Duty Sex 2

Reader:  In “Women’s Infidelity I” by Michelle Langley, she uses the analogy of receiving a proctologic exam for how a woman feels being entered when she’s not aroused. It’s a necessary evil and you want it to be over. If you were forced to undergo it frequently purely because the doctor enjoyed doing it to you, that wouldn’t increase your comfort with the experience; it’d feel like a violation, with the discomfort escalating into full-blown dread and revulsion. On top of that, repeated encounters that result in an orgasm (dopamine/oxytocin release) for the man but not for the woman lead to a one-way emotional bond. The husband becomes progressively more bonded while the wife becomes more indifferent/repulsed.   This seems to speak directly against the “fitness/practice” idea. What do you think?

Athol:  Maybe I’m just getting older and more comfortable with my body, but I’ve had one ass doctor appointment and I think for about three seconds during the visit I turned gay. Maybe it was just a good doctor, I dunno. I’m not drawing doodles around any future appointment dates in my calendar or anything. I’m just saying it wasn’t traumatic.

Anyway… I’m not implying one should leap at the chance for forcing you way into a dry vagina that would rather take a nap. If your wife is offering duty sex, it’s something she’s offering. If she doesn’t want sex she shouldn’t have it. I’m not about forcing women to do anything in bed they don’t want to do. Don’t confuse being dominant, rough, wild or kinky with being forced/non-consensual. I outweigh Jennifer by about seventy pounds and have about three times her strength. If I used my clear physical advantage to gain sex without her consent, she would have left me long ago and I’d be behind bars.

You’re just not going to go from a sexless marriage to a thundering hot sex life without a progression involved. Not every night is going to make the Hightlight Reel. By definition, half of the sex you’ll have in your marriage is going to be below average. The nights of duty sex are obviously going to be below average nights. I’m just saying you should accept them and make the best of it. Don’t throw a hissy fit because she offered you half a loaf of bread because it’s not a whole loaf of bread. You’re trying to create a positive pattern of interaction together. Turning her down when she’s trying to meet you halfway isn’t going to get you what you want over the long term.

Seriously, what’s the difference between a handjob, blowjob or vaginal sex where the wife is doing it for the purpose of pleasing her husband, while not seeking copious pleasure for herself? If she wants to get you off and doesn’t want a penis in her vagina, there are multiple other ways to make that happen. If she’s consensually letting a penis in her vagina, she shouldn’t bitch about being violated or it being a necessary evil.

There’s a difference between her offering sex where she’s not that turned on in the moment, and her hating you with her vagina. Which I’ll get to in tomorrows post.

Jennifer: Yeah, that was TOTALLY not what I meant by “duty sex”.  (okay, so “duty” does sound negative.  Don’t know what else to call it though) For me “duty sex” is not “geez would you get off me already, I just want this to be over” sex.  If that was how I felt, I would not be having sex that night at all…that’s just not fair to either of you.  Just say no and all that.  If you are truly not in the mood then you are truly not in the mood, but if you’re just not touchy feely that night, or are tired and not up for a “we have a winner!” night, then how about a hand job, or lube up and a quickie.  Don’t do it if you are going to be viewing it as “a necessary evil”.  Do it if you are bonded to your husband, enjoy making him happy, and enjoy touching him even if you are not in the mood to be touched that night.

Comments

  1. I really like Jennifer.

  2. “On top of that, repeated encounters that result in an orgasm (dopamine/oxytocin release) for the man but not for the woman lead to a one-way emotional bond. The husband becomes progressively more bonded while the wife becomes more indifferent/repulsed.”

    This I disagree with, regardless of what the science looks like on paper. If husbands were having such a wonderful bonding time during duty sex, while their wives felt repulsed by the act, you wouldn’t have s-o-o-o-o many men coming online saying they are going crazy from their wives’ lack of response during sex.

  3. “On top of that, repeated encounters that result in an orgasm (dopamine/oxytocin release) for the man but not for the woman lead to a one-way emotional bond. The husband becomes progressively more bonded while the wife becomes more indifferent/repulsed.”

    Like Mark above, I also disagree with this. Athol and many other game bloggers have pointed out before that the trait most men find the most sexy in a woman is… that the woman is “in” to the man. There are few things that will more turn off the emotional bond and turn sex into a rote, mechanical act than repeatedly having to do it with a woman who is just not there, or worse, treats sex like a burden or otherwise distasteful experience that she is being forced/coerced to endure by the evil patriarch.

    I strongly suspect that the reader sending the post subject comment is a woman who does not understand this.

  4. Agree with Mark. Duty Sex takes care of my physiological needs. Doesn’t do anything for my emotional needs.

  5. I think there may be a distinction to be made between duty sex and guilt sex. There is a fine line sometimes but Reader seems to be talking about what I would term guilt sex. The wife complies because she knows that if she does not she will be punished with a sullen, brooding, grumpy husband. He won’t tell her what she did wrong until she keeps pushing to get him to speak up. Meanwhile, the silence between them is filled with recrimination and guilt. So sometimes she chooses to have the sex because there are times when it is just easier to cry silently in the dark than to experience days on end of the cold shoulder. Duty sex, therefore, is done to preserve the spouse’s happiness and guilt sex is done out of self-preservation.

  6. Floridaguy says:

    Rather then Duty Sex it’s more of Maintenance Sex. The word duty implies a rigidity of responsibility where maintenance is more of good practice. Just a suggestion.

  7. Duty sex #1, she’s tired or not in the mood but happy and willing to get him off, is supposed to be an occasional thing, not the norm. Duty sex #2, please hurry up and get off me, is her response to something else going on in the relationship.

    I agree with Mark and Rico. It’s not a bonding experience for men dealing with constant dusty sex #1. And for a man accepting duty sex #2, or any kind of regular sex where she wants no sexual pleasure from him, I think it says he’s not interested in making things different pretty clearly.

