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Reasons for having sex - was this a bad one?

(24 Posts)
CocktailQueen Fri 13-Sep-13 10:44:54

It was dh's birthday recently and he always likes sex on his b'day. We went out for a meal, came back late. I was tired but thought, oh well, let's go for it, I'll get in the mood with foreplay'. Left to me, I would have probably chosen to go to sleep that night. But I had promised dh. So we dtd and it was lovely.

The other day dh asked me if I had dtd that night because it was easier than not doing it. I said, yes, partly, and also because I'd promised, and I knew that I'd get more in the mood as we did it. If you see what I mean. But he got v upset at the thought that I had had sex with him 'because it was easier' than not having sex. He's been in a real grump all week, snapping at the kids and being a martyr.

I thought this was fairly common with people who have been together a while - to start foreplay without feeling massively in the mood, but knowing that you would get more in the mood after foreplay??? We've been together 17 years.

So, do you do this? Or is it just me?? Obviously sometimes I do say to dh, no thanks, not tonight. We're not getting on well at the moment and I'm a bit at a loss how to handle it all.

EmmelineGoulden Fri 13-Sep-13 11:02:21

There's a difference between having sex because even though you're not really feeling that turned on right now, you think you will get turned on if you get started, and having sex because it's easier to do it than not do it. The later is often coercive. I think most men would be upset at the idea their partners find them sexually coercive.

But it also sounds a bit like he's feeling unattractive at the moment. Could it be he heard you saying you find sex with him a bit of a chore, when what he wants to hear is that he's still irresitible and virile?

amverytired Fri 13-Sep-13 11:03:18

I used too, when our relationship was dreadful. Now I only have sex when I feel like it. It's has also meant I'm the one initiating it about half the time which is a huge improvement.
I made a conscious decision to stop having 'obligation sex', it took a while before I felt comfortable refusing, but it was the right thing to do.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 13-Sep-13 11:05:01

I think what you experienced was not uncommon but, with hindsight, it would have been better to not be completely truthful with your DH. 'Because I promised' is a bit of a passion-killer tbh. No-one likes to think that they didn't light your fire..... flattery is everything.

Charbon Fri 13-Sep-13 11:07:35

I think this happens a lot in long-term relationships but it gets problematical when sex between a couple is more often than not, invested with agendas other than mutual desire. If you've found yourself having sex as an insurance policy against his grumpiness, or to ensure his co-operation, or to fulfil a promise then it means that your sex life is being used to address other issues that need tackling.

From his perspective, I'm not surprised he is hurt. Duty sex is likely to feel very insulting and he won't have 'heard' the stuff about your later enjoyment. I don't agree with how he is dealing with that hurt however.

I'd suggest an honest conversation about the relationship troubles you are having.

mcmooncup Fri 13-Sep-13 11:08:54

When I was with my abusive ex. He would coerce me into having sex......and I would have exactly the same thoughts as you describe....."oh I'll enjoy it when I get started".

Then he would comment later and ask if I had just done it to get it over with. And be 'upset' just like your H.

Your post rings alarm bells for me. You are in the nightmare situation of, if you don't have sex he will probably sulk, if you do have half hearted sex, he will sulk because he doesn't want to face the fact he has coerced you....he wants the GFE vom

It's lose:lose for you.

The only true solution is genuinely wanting to have sex with him. But then the problem is there is obviously an element of coercion and entitlement. And that kills most women's sex drives.

Walkacrossthesand Fri 13-Sep-13 11:09:58

Yes - 'well, I started out not thinking I really wanted to, but pretty quickly changed my mind ;-)' is a more positive 'spin' maybe?

EdithWeston Fri 13-Sep-13 11:18:52

I think it's a communication problem, not a sex one.

Sex as a birthday treat is something I've heard various people talk about, and willing yourself to get started to please our partner even if you're not in the mood is common too (and quite different from going through with it when you really don't want to).

But telling him that you only did it because it was "easier" than not dong it is tactless at best, and could even be hostile. And it's not necessarily true, anyhow, you say here you agreed because you love him, you want to make him happy, it was a special occasion and (as it turned out) you enjoyed it. But you chose not to tell him those positive thoughts.

But as you didn't say something like that, are you having other doubts about your relationship? For state of sex life and how you communicate about it might be an early warning system for aspects of the relationship that need attention.

CocktailQueen Fri 13-Sep-13 11:24:41

Thanks all. Edith - he asked me to be honest with him. So I was. I wouldn't just have told him if he hadn't come out and asked me!!! Maybe that was a mistake. I did tell him all the positive things too, but he didn't 'hear' them, and focused on the negative.

We have been arguing about housework and division of chores. Guess who does more! So that doesn't really help my sex drive.... we need to sit down and have a good chat about everything.

RaRaZ Fri 13-Sep-13 11:31:37

I think it was just a phrasing issue tbh - perhaps if you'd said that you were tired and wouldn't have minded if he hadn't been up for it, but you were keen to please him and knew you'd enjoy it and be turned on once you started, that wouldn't have been so bad? I think perhaps it sounded like you were saying you had sex with him in case he was angry if you didn't...

