrott’s book, The Complete Guide to Marriage Mentoring. Jim has worked for more than 15 years to help premarital couples and married couples build and maintain healthy relationships.



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