  8. There have been suggestions that if you are too tired or uninterested in vaginal sex that the substitution of a HJ or BJ could be done and done cheerfully because you want to meet your husband’s needs. However, if things are already in bad shape in the marriage it’s less likely you even want to do that for him. If things are going well you still might be too tired to do even that and he is not going to understand that since he wants to get off one way or another.
    My husband didn’t want to have sex often (intercourse) and when he did I was pushed (long explanation) to “reward” him with BJs and HJs on any subsequent times he might feel horny (reward him with what he preferred,for doing me the “favor” of having intercourse). He was doing duty intercourse with me but he obviously preferred something else if he even got to feeling sexual. Also, when I went ahead with this he took a very long time to come. It could be up to 30min or more and I was just as exhausted as if I had gone ahead and had intercourse. I am amazed at the postings that indicate a quick come in these situations. So naive I didn’t know that could happen.
    I finally got the message that after a number of years this and other things were not going to improve and that he was most likely not into me. Unfortunately, I have been left with a remnant of dislike for doing HJs and BJs because they were connected to lack of subsequent intercourse or were a substitute for it by his choice not mine. I was not even allowed to do those as foreplay leading to intercourse even if I wanted that badly. It had to be these prolonged sessions just for him . With a high sex drive and an appetite for intercourse especially, I felt starved most of the time and that the sexual balance was always in him coming and coming primarily with HJs and BJs.
    Wonder if now I can ever do this with a good attitude for another man if one ever becomes part of my life.

  9. I have a slightly diferent take on this: in my marriage I take the responsibility for getting my wife turned on enough to want to have sex with me, and if I fail at it then I go without sex. Now, I am lucky in this endeavor in that my wife is usually (certainly not always) responsive to my attempts at seducing her. To me, “duty sex” would involve me trying to seduce her and her responding with some version of, “What you’re doing really isn’t working but since you want it so bad, go ahead.” If what I’m doing isn’t working, then I have failed, and I don’t expect to be rewarded with sex. Sometimes that means I go without sex for a day or two until her mood changes or until I figure out a seduction method that works… but that’s sort of part of the fun for me. I enjoy the chase, and getting to chase my wife keeps me interested in her and less interested in other women. Begging for sex (and at the end of the day isn’t that really how one gets “duty sex”?) doesn’t make me feel like a succesful husband.

    I can’t read her mind so it is impossible to say if she ever has duty sex with me or not, but if she does she never lets me know, and I suppose that’s the key.

  10. Eric ~ When you say you attempt to seduce your wife, do you mean you engage in actions or conversaion that aren’t necessarily sexual in nature, or you do sexual things to interest her, or is it a little of both?

    Making duty sex work is him not knowing you’re having duty sex. I know women who absolutely will not engage in what I call service sex.

  11. “And for a man accepting duty sex #2, or any kind of regular sex where she wants no sexual pleasure from him, I think it says he’s not interested in making things different pretty clearly.”

    Nah, sometimes men are just clueless as to how to change things for the better—or that there is even a possibility of change! After all, so much in the media shows men as incompetent morons who are lucky to get anything from women, so why should real life be any different? And don’t get me started on marriage books! Basically, the advice just boils down to, “Be nicer and maybe she’ll put out”. “Do the dishes and cuddle without expectations every now and then”. Meh.

    Sites like this one (and this is pretty much a unique site in several ways) exist because men don’t know what the hell to do when faced with women who give out any kind of not-into-it sex. It confuzzles us.

  12. “…do you mean you engage in actions or conversaion that aren’t necessarily sexual in nature, or you do sexual things to interest her, or is it a little of both?”

    A little of both, but mostly what I mean is that if I feel like having sex then I engage in flirting, touching, teasing behavior designed to get my wife in a receptive and enthusiastic state of mind… or as I call it, “getting her fraught with horn”. I’m usually pretty good at it, but the truth is sometimes it doesn’t work and she shuts me down if she’s not in the mood. I think that is healthy, because the uncertainty factor of whether or not my advances are going to work keep the dance from becoming rote. I think over the long run our marriage benefits more from me coming up with a new plan to seduce her (maybe tomorrow, maybe this weekend, maybe next week) than if she were to throw me a pity fuck when I have failed to get her excited.

    And yes, sometimes my wife is the sexual instigator and seducer, but more often it is me.

  13. Then again, for a guy to stay in that duty sex #2 situation long-term, it doesn’t speak highly of his motivation at all. I agree with that for sure.

  14. ” Just say no and all that. If you are truly not in the mood then you are truly not in the mood, but if you’re just not touchy feely that night, or are tired and not up for a “we have a winner!” night, then how about a hand job, or lube up and a quickie.”

    That sounds great in theory, and I hope all the women reading this will take it to heart: don’t do anything you’re not in the mood for. Seems simple. Of course. Duh! (-:

    Speaking from the point of view of the man in the relationship, though, I feel like maybe I’m having trouble striking the right balance between Alpha making-my-needs-known and Beta keeping-her-feelings-in-mind. If I’m coming on to my lady all sexual-like, sending clear signals that I’m down to get down tonight, a typical response I might get is, “Are you saying you want to have sex?”

    Boy, talk about room for interpretation. As a Dumb Clueless Guy(TM), I don’t know whether that means, “Are you saying you want to have sex, because that sounds good to me!” or “Are you saying you want to have sex? I guess I’ll put up with that.” or “Are you saying you want to have sex, because that is NOT going to work out well tonight.”

    In my olden pre-MMSL days, my response would have been something like, “I don’t know, do you want to?” or “We don’t have to if you’re not up for it,” or something similarly over-Beta and generally pussified. Now that I’m running the MAP and trying to up my Alpha and be more confident in general, I’m more likely to answer with a simple, “Yes.”

    Yay for more Alpha points, but boo for the fact that this means that sometimes, I honestly don’t know whether this is going to be any good for either of us until I’m already inside and can see her reaction for myself.

    (For the record, wetness or lack thereof doesn’t seem to be as good a predictor in our case as one would think: I’ve had times when she’s practically dripping but still can’t orgasm / complains of discomfort, and other times when she’s dry as a bone and winds up having screaming orgasms after three generously-lubed-up thrusts.)

