If you've ever caught so much as a few minutes of TLC's 19 Kids and Counting, then the thought has surely crossed your mind: How much sex are Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, the patriarch and matriarch on the show, having? Well, now we have our answerÃ¢â‚¬”a lot.
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Recently, the Duggars gave TODAY Moms their best advice for keeping the romance alive in your relationshipÃ¢â‚¬”and their No. 1 tip was to say yes to sex, even when you're tired. "Anyone can fix him lunch, but only one person can meet that physical need of love that he has," Michelle says a friend once told her. "You always need to be available when he calls. Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ That has been such a lifesaver for our marriage."
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The idea that the wife must submit to her husband because itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s her duty is a belief widely held by many evangelical Christians, which the Duggars are. And while some people argue that this expectation is sexist and unfair (because it requires the wife to ignore her wants in favor of her husband's), others argue that it's a basic foundation of a stable and healthy relationship. The argument holds that sex is a human need, and that if you expect monogamy without your relationship, you ought to help your partner meet that need when possible. (ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s also worth noting that this view is a two-way streetÃ¢â‚¬”itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s on the man to ask for sex at appropriate times and to respect your feelings.)
Sex expert Ian Kerner, Ph.D., author of She Comes First, disagrees with the idea that you should always submit to your partnerÃ¢â‚¬”there may be times when you're angry at them or simply too stressed out about something unrelated to have sex, and that's OKÃ¢â‚¬”but he does say it's important to embrace what he calls a "sexual willingness" in your relationship.
Consistently rejecting your partner's advances can degrade their sexual confidence and, in extreme situations, cause them to start questioning your relationship, says Kerner. What's more, you may find that going through the motions can actually put you in the mood. "You may not be in the mood, but instead of just saying 'no' or saying 'I'm too tired for sex,' if you express a willingness to engage in sex and let arousal kick in, it will often lead to desire," says Kerner. "I think that's an important concept."
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