Differing sexual appetites is often the nature of romance and marriage.
But if your mate is angry with you, or if he/she wants to fight, distance or control you, then withholding sex may be the most powerful way to get your attention. Withholding sex—or using sex as a weapon—is used in many intimate relationships to punish, win a power struggle or to get you to do things your partner’s way.
Withdrawing sex is often related to not wanting to feel controlled or dictated to. If you feel controlled or consumed by your mate’s demands, the one power you always hold is to not choose to give your body up to him or her.
One doesn’t withhold sex as a weapon because he or she feels powerful, confident and secure. It’s done because he or she feels powerless and insecure. Paradoxically, the person who is sexually rejecting or closed is usually perceived by their mate as being very powerful and controlling.
Being sexual with someone you love, care about and are committed to means that you are offering nurturance, TLC, affection and closeness. Withholding sex may mean that one person feels the need to distance things a bit in order to keep him or herself feeling safe and protected.
This is about adopting the attitude that the best way to not get hurt again in a relationship is to not give anyone the chance to get close enough. The problem then becomes how to be “safe” without being too withdrawn or distant, or how to be close while still feeling protected from possible rejection.
If someone emotionally and/or sexually withdraws from their relationship, the price for such withdrawal is likely to be that he or she will feel indifferent, distant and unloving. So of course over the long run, there is also likely to be less sexual desire.
The problem is that one person in the relationship—simply by not having sex—will feel safe, while the other person won’t feel desired, nurtured, cared for or given to. This can, and often does, lead to tremendous conflict, anger and retaliatory behavior, and can easily threaten and destabilize an otherwise healthy relationship.
One solution to this dilemma is to ask your mate what he or she needs in order to freely and unreservedly give you what you sexually want. This is the “I’ll spoil you, and I need for you to spoil me also” attitude.
Secondly, too much emotional safety in a relationship is a form of death. You’re protected, but you can’t be happily engaged in a relationship with another person because you’re emotionally shut down. Challenge yourself to not be so safe and self-protective. You may need to take some emotional risks and learn how to let go of your fears and grievances so you can trust.
If you act fearful, safe or self-protective in a relationship, you will not love. So find ways of not being so self-protective. Allow your relationship to be more important than your fear or anger you’re experiencing at the moment.
Thirdly, a man is likely to get more sex if he acts as if he values his woman and continuously woos her. There are exceptions to the above rule, but most women will respond well to a man who is obviously trying.
Finally, the two of you need to directly confront the causes for the self-protection, and how your relationship can feel safer and more secure.
On pages 136-7 of my #1 international bestselling book Love, Sex, and Staying Warm, I go more in depth on this subject, and provide additional recommendations to address this issue.
I want to thank you for writing such a good article on this subject.
When my girlfriend and I fight I notice that she searches Google on topics like these and topics about narcissist and this really hurts my feelings. Finding out that she searches these things is it’s own form of emotional retaliatory abuse.
I can tell you that as a male I am withholding sex because I do not have confidence in the relationship. I am not sure that I want to marry the person I am with, but she is dependent on my finances and emotional support.
This makes it very hard for me to break it off, because I love her.
I have tried breaking up but have been refused. So now I respond with the one thing I find myself with the will power to control, sex.
What’s the worse about it is I can’t control this perfectly so whenever I break and have sex with my partner it gives her mixed messages.
I become aware that my actions are emotionally abusiveness but I am still willing to try anything to pry my love back into freedom and separation. If it works then I am successful. If it doesn’t work then I am emotionally abusive. If I ignore my feelings and keep having sex with her then I risk pregnancy and marriage without having ever proposed.
These things are not simple.
Listen to someone on the other side of things.
I’m in a relationship with someone like you and let me tell you, it was one of the most painful things I’ve endured. Not to be rude, but I think your actions are cowardly and unfair.
Pretty sure my relationship with my boyfriend is over at this point. I will be taking steps in these next few weeks to move on. It hurts so bad, I don’t wish this pain on anyone. My stomach is in knots and it feels like I can’t catch my breath. My heart literally aches. I just wish I could stop the pain inside.
My boyfriend has been withholding physical affection to punish me for the past few months (for no valid reason), actually around the time this was written is when it began. Now he’s mad at me, so things have been even worse lately. He has pushed to the point of believing that he was having an affair and truthfully he hasn’t tried removing that thought from my mind, which makes me wonder.
Unlike you, he tells me that he loves me and wants me in his life. Unfortunately the rollercoaster ride is getting old and the constant rejection is pushing me farther and farther away, I don’t know how to find my way back to him.
You need to man up and be good to her or let her go, it would hurt her at first, but she can and will live without you. Otherwise one can only endure so much, another man will give her the attention she needs (the possibilities of that are endless) then it will be your loss.
Finding someone that truly loves you is rare. Stop playing with her emotions. Take responsibility for your actions. She wouldn’t look up topics like that unless she was trying to fix what’s wrong in the relationship. Or maybe she looked up topics about the type of relationship and situation you two are in and that’s what came up on Google search.
People do desperate things when feeling desperate and helpless. I too have done that. I feel like apart of me is dying inside.
