Advanced search

To think most women tolerate sex to keep their relationships

(519 Posts)
penelopepitstopsgain Tue 25-Feb-20 14:34:59

I don't doubt there are many women, who enjoy the physical side of their relationships but I've spoken to so many who would rather just have a cuddle and a good book but submit, for want of a better word, to their partner for fear they'll stray or see it as their obligation- even I find that sometimes I really can't be bothered and lie to my partner that its my time of the month just to get some peace. I can see as I get older that I'd rather just have a companion rather than the constant pressure of sex - so am I alone in thinking this or just incredibly cynical or even possibly asexual? Vote
Yes = You're cynical
No = I can relate

mantarays Tue 25-Feb-20 14:43:25

You must have loads of close female friends, OP. I can count on one hand the number of people I would speak to on this level. How many have actually said this to you?

GinDaddy Tue 25-Feb-20 14:44:55

I think upon reading a lot of Mumsnet topics on the subject, that a huge number of people are also in the "just have a cuddle and a good book" category - I think i've read those exact words, or substitute "cuddle" for "cup of tea" etc.

So I don't think you're the only one who thinks that way. But I think there's dozens of people who don't then "give in" to their husbands (!!) and do things that they don't want to do.

What I do find interesting, and no one has ever commented on this directly, is whether these people who give up on the idea of having sex, also have partners who are completely in sync with this, and totally fine with no more sex.

There's a lot of "ugh can't stand the idea of his pawing hands on me" stuff, but none of this is correlated or corresponds with the "Bastard DH has cheated on me"...

GrannySlippersAreAStepTooFar Tue 25-Feb-20 14:51:54

If people don't want to have sex with their partners, or would rather just have a companionship when that's just fine if both agree. But for God's sake, don't impose it on the other person if they don't want the same. Just let them go and find someone who wants to have sex with them. Don't just lay there submitting to sex, or making excuses because it's quite a soul destroying thing to do to another person.

ALemonyPea Tue 25-Feb-20 14:52:56

I disagree. I've been with DH for 20+ years and still have a good active sex life.

Maybe you're they're not doing it right wink

Fairylea Tue 25-Feb-20 14:53:11

I think actually the reverse is also true. It’s not a man / woman thing. Plenty of men in long term relationships go off sex too. It’s very common for one partner to feel this way regardless of their sex.

HannaJoy Tue 25-Feb-20 14:56:26

I would say its an individual thing not a mass common problem women have. Im the opposite. Dp very rarely wants sex whereas i wish we had more but i never ask for it because feeling rejected isnt worth it.

GinDaddy Tue 25-Feb-20 14:57:06


From my friendship group (mid-40s men) it doesn't seem to be the case that folk are going off it so to speak. But I take your point that it is both sexes in theory.

mantarays Tue 25-Feb-20 14:57:50

But for God's sake, don't impose it on the other person if they don't want the same. Just let them go and find someone who wants to have sex with them

I think this is a bit reductive. I don’t think it’s a case of one person refusing sex and keeping the other one hostage. Sometimes one person doesn’t want sex and the other, because they love that person dearly, decides to live with it. 🤷🏻‍♀️

GreenishPurple Tue 25-Feb-20 14:59:03

I actually think you are right, most people I know IRL who I feel close enough to talk about these things feel the same, admittedly they are all mums of small children. I know sex is not as important to me as it is my DH.

Greenkit Tue 25-Feb-20 15:02:06

I hated sex with exh as it wasn't very good, we would go a good year or two before we had sex, then another large gap.

I left and I'm now with a man who knows what to do, and we have sex at least every other day, if not everyday and its fantastic.

Perhaps they need better sex?

Hoik Tue 25-Feb-20 15:03:07

Been with DH for almost 20 years too and sex still very much an active feature here. If a relationship is at the stage where you're lying back and thinking of England then perhaps it has run it's course?

Itsallgonewoowoo Tue 25-Feb-20 15:04:38

DH is the only partner I've wanted sex with, (beyond the initial honeymoon period). I've just thought it's because my others partners were all a bit crap and self centred. 20 years on and it's still great. However as a PP said, I don't think I've ever talked to any of my female friends about it, nor they to me.

ComtesseDeSpair Tue 25-Feb-20 15:05:06

I think some women settle for a man because he’s nice enough, seems stable, a good provider etc and they want a family - but don’t necessarily find him hugely attractive and therefore no burning desire to have sex.

I also think many women put up with crap sex from generally clueless partners, which again, doesn’t exactly cultivate a burning desire to have sex.

I can’t relate because sex is very important to me. I wouldn’t settle and I wouldn’t put up with rubbish sex in the first place.

CountFosco Tue 25-Feb-20 15:05:45

I went off sex when the DC were tiny and I was BFing but once they were about 2.5 yo then I started wanting sex again at the same rate as prechildren. Been together 25 years now. I don't think you can generalise. Personally I can't imagine preferring a good book to an orgasm and I love reading.

formerbabe Tue 25-Feb-20 15:08:33


Such an outdated view that women dislike sex and just do it to keep men happy.

Dated and sexist

Socalm Tue 25-Feb-20 15:11:19

Perhaps they need better sex?

This. If men were more generous, creative and skilled, there'd be less of a problem.

Kirkman Tue 25-Feb-20 15:17:29

for fear they'll stray or see it as their obligation- even I find that sometimes I really can't be bothered and lie to my partner that its my time of the month just to get some peace

So the women know sex is important and rather than being honest and letting their partner find someone they are sexually compatible with, they have sex to try and keep them?

That's another way of looking at it.

As is 'maybe if the women made more effort in bed the sex might be better' as well as the men being better in bed.

Good sex isnt down to just one person. And if you really dont want to have sex with your partner, you need to tell them that.

A woman saying she felt her dh didnt want to have sex with her and it was pretty shit when they did would be told she deserved a fulfilling sex life, if its important to her.

This is assuming you are talking about women who are not being abused?

GinDaddy Tue 25-Feb-20 15:18:41

Hardly "outdated" @formerbabe

Witness this thread from Mumsnet entitled "I hate sex":

" I hate sex. I endured it while we were making our family but now that it is complete, I just don't want sex (though i still like to be with my husband).

"I want to stay with him and feel I should just do "it" with him to keep him happy but that grates against me at the same time."

Also, this thread:

"'I've gone to never being that into it but really trying (quite quickly to) going through the motions to recently now actively disliking sex with DH. Dreading it actually. It's not that I want it with someone else, I just don't want it. I feel i could do without it forever, I honestly do."

There are numerous other examples, I won't fill up the thread with them, but...

abstractprojection Tue 25-Feb-20 15:19:06

I think this happens a lot.

I read one article on the effect of porn on sex: it teaches men to do it shit and to mistake female dis-comfort and pain for pleasure. Combined with expectations placed on women, it can lead to a lot of women having very unsatisfactory, even uncomfortable, sex lives who then low and behold give up on sex or even scream 'don't touch me' at their husbands.

I had a lot of sex that I didn't enjoy or want, and some that was even down right unpleasant with my ex. But we had sex twice a week for 13 years so our marriage is good right? No he still cheated. With my new partner we don't have sex I don't want or don't enjoy.

This had involved some difficult conversations, I've read there is no easier way to humiliate a partner then talk about sex. And a few hurdles like him feeling rejected, or me giving in and then him feeling like scumbag. A lot of energy to discover what I like and how, some toys, and a lot of focus on female foreplay. But the more I've enjoyed it the more I want it and initiate it, which is what he really wants.

DeadFlower Tue 25-Feb-20 15:21:46

33 years together, still love sex with DH. He is an amazing lover and just his touch is electric. You do sound very cynical. I have never tolerated sex, women enjoy it too you knowwink

Devlesko Tue 25-Feb-20 15:23:46

I'm not sure you can generalise tbh, we all have different sexual needs.
I don't think anyone should have sex just to keep the other person in the relationship.
if you don't fancy your partner in the way you did when first together then you should find someone else.
£1 years here and neither of us have not fancied the other. The odd time we maybe out of sync through childbirth, illness, tiredness, periods, menopause etc. With the exception of childbirth the others are only one offs and not acceptable as reasons why you shouldn't have sex.

LettertoHermoine Tue 25-Feb-20 15:24:13

I think where the sex drive is mismatched is hard to deal with. One has a high sex drive and feel very rejected and depressed when their advances are spurned and then on the other have you have the person who is not much into sex and feels tremendously under pressure to perform when they don't want to. It can lead to incredible frustration and resentment on both sides.

Devlesko Tue 25-Feb-20 15:24:31

Should say 31 years not £1 I'm not that cheap grin

GinDaddy Tue 25-Feb-20 15:27:52


I'd be careful about saying "not acceptable as reasons why you shouldn't have sex".

In theory and in practice, any reason is a decent reason for not having sex; for me this is the basis of consent.

The bigger question of course is what's underlying those reasons, and whether those reasons are going to lead to a fundamental issue in the relationship if the other partner doesn't feel desired, doesn't enjoy or get to participate in something they want etc.

I hope what i'm saying isn't semantics, it's just I can imagine there are people who might bristle/recoil at the thought that there are unacceptable "reasons" for not having sex.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »