Why does saying sex is a need make sex a “chore”?

1.A quote from a forum where dead bedrooms are discussed:

http://www.loveshack.org/forums/romantic/marriage-life-partnerships/519009-resentful-about-so-many-years-crappy-sex-8.html#post6234085

“When something I enjoy starts becoming an obligation, I tend to start not wanting to do it anymore. I love swimming but if someone told me I MUST swim every day I will start doing it as an obligation and ultimately dislike it.

I don’t want my man’s “oil” to treat me good and care for me to be sex or BJs. I want it to be love. I don’t want to have sex with him to keep him happy and make him treat me good or care for me. I want to have sex with him cause I want him.”

2.A quote from reddit, where dead bedrooms were discussed:

http://www.reddit.com/r/PurplePillDebate/comments/327ip0/rp_advice_for_dealing_with_wives_who_withhold_sex/cq8nlr0

http://www.reddit.com/r/PurplePillDebate/comments/327ip0/rp_advice_for_dealing_with_wives_who_withhold_sex/cq8osh9

“You guys make me hate sex. You really do.”

“You make sex a chore.”

It’s just two women, but it’s interesting. What does it mean? Why would knowing that husbands want to have sex make sex such a chore? Why is hearing it’s a need or an obligation within marriage make it a chore? The simple answer could be “sex is a chore if the other person wants it more than you”. Duh. But those quotes don’t say “It’s a chore to have sex when I don’t want to”, they say “What you’re saying makes sex look like such a chore”. Like as if she wanted it before, but now that she knows husbands need it and will ask it, it’s a chore. It doesn’t feel like a chore to me, even though I know it must be done. Because it’s fun.

But at the same time, I remember reading that if you experience some kind of discomfort or pain, it feels a lot worse if you perceive it as uncontrollable. If you feel you can stop it at any time, it feels more tolerable. So perhaps if you sometimes perform duty-sex, knowing that you “must” do it makes it feel that much more unpleasant. Or what?

Or maybe hearing that husbands need sex makes them look needy (or “entitled to sex” if you’re a feminist), and that’s a giant turn-off.

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33 Responses to Why does saying sex is a need make sex a “chore”?

  1. There is just something about entitlement and obligation that is a huge turn off for many women. That does make sex feel like a chore and an undesirable one at that. Part of it may well be the perceived neediness of men, because neediness sure feels like the opposite of attraction to me, in fact, it’s practically repulsive.

    My husband settled that rather early on by suggesting that I needed sex far more than he did. That even though I may not feel like it, it was actually for my own good. Bit of a mind game there, but it worked. He is actually the one obliging me, not the other way around. He’s just doing his husbandly duty. It was done all in good humor, but there was some real truth to his words. I think married women often need sex, but we do not realize it, we have too many things going on in our heads, we have chores to do, we just aren’t in the mood. It really takes a special touch to work around that, but I think a good start is for men to understand the nature of women’s desire and to not make it about themselves, but rather about her.

    • Interesting thoughts. I haven’t really thought of it that way. Your husband turned the tables on you, lol.
      But how does a man work around his wife not being in the mood because she’s so distracted by everything else? I can kind of relate to that, in terms of food at least. I can forget to eat because everything else is so important, and then I can be in a foul mood. Just because I’m ignoring a need, doesn’t mean it’s what I want, or that the need is not there. I hear some women feel this way if they ignore sex for too long.

    • Matthew Chiglinsky says:

      I love the irrational logic of neediness being repulsive. Well, I’ve got a way to make myself super desirable: I’ll completely ignore every woman on the planet. How’s that for being a strong, independent man?

      Wait. Doesn’t that make me homosexual then? You stupid women want guys who don’t want you, but if he doesn’t want you then why the Hell would he ever be with you anyway? He’s only pretending not to want you, you delusional fools. But then you complain if he rapes you too, because then he wants you too much??? Women are stupid.

  2. Sam says:

    Women are obsessed with being in control. This extends beyond the bedroom, but is particularly glaring there. My lover very much agrees that satisfying one’s partner’s needs is necessary even if you don’t feel like it; however, she insists it must be decided upon “independently” and not out of obligation or instruction. Women can’t stand the feeling that something, especially if it pertains to sex, was decided *for* them, and not *by* them. They need to feel that they chose their partner by themselves (hence women’s opposition to arranged marriages as conducted in traditional societies: it deprives them of the ability to decide, never mind that men may not get to decide either), and that all sex is done 100% willingly and voluntarily. This may also explain why many women, who have never experienced rape, find the topic to be so emotionally exhausting: they hate the very idea of being deprived of the ability to *decide*. When women are horny, they do sometimes fantasize about losing control, even to a rapist, but this stems from women’s sexual inclination; emotionally, they detest being out of control. There is a contradiction within women between their emotional desire to be in control, and their sexual attraction to losing control. So my answer to your question, Emma, is to quote the Feminist saying: it’s not about sex, it’s about power.

    • Interesting. Control is important to women I’d say. At least evolutionary psychology will tell you that a woman has to invest a lot in reproduction, so control and choice would be very important. I don’t think it’s a bad thing, but you shouldn’t be overcontrolling in a marriage. No one is obligated to have sex even in a marriage nowadays. You won’t die of it, the husband won’t die, and you won’t be jailed. But you might lose the husband, so it’s not like there are no consequences. They are just tolerable. And because of that, I feel like a woman shouldn’t feel so scared of losing control. She still chooses whether to have sex or not. It’s just that the choice of being sexually generous is the best one, both for her and for him. At least, I think that way. I don’t have to do anything. Can jump off a cliff tomorrow if it suits me. So I can technically do what I want, when I want 😉

      • Sam says:

        Well, you illustrate my exact point: you need this kind of rationalization to accept giving up of control. It’s not just that women don’t like being out of control all the time; emotionally, they’d rather never experience lack of control, *ever*. They’d rather start a philosophic discussion about the nature of Free Will, than just accept that, yes; sometimes something (in the realm of sex) is decided not by you, but for you. I understand the evolutionary incentive functioning here, but it’s still amusing (and frustrating) to observe the phenomenon in the wild, so to speak. Meh…

      • Eh, control is an illusion anyway. What’s wrong with using self-manipulation to reach your goals?

      • Sam says:

        It may not be wrong morally (that depends on what those “goals” are), but epistemically, all deception (falsification of your perception of the world, or in this case, of what you are doing in the world) is, by definition, wrong. I tend to prefer bitter truths to sweet lies, so I find this disturbing. You may as well disagree.

      • Psychological tricks like that are called coping skills. If you can change something you don’t like, change it. If you can’t change it, make it tolerable by taking control of your mind. There isn’t anything insidious there, really.

      • Sam says:

        There is a third option: to embrace that thing which you don’t like as an ineluctable aspect of reality. The question, then, is whether or not it is worth embracing; considering the object here is our own, human nature, I believe it is. For instance, I don’t like human aggressiveness, but I can’t change it. Either I pretend it’s not there, which will only expose me to greater danger than necessary (as all denials of reality are destined to do), or I accept it and envisage a strategy to cope with it. The third option is the most adaptive. But then, I’m anti-solipsistic, so of course I tend towards that route.

      • Ignoring danger is not a good psychological coping strategy. How can it work? As an INTJ I would ask the question “Does it work?” before anything else. And that is precisely what I’m recommending here. Not saying you should wear rose-tinted glasses. One example I used is to remind yourself that there is always a way out, if things get tough. It’s actually a very good trick, and requires no denial of reality.

        Also, people who have an internal locus of control win more at life. That means that people who think they have no control, are actually more in the wrong than they think. So both “realists” and “optimists” are a bit delusional, but one of them is a loser. Whom should I choose to be?

      • Sam says:

        That’s just going around the question: what “works”? If you mean acheiving your goals, then you may be right. If you mean accepting things as they are, then self-delusion, by definition, doesn’t “work”. What you *should* be depends on what your purpose is: if you cannot bring yourself to accept that you don’t have control 100% of the time, then you can a) pursue actually having control 100% of the time, as most women do; b) rationalize lack of control as having control (which is what you seem to prefer); c) opt for eternal solitude (an irrelevant option given your goal is the maintenance of the relationship). The whole issue would have been much more simple if you *could* bring yourself to accept that you don’t have control 100% of the time, but, alas, you cannot.

      • I have no problem accepting that I don’t have control 100% of the time. But I do prefer to have internal locus on control, which is the attitude that the majority of the time, you cause your own life. Not the circumstances. Do you still think it’s bad?

  3. Liz says:

    Interesting topic, and discussion Emma. 🙂
    Speaking only for myself, when I hear the term ‘duty sex’ it does make me think of something along the lines of ‘time for the nightly constitutional, Ethel..’
    Kind of takes the “hot” out of the sex image.
    We have sex daily (I’d say it’s the secret to a happy marriage) but I don’t think of it as “duty” or “obligation”…I love my man, I find him desirable and I want to show him I value him and want to make him happy. If I thought of it as “obligation” per se…that kind of takes the fun out of it.

    • Liz says:

      I mean, he has an ‘obligation’ to service me as well, strictly speaking…but I’m sure he doesn’t think of it as an obligation either. But his sex drive is a bit higher than mine.

    • Heh, I guess it’s not good to think of it as an obligation 🙂 And strictly speaking, it’s not.

    • Sam says:

      Accepting the obligatory nature of sex only “takes the fun out of it” if you don’t perceive sex to be “fun” in itself, but only in the very specific context of it being strictly voluntary. Unlike most women, men perceive sex to be fun *in itself*, ergo accepting its obligatory nature (assuming it has one) doesn’t, generally speaking, diminish from its fun-ness. It would be akin to being obligated to eat a tasty dish when you’re hungry; it’s still fun, regardless of it being obligatory; it is, in fact, more than “fun”, for it is a biological need; which is exactly what sex is.

      • Sam says:

        But even horny women find it difficult-to-impossible to accept sex as an obligation, due to being obsessed with having control 100% of the time, as I explained above.

      • Btw Sam, we argued about this for a while. And just so you know, I agree with your view on sex. So I’m not a type to want 100% control 100% of the time. I just prefer to have internal locus of control, which is different. I believe a healthy relationship with control involves an internal locus of control, but an ability to let go of small things, not having a need to micromanage everything. Maybe I will write a post on it.

      • For one, I agree with you, Sam 🙂

      • Liz says:

        I’m not so sure, Sam…I know men who have come to think of sex as a chore for similar reasons.
        For example, the wife is trying to conceive and taking temperatures and charts, if they’ve been having trouble for a while and it has taken on the feeling of an obligation rather than an act of pleasure.

      • That’s kind of different. It’s one thing to have someone whining for sex, because they want it so much, and another thing to have someone whining for sex for non-sexual reasons. It’s not an act of pleasure, then. It’s pretty weird and a turnoff to have sex with someone who isn’t into it at all, and is doing it for some weird non-sexual reason. But I’ve never done that, so I’m just describing how that sounds to me.

      • Liz says:

        Babies actually are THE REASON for sex though, Emma. 🙂
        I think it’s pretty close. Suppose someone wants sex three times a day and you only want it three times per week (at most once a day)? You’re worn out and start to feel like a spittoon. You don’t feel like you’re satisfying a need so much as a compulsion or diversionary hobby.
        It’s a pretty close analogy I think (obligation sex is obligation sex…whether for procreation or not).

      • Haha, babies are only the ultimate reason for sex though 🙂 . Most people don’t have sex for babies.

        But sure, if your partner wants way more sex than you, it might become annoying either way.

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  5. Matthew Chiglinsky says:

    Sex is a chore when the woman is treated like an object whose purpose is to please her man. This is misogynistic (and selfish on his part).

    The goal should be to please the woman. This is what she means by love. Instead of the man seeking to relieve HIS bodily urges, he should be wanting to relieve HER bodily urges. The fact that his bodily urges are relieved at the same time is merely a side effect.

    This is actually a general principle of good vs. evil. Evil is selfish and immediately rewarding but ultimately destructive. Good is selfless yet ironically rewarding in the long-term (as it will build a stronger relationship). When you are brave enough to give up a certain portion of your own happiness, happiness will find you.

    (Of course, some women are just submissive masochists who don’t respect themselves and want to be ravished by selfish borderline rapists who won’t even care if they both orgasm or not. There’s no saving these poor, lost women.)

  6. Matthew Chiglinsky says:

    A woman also doesn’t want to think of herself as just some arbitrary warm hole to satisfy someone’s biological drive.

    She wants an emotional connection with her man. She wants to know she’s the only one he wants and that he wants her for a reason.

    The difference between human beings and animals is that human beings have language and emotion. It’s a shame that many people are just vicious, brutal animals. These people have also given me great trouble throughout my life, which is probably why I empathize with women.

  7. Matthew says:

    Women want an emotional connection. They don’t just wanted to be treated like some arbitrary body like the girls in porn videos. That’s why there’s the complaint about love. Love is not the same as sex, and sex is not always love. People misuse it.

    If you think sex is about having some frivolous “fun”, then there’s a good chance you’re an evil, cold, vicious animal.

  8. Matthew Chiglinsky says:

    Sex is technically only a need, by the way, until you’ve produced a few children. After that, sex is no longer a “need”, as you have already done your part to assure the human race doesn’t die.

    It’s a want, maybe, but theoretically, sexual desire can always be suppressed. It not, then we should outright legalize rape.

    The idea that sex is a need is an evil, homosexual idea. Spiritual beings are not slaves to their physical bodies. Physical bodies eventually die, and if you cling to them too tightly then you will also die.

    Hold on loosely, but don’t let go. If you cling too tightly, you’re gonna lose control.

    • ” It not, then we should outright legalize rape.”
      Nah, only if you have a belief that the government has the obligation to provide everyone with the things that they need.

      There is a better way to take care of sexual needs – legal prostitution.

  9. nate says:

    Long after children are born I think sex is still considered a “need”. Children fair better in becoming productive members of society if their biological mother and father maintains sexual closeness in their relationship throughout their child’s rendering. Until all sexual desire is diminished, it is absolutely necessary that the mother and father engage in sex. Otherwise, their bodies will seek it elsewhere -infiltrating poison into their relationship and the child’s life.

    I’m not sure that sexual desire can be suppressed. Catholic priest have been practicing it for years and many have not been successful. The body wants what the body wants. I don’t believe that sex drive is an imagination we can forget about.

  10. ken says:

    I guess the problem is women like you cannot accept reality. Would you hate him because he has to have food or water? The sad thing is the only reason he needs sex from you is to be faithful to you. So many women act like he has to get it from them, that is not the case. He loves and respects you, but unfortunately because he needs something you don’t you do not love and respect him. It is amazing, then women wonder why the infidelity rate is so high across the U.S, I have an idea, since sex seems not to be very important to you, how about you tell him it is alright for him to have it elsewhere, then he will not need it from you anymore. I guarantee you, having sex with a woman like you who treats it like a chore is no blessing either.

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