    I’ve talked to her about this and told her that she needs to be more clear about communicating exactly what she’s up for and what she’s not, and she says that she often doesn’t know if it’ll be any good or not until I’m inside her either, and that she finds it just as frustrating as I do. I’ve also told her that she needs to be willing to tell me to stop if what I’m doing is causing her discomfort and trust that I’m not going to get mad about it, but she’s never once done so.

    So yeah. On the one hand, I know exactly the sort of problems it causes for me to try to play a bunch of guessing games about what she wants/needs instead of just communicating what I want and trusting her to take care of her end. On the other hand, I am finding myself rather underprepared for dealing with the problems that come up when I do the latter.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Half the time, after I’ve given him a handjob or blowjob just to make him happy, I get so turned on by what’s happening that I end up really wanting to have sex, even if I didn’t want it originally.

  16. @ Eric — Where you are is where some of us are trying to get.

    Pre-MAP, my wife was un-seducible. Certainly by me, perhaps by any guy less than a 10. The ongoing changes are partly about her figuring out what she wants, and realizing that she has to decide, then live with her decision. Day by day, she had been choosing a no-intimacy co-op relationship focused on child-raising and finances. When we argue — or, lately, talk — about this, she claims she does want more than that. I take her at her word: it’s that (a) she’s no longer attracted to me, and (b) she doesn’t have the skills to get from here to there.

    While she’s physically receptive to sex, she’s “not great in bed” — in that she tolerates rather than enjoys being together. Partly I think it’s being so out of practice, partly it’s lack of attraction, partly it’s not-so-hidden resentments. That I don’t make enough money [it’s high five figures], that I’m not home for an early dinner every night [that job], etc.

    So I’ve changed my view on “duty sex.” I like it better than the alternative on offer (a drought). More than that, I want her back in the saddle more often, looking towards the time when she can re-learn how to enjoy the experience. Meanwhile, I’m working on that “attractiveness” issue. As a recovering Nice Guy, that means more Alpha and dialing back the Beta.

    Seems like a fair number of Athol’s male readers are in a similar place.

  17. Mark ~ My situation is a little different. Our duty sex is because of lack of attraction on my part due to specific things happening in the relationship outside the bedroom. I don’t expect him to be a mind reader and have no trouble telling him possible ways to change our dynamic. I will send vibes that I don’t want to be approached for sex, but if he asks, I almost always say yes.

    Ben ~ Perhaps you and your wife could agree to trust exactly what each one of you says with no second guessing. If it’s not clear until you’re already into it, once you realize it you can decide to stop without asking her. I would see that as an alpha move. If you’re not sure ask her and if she says she is okay, then trust what she says. This goes against the thoughts of ‘if what is done is different than what is said, believe what is done’. In this case, maybe if you suspend non-verbal communication and trust what she says, and mean what you say, you can get past this. If later she insists you should have known even though she said something to the contrary, calmly yet firmly put the responsibility back in her lap because she didn’t mean what she said and that undermines your ability to communicate effectively as a couple. Besides, she agreed previously to be honest in her words so you could trust what she said.

  18. Red –

    “Our duty sex is because of lack of attraction on my part . . . [I] have no trouble telling him possible ways to change our dynamic. I will send vibes that I don’t want to be approached for sex . . .”

    So, you’re not entirely happy with him? Stuff he’s doing or isn’t doing isn’t quite right?

    I don’t know any guy, other than totally insecure dweebs, who want sex with a woman who isn’t happy with him. It feels demeaning. Sex in that situation makes you feel like less of a man, rather than more of one. It’s like borrowing money from someone who doesn’t like you and uses it as leverage against you. When I felt like my wife was unhappy with who I was as a person it ripped apart our sex lives for a long time.

  19. Sorry, I don’t want to just end on a critical note. The solution is to encourage him and build him up. It’s your choice as to whether or not you want to do it, but absolutely nothing else will work over the long term.

  20. There’s nothing less sexy to a guy than being nagged. There is pretty much every kind of porn out there for every kind of fetish, but—although I have not actually researched this—I’ve never heard of “nagging wife porn”. That’s a clue with how much guys like it, because there is porn for pretty much everything else.

  21. I need some help someone. I’m drowning in this sea of unknowing torrent. I’ve just recently taken the red pill, to be honest my wife never has had much sex with me and we are just on our 10th month of marriage. I get it once a month if not every 2 months. I am doing the map and am seeing some gradual process (when she doesn’t get mad at me or call me an asshole) my favorite is when she says im just acting like her old boyfriends. Anyway our whole relationship she was ok with the fact that she wasn’t going to be able to have kids, it didn’t stop her from eating, breathing, and sleeping babies, because she does. She will get on Facebook and look at all of her friends and their new babies and get into a deep depression, which needless to say fucks my shit up. Going back to my original story, she just recently found out that she can have kids and is seeing a fertility specialist. Herein lies my dilemma, She flat out told me she would have as much sex as it takes to have a baby with me, but i want to have sex out of our desire for each other and not just for offspring. So if the MAP works, how do i know its working when she is having sex with me for a baby? How do i know that after the baby my improvement will cause an increase in desire from her? I don’t want a baby and be in a marriage where im not desired and am getting drip fed sex. Do i divorce now before the map has been really tried? do i take a chance and have a kid? HELP!!!

  22. mgwk,

    That is a great point. I’ve often felt like I benefit from Athol’s advice coming from the other end of it: I can be too Alpha, insincere, and selfish in my marriage to the point of disconnecting the emotional attachment my wife craves… I find myself focusing on being more studiously Beta, and our relationship has prospered from it. It is a delicate balance.

    I also sometimes find myself distanced from Athol’s perspective on the basis of his and Jennifer’s libidos being much higher and more consistant than mine and my wife’s. I’d say we average sex once or twice a week, but that doesn’t really tell the story: our sex life for 16 years has followed a loose pattern of “two weeks on and two weeks off”. It does not bother me too much to experience a drought of sex, because I know from experience that it won’t last too long and that when we get back in synch there will be a feast.

    Also, as odd as it sounds, I have found that occasional “short” sexual droughts give me a sort of edge that makes me feel more energetic, sharper, and vibrant… and over the years I have learned to focus that energy to productive use.

