Sex every night to keep him happy(73 Posts)
I am a lurker on these boards but consider myself a feminist.
I was at playgroup with my dc this morning and while the kids were eating a group started talking about sex, how often, etc. one of the women said " we do it every night, it keeps him happy." I was a bit astonished but all the others were going " oh, he's a lucky man" and "that's great!" I mean, if you do it every night because you love sex and want to, fine, but it was the "keeps him happy" comment that got to me. And the response.
I didn't comment as I feel like a bit of an outsider there at the best of times, but it really depressed me and I can't articulate why to myself. I guess it's the whole "men have needs" thing that I thought we all knew was bollocks.
Am I over reacting? Is this really a common way of thinking? I keep wondering if i should have said something but she seemed happy, so I didn't want to be the lone voice I guess.
Sorry for the ramble, has just been playing on my mind!
Good for her!
Be a whore in the oven and a wife in the bedroom and you won't go far wrong!!!!
She didn't say that it keeps her happy/ the relationship happy, but she might have meant thay.
I seriously doubt she lays there everynight not wanting to participate.
Maybe she worded it wrong?
I do know what you mean and it makes me slightly uncomfortable too.
Course she may be perfectly happy, impossible to know.
It's self deprecating - because of course as a woman it is actually more acceptable to say that than admit to loving sex and having it frequently, which somehow seems to invoke the wrath of other woman.
Maybe she worded it wrong and yes, it's that self deprecating thing that is a bit odd.
Am probably wildly over thinking a. flippant comment!
reminds me of a friend talking about her newish boyfriend years ago and saying "He's great, he never makes us have sex when I don't want to". Magic I thought - he's not a rapist, always a good thing in a boyfriend..
It's the notion that we owe them sex and they need it keep them happy, that's troubling. Not that uncommon a view really
Hard to know the real story with just a snapshot. Sara makes an important point though. It is the tradition in our culture that women aren't really supposed to want sex that much or that often, so even without thinking may describe their experience of sex in ways that conform to that stereotype. Having said that, if a woman feels that sex is something she must "give" to a partner to fulfil her "duties," that's not a good thing.
I don't find self deprecating odd - it's a survival instinct.
Can you imagine the hatred that would be directed at a woman, especially a mother of a young child who admitted that she was up all night having mind blowing sex with her DH?
That falls into the category of "not acceptable" to so many and so rather than say she doesn't have sex - and why should she lie for other peoples comfort? the " oh it keeps the DH happy" is an easy response.
Yes, if she's telling the literal truth, it's a bad situation. But in this world, there's a good chance that a woman who has lots of sex and enjoys it, would talk about it as being for her husband's benefit and not hers. Of course there is the TMI factor too, where she might have chosen to say "Hubby and I keep each other happy. And that's all you lot need to hear."
One of my friends (who now has nothing to do with me and an awful lot of her other friends) sad she had sex with her b.friend every night to keep him happy, even when she had constant chronic thrush. Saddest thing she said was: Sometimes he goes at it so hard that it is really painful, but you know what men are like when they get going, you can keep on saying no and they don't hear you
I'd assume she's telling the truth and I think lots of women have sex to keep the peace. Or to coax him out of a bad mood or because they'll never the last of it if they don't. And of course some women like lots of sex too. The specific reference to pain doesn't sound as if she's concealing mad desire.
Is she doesn't want to do it, then it's sad. But you don't actually know that, from what she said. Maybe she's happy to, and it's common enough to attribute it to the man's wants, rather than hers.
I have a friend who says similar things, and she means it. He is a selfish twunt but she thinks i"if it stops him being moody..." My DH tried the moody thing when we had a long gap, it just made it last longer and longer and longer. Nothig more of a turn off than feeling like you have to.
have sex whatever makes your man happy.
I read this thread yesterday and have about it a lot since.
I know what the woman meant and in some ways I can see her point. I'm married to a very lovely man (finally, after years of crap and/inappropriate relationships); he is thoughtful and generous, genuinely likes women, and has completely short circuited all my hard wired issues with distrust and insecurity. He would really like sex every night (and possibly in the morning too!) as he has a high sex drive and enjoys the physical aspect of our marriage as a way of expressing his love for me.
Now I like sex too, but not as much as that. So there is an imbalance and, like posieparker, I have found that the sense of expectation has had a negative effect on my sex drive. We have talked about it, and OH says he would never want me to have sex unless I wanted to, but it's very hard not to feel a bit guilty. I love him and appreciate how much happiness he has brought into my life and that of my DS, and I can't deny that a part of me sees relationships as driven at some level as a commodity exchange.
I don't feel I'm expressing myself very well - I've always had fairly strong feminist views and carved out a successful career in a very male dominated sector, so I'm certainly not a doormat and having been in relationships before where I've been coerced into sex I certainly know about drawing the line, but there's no doubt I do sometimes have sex with OH when I'd prefer to just read a book or go to sleep. I do it because it makes him happy and, once we're doing the deed, I do enjoy it (I'm not lying there like a martyr!)
So I can see what the woman meant in a way. I got married relatively later in life than my peers and spent long periods before that alone and as a single mother, albeit with a demanding career to deal with - I have lived that way and so see the benefits that my life now has for me emotionally and from a stability perspective for me and DS. Is it wrong to show my appreciation of that via sex? I don't know - I'm really going in circles in it
Apologies for typos, on iPhone!
nfk what reference to pain?
"and I can't deny that a part of me sees relationships as driven at some level as a commodity exchange."
Of course relationships are a commodity exchange - there's nothing wrong with that, providing you are, overall, contented with the deal.
As others have said, this is fine if your friend wants to have sex every night and simply can't express that.
Personally I wouldn't want sex every night. DH and I both have high sex drives but we also have busy jobs and we do sometimes both just want to go to bed. I am pretty sure that neither of us would have sex just to keep the other person happy. Or expect that.
If DH is keen for sex, either I am interested too and even tired, I can get into it with gusto. Or I'm not and I tell him so, then we plot our next opportunity when our toddler is asleep. It's exactly the same vice versa.
I do think sex is important to both myself as DH. It helps us feel close and lovely. I'm happy to have lots of sex, so is DH but I don't think either of us would be very happy if we felt we HAD to do something when not in the mood. Sort of kills the mood.
Theoriginallday, I get what you're saying but it still bothers me.
You feel that because your partner is basically behaving like a decent bloke, that you do owe him in a sense. And you feel guilty if you don't have sex.
I think it's problematic when sex become an expected part of the deal in a relationship. It opens partners up to coercion and, possibly in some cases, rape.
Also, it won't kill him, if you don't have sex with him.
So is there any need to feel guilty?
No, and he does say he wouldn't want me to do it if I didn't want to. But as I have quite a physical, demanding job I find I'd rather sleep more often than I'd have sex. Partly I take the possibility of sex whenever I want it for granted - my DH would never say no.
But I know it makes him happy and in the scheme of things it seems a simple way of making him happy - and as I said, it's not that I don't enjoy the sex itself. And of course he can go without - he does so at certain times of the year when I'm away or doing night shifts.
I can see why it makes you uncomfortable, though - because there is a small part of me which agrees. But I suspect my discomfort comes more from the sense that his love of sex is linked to a physical need, and that at some level it's not about an expression of his love for me but an enhanced wank! He denies this strenuously, btw, as we do discuss this - but I'd be lying if I didn't say part of me still thinks it
I think you're being very honest about your feelings here.
It's something that almost difficult to articulate, don't you think? I find it so anyway.
One more thing that occurs to me ... even if the sex was genuinely always expression of love, it still would be fine to not feel like it or refuse.
I reckon we can get caught up in haing sex we don't necessarily feel like because it's equated with showing love.
Love or no love, there's still no need to have sex to please someone, in my mind.
But society does tell us differently.
Sarah, ignore me. I was reading the thread upside down and thought the last was the first. So there was a reference to pain during thrush.
In an ideal world, couples would be able to have an honest conversation about what they really want, and what they're able to do for the other. And then they'd be able to have one partner suggest sex (not necessarily verbally) and the other could say yes or no without pressure, and the one who suggested it would accept that response without annoyance. But in real life, these things are fraught with guilt and resentment. It's not the same as "More coffee, dear?"
nfk I read the thread about three times and couldn't see the reference to pain but wasnt convinced I just wasn't seeing
It's, of course, fine to not want sex when your partner does.
It's not OK to sulk about not getting sex.
In most relationships, sex is part of it; if you don't want sex, there's no reason why your partner shouldn't have sex, by themselves - or indeed eventually with someone that wants to have sex with them... presumably?
It's never one partner's right to decide the other shouldn't have sex again. Maybe not with them...
But the problem isn't usually about one partner completely refusing the other sex completely but about the frequency of it. If one partner had a higher sex drive does this justify them seeking sex elsewhere?
It also might be painful for one to have sex? Does this justify it too?
A marriage/partnership is a co-existence of giving and taking - or in other words could be called an exchange of commodities. And a woman married for 43 years , when asked by a cheeky younger woman if she still did it then, replied " Of course, he has his needs and I want to keep him happy".
Marriage is an exchange of commodities? If that's the case, we should all be stockbrokers instead of being in relationships.
In my view, when you are in a relationship with a person (married or not, opposite sex or same, with or without kids, etc.) it's a relationship with a person. Sex may be part of that relationship, but like any other part, there needs to be open and equitable discussion about sex if things "aren't working," rather than one person feeling "obliged" to "give" it to the other or sex being used as some bargaining chip, as if it were a poker game.
I think there is also a shed load of mythology about men having rampant sex drives and "needs" that must be met or they'll stray as well as that women don't really like sex but only do it because that's part of the "deal." If only we could just dump all this crap and talk to each other about what we want, how we want it, when we want it, the things that put us off and turn us on, but never from the position of feeling entitled to expect something from the other person, we'd all feel alot happier, more fulfilled and less angsty about sex.
See I do agree to a large extent with that, kritiq - but my own experience is that my DH does have "needs". He will eventually go and, ahem, relieve himself if we don't have sex for a while - he says he feels a physical tension that needs a release.
We do talk about it quite openly, but that doesn't stop me feeling a) a bit pressured sometimes and b) a bit guilty when I don't
I wish I could resolve that dilemma intellectually, but I dont seem able to
But you have needs too - like wanting to sleep instead of having sex.
He can masturbate and sounds like he has no problem with that.
So where do you think the guilt is coming from?
I think the 'need' for sex is often elevated above any other 'need', though I'm not sure why.
Original your dh needs food on a regular basis, do you feel guilty whenever he cooks his own meal? He's an adult, and can take care of his own needs/wants, and while I'm sure he's grateful when you do things for him it's not your responsibility, iyswim.
(Really hope that didn't come across as attacky, it's just a different way of looking at it.)
I think there is also a shed load of mythology about men having rampant sex drives and "needs" that must be met or they'll stray as well as that women don't really like sex but only do it because that's part of the "deal." If only we could just dump all this crap and talk to each other about what we want, how we want it, when we want it, the things that put us off and turn us on, but never from the position of feeling entitled to expect something from the other person, we'd all feel alot happier, more fulfilled and less angsty about sex
Kritiq you are bang on with this. It is all stereotypes.
There are just as many men who dont want sex. Just as there are just as many women who actually like/love sex.
Its the stereotypes that really grate.
Not having a go at the OP so please dont take this the wrong way but even the title of this thread grates as it intimates that "women dont like sex very much" therefore if her partner decides he doesnt want to have sex with her anymore ,well it doesnt matter cos women dont really like it anyway.
Because of these stereotypes women in this kind of situation find it really difficult if not impossible to talk about it.
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I think it's also partly a myth that when it's True Luv and you are Soulmates and all that heteromonogamous bollocks, you both want sex at the same time, every time. It's perfectly likely that one person feels like having sex and the other is tired or wants to read/watch TV/clean the oven/go to the pub. Sometimes, when one partner suggests sex, the other had been considering doing something else but thinks 'Oh well, why not?' This isn't necessarily a bad thing.
It could be becoming a bad thing if it's always the same partner who is less interested, who starts thinking 'Oh hell, not again'. because that's the sort of feeling that tends to grow after a while.
Funny thought, there are probably more people are still getting excited over reality TV after years of the same boring crap yet they couldn't become enthuased about sex with the person they are meant to love and live with.
Can somebody exptrapolate ?
Well, with realitity TV there's always the hope that something different's going to happen. With a partner whose sexual behaviour has always been pretty much the same, there's no element of surprise.
I do think another big problem with the heteromonogamous setup is that women are socialized to equate 'great' sex with love rather than skilled technique. Which often translates to putting up with a man's pretty limited repertoire of sexual moves, because you 'love'; him (ie you're in that first stage of attraction where even him picking his nose can be endearing). Then after a while, things get a little more ordinary, and you find that you'd like to try a few variations, but you're not sure how to suggest it without hurting his fwagile male ego or being accused of having an affair (because otherwise how would you know that you'd like more attention paid to your breasts...) So instead you start feeling less and less interested in sex and the vicious cycle begins.
sometimes when I'm not in the mood but he is we just use lube and than he can do 'what he wants'
Nexus, that doesn't sound good
That does sound a bit grim. Are you ok with that?
Oh yuk Nexus! Just out of interest, what things does he do for your benefit that he's not really keen on doing? A degree of give and take in a relationship is OK: most people find that sometimes a partner would like them to do something that's not all that thrilling (not just sex: it could be coming to watch you in your amateur dramatic performance when your performances are always bloody awful, or taking your turn at cleaning up spectacularly horrible cat diarrhoea or something). But if it's always the same partner doing the giving and the same partner doing the taking, then there's a problem that's only going to get worse.
Lol at the whole lube thing - it sounds grim but I know what poster meant
And the food analogy is an interesting one as I have no issue with him cooking (or washing up, which I flatly refuse to do) but the sex thing is different. Was thinking about it last night - there's no doubt he sleeps better after sex, whereas without he can struggle to get to sleep or wake a lot. Of course, sometimes I tell him to go and crack one off (delicate phraseology, no?!) but he won't - he only does that if he's really feeling the tension
I will admit to having moments of resentment/guilt esp about the sleeping thing but I do go round in circles about it. Coming back to the whole lube thing, sometimes it's just easier & quicker to lube up and lie back. Not very PC but the truth (or my truth) nonetheless
> Coming back to the whole lube thing, sometimes it's just easier & quicker to lube up and lie back. Not very PC but the truth (or my truth) nonetheless
You're telling this to feminists, and it sounds awful. Do you also think of England? But seriously, if there's value in your relationship, there ought to be a way to negotiate sex so you both enjoy it. I just won't be pessimistic about sex and accept that it's impossible.
It does sound awful - like you're a receptacle or something.
Do you understand how offensive that is ? Do you understand how sad that is ?
And you women chuckling along at the thought of it. I feel sorry for you.
HQ, I understand if you delete my comment at 20:53 too
My post ? No. But it refers to the one I have reported which has been deleted, so I expect it to go too.
Ah, I meant the original post. But yep see it has gone now
Rape apology has no place on Mumsnet. That is why I like it here.
Gin that's brilliant. A bit more honesty like that is needed!
What on earth these posts about lube are all about I don't know...shocking..
Ok, so I cook for my husband nearly every night, because it makes me happy (i'm sure he enjoys it too) but I like feeding people. I wouldn't do it if I didn't want to.
My DH hoovers because he doesn't mind, and it keeps me happy...however, he is not putting himself out that much, and if he really didn't want to do it, he wouldn't.
Sex is different. It's not a compromise, if you don't want to do it, you do not do it. I will put my foot down if I don't want sex. There's nothing wrong with that. So will DH if he doesn't. It may be totally bad taste, but one time when I REALLY REALLY didn't want to I said "I've said no, it'd be rape now" My dh was genuinely shocked. He had no idea. He's a clever, kind, lovely lovely man, but he just had never thought of it like that.
No is No
(i'm making us sound like an awful couple. He has NEVER forced himself upon me, and I do not always say no!)
However, my point is, in relationships you do things for your own benefit, which may or may not benefit others, you do things for the othes benefit, but Sex is not part of that. there are clear lines which are not to be crossed, and it shouldn't be a compromise.
I agree with Sara. She may not want to admit she's v horny. I am v horny ( homier than my dp) and didn't realise until recently it was something other women could be jelous of.
Imagine I posted in relationships asking if anyone was very sexually charged. More than their partner. Can you imagine the amount if troll calling?
Plus it's none of your business.
She didn't say she did it TO keep him happy, she said it keeps him happy.
Having sex often makes my dh (and me) happy but it is a huge leap from me saying that to you & you deciding that I have sex often to keep him in a good mood!
I have said upthread i probably gave it too much thought! was just something that I thought a bit about on the day, because I had not heard it before.
I think that it is sad that women need to hide a high sex drive, rather than just say "we do it every night, it's great". It hadn't occurred to me that women would feel jealousy or hatred towards another woman for daring to have a very active sex life AND kids. I certainly wouldn't. I just wondered about what she said and was looking for other views, which I have
My view is that a couple's sex life is personal and private and the last thing I would do, or participate in, is the easy gossip that some women (and some men) seem to take part in re their personal lives.
It is utterly disrespectful to your partner.
I don't expect agreement with me on this btw.
JuminyCrick - how you feel about sex and compromise is of course your business and the only thing that matters is that you and your husband have an understanding that you're both happy with.
But can you accept that other people may feel differently about it?
Sex is very personal, some people just don't attach the same significances to it that others do and feel fine compromising about doing it when they're not particularly in the mood, just like some other aspect of the relationship.
I do think that sometimes having sex with a longstanding partner when you are not terribly in the mood for it is not that big a deal. But I don't think sex is that big a deal anyway and there is a sliding scale between 'Yes please, very horny' and 'No. I don't want to.'
In the past I have sometimes had sex out of politeness and no, I do not mean I have been abused. To me it wasn't a big deal.
I also suspect, at least, that some of the sex I have had involved the other participant being polite to me rather than genuinely frothing with lust.
However, I don't do longterm monogamy and one of the reasons for avoiding that because, while I might engage in 'courtesy' or 'hospitality' shags from time to time, I wouldn't want to be in a position of having to do it regularly.
Gosh SolidGold - your post sounds so late 1960s
Hey FastLoris...yes of course! Whatever anyones feeling or opinion is is fine, but in my book, no one should feel like they have to have sex with someone to make them happy, not every night. but that's my opinion!
If you both want to, go crazy and do whatever makes you happy!
sorry to add...if they don't have that same significance, then it wouldn't be an issue for them, and so they wouldn't be doing something they don't want to do...does that make sense?
Sorry if i'm not explaining myself well here...
I feel uncomfortable with the idea of sex being a way of showing love, and I don't know if I can explain this very well, but because it makes it into more of a service or something you do for someone. And perhaps that's not the way it's meant to sound but that's how it comes across for me.
Whereas I think that sex, well, what I call "proper" sex, ie the kind where both people are enthusiastic and into it and each other and it's very mutual and emotionally connected as well as it being about physical pleasure, it's not something that can be one sided - I mean, yeah, you can do oral or whatever which is physically a one sided act but the way that both partners are engaging in that and what they're getting from that and how they're connecting etc because of that, just doesn't happen if one person's doing it for the other or seeing it as a chore or whatever. It's a totally different thing.
And I can see the situation as well where your partner is in the mood but you're not but you don't mind giving them a little "helping hand" or whatever, and you might end up getting into it, or you might not, but you know that the option's always there to say no or I've had enough or I don't feel like this right now. The problem comes where there's coercion or guilt involved, and I wish that we could banish every notion that anyone EVER owes anyone sex, and then maybe the guilt would go?? It's a very female thing, to feel like you owe someone sex or feel bad for not being in the mood or whatever and we all need to just get it out, totally out of our consciousness at all so that we can bring our daughters up strong in the knowledge that no matter what ever, she never owes a man anything sexually, and our sons to know that sex isn't some divine right or entitlement or need. And then maybe people can just start doing it because it's FUN and not because of some obligation that they feel.
I now imagine sgb wheeling in a Hostess Trolley
"and what would sirs and modoms like this evening....?"
It seems to be the case that while many people acknowledge the possible validity of having sex to make your partner happy when you're not particularly in the mood in the context of a particular equal and secure relationship, when we discuss that idea idea in a general sense we can't help doing so against a historical/cultural background of women having sex because their husbands "expect" it.
we all need to just get it out, totally out of our consciousness at all so that we can bring our daughters up strong in the knowledge that no matter what ever, she never owes a man anything sexually, and our sons to know that sex isn't some divine right or entitlement or need.
And, moreover, if your daughters - and your sons - end up with someone who feels that sex is a bargaining counter to play with, they should walk away, swiftly.
Particularly if it's being used as an inducement to breed...
No-one should be cajoled in to sex or parenthood, before they clearly give enthusiastic consent...
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