Pharyngula

You’re doing it wrong

In the Department of Unfortunate Analogies, here’s a Christian minister giving advice on one’s marital obligations:

As I said, sometimes sex is just sex; it’s what you do when you are married. Just like cleaning the toilet is what you do to keep your house clean…and I bet you don’t have this great desire or huge emotional connection to scrubbing the porcelain! You do it because it needs to be done and that’s the way it is with married sex… it does need to be done! It’s the glue that God gave us to bond us to one another. The bible is very clear that it is your responsibility as a spouse.

Au contraire…if ever you’re at the point where sex is a chore like scrubbing a toilet, I think maybe it’s time to back off and think and talk and figure out what you’re doing wrong.

Unless, of course, rubber gloves, disinfectants, and getting down with a great big bristly scrubbing brush is your kink.

Comments

  1. #1 tsg
    April 27, 2010

    “If you think sex is a pain in the ass, you’re doing it wrong.”

  2. #2 Jadehawk, OM
    April 27, 2010

    way to suck the fun out of life; not only are you not allowed to have sex for fun, you are supposed to have sex that isn’t.

    yeah, no.

    though… I wonder if this is a good enough argument to legalize prostitution? because let’s face it, a LOT of people pawn off the duty of scrubbing the toilet on others, if they can afford it.

    and another thought: my philosophy to scrubbing the toilet is “the one who causes backsplash is the one cleaning the toilet himself”, so as far as I’m concerned, this is a call to masturbation :-p

  3. #3 nomen-nescio.myopenid.com
    April 27, 2010

    @tsg: if sex is a pain in the ass, use more lube, and go slower.

    there’s just no analogizing that to housecleaning, though.

  4. #4 'Tis Himself, OM
    April 27, 2010

    While his analogy is horrible and his post is poorly written, what I think Gungor is trying to say is that sometimes sex isn’t the great, earth-moving, highly emotional act it’s often portrayed as. Having been married for almost 35 years, my experience is sometimes the wife and I make love and sometimes we just screw.

  5. #5 Ol'Greg
    April 27, 2010

    “If you think sex is a pain in the ass, you’re doing it wrong.”

    Or… you need some lube.

  6. #6 Ol'Greg
    April 27, 2010

    Ack… I’m just to eager to click submit! Oh why don’t the Christians like me more then!?

    Having been married for almost 35 years, my experience is sometimes the wife and I make love and sometimes we just screw.

    But please tell me that it is still more fun than cleaning the toilet?

    You see, I hate cleaning the damned toilet. Seriously, it is so nasty because you have to use that brush and then the brush drips on the floor so you have to clean the floor, and then I want to throw the damned brush away but that’s expensive.

    Stupid toilet.

  7. #7 realinterrobang
    April 27, 2010

    If sex is that much of a chore, either you need to find a new partner, or maybe you’re not having sex with the right kind of partner in the first place. How much do you want to bet that guy is one of those sex-obsessed Christians who says he “chooses to be straight” every hour of every day?

  8. #8 Crommunist
    April 27, 2010

    Cleaning a toilet involves getting (sometimes) elbow-deep in a smelly, stained, damp hole…

    Anyone want to take bets on what Mark Gungor’s wife looks like naked?

  9. #9 https://me.yahoo.com/hairychris444#96384
    April 27, 2010

    “Cleaning the toilet” as a new euphemism for sex…?

  10. #10 Celtic_Evolution
    April 27, 2010

    Wow. Nothing like justifying rape from the pulpit… well done, minister…

  11. #11 legistech
    April 27, 2010

    @Jadehawk, I don’t think that’s what he’s trying to do at all. Take this other quote:

    The joining together of a husband and wife to get close to each other, relieve stress, enjoy the release and just have a good time enjoying one another

    and

    Don?t feel badly if you aren?t overwhelmed by all the over-the-moon feelings and passion ahead of time. There is nothing wrong with you. If you can enjoy sex once you start and have a good time, that?s all that matters. Just break the mindset that you won?t do it unless you feel like it.

    Now, I could still question his mindset a little bit — one should at least feel like it when you’re having sex. But his overall thrust seems to be that you don’t need to be experiencing drama-movie type emotions every time.

    For a Xian minister, it’s not a terrible message. His argument for fidelity and forbearance until marriage rather conspicuously leaves out references to scripture, even.

    I’d lose the imagery of the toilet and disinfectants, though rubber implements and even gloves could be intriguing. . .

  12. #12 Carlie
    April 27, 2010

    While his analogy is horrible and his post is poorly written, what I think Gungor is trying to say is that sometimes sex isn’t the great, earth-moving, highly emotional act it’s often portrayed as.

    But his real point is that it’s a necessary chore for the wife only, to do whenever her husband wants it whether she wants to or not. It’s his desire to have sex that’s important, not hers. If she doesn’t want to, it doesn’t matter why – whether it’s because she’s mad about something, or overworked and tired, or just not in the mod, or whatever; it’s all about him.

