Last week I tweeted “We expect spouses to sometimes do loving things they don’t “feel like doing”. Why is sex exempt from that?” Someone replied with “who would want to be with someone who doesn’t feel like being there?”
First let me clarify what I meant, and then I will respond to the fact many would still ask the same question.
When I said “did not feel like doing” I was not talking about not wanting to be there; I meant would not choose it for them self. In a good, healthy marriage, both spouses do things they would not choose to do at that time. They do these things because is’t what love does. You take a moment to help your spouse with something even though you’re busy. You accept their invitation to go for a walk even though you don’t really feel like a walk. You go with them to some event to which you would not normally go. My question was why should we not do the same thing with sex? Is it not loving to sometimes do it even though we don’t feel the need or desire right then?
Some would say “I don’t want to have sex if my spouse doesn’t want it.” If you’d go to a movie your spouse would otherwise not see, or stop for ice cream when your spouse would not choose to do so, or share a book your spouse would not choose to read, then why would you treat sex differently? Why would you accept their loving gift elsewhere, but reject it when it involved sex? Anything else yes, sex no? Why the double standard?
If you have a double standard over sex, I think it’s about you, not your spouse! Ask yourself what the double standard means. Also ask yourself what the double standard communicates to your wife. You keep telling her how much you want and need more sex, but then you turn down an honest offer because she doesn’t want sex herself. Stop and think how that must make her feel! If you’re going to be like that, why should she even bother trying? If she has to live up to your standard to have sex, then it’s you, not her, being the sexual gatekeeper.
On a practical note, it’s very common for women to say something like, “I had no interest in sex, I just did it for him… and I ended up enjoying it a great deal.” When you reject her willingness because she doesn’t want it enough, you may well be cheating her out of a good time. Besides, even if she doesn’t get so aroused she has a screaming good time, she may get warmed up enough she’ll want it soon. Some women need to have sex to desire sex, and if you demand such a woman want it before it starts you’re making it impossible to have a good sex life.