He points to 1 Corinthians 7 and offers this commentary:
What that text says is, "Compete with each other about how to bring the other person joy, to maximize the other person's gladness and satisfaction." Now that does not solve the problems, but it gives you an orientation that is so wholesome and so helpful.
It doesn't solve the problems because, if she says, "I'm too tired for sexual intercourse," and he is communicating, "It would be really nice right now," she should give and he should relent. That's the way it should be. His heart should be, "I'm not going to make you do this, no matter how strong I feel," and hers should be, "I'm here for you, no matter how tired I am."
Now, how does that bring a solution? It's a matter of degrees, I think, and who at that moment is maybe the most sanctified. Who is experiencing the grace to yield?
I just think that we should preach hard to husbands, "Serve her. Don't manipulate or use her. Don't turn her into a manikin for masturbation. Don't treat her that way. She's a human. You want her all there. You don't want to use her. You want her there—there, enjoying you. That's the point of this: mutual consummation, psychologically, spiritually, and now expressed physically." And those are the best moments of all, when the physical event is the consummation of a spiritual, psychological whole event.
I think we should be preaching to men, "Don't think of your wife as an instrument to be used for sexual satisfaction. Think of her as a whole person who has her own deep longings and desires. And you want to live in such a way as to draw her in."
Foreplay begins with whether you're washing the dishes or not. That's foreplay. If you help her wash the dishes after supper, if you help her clean up, if you serve this woman—this is about sex, right? Because if she has made a nice supper, and you finish it and go plop yourself on the couch and watch TV for three hours, getting red-hot sexually because you're watching 50 sexually-stimulating advertisements, and then at 10:30 say, "I'm ready!" she's not going to be ready! That's ridiculous.
So what I'm saying is that spouses manage their different sex drives by loving each other like they love themselves. They should not be demanding, but should each try to serve the other. And they meet somewhere in the middle in a way that both of them perceive the other wants the good of the other. Neither feels used by the other.
YES, YES, YES!!! (And by the way, there's much more in the article... I'd encourage you to read the whole thing.)
This is yet another reason why I am so grateful for John Piper. He not only holds fast to the Word, and tells it like it is, but also makes it plain why God's ways really are the best ways and hold the very best things for us, in our lives and relationships.