  23. Mark – He says he’ll do something and then doesn’t. It’s not like he changes his mind and decides not do it, he just “forgets”. He is completely disorganized and is terrible at logistics. What makes it worse is he doesn’t use any of the tools at his disposal to keep up with anything. And when he does remember to do something, he acts like the one time of remembering out of the last 20 times of forgetting is supposed to make me tremble with excitement that he is changing and/or want to have sex. When he accepts the unacceptable, from me and from our relationship, well…it’s hard to respect him. Feels like a lot of bullshit for some mediocre sex.

    What makes it even worse is that we work together every day in our own business and he does the same things at work that he does at home. When he is inattentive to things at home or with me personally it’s one thing, but I have a hard time not going ballistic when he is inattentive to matters at work. His lack of organization hurts us at work when at home it is only an inconvenience and irritating.

    We are so not in a good place and I simply can’t understand how or why he is willing to live like this.

  24. horseman says:

    @mgwk
    Day by day, she had been choosing a no-intimacy co-op relationship focused on child-raising and finances. 
    that says it all. how many couples resort to this. if there is no emotional bond then you are coparents sharing the finances and child.rearing. honourable but not a relationship.
    marriage is an emotional union. otherwise what is faithful about. its FAITH in thw other.
    if that is fone tell your partner point blank we will be friends, parents, room mates but that is it. I am looking elsewhere for my emotional needs. either in the union or without. then you have nothing to feel guilty about. its their choice and you can stop.wasting time on futility.
    after all if emotional.needs are met very few of us would cheat for sex. but how many affairs are to fill an emotional gap.
    this is the stage red and others are in. their mates have made it clear they are comfortable as platonic and thier SO is not worth the effort to change. so then they wont be surprised when the other comes along. not pretty but honest.
    and im not talking the mild disinterest. this is hard core years of no interest to get to this point. in those cases the map may not work as the SO doesnt want ANY relationship emotionally. So buck up, improve yourself for the eventual other and live for you as best you can.
    in the immortal words of Wash “curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!”

  25. Red –

    It sounds like a personality thing. You are initially attracted because your differences complement one another, then over time your differences drive each other nuts. ;)

    I’m also very disorganized. And I don’t even see mess at home. It just doesn’t register at all. My wife will ask, “Why don’t you pick that up instead of stepping over it?” And I’ll reply, “Stepping over what? Oh.” Despite this, and other flaws, I’ve become exceptionally successful in business, because I’ve capitalized on my strengths and brought in other people to do things that I am weak in. It’s just silly to spend all your time on stuff you are not good at. Even when you succeed you don’t feel fulfilled, because it doesn’t reflect what is important to you on a personal level.

    I’m also terrible with rules. I’m really bad with them and always have been. Sometimes that is a good thing and I come up with ideas that won’t occur to anyone else (my ideas changed my entire industry, worldwide). Other times it’s a burden (I had my license suspended for speeding). The thing is, it’s almost impossible to change engrained personality traits. It’s frustrating and it almost never sticks. Of course, that doesn’t mean I should cast of all restraints and run naked down the streets. What it means is that I need to find ways to motivate myself that are natural to me. I can’t simply tell myself, “I like rules! I like rules! I like rules!” I have to find things that motivate me to do what I need to do in areas I’m not good at. And in other areas, we compromise. In business I’ll never be an accountant. I hate bookwork. I could spend all my time making myself improve, but why should I? Then I wouldn’t be spending my time on things I excel at.

    It’s the same in relationships. I am surrounded by people who are the polar opposites in personality to me. My wife is an introvert who does everything by the book. All my family are like this, pretty much. Nearly all my friends, too. Over the years many of them have tried to “correct” me and it’s always been awkward and failed. Always, always, always. I’m not like them and I shouldn’t have to be.

    With your husband, you need to encourage his strengths. Find ways to cope with his weaknesses other than expecting for him to change who he is. That’s simply not fair and it won’t work. Of course, certain improvements in behaviour and such are quite reasonable. But you have to be able to accept him for who he is. Refining what’s there is expected. Changing him is not.

    Of course, this goes for you, too. I don’t think you need a complete personality overhaul, either. Capitalize on your strengths and find ways around your weaknesses. Stop hitting them head-on and expecting them to completely change. House is messy? Hire a cleaner. Bookwork sucks? Hire an accountant.

    If you want to stop butting heads in this area I would read some personality books, like Personality Plus and Please Understand Me II.

  26. horseman says:

    remember the SAS motto “deeds not words”. anyone will say anything to get out of trouvle or avoid conflict.
    its what they do when they can do what they want that tells you.

    q1. whatWould you do if you Could?
    q2 whar Would you do if you had to?
    q3 what Wouldn’t you do if you could.

    answer those and you have a person’s innermost motivations.

  27. FeralFelis says:

    Mark-
    I have always believed that in business and relationships, personality and skill differences are to be celebrated and respected, and even as they make working together more difficult, they also make the whole better than the sum of the parts. Thanks for the book recomendations.
    Horseman-
    SAS? Special Air Service?
    And, from whence do those questions come?

  28. @Red:

    “Perhaps you and your wife could agree to trust exactly what each one of you says with no second guessing.”

    That’s what we’ve been trying to work toward, but it has been a difficult process with a lot of backsliding.

    “If it’s not clear until you’re already into it, once you realize it you can decide to stop without asking her. I would see that as an alpha move. If you’re not sure ask her and if she says she is okay, then trust what she says. This goes against the thoughts of ‘if what is done is different than what is said, believe what is done’. In this case, maybe if you suspend non-verbal communication and trust what she says, and mean what you say, you can get past this. If later she insists you should have known even though she said something to the contrary, calmly yet firmly put the responsibility back in her lap because she didn’t mean what she said and that undermines your ability to communicate effectively as a couple. Besides, she agreed previously to be honest in her words so you could trust what she said.”

    The thing is, going by what she says, or asking what she wants and then going by that, has consistently proven to not work. There are times when she’ll give me the limitations of what’s going to happen tonight up front (“I’m happy to fool around with you, but I’m really not up for intercourse.”), and when that happens it’s just fine. I maybe don’t get 100% of what I was hoping for, but just knowing I’m not going to get to 100% helps me adjust my expectations so I can be happy with what I do get. I try to encourage this behavior as much as possible.

    If we get to the point where sexual things are actually happening without her setting that limitation, though, no matter what I do I can’t get any useful feedback from her. If I tell her I want to fuck, she always says yes. If I ask her, “I want to fuck, is that okay?” she always says yes. If I ask her “does this feel okay?” “You seem uncomfortable, do you want me to stop?” etc. she will always, ALWAYS, say, “No, you’re already in, just go ahead and finish,” even when she’s obviously experiencing discomfort. I’ve tried phrasing it in the form of giving her options: “I want to fuck you tonight, but if that’s not going to work out, let’s just hold each other and you can finish me with your hands,” and I always get, “Whichever you want.” It’s frankly pretty frustrating.

    She never throws it back in my face or blames me when sex is uncomfortable for her– if anything, she sometimes seems to blame herself for not being able to give me the sex I want (or give herself the sex that she wants, for that matter). She does sometimes say that she can get to feeling resentful of me when I’m able to enjoy sex and she’s not, but she tries not to because she knows it’s not my fault.

  29. “If it’s not clear until you’re already into it, once you realize it you can decide to stop without asking her. I would see that as an alpha move.”

    This is about the only approach I haven’t tried, and I would love to get more opinions on it, especially from the women in the audience. In your personal view, is this a strong Alpha move (being Captain, making decisions for both of you while taking her wants and needs into account as well as your own) or is this a rejection (“what the hell, I offer him my body and he pulls out the second I show anything less than total eagerness”)?

  30. Wow this topic is hot!

    mgwk – is there anyway you can free up some time to have some FUN with your wife? Bring back some levity regularly and start creating a real bond again? go on vacation just the 2 of you? Find a way to get home from work earlier (even if that ment a pay cut?) It sounds a bit like your relationship has become kind of all business and no pleasure?

    Ben – “are you saying you want sex tonight” I’ve said that same line in both my relationships. ex-husband “I don’t know, what do you want” which I later learned ment “yes, but I want you to initiate and be on top;” current husband: “hell yes I want sex! How could I not want sex when you’re strutting around in those heels/low cut top/tight jeans/with your hair up/whatever; don’t tell me you don’t want it when you look like that?! damn, I can barely keep my hands off you!” In the time it takes him to say that, I’ve started smiling and thinking about sex…done deal, I’ve never said no…

    Red – sorry about your situation. I’m guessing your hubby’s disorganization was probably something that was really fun in the begining and not so fun when life started getting harder? Is there anything you can do to reduce your own stress level? I’m gonna take a wild guess that running that business in a down economy is pretty crummy and maybe you have a way you could lower your bills or hire some help??

    A friend urged me to read Dr. Lara’s book “the proper care and feeding of husbands” a couple years ago, now I really don’t care for that woman, but I read the book anyway cause my friend bought it for me and put it on my nightstand promising “if you start it and hate it, you can just stop reading” (she had just been through a divorce..) anyway, I don’t remember a TON about the book except for one technique that she recomended – “if your husband isn’t getting something done, hire another man to do your husband’s chores” I know you men probably wont like to hear this, but it frickin WORKS! After I set up an appointment and told him about it, I get “I was gonna take care of that, i just haven’t gotten to it” “i know you’re busy, but it’s important to me that it get done, so I’m making that happen” (not angry at all, just mater of fact..cause I’m HELPING him…) then “no no, i’ll do it this week” “ok, I’ll move the appointment back to next week, if it’s not done by then, then I’m gonna have the guy come” and then sure enough, he gets to it…or occasionally, he doesnt and it gets done anyway…I’m happy either way…

    Mark – hiring out the responsiblilites…sometimes this works, sometimes it doesnt…It CAN reduce workload and make people happy, the other side of things is watching a sexy 20 year old take care of all those home improvement things that you husband won’t do…

  31. Ben – is she orgasming? Are you going down on her? Do you know what turns her on? Watch porn together before hand? Go out and pretend you don’t know each other and pick her up? your enthusiasm? Does she masturbate? If so, take those techniques and work them into your own routines. If intercourse itself is painful (my sister actually has somethign like that because of unussual anatomy), can you work towards a positive associatation with sex that doesnt involve intercourse? If she’s always in pain and never getting off – um, why WOULD you like sex?! It honestly sounds like she WANTS things to be better, but her body’s not cooperating? ED in men would be the flip side of this…Is this an issue that will go away or is it something she’ll be doing for life?

  32. I personally would advise against the “stopping”…that has some hard emotional consiquences…I’ve been through a VERSION of that where some neccessary meds = ED and although the ED issue was totally manageable from my perspective, when he would get frustrated and just “give up” durring sex, that was the only time that I found myself in actually sobbing tears about the state of our sex life…it wasn’t the ED at all, but the feeling of complete rejection that if things weren’t going to go EXACTLY as planned then it wasn’t worth doing at all…a really really hard time emotionally there….

  33. FlyingDutchman says:

    The problem is most women don’t want their man asking them if they want to have sex. This is Beta, Beta, Beta. Total turn off. It is for my SO. An Alpha assumes attraction and acts accordingly. If she resists, then you playfully tease and try and overcome her resistance (funny and cocky or goofy and groping as Athol describes). If, however, she really isn’t going to budge then you must play it cool and go about your business. Which if done right, she will wonder what’s up and feel dissappointed at some level that she didn’t go for it. Basically, you must have the mindset that sex is a reward for her, not for you. If she doesn’t want it, you’ll find something more interesting to do. Yes, this is very hard to do when you have a high sex drive and she is struggling with hers. The only way I can do this and not feel rejected is to decide in my mind in advance that I can take it or leave it and that it will really be her loss if she doesn’t end up wanting it. In the movies, the Alpha guy would, just move right on without any concern and start up with the next girl that comes along, and the girl who just passed up his advances would be running back after him. In an LTR, well you can’t just run onto the next girl, so this is one thing that makes an LTR challenging on the sexual attraction front. But you have to have this mind set (frame) to generate attraction in your wife.

  34. horseman says:

    feral
    pysch class in school then us in hiring.
    the assumptions about the framework of the question tells you the topic of importance in their life.
    the restrictor (could) is their fear or uncontrolled aapect and the answer is the driver.
    eg i would quit if i could. work is the topic. money dependency is the restrictor.
    eg.

  35. AnonymousAB says:

    I’m also very disorganized. And I don’t even see mess at home. It just doesn’t register at all. My wife will ask, “Why don’t you pick that up instead of stepping over it?” And I’ll reply, “Stepping over what? Oh.”

    OMG thank you for your honesty. It’s good to know my hubby is not the only one. You guys really dont register it. Amazing. You know what. It makes me feel better that you guys are not doing it on purpose. Now, what i would like to know is how to raise my sons so that their brain does register, and so that they grow ip with a nice Alpha/beta balance.

    This discussion thread is fascinating!

    @Eric::
    I dont know when i am gonna come from intercourse either. I am not a surfer, but i seee that even good surfers miss great waves and get painfully wiped out no matter their skill or desire to catch the wave. For a woman, feeling that the husband’s feelins will get hurt due to her lack of orgasm during intercorse is an incredible amount of pressure. All women are different, and I am only speaking for myself, but i have had really great intercourse where I still needed it to be finished off with fingering. Sometimes clit attention is the only thing that will do it for me. Also I dont love talking at length about “comunicating my needs.” That can create “performance pressure” as well. Again, I am only speaking for me, I can’t know how other women like it or dot like it. But direct sex talk is hard to ignore. So hearing him say what he wants to do to me, for me works better than asking me what I like. But I am also outspoken enough to speak up if he mentions something that is just not gonna happen for me.

    Anyways, I am enjoying the discussion. Thanks everyone!

  36. anonandon says:

    There’s nothing wrong with duty sex! I tend to give more duty blowjobs because I find duty sex a bit more physically uncomfortable, but still — think of it as a backrub. It’s something she’s doing to be close to you, because she knows you need it, and because she loves you and wants to see you happy / satisfied.

    The kind of sex that’s described in the italics at the beginning of the post also exists, however. It’s the kind of duty sex that a woman will give up after her man has whined / bitched / browbeat his way into sex with her. And yes, it feels like a violation, and yes, it *will* make her hate him. So why would a woman subject herself to that? Because, well, she feels like it’s her duty — she’s just so wildly turned off by the man she’s with that it’s dry as the sahara down there, and really, no amount of lube can make that level of disinterest feel good.

    So there’s a distinction. There’s “just stick it in and shut up, you crybaby” duty sex, and there’s “I love you but am not feeling like having a raging, pillow-biting orgasm tonight; why don’t you just git ‘er done and we can go to sleep?” duty sex. Which one is wifey offering you? That depends on the state of your relationship, whether or not there are massive structural problems, whether or not she’s open to having those pillow-biters at other times, whether or not she sees you as the Alpha Captain . . . Athol can speak more to those dynamics than I can.

  37. @Jane:

    ” If she’s always in pain and never getting off – um, why WOULD you like sex?! It honestly sounds like she WANTS things to be better, but her body’s not cooperating?”

    That’s exactly what it is. It used to be a much larger issue where intercourse was almost never pleasant for her, and as a result we gave up on it entirely for between six months and a year and only gradually reintroduced it into our sex life. (She’s been to the gynecologist about this, doctors have been pretty useless when it comes to getting to the bottom of it. Don’t know if it’s physical or psychological or both.)

    Since reintroducing intercourse (this was about five years ago at this point), sex has been pretty great most of the time. If I’m making it sound like intercourse is always very painful for her, it’s not. It’s usually very good, occasionally slightly uncomfortable, and only very rarely actually painful.

    As for “always in pain and never getting off,” part of the problem is that these things are not mutually exclusive. Sometimes it’s purely painful and not pleasant at all. Sometimes it starts out slightly painful, and then she works past it and it’s good. Sometimes it’s painful at the exact same time she’s having an orgasm, which sounds like the most confusing feeling in the world to have to deal with.

    The issue is that, like I said, sex was pretty great. Back-arching, sheet-grabbing, mutual simultaneous orgasm more often than not great. But it wasn’t frequent enough for my liking, because I was letting her be the one to initiate specifically because I didn’t want to push for it for fear it would be uncomfortable for her. It eventually came out that she wasn’t happy being the initiater all the time either and wanted me to step up and be the Alpha in the bedroom (to use the common parlance around here, not her words). It was in reaction to this that I did the research that eventually led me here.

    Since upping my Alpha game and initiating sex more often, we’ve wound up having sex (in the sense of “a sexual encounter involving the shedding of clothes and at least one orgasm”) around twice as often. But of that increase, only about half has been awesome sex of the style to which I’ve become accustomed, and the rest has been either one-sided handjobs or BJs (generally freely given and always much-appreciated) or else duty sex accompanied by a greater or lesser amount of discomfort on her part.

    So if I come across as negative about our sex life in these comments, I’m really not. Generally speaking, things were already pretty okay for us pre-MMSL (excellent quality sex at low but acceptable quantity). And they’re still pretty okay most of the time, but we’ve traded one down side (low frequency of sex) for another (occasional bad/uncomfortable sex). So what I’m looking for are ways to reduce or eliminate the frequency of the bad/uncomfortable sex without reducing the overall sex frequency, and/or deal with the bad/uncomfortable sex when it does happen despite our best efforts.

  38. FeralFelis –

    “I have always believed that in business and relationships, personality and skill differences are to be celebrated and respected, and even as they make working together more difficult, they also make the whole better than the sum of the parts. Thanks for the book recommendations.”

    Well said. And you’re welcome.

  39. AnonymousAB says:

    BEN:
    “sex has been pretty great most of the time. If I’m making it sound like intercourse is always very painful for her, it’s not. It’s usually very good, occasionally slightly uncomfortable, and only very rarely actually painful.”

    Dont know if this would apply to her or not, but since my last pregnancy 3 years ago, something did change up in there for me, and sex doggie style can be uncomfortable if he really rams it in hard (which I used to enjoy before and never bothered me) so he needs to go a little gentler with the doggie these days. Its a total bummer, but it is what it is. Missionary is fine, but if he lifts my legs up straight and rams in it hard that way, yes, it feels uncomfortable that way too, and he needs to go gentler in that position. Never used to be a problem before. Spooning from behind is totally fine and he can ram it in as hard as he wants, and cowgirl is also totally fine even going hard. He can even slam me down into him by grabbing on to my hips hard and that’s not a problem.

    Very weird! but we have adapted and are still having fun. I hope it only gets better for you guys!

  40. Ben – something about your situation, or maybe your wife’s personality, evidently clicks with me, I’m not usually so talkative. Here’s my take.
    1. “Are you saying you want to have sex?” is probably a literal question. She actually wants to know if that’s what you’re getting at, so go ahead and tell her. “Yes” is a great answer.
    2. When I’m uncomfortable/in slight pain but I figure he’s close, I would much rather him finish than stop, just don’t intentionally drag it out! Look at it this way – she’s already uncomfortable, but if you finish then it was all worth it. If you pull out, it feels like failure. Just take her at her word and don’t reject what she’s trying to offer, then she’ll just feel rejected (and probably still chafed or whatever anyway).

  41. @jklm:

    One of the things I had to learn about sex after losing my V card to my lady lo these many years ago is that either the cultural emphasis on duration of intercourse as a measure of male prowess is overblown, or I’m just amazing stamina-wise, or my lady just likes it shorter in duration than most, or all three. I never intentionally try to prolong things any more, and it’s made a big difference. Typically I’ll warn her when I’m getting close so that she can try to time her orgasm (if she’s going for one) with mine and that’ll be that. Every once in a while she’ll ask me for a bit more before I finish, which I provide as best I can. And as often as not, she’ll tell me, “Go ahead and cum” when she’s ready for it instead of waiting for me to get there on my own, and I’m more than happy to provide that, too. I suppose it’s something that could be taken the wrong way if I were so inclined, but I’m not so I don’t. There’s not much that’s sexier than being told to cum (which, let’s face it, is what I’m there for anyway) by a woman, and she says it so sweetly, too.

  42. Mark ~ I’m not sure if his disorganization and hesitancy to make decisions is something that was always there or if it has developed more as the years went by. I think probably the latter. I have a problem with him saying he will do something because he never really owns it. If he says he will register the vehicles, then I have to keep mental track to check because I can’t depend on him to actually do it and I will be the one who gets a ticket when he has forgotten. So if he says he’ll do it today and I ask at dinner how it went he’ll tell me he forgot and he’ll do it tomorrow. Tomorrow I don’t ask hoping he’ll tell me it’s done, but he doesn’t say bring it up at all. The day after that I’ll ask again and he’ll tell me how busy he is and how he’ll do it tomorrow. I’ll tell him I’ll be happy to do it because he seems really busy and he insists he will take care of it. Tomorrow comes and I ask about it again and now he’s a little short tempered and accuses me of nagging. So many of our interchanges go like this. I tell him he can say no honey, I don’t have time for that, make other arrangements or take care of it yourself. What a relief that would be! But he won’t. So I hardly ask anymore and just do it myself. Then resentment creeps in.

    “Despite this, and other flaws, I’ve become exceptionally successful in business, because I’ve capitalized on my strengths and brought in other people to do things that I am weak in. It’s just silly to spend all your time on stuff you are not good at.”

    This makes perfect sense. I happen to be very organized, have an excellent memory, and am great at logistics. Where he is weak, I am strong. Where I am weak, he is strong. It’s a great combination and we have so much potential business wise to be highly successful…except he won’t let me do what I do best in our business even though he suspects it is holding us back. It’s so frustrating.

    “With your husband, you need to encourage his strengths. Find ways to cope with his weaknesses other than expecting for him to change who he is…Of course, certain improvements in behavior and such are quite reasonable. But you have to be able to accept him for who he is. Refining what’s there is expected. Changing him is not.”

    I have had this same thought. It is what prompted the question of when one asks for change, when is it self-improvement and when is it not loving them for who they are? I sometimes think we just don’t fit anymore. How do I encourage his strengths? I’ve really tried to not say things in a negative way or speak in an ugly tone. I feel so much like the adult in the house able to be responsible for things. I am so tired of his inability/unwillingness to make a decision about anything.

    Jane ~ I can’t say his disorganization was ever fun, just more easily tolerated. The business has been terrible for our marriage. The economy the last couple years has impacted us…we’re a discretionary income type of business, and me not working there isn’t an option yet. I’m moving that direction as quickly as possible though. I read that book twice and I’ve used a few of her examples. It produces short term change but nothing lasting.

  43. Red – any posibility your husband is depressed? Often with clinical or subclinical depression, the person ends up kind of spinning thier wheels and paralized about starting anything. Could that be the case? Another thing – has his testosterone been checked? and maybe thyroid function? Those things can cause the lack of “get up and go” in men…My own guy has had trouble with the procrastiation thing in the past and when that coupled with low T – i ended up feeling like the parent at the end of my rope having to be responsible for everything. It was aweful and I hate to say it, but progress came gradually after a series of tearful breakdowns where I told him in no uncertain terms that I was completely overwhelmed by the level of responsibility I held completely alone; that I was unhappy doing the bulk of everything; and that it was hard enough taking care of myself and my own responsibilites without worrying about HIS too. What’s the point of sharing a life with someone if it’s HARDER to be together than being alone. I think the part that prompted change was truely his desire to help me. He loves me very much and it was hard to see me cry. That’s wehre the willingness came from.

