Via Holly, who has already fisked it admirably, a particularly abominable article that can pretty well be predicted from the title: Reasons Women Withhold Sex. She covered it fine but damned if it isn’t cranking up the rantmachine anyway; forgive me if I repeat many of the same points.
I like how even the title manages to be both fundamentally offensive and wrong. “Withholding” something from someone implies that this thing is either an accepted default state, or that the someone being withheld from has some sort of basic right to the something. I know the article is broadly meant to address men in relationships or men in marriages, but it still manages to say, basically, “reasons women deny men their happy fundamental default of having sex with them”. It is nearly an afterthought to point out that men in relationships and marriages sometimes “withhold” sex from women too and that this frustrates the women just as much, but overall it’s framed as a “woman problem”.
One of the benefits of being in a long-term relationship is that you have someone that you can readily depend on for regular sex. For guys especially, this is a very important part of a commitment to another person. However, it is precisely when you start to expect sex from your girlfriend that she starts using that presumption against you.
Translation: “In exchange for commitment to a single person, regular sexual service of the man is contractually expected, but women frequently default on the contract.” I could get more mileage out of this if there weren’t so damn many men and women alike who see relationships as EXACTLY THIS.
Some women make a habit of withholding sex from their partners, while some only do it under very specific circumstances. To men, this seems like cruel and unusual punishment.
Not having sex with you is not cruelty. It’s not having sex with you, which is the default resting state for every human being on the planet including ones with which you are in a relationship. Having sex is an intimate act between two people, not some kind of allowance for the guy in exchange for fidelity.
What’s actually extra sad about this is that I DO regard mutual sexual satisfaction as a critical component of a healthy intimate relationship, and view the lack thereof as a problem that needs to be addressed. The difference is that I definitely do NOT regard it as a service dispensed for the relationship satisfaction of the man, a transaction to be repaid in some kind of female relationship currency, or a right.
Of course, there is a difference between a woman simply not wanting to have sex and purposefully withholding it.
Oh good, I’m so glad we’re making some acknowledgment of the forgivable condition that is simply not wanting to have sex right now versus the cruel and unusual sort of not wanting to have sex.
When a woman withholds sex, she’s trying to send a message. Here are some of the reasons she might cut you off and what you can do about it.
Is it honestly this fucking impossible to tell there’s something wrong in any way other than her refusing sex? Or, for that matter, for her to send messages not written in Pussy Code?
This is probably the most common reason that women withhold sex.
Sweet bleeding Christ on a chariot-driven crutch. Holly already covered this one, but again it bears repeating. If I am angry with someone, I do not want to play Guitar Heroes with them, I do not want to chat about Kirk vs. Picard with them, I do not want to do any of the relaxed, affectionate things I otherwise like to do with them when I’m NOT angry with them. This most definitely includes having them physically inside me. That is not withholding. That implies something I would otherwise be doing if only I weren’t actively seeking to punish.
If you’ve done something that made her furious, she may not be above punishing you by keeping the one thing you really, really want out of your reach.
You know, if my partner were so completely fucking uninterested in me that he didn’t care I’d stopped being friendly with him, didn’t care that I was upset, and only noticed anything was wrong because the Pussy Tap had oh so mysteriously shut off, I really wouldn’t want to have sex with him then, or ever.
The last thing a woman wants to do when she’s feeling any kind of negative emotion, whether it’s mad, sad, frustrated, annoyed, stressed, or worn out, is get busy between the sheets. While many guys can turn off the unpleasant feelings and get down to business, a woman finds it more difficult to push those emotions aside and get aroused. You might be satisfied with angry, violent sex, but she wants to work out her angst before she jumps into bed.
I like how this starts out with an acknowledgment of what I said above- that being pissed at someone generally excludes feeling amorous about them- and once again makes this out to be some sort of moody chick problem. I like a lot less the last sentence, especially as it seems to rather miss that “angry, violent sex” has COMPLETELY FUCKING DIFFERENT connotations and experience for a man and a woman.
The solution to this is to find out why she’s upset and try to fix it. Sometimes simply acknowledging that you’ve done something wrong is enough to make her calm down. Other times, the only way to get out of the doghouse is to participate in one of those long, heartfelt conversations in which you share feelings.
So, finding out what’s wrong and trying to make it right is the throw-yourself-on-your-sword solution of last resort to get the pussy flowing again. Why do people who think like this have relationships at all? It would save everyone a lot of grief.
She’s asserting herself
If she’s keeping the good loving from you, it may be an attempt to assert her power over you and the relationship.
Again, this has been pointed out by people who are not me (this time in Holly’s comment section), but exercising your right to refuse to allow someone to stick a body part in you isn’t really much of a power trip, especially if you’d enjoy it otherwise, which “withholding” implies. If this is her only form of power in the relationship- perhaps because, say, he doesn’t give a shit about anything else she does and considers her feelings something only to be dealt with if absolutely necessary in order to have sex with her- I don’t think this makes her all that powerful, or gives him much to fairly complain about.
She’s manipulating you
Another reason women withhold sex is to get something out of you. When no other methods of getting what she wants are working, she might resort to revoking your sex privileges until you agree to what she’s after. This will usually be a pretty big thing. Generally, she’s not going to bother holding out on you in order to get you to take out the garbage.
Ah, now we’re getting explicitly to sex-as-transaction. Normal humans don’t actually need to communicate desires and negotiate things using sex-no-sex Morse Code, but then again normal humans don’t usually form relationships with the idea that you’re making a regular-sex-for-fidelity contract rather than because they are fond of the other person for reasons unrelated to sex as well. I won’t say that no woman has or would ever tried this- but if she’s only using sex as currency and so are you and you’re getting the short end of the stick, why the hell would you want to stick around?
And again, sex is not a privilege. If I let you drive my car and we assume this is always the case unless I tell you otherwise, that’s a privilege. Sex is something we DO TOGETHER. Each time discrete.
She could be avoiding sex with you because she’s not enjoying it. Some women are embarrassed by the idea of talking about sex with their partners, especially if there is a problem. So instead of telling you what’s wrong, she might just close up shop.
To get around her sex ban in this case, try suggesting something new sexually. Take her to a sex shop and buy something fun for both of you. Buy a book with suggestions on how to spice things up. If you show some interest and put some effort into making some changes, she may open up again.
Alternatively? You could ASK HER WHAT’S WRONG. Which would also be showing some interest and putting in some effort, only without the guessing games that may well just feel like pressure to turn the Pussy Faucet back on if you guess wrong. That tends to breed resentment, and resentment and desire are incompatible emotions. But then again, so does having the completely correct perception that you are being kept around because you are the Pussy Faucet.
Maybe she’s not putting out because she’s just too damn tired. Perhaps you want to do it more often than she does, and she just can’t keep up. Other life demands might be stressing her out and keeping her busy too, making her too worn out to enjoy sex as often as you’d like.
Yes, being tired tends to be incompatible with desire as well, and sometimes people’s sex drives are just plain mismatched. It would be nice if it was acknowledged that this happens with high-drive women and low-drive men too, but far too much to expect from an article whose advice on how to deal with this is….
To get her back into the idea, pamper her with some relaxing treats beforehand. Draw her a bubble bath or give her a massage. If she’s relaxed, she’s more likely to feel sexy. Or, you could be truly unselfish and devote your time entirely to her pleasure for one night, making her more likely to want to return the favor another time. Also, you might consider cutting back a bit on the frequency. Instead of going to her every time you’re aroused, take matters into your own hands every now and again.
“Don’t be completely and utterly selfish, occasionally treat her like something other than a sex vending machine that keeps breaking, and she might then tolerate you doing it only most of the time.”
Women withhold sex because men let them get away with it.
….Get away with refusing to have sex? You know, as basically misogynist as this article is, this sentence still makes my jaw drop.
It’s pretty clear it’s the one thing that most guys can’t live without and that they’ll do pretty much anything to keep it coming on a regular basis.
It’s pretty clear that single men who aren’t spending their disposable income on prostitutes are, in fact, living without sex with a woman. Something you want is not equivalent to something other people are inherently wrong not to give you– it still belongs to them, and nothing moreso than their own bodies.
All of that ranted, I honestly don’t mean to demean or belittle the situation of people who are in relationships or marriages in which the sex is very rare or altogether nonexistent. As I said before, I think mutual sexual satisfaction is an important component of a relationship; it may not always be 100% attainable due to that problem of people having differing drive levels plus drives changing over time for varying reasons, but I do regard it as an important thing. Relationships are hard, and said sex life can be difficult to maintain for a thousand reasons, not least of which is that dominant cultural memes hold that talking about sex or feelings about sex is humiliating and the absolute last resort, and that sex is something women shouldn’t want unless there’s something else in it for her, whereas sex is something guys should ALWAYS want and should also be entitled to. It is all too easy to run into problems maintaining a satisfying sex life WITHOUT being a shallow, selfish fuckhead. These are, however, relationship problems, not problems with men or women- and being a shallow, selfish fuckhead will get you there every single time.
All that said, I’d like to go back to “sex as transaction”, which sadly is an all too common thing with both men and women. I’ve heard men complain about wives/girlfriends who explicitly expect gifts in exchange for any sex at all, and compare them to whores. To which I would reply, just like the tango, every transaction involves two people. If she’s treating sex like any priced good or service, and you’re still sleeping with her, so are you– and you have nothing to complain about. Service on demand, as any professional knows, is expensive. To modify an engineering adage, good, cheap, honest- pick any two.