I was killing some time on social media when I found a particularly interesting post about suggested gifts for a partner. A few of the women joked that sex would be their gift to their partner. The main gist was: I know he really wants sex, so I’ll just do it for him this time. That’ll be his gift.
There was a huge response from other women that screamed, “That’s right, girl! Throw him some sex and keep him quiet for a bit.”
I didn’t comment. I was a bit floored.
I’ve never understood the whole “sex as a chore” trope between couples. Although as it’s been played out on sitcoms (and, apparently, my social media feed), the dominant thread seems to be more often than not, women feeling imposed on by partners to have sex. Just like watering a plant, it sounds like something one must do in order to get on with their day.
Not that anyone should be forcing or pressuring a partner to have sex, but the view that sex is a job and chore to be checked off on a list and not a pleasure is extremely problematic for so many reasons.
Shouldn’t sex be a pleasurable act? An act of giving and love, and not a chore?
If you find yourself gritting your teeth or just rolling your eyes and giving in, what type of partnership do you really have with someone? How much can you truly care about someone when the idea of touching this person or relegating time to be intimate together feels as irritating as updating a massive Excel spreadsheet?
To me, sex is an act of love and/ or intimacy. You don’t have to love someone to have sex, but you do have to be willing to share intimacy. If you feel like sharing intimacy with your partner is an infringement, maybe you’re with the wrong partner.
Just don’t show up to bed with a 'tude.
Shouldn’t sex be a mutual exchange of pleasure and not a burden to perform?
Do you nod in agreement with the ladies I mentioned before? Feeling as if you better put out to shut up your partner?
This isn’t to say that sometimes, you may not be in the mood and you might want to just keep your partner happy anyway—which is a wonderful thing! What I’m discussing is that pervasive sentiment that a woman needs to give it up in order to hush the complaining partner.
Is it that this person is uncomfortable with sex and not tapped into seeking out ways to explore her own pleasure?
Is it that her partner doesn’t make her feel wanted and desired enough to bring on those loving feelings in the first place?
If you feel like sex is a burden, ask how you adopted that belief in the first place. By doing so, you may be able to address those feelings to develop a healthier and happier view of sex and intimacy with your partner.
Shouldn’t you say no and not have sex with a grouchy face?
You have the right to say no. We all do. Even if you promised forever to someone.
If you don’t want to have sex, don’t. There is no contract stating how often you need to have sex with your partner. I think it’s better to abstain and say, “How about tomorrow night?” then have sex with a crappy attitude. You can also modify the intimacy. Stick to foreplay. Oral. Whatever works for you.
Just don’t show up to bed with a 'tude.
Shouldn’t sex be fun for you too?
If you hate sex, do you have a past history of abuse that you’re not addressing? Is there an underlying trauma involved?
Or perhaps, you grew up in a strict religious household and those views infringe on your ability to enjoy sex?
Or maybe, you just have a low sex drive—by nature, depression or what have you.
You don’t have to be horny 24/7, but you should find a way to work on whatever is preventing you from enjoying sex. Unless of course, your partner also doesn’t care too much about sex. In that case, it’s not an issue.
Overall, the bottom line is viewing sex as a chore is a problem that will only get uglier if you allow it to persist. By detesting or begrudgingly participating in sex, you’re probably making your partner feel rejected and unloved. Is that what you want to do? Only you can answer that question.
At the end of the day, your intimate life with your partner matters. Make it one worth talking about—in a good way.