Re your last post, it does sound as though he's feeling a little insecure and unloved. Maybe you do need to talk about division of chores etc, but be careful how you do it: sounds like you've (unintentionally, I realise) got his back up already.

Charbon Fri 13-Sep-13 12:30:19

The truth is that apart from when a woman is having an affair, nothing will kill her sexual attraction for a partner more than resentment about an unequal division of labour, especially if the narrative around that is that gendered and there's an expectation that it's women's work. That often causes women to lose respect and attraction for a partner.

Lazy, sexist men will unfortunately often overlook this fairly obvious deduction and focus entirely on the sex and desire aspects, without ever wondering why a woman who likes sex generally, has lost desire for him personally. Many kid themselves that their partner has lost her sex drive generally which is rarely true unless she is completely exhausted. So instead of thinking 'she's gone off sex with me, why might that be?' they will assume 'she's not into sex at all'.

If any of this resonates, I'd advise you to be very honest with him and don't fudge it.

mcmooncup Fri 13-Sep-13 12:45:27

Charbon is totally right.
Sexist men (who don't pull their weight) = total turnoff

But often because it's so inbuilt into is culturally, we still believe we should lie back and think of England.
I'd honestly question yourself about why you thought you had to appease him even though you didn't feel like it.

CocktailQueen Fri 13-Sep-13 13:01:37

Believe me, Charbon, I have told him so - again and again.

His mother - and his first wife - did him no favours when she looked after him. When I met him he had never put on a load of washing - and he was 30 then!!!!

I guess we are all a product of our conditioning and upbringing. Things are very different now than they used to be.

MajesticWhine Fri 13-Sep-13 13:12:26

I will usually acquiesce even if I am not particularly in the mood, because I always enjoy it once I get going iyswim. I would like my partner to do the same when it's me that's in the mood. I think this is considerate behaviour in a long term relationship.
This argument sounds to me like an excuse for him to be grumpy about something, and perhaps there is something else going on, i.e. he is angry about something else but isn't able to articulate it.

envious Fri 13-Sep-13 13:22:57

Cocktailqueen, just dropping in on a whim to tell you your husband is so lucky that you're willing to do this for him. You won't believe this but I swear it's true that my wife doesn't even know the date of my birthday after many years of marriage. She used to be a Witness. They don't 'believe' in celebrating birthdays, you see. So no b'day treats for me.
Anyway, I get no sex at all no matter what I do or don't do in the house. 'Best friends' only and it will never change. No chance of that. Too long married to go anywhere now. Sorry to whine like a wimp. Just wanted to tell you what it's like for some. He's jolly lucky! Will disappear quickly now!

Charbon Fri 13-Sep-13 13:50:19

What example did his father give him then?

Sorry, I have a natural resistance to women being blamed for lazy men's behaviour - whether that's mothers, ex-wives, daughters or current partners. I think it's even poor form if an adult man blames his father to be honest, but that's closer to the mark in terms of role modelling and conditioning.

CocktailQueen Fri 13-Sep-13 16:22:32

Charbon - you're absolutely right! Why do I think that mothers have more input/responsibility than fathers?! Actually, his dad was pretty good for that era and did all the ironing and wrapping presents. Must think about that.

Offred Fri 13-Sep-13 16:32:37

I wonder if the actual sex isn't all that appealing too?

Do you feel you are as satisfied as he is by it?

I think often men jump to believing women are frigid when they are actually just unsatisfied. Have you read this; www.uic.edu/orgs/cwluherstory/CWLUArchive/vaginalmyth.html

May be off the mark but suspect due to his other sexist approaches to your shared life.

sadsong Fri 13-Sep-13 16:42:24

I was once in a relationship where we were very frank with one another. That part of our relationship was perfect. Dh might suggest...I'd say well you'll have to work hard to convince me it's a good idea, he did it was always good.

Equally I'd say id like sex now please and he'd always oblige.

I now look at my extremely dysfunctional sex life and think dh is just too much hard work. As mostly I can't be bothered. I'd say to your dh to lighten up. But then if I said it to mine he would sulk for several days! shock

TheWomanWhoMisplacedHerHusband Fri 13-Sep-13 16:45:22

That sounds like shit envious sad

envious Fri 13-Sep-13 17:29:37

TheWomanWho - well, it may sound like that to you but it happens to be true, unfortunately.

Anniegetyourgun Fri 13-Sep-13 17:33:44

envious , thewomanwho was being sympathetic, not disbelieving.

envious Fri 13-Sep-13 18:24:09

Sorry, I didn't understand. People often don't seem to believe me. I wouldn't waste time writing lies. My apologies to the lady.

Mosschops30 Fri 13-Sep-13 18:49:16

charbon your post is absolute genius and like reading what happened to my marriage!
Funnily enough now I'm not with exh my sex drive has returned (was called frigid by him, also blamed on medication, nothing to do with him hmm)

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