Sex For Non-Sexual Reasons

March 8, 2014

in Seeing Clearly, Sexuality

I think a great deal of porn use is actually self-medicating something non-sexual. We use porn to feel better when we’re anxious, sad, bored, or lonely. We use porn to feel better about failure or self-doubt. We use porn and masturbation to help with insomnia or stress.

Medicating with sex  © Chrisp543 | Dreamstime.com

One tricky reason for porn use is sexual refusal. This seems like a sexual trigger, but is that the whole story? There’s a sexual component, but the porn use might be more about punishing your wife for saying no. Maybe you turn to porn to feel desired or manly after rejection.

Understanding why we use porn makes it much easier to escape. When you learn the reasons you turn to porn, you can be more proactive about avoiding it. This is especially true for triggers having nothing to do with sex.

Not Just Porn

We also use sex to medicate non-sexual things. In marriage I don’t think this is wrong, but it can cause problems. If your wife feels pressured to have more sex than she wants, asking her to have sex to medicate non-sexual things is a bad plan. Learn to ask for sex when you want sex, and find other ways to deal with the non-sexual reasons you seek sex. This will reduce the sexual stress in your marriage, benefiting both you and your wife.

On the other hand, if your wife is up for sex almost any time, using sex to feel better about other things can be great. Just be aware of what you’re doing and don’t allow sex to keep you from dealing with things. 

It would be wise to share with your wife why you want sex. if you do this. So one night you might say, “I’ve been thinking about you all day, and I need to make love with you”. Another night you would say, “I need a good night’s sleep, and sex would help” or “I’ve been down all day, are you willing to get naked and cheer me up?”

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8 comments
IntimacySeeker
IntimacySeeker

Given the many benefits a couple reaps with health sexual intimacy, it stands to reason that there are a variety of reasons for initiating sex. I am curious to know why you think it is wise to share with your wife why you want sex. Something about the statements you suggest seem to make light of sexual intimacy. The tone is incongruous with a part of my relationship with my husband that I cherish and nurture.


I don't understanding "asking" for sex. In my experience, frequent sexual activity is a natural part of loving one another. We expect it, we anticipate it (and do have fun verbalizing that), we appreciate it (also verbalize that) but my husband never has to ask. It is understood that I welcome any initiation on his part and he welcomes the same from me.

Georgia 5
Georgia 5

Women also have sex for reasons like wanting to show love, affection, etc, as well as to avoid feeling bad or depressed, anxious.  Women use sex as an escape as well.  

IntimacySeeker
IntimacySeeker

Hmmm....and here I've been led to believe my husband doesn't just want sex, but longs for me specifically. Now I'm confused. Must admit that statements like this would lead me to feel used. Choose your words wisely.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@IntimacySeeker  I'm for full and honest communication in all areas. If I really need sexual release, nothing else will do, and if my wife understands that she will go out of her way to take care of it. If I need to connect, snuggling and talking can take care of that, and if sex is a problem for her she knows I will be okay without it.


For many sex almost always requires asking. I don't think it should be that way, but for many it is. What you describe is better, and a goal to work towards. I would say you are also offering him enough that he should never feel "I have to have it right now!"

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@Georgia 5  No doubt. To get to sleep is a very common reason. Other women have figured out an orgasm can end a headache, so they are all like "TONIGHT! I have a headache."

I figure God made sex so it brings on sleep, relaxes us, and reduces pain. No crime in using it for those things as long as we are honest about it.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@IntimacySeeker  Yes, men can and do use women. And women do the same to men.

If your husband is a selfish jerk, he is likely using you. If he is not he is likely trying to avoid using you. I assume you fight the same battle on some level. My goal here was to make men aware so they could do better.

IntimacySeeker
IntimacySeeker

@TheGenerousHusband @IntimacySeeker I am going to stand by my belief that my husband needs to connect and bond with me, not just have a warm place to put it. Restorative sleep, reduced anxiety, relief from pain, are definitely benefits, but they shouldn't be reasons for initiating sex. I understand that my husband has a physical need for release, but if that is his SOLE reason for initiating, we are not communicating as we should be. I need to know he loves me and wants ME.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@IntimacySeeker @TheGenerousHusband  I have clearly misunderstood you! Certainly your husband needs to connect and bond with you, I never meant to imply he did not. The fact that is not the only thing he needs from sex does not diminish that need one bit. If a couple have a deep relationship, those things are always a part of sex.

Sorry for the confusion! 

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