  13. #13 blf
    April 27, 2010

    I’ve no idea what Mr I-believe-in-faeries itself does, but—This sounds like confusing the punishment for kids who tell with doing to the kids the thing the kids tell about.

  14. #14 Thebear
    April 27, 2010

    Also: If you’re cleaning the loo with disinfectants you’re doing it wrong. Disinfectant-resistant bacteria are also often antibiotic-resistant.

    Far better to use a liberal amount of ammonia-based cleaner and starve the little buggers.

    And as long as you don’t drink from it or have house-guests with strange diseases, a semi-dirty crapper isn’t a huge problem. Multi-resistant syphilis – now there’s a huge problem.

  15. #15 Red John
    April 27, 2010

    and another thought: my philosophy to scrubbing the toilet is “the one who causes backsplash is the one cleaning the toilet himself”, so as far as I’m concerned, this is a call to masturbation :-p

    Excuse me, I have to go “clean the toilet”.

  16. #16 Walton
    April 27, 2010

    How much do you want to bet that guy is one of those sex-obsessed Christians who says he “chooses to be straight” every hour of every day?

    Joking aside, it is quite possibly true that a non-insignificant number of these conservative religious nuts – while not necessarily closeted gays – genuinely do “choose” to be straight. If you’re somewhere in the middle of the Kinsey scale, as research suggests quite a lot of people are, then you do have some ability to “choose” what kind of sexual interests you want to pursue: and since heteronormativism is still strong in our society, especially in conservative Christian culture, most of those people will presumably opt to act on their opposite-sex impulses and repress the same-sex ones. I suspect some of the fanatical “homosexuality-is-a-lifestyle-choice” Christian nuts most likely fit in this category: they are people who are naturally bisexual themselves but choose only to act on their opposite-sex impulses, and they assume everyone else is the same.

  17. #17 Endor
    April 27, 2010

    Celtic_Evolution and Carlie nailed it. This quote says it all: “Just break the mindset that you won?t do it unless you feel like it.”

    Just spread your legs on demand. Your hubby doesn’t care about you, just what you can do for him. And if you don’t, he’s got every right to take it because, hey, that’s what marriage is about. God says!

    Sounds wonderful, this whole christian marriage thing. Sign me up!

  18. #18 Glen Davidson
    April 27, 2010

    Great analogy, no doubt.

    But to be sure, it can be like “I love you” or kissing, sometimes it’s done because it’s nice to do for the other person whether you really want to or not.

    Of course he’s not talking about anything like rape, more like, it’s not always going to be great, but it’s typically good for the marriage.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  19. #19 Brownian, OM
    April 27, 2010

    I was 99% sure he was directing this analogy to one gender more than the other, but I clicked through just to give him the benefit of the doubt. I was right:

    Women, more often than men, get hung up on this one and think they have to have all these warm and fuzzy emotions to feel like they can get physical with their husbands.

    Silly, silly emotional women.

    While I don’t disagree with the sentiment that good sex doesn’t always need to involve fireworks, this seems a little more a case of Women: All Your Sex Are Belong to Us.

  20. #20 alysonmiers
    April 27, 2010

    Thanks for making marriage sound like a chore, Reverend. Sounds like that “glue” your god gave us is faulty.

  21. #21 Red John
    April 27, 2010

    Women: All Your Sex Are Belong to Us.

    Is it possible for someone to win two mollies?

  22. #22 https://openid.org/cujo359
    April 27, 2010

    I bet that sex is a chore that’s not put off nearly as much as cleaning the toilet.

  23. #23 Brownian, OM
    April 27, 2010

    Thanks for making marriage sound like a chore, Reverend.

    I don’t fault religion or Christianity for making marriage sound like a chore.

    I blame the married people I know.

  24. #24 Endor
    April 27, 2010

    “Of course he’s not talking about anything like rape, more like, it’s not always going to be great, but it’s typically good for the marriage.”

    Actually, being emotionally manipulated into sex when you don’t want to is rape and that is what he’s telling people they have to do.

    It’s a twist on the old “women want just romance, men want just sex” tripe. Give it up when you don’t want to ladies! It will make the hubby happy and eventually that disturbing feeling of being used like a crusty gym sock will totally fade and you’ll feel loved.

  25. #25 ambook
    April 27, 2010

    The real reason to have sex is to produce children so you can make THEM scrub the toilet.

    Since a lot of Christians go on and on about how Jesus participates in the marital sex act, is Jesus still in the bed if you’re just having sex to have sex?

    And the fool needs to read up on and then alert his audience to how orgasm produces oxytocins that make you feel those great warm and fuzzy emotions. No toilet scrubbing required.

    How do these people ever manage to BREED?

  26. #26 Ewan R
    April 27, 2010

    The analogy holds.

    When my wife doesn’t want to clean the toilet she makes me do it myself.

    Do the math.

  27. #27 Endor
    April 27, 2010

    “How do these people ever manage to BREED?”

