Skip to content

Why Do Wives Pull Back From Sex When They’re Starting To Enjoy It?

by Patsy Rae Dawson ~

Two weeks ago I had a phone call with a male client who had contacted me several months earlier because he was fed up just existing in a sexless marriage. I asked, “Is the sex getting better?”

“Yes and no. She still pulls back after a successful sexual encounter.”

I thought, That’s the third time this week a client has talked to me about pullbacks.

I remembered that Dr. Marie N. Robinson talked about pullbacks in her book The Power of Sexual Surrender so I reread it. I found Dr. Robinson’s book over 40 years ago, and it changed my life. It enabled me to quickly transition from clitoral orgasms to vaginal ones.

As long as the book was in print, I gave copies to all the women in my classes. With my Biblical classes on the two types of orgasm alongside Dr. Robinson’s medical and psychological explanations, many of the students also began enjoying vaginal orgasms. Unfortunately, the book was out of print for a couple of decades, but now it’s available in Kindle.

Dr. Robinson devoted a fair amount of space to pullbacks.

She cautioned that husbands are frequently devastated by the pullbacks because of the personal attacks on them. The pullbacks usually include the wife blaming her husband for all her misery and her rejection of sex with him. Her pullback style may take the form of getting depressed, becoming argumentative, or generally being unpleasant to be around.

But if the wife is actively working to claim her feminine destiny and has enjoyed some success, the pullbacks can be a natural part of her healing. They ARE NOT about the husband. Dr. Robinson explained:

Frigidity [being unable to enjoy passionate sex] causes a personality distortion. I wish to impress this on you deeply. It means that the person has a misunderstanding of reality, denies it, blames others for her own miseries and failures (Kindle 671-673).

The pullbacks result from the wife’s subconscious trying to protect her from harmful things she experienced during her childhood before the age of 8. How severely her home was devoid of natural affection between her parents and the children determines to a great extent how serious the pullbacks are.

Our subconscious doesn’t care about truth.

Our subconscious is gullible and believes lies, especially early childhood lies. It controls our automatic functions such as heartbeat, blood pressure, and sexual responses on the basis of what it believes—not what we know or want as an adult.

Not only do the pullbacks discourage the husband, but they also often depress the wife by making her believe she’s powerless to change. Dr. Robinson said feeling hopeless is one of the main reasons women blame their husband for their inability to respond to his love. To survive their own feeling of defectiveness, these wives defensively find fault with their husband.

The dysfunctional home of origin is the culprit.

Both Dr. Robinson and my Sexless Marriages & Without Natural Affection Reflective Survey expose the damage done to a young girl’s budding sexuality by unloving parents.

For example, on my survey 70% of the sexless spouses grew up in an alcoholic home. Only one respondent indicated that the sexless spouse grew up with a happy alcoholic. All the others checked multiple areas of abuse by the alcoholic parent.

Additionally, 77% of the sexless spouses grew up in narcissistic homes. They suffered abusive criticism, which attacked their self-image. The self-centered, unloving parent often screamed at, ridiculed, and manipulated them. As a powerless child, they had to find a way to survive by becoming either a codependent or a narcissist.

On the survey, I have yet to find a single sexless spouse who grew up in a loving home. Many grew up in a home with both narcissism and alcoholism. Many others suppressed memories of their home life.

A woman who didn’t grow up with a loving father had no way to develop a healthy subconscious attitude toward men and marriage. Consequently, her husband is the recipient of her childhood views of the man as being defective, unloving, and selfish who uses sex for his own animal pleasure. Instead of touching and kissing arousing normal loving responses, she views them as groping and as an invasion of her space.

It doesn’t matter how much her husband denies being like her father or how godly he is, her subconscious doesn’t believe him. Her subconscious doesn’t care what the truth is. It defends its own childish experience with pullbacks.

Dr. Robinson’s words made the pullbacks personal for me.

I realized that my efforts to smell love paralleled other women’s struggle to enjoy sex and vaginal orgasms. Perhaps my efforts to overcome pullbacks will illuminate what they need to do. Read my story of how witnessing an attempted suicide at age 7 and my mother screaming inches from my face, “I wish you were never born” made me afraid to smell anything.

Dr. Robinson shared that traumatic events before the age of 8 can greatly affect a girl’s sexual development. At age 8 and beyond, she’s better equipped to step back emotionally from the terror. With me, my subconscious said it wasn’t safe to smell anything…not just the putrid breath of my mother blasting my face.

When they turn 8, girls become more inquisitive and less emotional. Not only are they not affected as much by the bad things going on in their home, but it’s also a time of growth.

Sometime around 11 or 12, I found THE book—The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Sex. I tell that story in “What Debbie Reynolds’ 3 Passionless Marriages Teach About Sexless Marriages.” I learned about healthy sex from a reliable medical source. Consequently, I never doubted that sex was for women as well as for men. And I never asked my mother about sex after finding THE book. I married expecting to enjoy sex and was not disappointed.