    In terms of how we ACTUALLY achieved change – flylady flylady flylady. It’s a housekeeping website, but i started reading it and said to him, “I want to do this, and I want you to help me” and we started following her plan which has a heavy focus on doing SOMETHING and not procrastinating. Every task is broken down into very easy managable chunks and we started doint them TOGETHER. Truely the way a child learns. I always left a note for him about what we would be doing that evening: “today is Monday: you vacuum; I’ll mop the floor” “today is wednesday, antiprocrastination day, you pick one thing on the list and i’ll pick another” I always picked the hard things and gave him the easy ones…and over time I didn’t need to do them WITH him, he would just do them durring the day (never a task that takes more than 15 minutes!) and then I’d do mine when i got home (lots of praise when it was done!) and then more time passed and i no longer need to leave notes, he just vacuums on monday cause that’s what you do on monday..occassionally he doesnt do it and just asking “hun, can you drop off the drycleaning, errand day was yesterday and we didn’t get to it” produces imediate results. He likes doing well at something. And he is the first to brag about his own accomplishments and put down other guys who dont help around the house NOW, but I tell you for a while it was a parent child kinda thing…

  44. no help?

  45. Red –

    Hey, I really feel for you. I’ve gone through similar, though reversed, circumstances in my own marriage. My in-laws have it your way round, with the husband being what boils down to undependable and the wife—well, I don’t want to impugn you by using this word, but it describes them—being critical. I’d ask my wife to chime in, but I’m kinda scared what she’d say about me. Lol! Actually, most of the techniques for dealing with our differences come from me, because I’m more driven and she is more the type that just kinda suffers along.

    What you are doing isn’t working and what your husband is doing is also not working. I reiterate my personality book recommendations as an enormous potential help. Yes, things are broken and may have worsened over the years, but that does not mean that they’re irreparable.

    One thing I’ll quickly point out first is that asking your husband if he’s done something is not going to help either of you. It’s much better to remind him when he is in a position to immediately do something. That’s the main difference between what feels like nagging and what feels like a reminder. Sometimes notes can help, so long as he gets them when he can act on them and so long as they are in a place that relates to the task he needs to do. Giving him a daily list in the morning won’t help, because he’ll glance at it and then forget about it. Sometimes it may help to do things together, even paying bills online. Yes, this may all seem somewhat remedial, but it’s a place to start.

    You need to think of his primary motivations in life. Does he live for having fun? Does he desire relaxing and having peace and quiet? Why does he pursue the things he’s interested in? Once you know that, you can motivate him just by how you phrase things. Chances are that when you ask him to do things you are using language that reflects your own motivations. You might say, “You have to pay this bill on time or we will be fined for doing it late”, but maybe he doesn’t care that much about being on time or even about money. So he subconsciously files it as less important than other stuff he wants to do. It wouldn’t be a conscious thing, for 99% of people. You need to tie it to stuff he relates to. For instance, if he likes fun, relate it to something he finds fun.

    Also, people tend to fall into two categories by their motivations. They tend to either move towards something or away from something. Someone who moves towards things might say, “Hey, guys, we need to get this done so that we can achieve this other thing”. Someone who moves away from things might say, “Hey, guys, we need to avoid failing at this, otherwise that bad thing will happen”. See the different focus on outcomes? Knowing this can make a huge difference in how much people take in what you tell them. Tell an active, positive go-getter, “Oh, you better not do this or you might fail” and they’ll probably just dismiss you as negative, even if you’re right. But say to someone who is cautious and slow to take risks, “Oh, man, you gotta do this thing! It’s wild, man!” and they’ll probably back away with a fixed smile.

    Here’s the thing, Red, your hubby does do stuff. So he is motivated by something. Find that underlying motive that drives him and you’ll find the key to constant successful communication with him. And it wouldn’t hurt for you to know your own, too.

  46. Adam –

    It’s possible that she was uninterested in sex because of the fact that she thought she couldn’t conceive. That is a very strong negative association for women. Imagine if every time you thought about sex it brought up a very negative memory for you that just wouldn’t go away. It’s possible that she’ll get into it more now. Once you’ve had kids, she might even retain the desire, once she balances out again.

  47. Mark ~ The books are on the way. Thanks all for the advice and suggestions. I’ll be doing more thinking about my own motivations and see if I can understand his and try to phrase things in a way he’ll hear.

  48. A reader says:

    To clarify, Ms. Langley wasn’t talking about non-consensual sex; she was talking about (quote) “the feelings women experience when having sex solely to satisfy their husbands,” a pattern established early in the relationship when to secure the commitment of a “good catch” man (“strong beta profile” in your terms?) she puts out, neglecting her own needs. And if I understand her, she mostly blames it on the woman’s Rationalization Hamster and widespread social conditioning that represses her sexuality while setting up unrealistic expectations of marriage.

  49. @Red & Jane: I’ve seen quite a few women married to boys who shave. They’re basically raising an additional child, and the husband is so afraid of doing something the “wrong way” that he just waits to be told to do it. I say, Leave It. Get your own car’s registration taken care of, wash your own clothes, and let him figure it out that you’re not his mommy. If he makes a mess, just leave it.

    Some men are just completely lazy or slobs, and growing up their mother just picked up after them.

    I learned from relationships over the years that marriage is not worth entering into if it will not be an improvement over just dating someone. The question to rebut to a marriage proposal is “And why would I do that? What’s wrong with the way things are currently that we need to “fix” things with a marriage contract?”

  50. What a discussion! Red, in addition to looking into depression I would suggest looking into adult ADHD. See someone who can tell the.difference.

  51. enlightened1 says:

    Red,
    Please, please look into mental health. People with serious mental health issues slip under the radar when they are married to overachievers who handle everything. They can function on some levels and with your help “appear to function” on others. I know it sounds crazy but even people with Ph.d’s in psych. live with Bi-polar, paranoid schizophrenia and ADHD that goes undiagnosed; the old frog in boiling water phenomena.

  52. @Red: Also watch that you are not “enabling” his problems by covering for him.

    Perhaps you could explain to everyone what it is you see in him, or if you are simply wishing things were back the way they were when you were dating? If he doesn’t want to be married or a good dad, and it certainly sounds like he hates his life, then at some point you’re going to have to face it. Not everyone is thrilled about the reality of kids because they are extremely high maintenance, but of course once they’re born it’s too late. You could stand on your head and it would make no difference if the problem is that he wishes he was single and had no responsibilities for anyone other than himself.

  53. some guy says:

    @Adam
    At first blush, without knowing what a wonderful person she is otherwise, (i.e. good enough to stay with even if you never had sex with her again?), I would say, “Holy shit dude, run!”

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