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Withholding Sex: is it Ever OK? The Difference Between Men and Women

Do you do it? Have you ever had a partner do it to you? There is a common social misconception that only women withhold sex, but of course this is not true. In fact, if you enter the term into your search engine, you’ll find that all the searched articles relate to women withholding sex from men, and not the other way around.

Sometimes, people withhold sex from their partners for various reasons, often to punish them or because they do not feel connected to them physically. This can be a single event, or a process that occurs over months or even years. Not everyone needs the same amount of sex, some people have higher sex drives than others.

Ask Men and Jezebel

Sigh. The war rages on both camps, but no one bothers to talk about when men withhold sex. Ask Men is a male-skewed website and gives four main reasons why women withhold sex:

  1. She’s pissed (by this the author means mad – FYI in Australia ‘pissed’ means drunk, in the US it means ‘angry’)
  2. She’s asserting herself
  3. She’s manipulating you
  4. She’s bored

Not to be outdone, feminist website Jezebel has countered with this list:

  1. I’ve always found sex to be great stress relief, and I think angry sex is awesome.
  2. Note to men and women: if your partner’s feeling powerless, simply telling her she’s good in bed may not solve all her problems.
  3. Maybe when a woman doesn’t want to have sex, she’s not being crazy, manipulative, or bitchy — maybe she just doesn’t want to have sex.
  4. It’s an act in which all participants should be willing and enthusiastic.

I found another site which blames the modern woman, for assuming that the modern man is just a hairier version of herself:

“In older generations, women knew that they had moral obligations that existed whether they felt like doing them or not.”

That statement (read the original article by Dennis Prager here) may seem offensive to many people. After all, women are now liberated so they should not feel morally obligated to have sex with their partners unless they are in the mood, right?

Having enough sex?

I really think that many people do not place enough emphasis on sex within their relationships, and in maintaining good sex. Like anything worth doing, it’s important to give it time, space and energy.

Take this statement: Sex is what separates a couple’s relationship from all other relationships. A marriage without sexual intimacy and friendship will eventually sputter and die. (source) Whether married, or simply in a committed relationship, sex is important.

But are we entitled to sex within monogamous relationships?

Or is it a benefit, not an entitlement? According to The Good Men Project : “The truth is, we aren’t actually entitled to anything—even when we’re committed to monogamy. Sex is sort of like a gift given from one person to the other, and it becomes truly great when both partners are equally giving.”

The Prager article goes on to say: “I think this whole problem of women not understanding men, of treating men as objects, and of demeaning male feelings and values, is very serious.”

Do women treat men as objects? The article seems to paint women as selfish and demanding, which is something that all humans can be.

Don’t want to TMI you here (that’s too much information) but I certainly do not withhold sex as punishment, or to be passive aggressive. I’m not sure if any of the women I know do. I hate to say it, but I have had men do it to me in the past – which has been an interesting experience.

What do other bloggers think about withholding sex? Is it ever OK?

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2 thoughts on “Withholding Sex: is it Ever OK? The Difference Between Men and Women

  1. Both women and men have the ability to ‘withhold sex’ simply because sex is a right within a marriage. Your body belongs to your spouse, period. it’s true, a lot of men need to understand how women are wired, so that they spend more time talking, paying attention to and emotionally-connecting with their wives, but women also need to learn about men so that they understand how sleeping with their husbands even when they don’t want to will in turn help them to get their needs met because the husband will want to reciprocate in ways the wife can appreciate. It goes back to the Bible and becoming one flesh and sharing souls.

    • I love this excellent comment – Robert. And I love the idea that our partner’s bodies belong to us. Men and women need to look after (and out for) each other.

      I’m sorry for my late reply. I really appreciate you taking the time to read the article. Personally, I would never withhold sex. If I am with someone, then I submit to their needs fully (within reason).

      —Alyce

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