But I had lost my sense of smell during the critical age. Now I want more than anything to smell love. On my journey, I didn’t understand why the new smells came and went. Why could I smell onions, but not garlic? Why could I smell onions several times in a row and then not again for weeks?

Thus, I connected with Dr. Robinson’s words about women pulling back on their sexual journey. From the first smell, I made the connection that each time I worked a childhood emotional issue, wonderful smells rewarded me. Then the pullback—no smells at all. Then another step forward with delightful aromas. But always I’d pullback with lifeless olfactory nerves even when I tried to smell things.

For women on their own journey, instead of dead olfactory nerves, the nerves in their vaginas refuse to thrill to the warm presence of their husband’s organ of love thrusting into their inner sanctuary of erotic sensations. Like me, many of them enjoy some successes, only to have their subconscious pull them back into childish fears from their childhood.

I decided to do what I teach my clients to do.

In God’s People Appreciate Marriage, in chapter 2: “Solving All Marriage Problems” I give God’s two-part formula from 1 Timothy 4. I learned this formula from reading Dr. Robinson’s book The Power of Sexual Surrender over 40 years ago.

(1) Dr. Robinson taught her clients the truth about sexuality from science, that women have the proper body parts and personality to enjoy sex.

1 Timothy 4 says to learn the truth from God’s word—the truth about his brilliant design for sex. Review my article: “3 Reasons God Wants You to Love & Enjoy Passionate Sex.”

(2) Dr. Robinson asked her clients to meditate on their homes of origin and sexual history to uncover roadblocks and to deal with the memories as an adult. Their subconscious would begin to cooperate with them better if they did this the same time every day.

This corresponds to the second part of the formula—go to God in a transparent interview-type prayer to implement what you learned into your mind…and body.

This Biblical formula has helped a lot of wives enjoy vaginal orgasms. But the formula was only partially working for me….

That’s when I discovered I’d left out something important…

 …and it was there all the time in 1 Timothy 4—not once, but twice!

Dr. Robinson says the best treatment for the wife’s rejection of her husband and my rejection of smelling love is thanksgiving. 1 Timothy 4 even used “gratitude” in opposition to rejection:

1 Timothy 4:3-5: “Men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.  For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.

I had focused on the latter part of the verses on how marriage is sanctified to the neglect of the first part—gratefully receiving the teaching and pursing gratitude instead of rejection.

I designed a “Daily Healing Prayers Exercise” for my clients who are actively working toward loving their husbands…and for myself. At the same time every day, we offer to God our prayers of thanksgiving and intercession, asking him to help us implement what we’re learning into our lives.

For me, I deliberately try to smell different items. I thank God for creating our sense of smell and the pleasures it gives us and the memories it stirs up.

A few days later, I vigorously swatted a fly.

A dying fly trying to break through a closed windowpane.The fly splattered blood on the white sink. I flinched at the passing stench. I gasped, “That’s the smell of evil!” As the offense passed I thought, I didn’t know flies smelled when you killed them.

The fly’s smell of death triggered memories of the smell of hatred.

We are chemical beings. Hatred is a strong emotion that causes harmful chemical reactions in our body. Scientific investigations around the globe are measuring our ability to smell other people’s emotions, personalities, and dangerous intentions. Some scientists claim our personal odor is as unique as our DNA and fingerprints.

Hatred smells! 

One wife who filled out a survey years ago said, “I always knew when my husband was going to beat me because he stunk. The last time he beat me, it was in the barn, and he nearly killed me. I smelled his stench before I saw him.”

A friend, who was divorcing her adulterous, unrepentant husband, said, “I smelled a foul odor on him from across the room. That’s unusual because he’s a fastidiously clean businessman. I could see the hatred on his face as he glared at me.”

I immediately associated the fly’s putrid odor with my screaming mother. But my mother quit screaming at me when I graduated from high school in 1963 and left home. She has not screamed at me for 54 years…. She’s been dead now for three years.

Yet my childhood subconscious stands guard all the time, afraid to let me smell anything. It doesn’t care that I’m on a journey to smell love. It doesn’t care that I’m starting to enjoy delightful smells. It doesn’t care that I want to smell the love revealed in the Song of Solomon more than I’ve ever wanted anything. It just doesn’t care!

The fly’s whiff of evil made me realize that nearly all of my returning smells have been good odors. I’ve recoiled from a nasty public restroom only two or three times. I’ve hurried to get off the porch only a couple of times when I fed the outdoor cats because a startled skunk had sprayed. I’ve never smelled the trash as I carry it to the dumpster.

My subconscious has shut me down for smelling bad odors. It still thinks it has to protect me from the terror of my childhood. Yet being able to smell the bad might save someone else’s life or even my own. I don’t know when to get away from overpowering chemicals. I don’t recognize food that’s starting to spoil. You probably know the dangers of not being able to smell bad things better than I do.

Now in my thanksgiving and interview prayers, I thank God for life-saving and health-protecting bad smells. It’s time to live fully in the world God created for me. And yes, I now try to smell the trash when I empty it, but so far I haven’t. I’m still working through the pullbacks of my terrified 7-year-old subconscious that’s afraid to smell a mother’s hatred or anything else that’s bad.

To my women friends who are subconsciously shutdown sexually afraid to love and enjoy their husband, I say, God created a wonderful experience for you in the arms of your husband. His proudest creation is the way of a man with a maid (Proverbs 30: 18-19).

Practicing to learn how to enjoy love is a whole lot more pleasant than my trying to smell the garbage. Go back to my article “3 Reasons God Wants You to Love & Enjoy Passionate Sex.” Healing begins with God’s truths in the Bible about the sexual relationship. It continues with thanking him for his wondrous design for male and female. Pray for his insights and help to release your beautiful feminine spirit and to calm your subconscious.

Also, because your problem has a lot to do with your relationship with your parents, accelerate your progress by learning the truth about God’s design for families with my book God’s People Appreciate Marriage. You’ll see firsthand God’s genius in creating them male and female. You’ll unload a lot of lies your subconscious believes about both men and women and how they relate.

If you’re working to have sex as often as you can in spite of the pullbacks, you’ll advance there as well. After you finish the first book, move on to The Song of Solomon Love Triangle, God’s Soulmating and Lovemaking Guide for a Lifetime of Passionate Sex. It’ll help you put on the finishing touches for enjoying your femininity and praising your husband’s masculinity.

May God bless you and I on our journeys to smell and experience love in the fullness of God’s brilliant design of male and female—his proudest creation.

Patsy Rae Dawson is a Christian marriage, sex, and divorce coachStart solving your sexless marriage problems today and take her free Sexless Marriages & Without Natural Affection Reflective Survey. It contains 6 checklists of intensely personal simple questions to help you analyze the true state of your relationship so you can make healthy, loving decisions.

#sexlessmarriages #deadbedrooms #passionlesswives #sexlesswives #whywivespullbackfromsex

 WARNING from Dr. Robinson about a crisis pullback:

In the move toward womanhood there comes a juncture in most cases which can be called “the danger point.” … This danger point generally comes when a woman who has suffered from frigidity has at last allowed herself to experience orgasm for the first time. Her immediate reaction is one of tremendous relief. But this is almost always followed by the same kind of regression I have described previously; only this time the pull-back from her own advance and from her husband is far more powerful….

The form the difficulty takes is always individual; it is usually an exaggerated version of the particular woman’s most typical neurotic characteristic. If she is argumentative, she is apt to start a fight of proportions heretofore undreamed of. If her tendency is to become depressed, her melancholy can become very, very profound indeed. If she is critical and carping, she can make Craig’s wife appear to be a normal, healthy woman. I am not exaggerating. It is not impossible that many divorces are caused by wives who, by the natural reassurance that marriage to a tender husband often brings, have moved close to their true natures all unwittingly. They achieve orgasm; and then, without the benefit of any insight, the intense anxiety reaction sets in, causing a powerful desire to flee from the frightening situation….

Her emotional outburst represents, at this point, an inner panic. Consider this: in the course of growing up it took her years to construct a defensive system against a feminine sensuality which she had learned was dangerous or wicked. Though this defensive system (her frigidity, her psychological rejection of men, etc.) had deprived her of much, it had at least allowed her to feel secure in some deep manner; she has maintained her defenses in order to hold onto her feeling of unconscious security….

I am often asked how can one cope with such fears, fears so deep one does not even dare to let them into the conscious mind? The answer is that, generally speaking, you do not have to cope with them in any active way. They will pass. All you have to do is to sit tight, so to speak. The unconscious will in fairly short order (a week, a month) calm down. Reality, a good reality, can prove to the infantile unconscious that it has nothing to fear. When one has quieted again, resumed the straight line of progress one had been pursuing, orgasm will occur again. This time the reaction of alarm is generally far less. By the third and fourth times it has become virtually nonexistent (Book 161-3, Kindle 2732-2774).

#sexlessmarriages #pullbacksfromsex #womenpullbackfromsex #sexualpullbacks #childhoodcausespullbacks #powerofsexualsurrender

Permission to Reproduce Why Do Wives Pull Back From Sex When They’re Starting To Enjoy It?

Why Do Wives Pull Back From Sex When They’re Starting To Enjoy It? by Patsy Rae Dawson. Copyright © 2017 Patsy Rae Dawson LLC. All rights reserved.

Why Do Wives Pull Back From Sex When They’re Starting To Enjoy It? by Patsy Rae Dawson is available at It may be copied for noncommercial use only, provided you do the following: 1. Retain the Patsy Rae Dawson bio paragraph at the end; 2. Give copyright notice as required by Google by including after the bio "Published first on 3. Make no modifications to the materials; 4. Do not use the materials in a manner that suggests an association with Patsy Rae Dawson LLC; and; 5. Do not download quantities of materials to a database, server, or personal computer for reuse for commercial purposes. You may not use this material in any other way without prior written permission. For additional permissions, contact Patsy Rae Dawson LLC at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *