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Is sex a LEGAL right in marriage?

(32 Posts)
TartWithAHeart Mon 20-Aug-07 12:48:34

DH reckons it is - I am not sure if he's winding me up.

aloha Mon 20-Aug-07 12:48:57

No. Sex without your consent is rape.

scorpio1 Mon 20-Aug-07 12:49:27

i think you can get divorced for not having consummated (sp?) your marriage...

not sire on legal right thing though

mumfor1standfinaltime Mon 20-Aug-07 12:49:34


expatinscotland Mon 20-Aug-07 12:50:15

You can have your marriage annulled/invalidated for non-consumation, but aloha is right.

tribpot Mon 20-Aug-07 12:50:22

It used to be, i.e. it was legally impossible for a husband to rape his wife. The law has been changed, though, so now your dh will have to try being nice to you instead (I presume this was a theoretical argument rather than him actually demanding his conjugals through his solicitor!)

Lawrene8 Mon 20-Aug-07 12:50:24

It's not a legal right but you can be granted a divorce on that basis under unreasonable behaviour.

RibenaBerry Mon 20-Aug-07 12:51:15

No, it's not. Conjugal rights do not exist.

On the other hand, a marriage can be annulled if you have never made the beast with two backs (sorry, the question is bringing out all the medieval language in me).

Scarily, until the mid (or was it late?) 1990s, a man could not be convicted of raping his wife as consent was assumed. The law was eventually changed.

TartWithAHeart Mon 20-Aug-07 12:53:55

Yes tribpot - it's been all of three weeks you see. Poor thing.

TartWithAHeart Mon 20-Aug-07 12:55:55

So Lawrene8 - how long do you have to go without it to be deemed unreasonable? And surely it's unreasonable to keep pestering someone for sex when they just don't bloody feel like it right now OK

bookwormtailmum Mon 20-Aug-07 12:59:16

It was in 1991 that the law on marital sex was changed - R v R. I don't think anyone was prosecuted per se, it was to establish the legal principle in light of modern thinking .

Dropdeadfred Mon 20-Aug-07 13:02:47

wow that's quite recent isn't it?

How long would you deem reasonable to not have sex in a relationship ?(anyone wih illness not included)

whiskeyandbeer Mon 20-Aug-07 13:06:56

as has been said before, used to be isn't anymor.
although i doubt he was talking in a strictly legal sense (i.e. he could demand it whenever) more likely he was joking or trying to wind you up and see if you'd take the bait.

whiskeyandbeer Mon 20-Aug-07 13:08:13

as for how long, a month or two when there's a reason (i.e illness,uncontrollable circumstances (travel etc))
other than that i'd need it at least 2/3 times a week.

bookwormtailmum Mon 20-Aug-07 13:08:40

Whatever both people deem reasonable I guess. Sexual activity could be just cuddling up together or kissing though - surely giving and receiving affection is just as important as getting jiggy together?

Dropdeadfred Mon 20-Aug-07 13:10:47

not when you're gagging for it it's not!! If anything I'd think that activity without sex following could make matters worse for some folk...?

divastrop Mon 20-Aug-07 13:11:59

wow,did that law work both ways,ie the wife was also legally entitled to sex?

i dont think you can put a time limit on it,and it also depends on how you see sex(ie i see it as an expression of love so if i never wanted to do it again with dp it would be because i no longer loved him),and what your sex drive was like previously.

personally,i'd be chomping at the bit after a week.

whiskeyandbeer Mon 20-Aug-07 13:21:14

"wow,did that law work both ways,ie the wife was also legally entitled to sex?"

no it was a hangover law from the time when women were chattels and rape was a property offence. back then even if a man raped a woman he would not be charged by the woman who raped him but under the guise of the father or husband who's property he had "damaged".

Dropdeadfred Mon 20-Aug-07 13:26:07

Thats sometimes the saddest part of a break down in the sexual element of a relationship...the oter person may still require kisses and hugs and physical affection but this feeds the need of the partner who DOES want sex..then the first partner withdraws these too to stop 'mixed signals' and then they are both very unhappy and don't know how to get back to where it all went wrong...

bookwormtailmum Mon 20-Aug-07 13:44:44

I believe that if a woman was raped by a man in some cases she was then obliged to marry her rapist as she was 'spoiled' (presumably it was deemed her fault that she got raped ). I don't know her if father was still obliged to pay a dowry to her husband in that case .

whiskeyandbeer Mon 20-Aug-07 14:04:27

well not that i've seen in my studies but admittedly i don't really pay attention to completely defunct laws.
what i do believe the case was in feudal law, if a man raped a woman it was the fathers entitlment to decide on the following otcomes. a fee payable (as far as i remember 7 cows or someting), forced to marry his daughter or beheading.

bookwormtailmum Mon 20-Aug-07 14:16:18

Sadly, I'm more likely to be side-tracked by defunct laws than the ones I was supposed to be reading up on . Must admit when we covered the law on sexual offences, the silence was deafening when it came to seminar participation - a lot of the students seemed to be too embarrassed to speak .

whiskeyandbeer Mon 20-Aug-07 14:23:42

our lecturer was a bit of a jack the lad as he sees the lecture theatre as his domain so a few of us just wanted to show he couldn't embarress or bully us into blushing and got quite involved during the debates etc.

bookwormtailmum Mon 20-Aug-07 14:29:44

It was rather odd - maybe they hadn't done the reading or seminar work first! This was in 2003 when the SOA was amended so I found it interesting as we were actively being encouraged to debate the changes in the law instead of just learning it by rote.

TartWithAHeart Mon 20-Aug-07 15:12:15

What DH said was tongue in cheek of course. INteresting though to read about what each party is legally entitled to in marriage. Another hypothetical question we posed each other during an evening's wine drinking - if either of us won the lottery do we have to share it with the other?

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