Stop taking everything like she’s out to get you, she obviously loves you and is trying to find ways to mend the relationship. Cut her some slack.
You have to take some responsibility for your actionselationship and situation you two are in and that’s what came up on Google search.
People do desperate things when feeling desperate and helpless, I too have done that. Trust me when I say, I feel like apart of me is dying inside.
Just think about how much it would hurt if you were rejected by the person that is supposed to love you? How bad would that hurt? Take responsibility for your actions.
Let me tell you about your “freedom” the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Karma is a b**** and what your doing to her will come back around.
It seems to me that you are lacking confidence in yourself and you’re punishing her for that. She’s not going anywhere is what you’re thinking. She might just surprise you one day and never look back.
“People say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Truth is, you knew what you had, you just never thought you’d lose it.”
-ready for it to be over
So we’re not talking about sex drive? Because you seem to be framing wanting sex more as a bad thing…
I could not have wrote this better myself Kristina. Spot on. I am a female in this position. It is so painful, even more so than losing a pregnancy… maybe that was God’s divine intervention to save me and give me an out from this mess.
Well said! I am going through a situation identical to yours….& remember its going to be pain if you stay and pain if you go, but at least If you go you know the timeline for feeling this pain will be much shorter than staying. Cheers to you for pushing yourself to do what’s best for you! Lesson learned for you and I!
Kristina am going through the same thing its not nice and it hurts to play with someone’s emotions. Am being punished because I refused sex once with him and its not fair. We haven’t separated as of yet but i don’t see a way forward. Am hurting soo much just now.
I agree with you. My boyfriend is doing the same thing and for no reason. If someone has an issue in a relationship they need to communicate not withhold sex. It makes me feel so insecure and that our relationship is slipping 🙁
I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost 2 years and we have lived together for the last year. I am not financially dependent on him but I have nowhere else to go because where we live there’s not much to choose from to rent. But it seems at some point in our relationship it was like he flipped a switch and instead of embracing my flaws, he started hating my flaws and then built resentment instead of communicating and completely cut me off. I can honestly say within the last year he is passionately kissed me six times and made love to me five times. I’ve begged, I’ve pleaded, and I cry myself to sleep most nights because I get more attention from strangers than I do from him but yet I only crave his attention. But at this point I’m starting to wonder if he does it on purpose just to hurt me and I wonder why I crave someone who has made it clear he doesn’t desire me whatsoever. I now know how men feel when their women hold out on them on purpose. I’ve learned throughout this experience that you can’t do that. No matter how mad you are or anything like that you have to keep that bond going or everything else falls apart slowly. It’s sad that he can’t understand why I am now depressed all the time, I don’t do the things I used to do, I don’t care to clean the house, and I don’t take care of myself the way I should because all of this has completely diminished my self-esteem and sent me into a horrible depression. I’ve sent pictures, videos, I’ve dressed up, and I’ve even slept naked next to this man with nothing in return. Sometimes when I even get undressed in front of him he turns the other way. We are both 38 years old and I am by no means the most amazing woman on this earth but I honestly still turn heads everywhere I go young and old. It’s absolutely soul crushing to feel unwanted and undesirable by the one person that you want most and for someone to withhold intimacy and sex willingly has got to be one of the most heartless things that anyone could do to anybody.
Oh and another thing, not only does my boyfriend withhold sex, he also doesn’t care to take care of me in any way. He expects me to be OK with it and go months at a time without being kissed (he’ll give me pecks but that’s it) or having sex or being touched in any kind of sexual way and expect me to stay faithful and loyal. Which, I have been and he’s lucky that I’ve never been the type to step out of my relationship but I’m almost to the breaking point where I’m ready to give up and leave. He’s talked about wanting to get married and stuff like that but there’s absolutely no way that I can live the rest of my life like this. Nobody deserves this. Man or woman.
I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost 2 years and we have lived together for the last year. I am not financially dependent on him but I have nowhere else to go because where we live there’s not much to choose from to rent. But it seems at some point in our relationship it was like he flipped a switch and instead of embracing my flaws, he started hating my flaws and then built resentment instead of communicating and completely cut me off. I can honestly say within the last year he is passionately kissed me six times and made love to me five times. I’ve begged, I’ve pleaded, and I cry myself to sleep most nights because I get more attention from strangers than I do from him but yet I only crave his attention. But at this point I’m starting to wonder if he does it on purpose just to hurt me and I wonder why I crave someone who has made it clear he doesn’t desire me whatsoever. I now know how men feel when their women hold out on them on purpose. I’ve learned throughout this experience that you can’t do that. No matter how mad you are or anything like that you have to keep that bond going or everything else falls apart slowly. It’s sad that he can’t understand why I am now depressed all the time, I don’t do the things I used to do, I don’t care to clean the house, and I don’t take care of myself the way I should because all of this has completely diminished my self-esteem and sent me into a horrible depression. I’ve sent pictures, videos, I’ve dressed up, and I’ve even slept naked next to this man with nothing in return. Sometimes when I even get undressed in front of him he turns the other way. We are both 38 years old and I am by no means the most amazing woman on this earth but I honestly still turn heads everywhere I go young and old. It’s absolutely soul crushing to feel unwanted and undesirable by the one person that you want most and for someone to withhold intimacy and sex willingly has got to be one of the most heartless things that anyone could do to anybody. But not only does he withhold sex, he doesn’t care to take care of me in anyway or satisfy me in anyway and expect me to just be OK with it and remain loyal and faithful. Which he’s lucky that I’ve never been one to cheat and I never have on him but it’s almost to the point where I can’t take it anymore and I have to break my own heart believing. Nobody deserves to feel like this in a committed relationship. Man or woman.
I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost 2 years and we have lived together for the last year. It seems at some point in our relationship, it was like he flipped a switch and instead of embracing my flaws, he started hating my flaws and then built resentment instead of communicating and completely cut me off. I can honestly say within the last year he is passionately kissed me six times and made love to me five times. I’ve begged, I’ve pleaded, and I cry myself to sleep most nights because I get more attention from strangers every day than I do from him but yet I only crave his attention. But at this point I’m starting to wonder if he does it on purpose just to hurt me and I wonder why I crave someone who has made it clear he doesn’t desire me whatsoever. I now know how men feel when their women hold out on them on purpose & my heart hurts for anyone going through this. I’ve learned throughout this experience that you can’t do that. No matter how mad you are or anything like that you have to keep that bond going or everything else falls apart slowly. Yes there’s certain abusive situations that I would understand but when it’s done only out of malice or selfishness, it’s just wrong. It’s sad that he can’t understand why I’m not the same as I was, I don’t do the things I used to do, I don’t care to clean the house, and I don’t take care of myself the way I should because all of this has completely diminished my self-esteem and sent me into a horrible depression. I do still try sometimes only to get rejected all over again then I kick myself because I honestly don’t understand why I keep trying. I’ve sent pictures, videos, I’ve dressed up, and I’ve even slept naked next to this man with nothing in return. No compliments and it usually goes unnoticed. Also sometimes when I get undressed in front of him he turns the other way. It’s made me unbelievably self conscious. For the longest time it’s made me wonder what I was doing wrong or if I was bad and bad or if I’m really just that disgusting. I know now that it’s him but it doesn’t make it hurt any less. We are both 38 years old and I am by no means the most amazing woman on this earth but I honestly still turn heads everywhere I go young and old. But not only does he withhold kisses and sex, he doesn’t care to satisfy me whatsoever. He just expects me to go months and months without being kissed (he pecks me but nothing passionate) and while not taking care of my needs. He doesn’t even care or try and yes, I’ve tried many times to communicate. I’ve told him many times that this is not OK and that I can’t keep doing this but yet nothing has ever changed. I’m just supposed to be OK with it, keep a smile on my face, and keep doing everything to make him happy in every other aspect of our lives. It’s absolutely soul crushing to feel unwanted and undesirable by the one person that you want most and for someone to withhold intimacy and sex willingly has got to be one of the most heartless things that anyone could do to anybody.
Don’t worry. Making yourself sex object isn’t emotional abuse lol but I don’t get why your girlfriend searched for those things
She googles those things because she is desperately trying to figure out WTF is wrong in the relationship. This guy is misconstruing her actions. She is likely very hurt and confused by his cowardly actions. If you love her as you say you do then man up and stop playing childish games. If you do not and want out the man TF up and get out.
Be clear and real about our actions. You sound very dishonest about your reasons for staying and withholding sex.
This is a very week response….
If you do not feel confident, be man enough to move on
Well I think you are being selfish Mike
You need to let her go and find someone that will love her the way she deserves. That’s terrible. Am sorry but it is to mess with someone’s feelings like that
interesting everyone tells him he is a jerk because he leads her on. He even tried to break up with her. If he is honest with her and tells her how she feels and she still wants to be taken advantage of part of that insecurity is on her end as well. She will need to learn to stand up for herself as well or she will end up in the exact same situation again.
-therapist in training
Way too go! Been there, done that, still going thru the pain, but I’lll come out of it. He was narcis!!!
If you ever get to a point in a relationship where you are using sex as either a reward or a punishment, then you shouldn’t be in that relationship. I’ve only been in a relationship for a year, but I’ve never, EVER withheld sex, just as my partner would never withhold sex from me. He would see me initiating sex as making up, just as I see him initiating sex with me as making up, and I respect him too much to reject him in that way.
My mother’s one piece of advice to me when I told her, a week after meeting my partner, that he was The One, was to ‘never go to bed on an argument,’ with a little wink thrown into the mix. She knew what she meant, I knew what she meant . . . and it’s worked well so far, as I have a better relationship than anyone I know, as well as LOTS MORE SEX.
This is the only sane thing written on this entire page. I have had the same thing in my relationships and they were good exactly for this reason. If you are using sex as a weapon, you shouldn’t be together. I know that if a woman would ever use sex as a weapon with me, I would know it’s not a good match and I would leave her.
my husband never wants sex always excuses i feel unloved and unwanted he is a narcissist fits the profile to a tee
very abusive in every way
ive decided to leave and file for divorce
What if he disrespected you and is mean to you and continues to be that way and you just don’t feel like having sex? It’s a turn off when your man continuously is an a**hole to you and talks sh*t to you like he doesn’t care. Five year relationship, I love him but I don’t think I can do this anymore. It hurts when the only person in your life that you love, that’s supposed to love you, treats you bad. There are good moments but he has got to stop or he might as well just face we can’t be together. A month I have been telling him I’m tired, I don’t want to be with him anymore.
Then again maybe if we didn’t live in the stressful environments we lived in, maybe we wouldn’t have the problems we both have.
~Young & in love
My boyfriend of three years says he cares for me very much but doesn’t love me….yet we have two kids and am currently 5 months pregnant. He rarely shows me affection, when where intimate is the only time he does. I desire more affection other than sex. Im torn i love him but I’ve thought of withholding sex to show him i crave affection other than sex am i in the wrong???
Simone, your perspective is the healthiest of anyone on this blog in my humble opinion. Using sex for power is rampant and most seem unaware how damaging and abusive it can be in a romantic relationship. This author discusses good points from a withholder’s perspective, implying doing so is not a wrong against the love that is supposedly being shared in an intimate way. In my opinion, it is no longer being shared and the basics tenants of the relationship are no longer present. That creates instability and distrust which will allow the negative to grow. I like your perspective because I share it and wish more people would. It leads to harmony, love, forgiveness, understanding, acceptance resolution, empathy, and a better life today and tomorrow.
Most internet search hits are for blogs. These are merely opinion, not fact, even when a lot of them support one another. Life is too short. It is not worth feeling more unhappy, unstable, and disconnected just to be in control (to be safe or whatever). If you are feeling the need to understand something better and want to Google it, at least add some keywords that ensure the information is credible and correct. The internet can be an incredible source of missinformation or an incredibly good thing. It depends on the intent of the user.
Occasional lack of sexual desire is not alarming and is often simply a matter of unsynced timing. Last week my girlfriend of three years texted that she wanted to sleep here after her late shift ended. We were planning on spending the next day together which was the only one we both had off. I texted her back that she was welcome to, yet I might be asleep by then (midnight). This upset her and she changed her mind about coming. I changed it back and stayed awake until 2:30 a.m. to be together. As soon as we became passionate, she went to sleep after only initially engaging. The next morning we awoke together in a warm embrace which felt very intimate. A short while later sex was reintroduced by me and well received. Again, it was cut short of being realized by her. She stated her sons wanted to go mountain climbing, one who was just visiting. They were on their way over already. I later watched her contact them and arrange to meet. We all had a great climb with beautiful weather. The boys (in their twenties) decided to go back down while my woman wanted to continue on to the next ledge with me so we could fool around. As soon as they left, she began speaking of how hurt she was that I remained friends with my last girlfriend for so long. This conversation has permeated every encounter together for years, even though I gave up on trying to keep that friendship years ago (for my GF and our sake). Instead of going further up the trail, she chose to go down instead. Once again, if I did not agree with her perspective and assertions, she wanted to never see me again. This time I just let her biting words go through me without attempting any defense. I told her I accepted her decision and did. I also told her I loved her and she had all of my heart for good reasons. I miss her. i do not miss seeing each day go down the toilet as she fixated on any potential negative and kept pressing her agenda until our loving connection decayed and despoiled.
I was in an loveless marriage for years. Other than the three times we made our three wonderful children my wife only had sex with me 8 times in 13 years. At one point there was 5 years with no sexual intimacy at all. After years of request to get therapy my wife never wanted to get help. Last fall (fall 2015) was a breaking point and I wanted out and finally wanted to leave. Since then my wife has been more willing to have sex but I feel the damage is so deep that I never feel attractive to her again….
I am going through the same thing my partner is withholding sex an intimacy I refused to have sex with him one time and I feel he is punishing me by withholding sex. He’s always saying he is tired that’s his excuse. We also have three children. I wouldnt want to break up because I would never take another man again. Any advice would be helpful?
13 years, she only allowed sex 8 times and now that you want to leave she suddenly decides to change????? If you haven’t already done this, RUN, RUN, RUN as far and as fast as you can from her!!! This is exactly like something my wife would do and has done. Believe me, as soon as you call off the divorce she will return to her normal, dead from the neck down self. Been there way too many times and the “change” never last, it’s just another way she will manipulate you. If you decide to stay I’ll give you a little preview of what you are in for. You will eventually become a very bitter, angry old man with E.D. who is totally empty inside and completely unable to feel anything, especially for her. The really nice icing on the cake will be that once she completely and permanently destroys your ability to have sex she will then decide she wants sex! Women like this are just evil, manipulative, predators.
Physical rejection is one of THE most painful things I ever dealt with. I’ve been told that love isn’t shown this way. What?
I’ve waited and waited. Accepted and extended intimacy through hand holding and non sexual ways. Become kinder, thoughtful, not fighting, apologetic for things in the padt that were unkind and I get the I don’t want to be obligated to. Now I’m to the point that if we have a physical relationship again it will feel awkward.
I can relate to this, except it’s my husband who withholds sex from me. It’s the worst feeling ever. It cuts right to the core of my being. Sad thing is, he knows how much it hurts me and keeps doing it every time after a fight or disagreement. I doubt he knows what make up sex is about. He keeps rejecting any small advances and I end up feeling like such a fool. He says it’s ‘how I treat him’. Seriously I admit having said some things and yelling during heated moments and he’s said some very hurtful things too.
I just don’t know understand if he can cuddle with me, hold my hand, kiss me, play around with me after we’ve made up, why can’t he have sex too?
There are men who hit on me regularly and flirt but I would never want to cheat on my husband or follow through with it. So the thought of getting a divorce over this and solely this, is stressful. I’m just so tired of feeling defeated in the bedroom.
There is something that a lot of women are unaware of, and most men don’t talk about, and that is the fact that when a woman denies her man sex, she is rejecting his request for intimacy with her. Many therapists will tell you that when a man initiates sex with his wife he is basically putting himself out there, intimacy wise, and opening up to her emotionally. But when she says no, even though he may play it off and act like it’s all no big deal, it is rejection and rejection HURTS. And when it goes on for an extended time, especially for no apparent reason, it damages a man in ways that are hard to fix. Self esteem, libido, confidence, self respect and emotional stability all take tremendous damaging hits. Imagine being with someone for over 30 years, and still being attracted to them after all this time, and they tell you everyday that they love you, but every night when you try to initiate sex, they tell youn no. Many times without giving a reason. Probably just because you asked. And as you get older, your desire to “play the field” or “get some on the side” kinda goes away, and you’re eventually left with only one name on your list. You know that list, that “to do list” of women that guys put in their heads when they’re young and single. You’ve only got one name on it now, and you’re married to her by some miracle, but she doesn’t want to have anything to do with you. And hasn’t for quite a while. But she says she loves you. Tells you every day. She refuses to go out on a date with you, just the two of you alone, but she says she loves you. I used to believe that the absolute worst feeling that a man could ever experience, the lowest he could possibly feel, was the feeling that he felt whenever he finally managed to talk her into being intimate with him, and then he experiences e.d. I didn’t think that anything could feel worse than that, but I was wrong.
It’s a much worse feeling to be that man, in that same situation, and knowing that you’ve taken more than enough supplements to overcome any type of dysfunction. And you’re positive that everything will work just fine, all you need is a little help from a willing partner to get things started…… and when you tell her this, after 30 plus years together, she develops complete and total amnesia. Says she doesn’t know what to do.
That’s about as low as a guy can feel.
So women that withhold sex should know that you may not think it’s a big deal, but in some situations you can do more damage to someone than can ever be repaired. Trust me.
How about start opening up emotionally out of the bedroom first … ??? Yup never happens , but you guys hang that opening up emotionally carrot on a stick , once you get what you want sex forget about the emotionally opening up…bunch of BS !
Yes, and yes. I have been fed that line of bs. I have pushed past my own needs to meet his. When he is finished, he told over and goes to sleep and the next day, it’s business as usual. No compliments, no tenderness, no consideration. I feel like I could be anyone and i feel used.
If I understand this right, if I don’t have sex when I’m angry or hurt, or when I dont feel safe opening up to my husband (consumed is a good way to put it, then I am abusing him. I am unconditionally required to have the stomach churning, skin crawling, leave me cold and dead inside sex, regardless of the physical pain that goes with it, or longer lasting damage to my own self esteem and the trust issues and resentment it causes in the marriage, or I am abusive yes? Talking generally makes things worse and more painful, not better and yes my husband knows sex effects me this way, he is completely fine with it and committed to not doing anything about it. But I am abusive for withholding? If you think divorce is the solution here, I did go that way, but even after telling him to leave he refused to go and still pressure me for sex sometimes.
A woman can only have sex and intimacy when they feel open, so this makes perfect sense…
If there is a reason why you feel that way, it would be your man’s job to figure out why and listen to you completely…. and perhaps then you’d feel more comfortable and ready
This isn’t a thing. Women do not, and never have used sex as a weapon.
You article describes it very accurately.
As a woman:
If you are hurt…
If you are angry…
If you got done fighting with your spouse and he immediately wants sex…
If you are disconnected…
If you’re spouse is controlling…
If you’re spouse makes demands and dictates how you are allowed to live…
It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter because, as a woman in marriage, sexually you don’t matter. If you are a woman, no matter how a man treats you in a marriage, you always owe him tenderness, affection, TLC, connection and access to your body. There is no justification for woman to have sexual boundaries with her husband. Havingany kind of boundaries, or any standards for how he must treat you before you will give him complete access to your body and soul is always a requirement. (Note this doesn’t apply to men.)
In marriage a wife belongs to husband and he can treat her as he pleases. Some men, (usually the ones having sex) prefer to treat their wives with love care patience tenderness and understanding when it comes to sex. These men want to be wanted. This dynamic is extremely rare in sexless marriages.
In sexless marriage, men do not use sex to express love, they use it to express contempt, loathing, and hatred. While the man may receive tenderness, care, connection and TLC from the woman, during sex, and during the marriage and in the way the man speaks to her sexually the woman will receive contempt, loathing and hatred.
This is best expressed through insulting names, mocking past sexual history, graphically describing the couples sex life to other man.
Insulting the woman for she wants in bed, telling her that her feelings and hormones and desires do not matter and should not control the couples sex life, (becuase sex is a place where men have needs and women must get their needs met in other areas of the marriage).
Insulting her body in an other tactic. If a woman wants sex and emotional intimacy she will be cut down and insulted for that. If a woman wants to feel desire during sex, she is abusing her husband by using sex as a weapon. (Her sexuality has no place in the process and is just an offensive nusaince he shouldn’t have to deal with to get access to her body.) Sometimes men will go as far as insisting on dry sex and trying to avoid getting the woman aroused so the sex is painful.
However if a woman stops having sex under these circumstances she is in the wrong for using sex as a weapon.
It doesn’t matter how often or to what extent a man uses knowledge of a woman’s feelings and access to her body to hurt her emotionally. The woman still owes the man sex. It doesn’t matter how angry the woman is at the way she is treated or spoken to or gossiped about by her husband she owes him sex.
There are some men that want to be wanted. These men do not use sex as weapon, to hurt and humiliate their wives. However they will usually give up control and accept what their wife will give freely without guilt trips, manipulation, callousness, contempt, demands, or coercion.
Then their are men who want to be secure in their access to me . These men need to know that they will have access to sex whether their wife likes it or not. This is usually born out of insecurity. To know if their wife will have sex when she doesn’t want to, these men have to destroy the sex in the marriage. It’s not easy to drive a woman into developing a sexual aversion, but these men are very persistent. First they systematically destroy the marriage bond with verbal abuse. Then, they make the sex physically painful, and bad and boring. After this the men keep demanding sex. Eventually the women give up and cut the men off.
Then the men go on the internet and write articles about how women use sex as a weapon and owe men sexual intimacy when angry, hurt, or immediately after a fight, and claim that distance to feel safe isn’t something women should do in the marriage.
What women realize when they do cut off sex, is that distance doesn’t seem safe. Distance is safe. There is no more pain, no more insults, no more name calling, and lies and manipulations don’t work half as well when the man doesn’t know what her weak spots are and when her body isn’t pumping out the bonding hormones even bad sex produces in women.
Then the woman’s realizes that demanding sex when a woman is hurt, or angry, or seconds after a fight as power play to hurt her feelings is an abusive control tactic. Hurting her on purpose is an abusive control tactic, even if it’s just emotional abuse. Demaning sex no matter how she feels about it is an abusive control tactic. In fact controlling her, dictating her, and isolating her in general are warning signs of more serious physical domestic violence, and she better find a way to put the kids in daycare, get a job, save money and get out of there before he escalates further. Sexual pressure, coercion and deliberately hurting her and insulting her about her sexuality and her body are forms of sexual abuse.
Then, because of the safety and emotional distance the woman gets from withdrawing emotionally and cutting off sex (using sex as a weapon) she eventually gets stronger, takes the kids and leaves.
In time she realizes that men who want to be wanted don’t want women are are angry, hurt, or still emotionally reeling from a fight. Men who want to be wanted don’t want women are scared and don’t feel safe sexually or emotionally and are dreading it and hating it and wanting it to be over. Men who want to be wanted are actually willing to accommodate a woman sexually and won’t demand things or a frequency she doesn’t freely give. Men who want to be wanted actually like making sex good for her and will put in the time and effort to comfort and pleasure her and maker her feel secure and loved during sex. Tenderness, respect, and intimacy, is a strange thing, but unlike men who want sex with hurt and angry women who don’t feel safe opening up, these men want eager willing women and they will do the work to address the issues in the marriage so that for the first time, sex will actually become a source of emotional intimacy and security and comfort for the women. And the woman too, will experience pleasurable joyful tender emotional intimacy.
And that, in a nutshell, is what’s going on in most sexless marriage and why women withhold sex out of self protection when men use it as a weapon. It’s also why men who want a willing woman rarely end up in sexless marriages.
I withhold sex as a weapon. I don’t like sex when I’m tired, angry or hurt, or when there is unresolved conflict in the relationship.
The tired is the most predicatable and the easiest to solve. I’m a mother. I have young kids. It’s not so bad now that they are 3.5 and 5.5 and my oldest just started school, but the baby-toddler years were tough on me like most women. The obvious solution is to have sex in the morning, but my husband didn’t want to deal with that. He also didn’t want to deal with rearranging things to have sex at other times. Admittedly afternoon sex with very young kids is a pain. In fact everything to do with bonding and alone time with young kids is a pain.
The angry hurt and unresolved conflict is a harder issue. I brought this up in marriage counseling, because it’s seemed so freakish to me. My husband would go from telling me off to wanting sex immediately after a fight. I thought this was freakish because obviously being told off doesn’t make me want to be intimate with him, right? I mean give me an hour or two to get over it at least.
Well no. According to the marriage counselor this is actually normal behavior for men. Men seek sex after a fight to reassure themselves that they haven’t gone to far and that they still have access to a woman’s body.
This is how a man can go from calling a woman names for an hour, telling her she’s stupid and worthless and making contradictory demand (work to support the family but stay home with the kids and don’t use daycare or make me watch them) to demanding sex immediately afterwards. This is actually normal behavior in men, to keep the woman hormonally bonded in the relationship. It makes her risk pregnancy. It prevents a woman from withdrawing and getting the emotional distance necessary to reevaluate the relationship and leave.
This is why men hate it so much when women withhold sex for emotional reasons. He can tell she’s putting down boundaries and thinking about leaving. Demanding sex immediately after a fight or when a woman feels hurt, humiliated, angry, or unsafe being close to him is a very effective way to prevent a woman from having boundaries or requiring him to treat her with respect to get access to her body.
When a woman can’t have boundaries in a relationship because the sex is too painful emotionally, while paying the price in namecalling insults and back stabbing, then the man has used sex to achieve dominance over his wife.
This also stops the wife from complaining or raising issues in the relationship. Issue=Fight=Being called names, told she’s stupid and worthless, contradictory impossible expectation=immediate sex=feeling stupid and worthless=being seen as weak by husband=being call slut, cunt, whore shortly after sex=husband being even angrier with his wife=husband telling anyone who will listen how irresponsible his wife is (she doesn’t work and stay home)=everyone agreeing she should keep the house cleaner and pay the bills and be grateful and stop complaining. And….according to the marriage counselor this is normal? This can’t be normal.
Unfortunately it is normal or at least very very common. Men use sex as a power play to shut women up and prevent women from getting the distance to leave the marriage or put down boundaries.
Porn is art immitating life with these guys. The sex itself is often painful, degrading, and leaves the woman feeling worthless and stupid. (If the sex acts don’t, then the contempt and hostility in the rest of the relationship will).
Many men want sex without dealing with a woman. They want someone to pay at least half the bills, preferably all the bills, cooked meals, a clean house, someone to take care of the kids and arrange and pay for school and daycare, and a companion who is pleasant company, keeps positive and doesn’t complain or interfere with their other relationships and hobbies, although they may be willing to be discreet about cheating, at least publicly. And they want sex. They want sex how they want it, when they want it, on their terms and their timing.
It’s not a childish or immaturity issue. I expect, and get, better behavior and more respect as consideration from my three year old son. So does his five year old sister.
It’s a bigotry and entitlement issue. Men are entitled in marriage, (and life) and women owe them. Women took on the responsibility to pay the bills and gained the right not to be forcibly raped or beaten and to use birth control but men still retain the original right to a woman’s submission and to sexual satisfaction, and women still have an obligation to provide satisfaction.
No, despite what the Bible says and what most marriage advocates would like to believe in reality it is not a two way street. The man is entitled to sexual satisfaction, the woman is obligated to provided sexual satisfaction, and the woman is entitled to being used to sexually satisfy the man. See how that works? Is it really any wonder women don’t like that kind of sex, or marriage, or relationship? Is it any wonder women want distances?
Are all men like this? No. But most men aren’t in sexless marriages. It’s actually a small minority. And most men aren’t being left by their wives either. (Not to say the average marriage couldn’t use more or better sex and that men don’t want this.) But having sex and not being satisfied itself can be a problem. Traditionally wifely duty sex was very restricted to what a man was entitled to. Low to moderate frequency blah sex fulfilled widely duty sex. These days a woman is required to provide all of everything a man wants all the times he wants it or she’s not satisfying him. This is a debt, it’s something spouses owe one another in a relationship. So if she’s not giving him frequent blow jobs, anal, and the kind of kinks, BSDM, porn re enactments he wants and if she doesn’t compromise and sometimes go without foreplay or do acts she finds painful repulsive and revolting then she’s not satisfying the man, she’s withholding and the marriage is sexless and she’s broken vows. Who is she to control the sexual frequency in the marriage? Who is a bystander to say what’s enough?
After all the couples sex life isn’t just about her, and their sex life shouldn’t only include things she like. If the wife doesn’t compromise and do things she finds painful, repulsive or that make her feel bad, half the time she is withholding and abusing the man. This is mainstream standard sex and marriage counseling advice these days. If he loves nipple twiddling and she hates it, she should compromise and let him do it half the time. And this is normal even in marriages that aren’t verbally abusive.
I wish things were different. Maybe they will be. But not now. The point of makeup sex is to avoid making up. The point of making it unsafe to raise issues in the marriage is to shut the woman up so she doesn’t try to participate in making decisions and the man can do what he wants.
And yes, the solution to this is mind numbingly obvious. If the wife doesn’t want sex because she’s hurt, apologize. If the wife is angry wait an hour or two, or a day or two for major things. If there are unresolved conflicts, talk and solve problems. I promise you, men are not this stupid. If she doesn’t like the physical sex, don’t make it frequently painful and repulsive. I promise you men are not this stupid. The men who want this to be mutually enjoyable are already doing these things, or at least trying.
The men who want one sided servicing aren’t going to resolve it anyway because their entire goal is to use sex to avoid problems and shut her up and pretend everything is fine, and maybe even as dominance move to insult her and cut her down on the more extreme end.
For more normal men, stop teaching that sex is owed them and a right. Sex is a gift, and a privilege and should be treated as such. Which means appreciating sex, and being kind and considerate to a wife about it. This isn’t what happens when someone gives you money or work they already owe you however.
This also means men should be giving pleasure and bonding and satisfaction, not trying to take away control of a woman’s body when they initiate sex.
If you want anything beyond low to moderate frequency blah sex you have to get off your butt and make it happen. Not sit back and demand your rights to anal, and blow jobs, repulsive painful acts your spouse hates. Sexual satisfaction is like happiness. You’re have a right to the persuit of happiness but it is not something your entitled to have handed to you on a silver platter by your spouse because you got married. It’s a journey and takes joint effort and even after marriage both men and women individually retain responsibility for this area of their lives. Men are not entitled and women do not owe men this. Not even in marriage. A good faith effort to enjoy it? Yes. Results regardless of how the man treats the woman or what else is going on in the marriage? No.
Ari! I know that I don’t know you and that you posted this comment months ago but I just had to respond. You are so right!!!!! It’s really not as difficult as some of these men would have you think to get sex from their wives. A LOT of them treat their wives like shit. They are the ones who never help their wife with household chores even though she works or is a stay at home mother 24/7. They’ll complain that in the beginning of their relationship they had lots of sex (Sometimes before kids, moving in with them and having to be their live in maid, so of course they had more energy and the sex wasn’t boring becauee of it) Not to mention that a lot of men switch up for the worse once they get married so why would a woman want to have sex with someone who treats her bad? Some of them don’t even reciprocate when it comes to sex, like the ones who want blowjobs but refuse to lick their wives down there. There’s just so much wrong with a lot of these entitled men that it’s too much to mention. What men want and need is always a topic and like you said, women are expected to please their man. What about what us women need? We are emotional beings and a lot of us view sex in a romantic lovey dovey way with our spouse so when they never take us out, constantly forget to acknowledge and/or celebrate important holidays as well as birthdays, put others before us a lot of the time, etc. It can make us feel unloved thus not want to have sex as to not feel used.
Anyway, you hit every point exquisitely and I thank you for being brave enough to point out the other side of this that a lot of women have been brainwashed to feel is acceptable. Glad that I’m not the only one who feels that it’s not.
I second that !
Ari, i am so unbelivable sad, hurt, angry, repulsed, tired, full of hate, discurraged, helpless, chronic depressed, full of hate thowards my body, suffocated, and more of this exhausting emotions. Because you say everything how it is, but i never could put a finger on it. I always was a giver, empath, responsible, deep thinker, sensitive to everything…, what happens in this world. I never had a positive experience with men in general. All the things you said are truths. And you said it all with a deep understanding. Also another woman before you. I would be so happy and other women would be happy if only men would understand everything you said. But i realise, that there are not much men, who have their hart and mind in the right place. That means most of men are dangerous to womens health and kids health. It is sad, because i thought men wanted also real love. But i think most men are not able to have good insight and women get sick and disturbed. It is a circle of decline. I am not married because i feel every day how dangerous men can be for my emotional, physical, seksual, social, moral health. I see it everywhere i go. I am greatfull for this post and other strong deep posts. Love and respect from Belgium
My wife uses the with holding of sex to make me do things for her, “so the spoil me, I’ll spoil you” approach how ever anytime it is my turn to “get spoiled” she is not in the mood, tired or will Say it’s pathetic that I want to have sex so bad and she says I have a problem. I cant help but feel like I’m being used. What can I do? Is this sexual abuse?
That’s absolutely ridiculous that she does that and says that to you. I’m sorry you’re going through this. I can’t honestly say it’s sexual abuse because I don’t know the whole story but my boyfriend is emotionally abusive, financially abusive, & on top of it all withholds real kisses & sex for months at a time. He’s affectionate in every other way which is odd. But I can’t talk to him about anything when it comes to sex because he only gets angry and says that I pressure him and says that I make it worse. But you sure most definitely do not have a problem for desiring your wife. I think the problem is within her treating you that way. I don’t know all the articles I’ve read and everything I read about withholding and like my relationship which is a sexless relationship, it’s not healthy for one to withhold and tell another that there’s something wrong with them for wanting something that is supposed to help keep a relationship healthy. I was with my ex for 14 years and unfortunately I was one of those that was hell from him whenever I was mad or stressed or tired and he eventually ended up cheating on me. And now here I am in this relationship with my man with holding for me. I’ve actually apologized to my ex for ever making him feel this way and I understand now why he cheated. I’m not condoning or saying that it was right that he cheated but I understand now because the way I neglected him and made him feel unworthy and undesirable made him seek what I wasn’t giving him elsewhere. Nobody deserves that. My boyfriend also makes me feel dirty or like there’s something wrong with me because I crave intimacy and sex. He’s made me feel worthless, unworthy, and desirable, and completely unwanted. My advice is try to talk to her and tell her how you feel and if things don’t change, decide what you wanna do from there. There’s nothing wrong with you.