    I think the “grin and bear it, ladies/ lie back and think of Englad” message is pretty clear.

  28. #28 ambook
    April 27, 2010

    @ Endor –

    Yes, but he has to tell his audience that they need to lie back and think of England, which implies to me that they aren’t doing it and he’s been getting complaints. And I stand by my question of how people this clueless manage to get the parts in the right places so as to produce those little ensouled zygotes.

  29. #29 darvolution proponentsist
    April 27, 2010
    Having been married for almost 35 years, my experience is sometimes the wife and I make love and sometimes we just screw.

    But please tell me that it is still more fun than cleaning the toilet?

    From my perspective it is, all day long. Lately I’ve been contemplating training myself to be left-handed just to put a little spice back into my personal relationship.

    Yep, ‘Tis is sittin’ pretty IMHO

  30. #30 legistech
    April 27, 2010

    Brownian & Carlie;

    Maybe so, but in the previous article of this series he does note:

    Again, guys, if you don?t feel this rush of desire to begin with and your engines aren?t all revved and ready to blast off, don?t take that as a sign to mean that you shouldn?t have sex with your wife. More often than not, once you get on with it and you begin to engage your wife physically and you touch and connect with one another, those feelings of desire and arousal will come alive too.

    Claims that he is justifying rape, or indicating that women should always submit regardless of their personal feelings, are hyperbole.

    There is that faction within Xianity, of course, and it’s absolutely revolting. It doesn’t really come across to me that this guy is a part of it, though. Maybe he ought to be criticized for being an enabler of that mindset.

  31. #31 Endor
    April 27, 2010

    “which implies to me that they aren’t doing it and he’s been getting complaints.”

    See, now, I took it as he’s getting complaints about not getting it *enough*. First they learn that sex is a dirty, evil, nasty thing that only bad people do before marriage. And then they get married and those destructive messages are just supposed to disappear?

    Nope. I think they screw people up so badly that sex is a chore before it begins. And they’re likely pretty freaking bad it, which just compounds the chore aspect.

    Every time a minister waxes about the sexual obligations of marriage he’s ALWAYS talking about the wife’s obligations to put out on demand, regardless of her desires. And how letting herself be used whenever HE wants to use it will totes bring them closer!

    This says to me that men are whining about how their wives don’t do it enough, and Mr. Minister is trying to find a way to lay the god guilt on. You know, instead of actually addressing the problem.

  32. #32 Larry
    April 27, 2010

    “Cleaning the toilet” as a new euphemism for sex…?

    Personally, I’ll stick with Hiking the Appalachian Trail as my euphemism of choice.

  33. #33 Deiloh
    April 27, 2010

    Happy marriages are not glued together by lousy sex. A rocking good orgasm that chemically aids in bonding, starts with sex NOT being a chore.

  34. #34 aratina cage
    April 27, 2010

    I long for the day when we get these godbots out of the sex business. Either they can stop giving their worthless, baseless advice, or they can admit that Christianity is a type of paraphilia.

  35. #35 PeteGrimes
    April 27, 2010

    reminds me of that great scene in Fight Club…

  36. #36 https://me.yahoo.com/a/AKp_B_gSkpRDRUl5yBtgnnB0OHZG#94c23
    April 27, 2010

    Unless, of course, rubber gloves, disinfectants, and getting down with a great big bristly scrubbing brush is your kink.

    Am I the only one who was suddenly reminded of Tyler and Marla having sex in Fight Club?

    –Raynfala

  37. #37 Ol'Greg
    April 27, 2010

    this seems a little more a case of Women: All Your Sex Are Belong to Us.

    And don’t complain. You guys you think it’s about us not wanting sex. But sometimes your sex is horrid and and self involved and you just suck at it so muc that cleaning the toilet would at least be less painful.

    Then if you bitch it’s “your godly duty is to submit” and then a whiny “why don’t women enjoy sex”

    oooohhh wonder why wonder why? I really do.

    BTW, Brownian and other males on here that is not directed to you but rather another thing I pick up from the quote.

    It sounds more like he’s saying “don’t ask what you could do to make it better” and that depends on what better means.

    Does it mean AMAZING or does it just mean “doesn’t involve internal bruises and labial tearing” rather.

  38. #38 BluntSpoon
    April 27, 2010

    @24 – Endor

    My wife once told me she wasn’t in the mood but I could go ahead and have sex with her anyway. I was horrified, I would rather use the gym sock you mentioned than use my wife in such a way, it was thankfully a huge turn off.

    It really depresses me there are plenty of men out there who would happily use their partners like that.

  39. #39 The Rambling Scholar
    April 27, 2010

    Hey there. I’m the poster on that site called “Amy.” From what I’m getting from him and the other commenters, this is absolutely a guilt trip to the women. “It’s not all about you, so stop being selfish and put out already!” I was even given that quote from Esphesians. Ugh…I’ve taken a short hiatus from posting on his posts just to avoid the stupid. You can find him on youtube too, he goes on and on about the differences between men and women’s brains (of course without ANY evidence or citing). He’s a total idiot. What do you think, guys? Can we unleash the hounds upon this quack?

  40. #40 Antiochus Epimanes
    April 27, 2010

    I can’t believe that no one has yet made an “And sometimes it’s like vacuuming” joke.

    So, there you go.

  41. #41 drivel
    April 27, 2010

    I read not just that blog post, but several of the related posts. And I honestly did not get the feeling that he was just telling women to put out. He did also tell the men it was a sin not to be having sex with their wives.

    And I also didn’t get the sense that his advice was just ‘lay back and think of england.’ but more “turn the TV off, shut your computer and cuddle and re-evaluate if you feel like it.”

    But I also wonder how many of the above commenters are married. Because the advice “even if you don’t feel like having sex, if you go lay in bed naked and make out you probably WILL feel like it.” is not bad advice at all. Because at the end of a long day, who really feel like doing anything? But once you get started….

  42. #42 David Marjanovi?
    April 27, 2010

    You see, I hate cleaning the damned toilet. Seriously, it is so nasty because you have to use that brush and then the brush drips on the floor so you have to clean the floor

    When I’m done with cleaning the toilet, I hold the brush in and flush. This cleans the brush. Then I beat the brush against the rim so the remaining water comes out. Then I can put the brush away without it dripping, let alone without it dripping stuff that would require cleaning the floor.
    :-|

    I suspect some of the fanatical “homosexuality-is-a-lifestyle-choice” Christian nuts most likely fit in this category: they are people who are naturally bisexual themselves but choose only to act on their opposite-sex impulses, and they assume everyone else is the same.

    I definitely agree that they assume everyone else is the same as them; I’ve said so several times.

    Especially Alan Keyes is one of those. That’s the crazy guy who said we’d all die out if we stopped regarding homosexual acts as immoral, because teh ghey secks is so much more pleasurable… I think he’s the one who compared it to heroin… he’s obviously speaking for himself.

    Is it possible for someone to win two mollies?

    Yes.

    More precisely, it’s possible to win the New Order of the Molly an unlimited number of times. How does this sound: Brownian, OM, NOM, NOM…?

    (Not my idea.)

  43. #43 Jadehawk, OM
    April 27, 2010

    drivel, may I point out to you that the Squidly Overlord himself has made the point that if sex is a chore, you’re doing it wrong? And that selfsame Squidly Overlord has been married for decades?

  44. #44 sqlrob
    April 27, 2010

    If you’re cleaning the loo with disinfectants you’re doing it wrong. Disinfectant-resistant bacteria are also often antibiotic-resistant.

    Citation please. Especially considering the disinfectant in most toilet boil cleaners is hydrochloric acid or sodium hydroxide.

  45. #45 Alverant
    April 27, 2010

    Would someone mind telling me what’s the fun in sex with someone who does not want it as much as you?

  46. #46 https://me.yahoo.com/a/DhjBEuJ8pt63x6eBKuPx0Jv9_QE-#7c327
    April 27, 2010

    PZ, my wife and I assure you you can do astounding things with a plunger.

  47. #47 Thebear
    April 27, 2010

    Would someone mind telling me what’s the fun in sex with someone who does not want it as much as you?

    Beats me – but then again: Most of the things I think are fun is wrong in the eyes of fundies, so it stands to reason that they think things I think is wrong is fun.

  48. #48 Jadehawk, OM
    April 27, 2010

    Would someone mind telling me what’s the fun in sex with someone who does not want it as much as you?

    silly you; sex life isn’t about fun, is about doing what you’re supposed to, when you’re supposed to, how you’re supposed to. wanting it to be fun means you’re a godless hedonist.

  49. #49 KOPD
    April 27, 2010

    wanting it to be fun means you’re a godless hedonist

    And damned proud of it. :-)

  50. #50 ambook
    April 27, 2010

    Didn’t the Pope recently announce that there’s no sex in heaven? Another argument for getting as much of it as possible now.

  51. #51 mommimus-prime
    April 27, 2010

    You don’t know how good it makes me feel reading the comments here after wading through the ones over at Mark’s site. I go from outraged to sad in seconds there.

    I’ve read most of the blog posts at that site, watched what videos he has online (there isn’t much) researched the heck out of this guy and can only guess that he’s making a bundle on his book and DVD sales. I got started because a young friend went to his seminar and was over the top with her praise for it and when she quoted some of the stuff he was saying, my radar went off.

    At first, I didn’t find his advice much better than reading Dear Abby, he even liked The Marriage Ref which I happen to like as well. I even agree with him on a lot of what he says, but this one post really set me off. I think he was fairly unremarkable on purpose, hoping to slide this one in. And the next. He really got down to business in them, in any case.

    What’s scary to me are the comments. People who have real problems in their marriages seeking advice from someone who openly admits he bases his advice on his observations. A person who gives advice to millions of people all the over the world either in person or via DVD or books or his radio show.

    I’ve been married 27 years. I’ve had sex with my husband when I haven’t really felt like it and did end up enjoying it but I didn’t do it because it had to be done or that the bible says I have to do it, I did it because I love my husband, we have an emotional connection. I never ever would do it if I felt like it was equivalent to cleaning the toilet on my lists of tasks that need to be done. Heck, we’ve looked at porn, masturbated, fantasized and everything else. And we didn’t feel guilty because God disapproved. What a horrible feeling to have that someone was watching you all the time and you had to have sex because he wants you to.

    Ugh, I think I’ve rambled on and not made much of a point. I find this guy scary because he sneaks the religious stuff in and convinces people with horrible problems that laying on your back and spreading your legs because your husband wants sex is the solution. He may not say that but that’s what a lot of the posters are coming away with.

  52. #52 george.wiman
    April 27, 2010

    Maybe the good reverend could benefit from watching some Zorblaxian porn.

  53. #53 KOPD
    April 27, 2010

    Didn’t the Pope recently announce that there’s no sex in heaven?

    I’m not sure about that, but I do know…
    In Heaven there is no beer.
    That’s why we drink it here.
    And when we’re all gone from here,
    Our friends will be drinking all our beer.

  54. #54 mommimus-prime
    April 27, 2010

    I forgot to mention that neither of us have been banned there. Rambling especially. I’ve been less than polite but not as present. She said a lot of provocative things and wasn’t banned outright. I give him that.

  55. #55 Cerberus
    April 27, 2010

    This, this right here is what I often use as evidence that asexuals naturally intersect with LGBT and feminist movements. The same people who are all “no sex until marriage” and “gay people are an abomination” are also heavily into the “marry” and then “lie back and think of England” shit like this.

    Sex is something you do when married, so forget your feelings or your lack of lust with your partner and try anyways. I’ve known religious asexuals who talked with their pastors who were all gung-ho on abstinence who without blinking immediately told them that it was their duty to marry and pump out babies when they told them they were asexual.

    These people don’t fully view women as human and view women’s sexuality as not only foreign and unnatural, but something which should be discounted wholesale. They long for the days of legalized marital rape and encourage “softer” versions of it based on guilt-tripping and trained ignorance (what do you think virgin until marriage is all about).

    And yeah, this shit is a real problem for asexuals in all of culture. There is this unstated assumption that people in relationships owe their partners sexual intimacy and sex and that it’s somehow “wrong” to talk things out fully before hand. So young asexuals (especially women) often end up essentially “engineering their own rapes” because its “expected” that they put out and that they’ll “get into it” somewhere along the way.

    We really need a better method of accounting for consent and valuing it for reals (no manipulations, no technicalities, no social pressures) in our society and it’s one of the big reasons I’m really up on people talking about sex and lust openly and honestly as a culture and as individuals seeking relationships with each other.

    Seriously, I might sound “nuts” harping on this “out of the blue” but AVEN has about a post a day in the “Relationships” section of some confused young person who feels they have to “put out with their partner” to “prove their love” and asking for advice on essentially how to lie back and think of England.

    But yeah, sex should never be treated like that ever. If it’s becoming that rote or lifeless, there has been a real breakdown of communication of sexual needs and lusts and there needs to be a real conversation about that.

    I’m sorry for longish post, but this is one of the rare angles of extra suckitude for asexuals even above women at large.

  56. #56 Jesus Christ
    April 27, 2010

    #50 “Didn’t the Pope recently announce that there’s no sex in heaven?”

    It’s not that there’s no sex in Heaven, just that the little boys have wings and are harder to catch.

  57. #57 frog, Inc.
    April 27, 2010

    endor: Actually, being emotionally manipulated into sex when you don’t want to is rape and that is what he’s telling people they have to do.

    Okay — that’s just crazy hyperbole. Nice to reduce rape to almost every sexual encounter. To some extent in an extended relationship, there will be some amount of “I’m not really feeling it… but my partner needs it.”

    If that’s the equivalent to punching someone and assaulting them, then the term “rape” becomes simply nonsense.

    To me, this sounds to be at a Godwin level, equating discrimination with The Holocaust. No — not all sexual conflict is rape. There’s a difference between giving someone a mickey and raping them, and asking for a pity fuck.

    If you think they’re the same, well, the patriarchy has damaged people more than I ever thought.

  58. #58 ambook
    April 27, 2010

    @Rambling Scholar

    I’ve spent a lot of time trying to talk to such people. Please trust a middle-aged former tone-troll on this one. Trying to have dialogue with them is a total, complete, mind-blowing waste of time. They aren’t listening because you’re not a Christian. End of story. I found myself listening to other people and figuring out what values and ideas we shared, they tuned out every word because I didn’t share their belief in human sacrifice and magic spirits. Please do not waste your time on this fruitless endeavor.

    And of course married people have sex when they aren’t necessarily in a sexual mood themselves – that’s part of liking your partner. But if you affirmatively wish NOT to have sex, DON’T.

    P.S. I have never been a tone-troll at Pharyngula – I only decided to start posting after I decided that my former effort to find common ground was stupid, pointless, and frustrating. So I’m a middle-aged-tone-troll-in-recovery (MATTIR). There are probably other MATTIRs here – please do not spend years developing the disease in order to join us.

  59. #59 gearloose
    April 27, 2010

    “If you think sex is a pain in the ass, you’re doing it wrong.”

    Or… you need some lube.

    … and a tissue for the santorum.

  60. #60 Cerberus
    April 27, 2010

    frog @57

    With all due respect, I’m not entirely sure you fully understand the concept of full, informed consent. Full, informed consent, also considered the “enthusiastic consent” standard is one of an ideal we should be living up to, but it is sadly a utopian or far-fetched notion given that we are so often settling for the “doesn’t keep going when we repeatedly say no” standard of consent.

    That’s the problem of a rape culture and the massive discounting of female consent. Emotional manipulation can be heavily abusive and heavily coercive to free consent and yes, rape. One of my partner’s rapists used emotional manipulation to stretch her consent boundary for months before ignoring it entirely, it is deeply destructive to free consent and can emotionally limit the space by which a person can freely decide to do something with their own body.

    This can be heavily disastrous. “Lying back and thinking of England” for a “pity fuck” or because “this is what is owed to ‘keep a relationship going’” can breed vaginismus and other psychic disorders that can inhibit full enjoyment of sex later for sexuals, the diminishment of full autonomy over one’s body that can have rape-like emotional consequences, trains bad abused behavior responses and a diminishment of self-regard for one’s own needs, etc…

    This is before noting that sex is not neutral and one is opening themselves to risk of infection or pregnancy. This is especially noted when noting that those who emotionally manipulate consent often will turn to rape when they can like the example I used earlier of my partner’s rape and are also likely to use emotional manipulation and abusive techniques to avoid using protection.

    Not to mention that emotional manipulation is an abusive partner’s stock in trade. Most abusers use emotional manipulation to inhibit the free actions of their partner and make them feel stuck and powerless and like they are constantly at fault.

    Also, most rapes aren’t “gave them a mickey” stranger rapes, but rather rapes by trusted friends and partners or family members.

    The false separation is ill-informed and based on the sad state of the rape-culture and the poor state of education of the reality of rape.

  61. #61 Epikt
    April 27, 2010

    ambook:

    Since a lot of Christians go on and on about how Jesus participates in the marital sex act, is Jesus still in the bed if you’re just having sex to have sex?

    So that’s where those cracker crumbs came from last night.

  62. #62 Cerberus
    April 27, 2010

    ambook @58

    And of course married people have sex when they aren’t necessarily in a sexual mood themselves – that’s part of liking your partner. But if you affirmatively wish NOT to have sex, DON’T.

    I’d go a step further and say, no you don’t owe a throwaway to a partner.

    Starting something because you both want a quick orgasm or letting your partner try foreplaying you into the mood when you’re feeling less amorous rather than notamorous or making a full informed consent decision to engage in a unidirectional sex act to get off your partner and enjoy that intellectually?

    Sure.

    But sex should never be a chore, a duty, or something you just do because you “love the person”.

    Turning sex into something owed turns sex from something potentially beautiful and more critically enjoyable for sexuals into something way too close for rape.

    We all make the informed consent choices we make, but we should all strive for a world where we aren’t feeling pressured to “put out” because “you love the person” and that’s “what you do”.

    I’m sorry, but no, call me a radical feminist, but we should be moving away from that world.

    Besides, as best as I can tell from you sexuals, sex when both partners are into it or at least following protocols of enthusiastic consent is more fun, because sex with a responsive or attentive partner is just better than masturbating with someone else’s body. At least from what I’ve seen and heard.

    Plus, being really communicative with your partner on sexual stuff is just generally awesome and a great way to prevent things from getting stale not to mention a great way to learn more about your partner and become closer emotionally.

    Don’t want to sound like I’m slamming you, just responding in general to that well-held cultural attitude.

  63. #63 Carlie
    April 27, 2010

    Frog, I think some of it is the distinction between “I don’t feel like it right at the moment” and “I don’t want to”. It doesn’t sound like much of a difference, but it really can be, and as Cerberus just pointed out, pushing that “I don’t want to” line further and further does grade into abuse that can’t be waved away as anything else. Sure, people in relationships should put out sometimes when they don’t really feel like it, just like they should go to the movies when their partner wants to but they don’t feel like it, etc. But not every time, and not because the other person’s desires always outweigh their own. It’s a continuum, and the post linked to in the OP (reinforced by the comments at that site) is on the far side of what ought to be the ideal of it.

  64. #64 Hairhead
    April 27, 2010

    Two comments here:

    @Cerberus #55 You said, ” . . . . unstated assumption that people in relationships owe their partners sexual intimacy and sex . . . ”

    I disagree strongly. In most adult relationships past a certain level of emotional intimacy, you do owe your partner sexual intimacy and sex. Why? Because that’s what most people WANT out of relationships! That’s not to say that you should have sex when you don’t want to, but to say that if you don’t ever (being an asexual) want sex, then you owe it to the person who is interested in you to tell them RIGHT AWAY. This happens all the time between sexuals (the opposite of asexuals) who will say, “Look, I just want to be friends, okay?” And that’s fine. I’ve had that said to me, and said that to others. But to enter into a relationship with someone, knowing that you’re asexual and you don’t want sex, and not telling them — that’s just inconsiderate.

    And to everyone: I note a certain sexism here. No one, not one person yet has seen fit to mention that often women are the horny ones in the relationship, and that they are often begging the man for sex. That happens a lot more than people admit; in fact, highly-sexed (I hate that phrase) women have said that the biggest-talkin’est men are usually the wimpiest in bed!

    Anyway, germane to the conversation, if you take the nauseating analogy and the sexism out, the message isn’t all that bad: the sexual experience is wildly various, and sometimes spontaneous desire isn’t there, and needs to be instigated or tolerated until a clear yes/no point is reached. (cf. my first paragraph — you shouldn’t wait too long to decide)

  65. #65 mothwentbad
    April 27, 2010

    Ugh. Welcome to the closet. We’ve got dirty toilets. It’ll be… great.

  66. #66 martha
    April 27, 2010

    The comments were what was interesting, and the interaction with Amy. Especially the person who said to Amy that they were not calling her immoral, but that plenty of moral people go to hell.

    Christ.

    I posted a comment but I doubt it will make it past moderation.

  67. #67 Cerberus
    April 27, 2010

    Carlie @63

    Again, I might be a radical feminazi consent fetishist, but I still believe that as an ideal, people in relationships shouldn’t have to “put out” when they don’t really feel like it.

    I don’t mean giving foreplay a chance to see if anything might happen, but rather that “lying back and thinking of England” for either sex is something that is just part of a relationship.

    I’ll admit to being heavily influenced by the unending parade of young asexuals who basically end up engineering their own rapes as a “price” for being in a relationship because we as a species just can’t pull our heads out of our asses enough to have real conversations with people we want to be sexually intimate with about sex and desire and to value and respect ideals like enthusiastic consent.

    I don’t think anyone should just do sex because their partner wants to. And I wouldn’t consider it on any similar wavelength to going to see a movie you don’t want to see. One involves bodily autonomy and actual consequences, the other might have you bored for a couple of hours.

    Again, I don’t want to seem like I’m bashing anyone or singling anyone out, but I really dislike that cultural artifact and how it serves as the cornerstone to far greater dismissals of bodily autonomy and sexual consent (including the idea that “consequences” of sex are “punishments” that the woman must bear for “giving in” to “temptation” or “being stupid”).

    Maybe I’m just a crazy radical, but I’d love if enthusiastic informed consent was much more of a norm. And it’d really help the asexual community as well. Most of my brothers and sisters have gone through one rape-like experience simply because of that expectation that “sex” is something owed to a romantic partner as the “price” you pay to “prove your love”.

    In my eyes that robs sex of its good aspects and blurs the distinction between sex and rape in ways supportive of the rape culture.

    But then, I’m a crazy radical, so maybe this is all pie-in-the-sky type talk.

  68. #68 Greta Christina
    April 27, 2010

    Unless, of course, rubber gloves, disinfectants, and getting down with a great big bristly scrubbing brush is your kink.

    PZ, I’m trying to get some work done here. Will you stop trying to distract me with your hot, dirty sex talk? Now I’m not going to get anything done all day.

  69. #69 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawnnEVm_MUJXSbFH1qFFLrsdpJOqC3LME_E
    April 27, 2010

    He makes it sound like he’s sleeping with a hooker.

  70. #70 Greta Christina
    April 27, 2010

    On the actual topic being discussed…

    I do think that in a long-term relationship, there’s often benefit in having sex even when you’re not in the mood right that moment. Sometimes what you need to get in the mood is just, you know, getting started. If you wait until lightning strikes both of you at the same time, you may find that you’re waiting a very long time indeed.

    But that is a far, far cry from seeing sex as a chore.

    A better analogy might be: You might not be in the mood to go out to a concert. But once you get dressed up and call the taxi and arrive at the hall and hear the first swelling of music… your mood will probably change, and you’ll be really glad you went. That doesn’t mean you see going to concerts as a chore. It just means you’re an adult, and you understand that things that are worth doing are worth putting effort into, and you don’t let your life be governed by the mood of the moment.

    That doesn’t seem to be what Gungor is saying, though. He’s not saying, “Sex is great, but sometimes you need to put some effort into it.” He seems to be saying, “Lower your expectations. Sex is never going to be as great as it was when you were younger. You have to do it anyway. Suck it up.”

    [shudder]

  71. #71 Deanna
    April 27, 2010

    I just went through all the comments on Mark Gungor’s site. Why do these sort of discussions always devolve into “You’re going to hell”?

  72. #72 ambook
    April 27, 2010

    @Cerberus

    I didn’t mean doing something when you affirmatively wished not to do said thing, which would be the case, presumably, for asexuals. I’m talking about doing something nice for a partner that does not feel gross or intrusive, along the lines of “I have an itch right in the middle of my back where I can’t reach, can you scratch it.” This probably works only in relationships where both partners are interested in sex and thus are likely to experience both sides of the want-to-or-not-interested-at-this-moment divide. It’s more of an “I’ll be nice to you right now with the understanding that you’ll be nice to me later” sort of trade which probably does not work in relationships where where one person doesn’t enjoy or desire sex at all. If it ends up feeling like a non-consensual sexual encounter, it is per se a bad thing.

    Of course, in the case of the itch in the center of one’s back, one could always simply direct the spouse to the toilet brush.

  73. #73 mommimus-prime
    April 27, 2010

    Martha: I posted a comment but I doubt it will make it past moderation.

    Everything goes into moderation for the first post. I haven’t seen anything not get through moderation.

    Hairhead: Your point about women begging for sex from the man does come up there but it’s like the exception. Most of the responders are female feeling bad about not wanting sex with their husbands. I think the reason we’re not seeing it here is because the original post leans very heavily towards “womanly duty.”

  74. #74 michellegalo
    April 27, 2010

    @Crommunist (#8) re: “Anyone want to take bets on what Mark Gungor’s wife looks like naked?”

    What his wife looks like has nothing to do with this.

    Not Being A Misogynist: You’re Doing It Wrong.

    Props to the rest of y’all for not biting.

    P.S. Crom, if you think a hole is smelly, you can stay out of it.

  75. #75 Cerberus
    April 27, 2010

    Hairhead @64

    Not owed, explore, sure.

    But too many people go, right, love and lust are the same thing, everyone knows the rules, pay up with regards to sex. Makes it transactional and undiscussed.

    I’m big on promoting sexual conversation of all people and definitely have been heavily working in community in trying to get people to better articulate their desires regarding relationships and communicating potential solutions to other romantic asexuals (such as polyamory) so that they don’t end up making their partners feel “deceived”.

    I’m really against the idea of sex as something owed though in all contexts.

    But I will go with you that I’m big on full open communication and indeed full informed consent really requires that shit. A couple that talks it all out, fully understands where the other is coming from, where they are scared, where they are curious, when they are horny, when they are not but open to foreplay, and when its not happening, etc… is key to really having a full open sex life of any description and a good habit for sexuals to get into in general because it’ll make their sex lives better, more fulfilling and less crypto-rapey.

    I’m as pro-sex communication as I am because I see the direct correlation between the “don’t talk about it” culture and the rape culture and the bad assumptions I don’t like.

    But yeah, sex should never be owed, expected, a whelp, this is what you do, run on automatic. For new relationships we should communicate what we want, how fast we want to explore things, regularly check in, and best of all, figure out the relationship structure that best fits everyone’s needs and emotions and be willing to adjust as necessary rather than trusting that the boilerplate formula will somehow fit what you want without input.

    We’d probably have far fewer dysfunctional relationships and definitely fewer rapes in such a culture.

    This, at least, is my life’s work to promote, among other things.

  76. #76 Haley
    April 27, 2010

    Now, I’m young and horny and have only been having sex for 2 years, so take this with a grain of salt.

    Sex should always involve enthusiastic consent from both people. Maybe you’re not in the mood to begin, so you just make out and cuddle first, but if you don’t get horny you don’t have sex just to please the other person. The other person presumably has hands and/or other instruments for getting off. Being in a relationship means I owe my boyfriend love, companionship and intimacy- but not of a sexual kind necessarily. I mean cuddling, kissing, light petting, snuggling, etc.

    I think there’s something wrong with a person who can enjoy sex with an unwilling or unenthusiastic partner.

  77. #77 Cerberus
    April 27, 2010

    ambook @72

    I actually probably do understand a bit of that. I’m asexual and most of the separation in needs with me and my partner we settle with opening up the relationship with polyamory, but there is a limited amount of unidirectional sex acts I’ll engage in with my partner because I have with full informed consent decided that I wish to fulfill her needs in those ways and I get a measure of intellectual satisfaction in getting her off in those ways.

    I also don’t want to sound like I’m knocking anyone who may not be “fuck me now” but decide to see if they end up getting into the mood with some foreplay. Because I fully understand that and that can be just what people want or need.

    I just really object to ideas of sex as something owed or required and I’m really big on consent fetishism and avoiding emotional manipulation, etc… There’s a wealth of difference between, “hmm, let’s break out the oils and see what happens and we can stop if it’s not working” or even “I’m not really into anything big, but yeah, fully understanding that I’m under no pressure to, I’m down with giving you a little unidirectional oral” and “sex is just what you do with someone you love, you do love me right?” or “lie back and think of England and accept them using your body to masturbate”.

  78. #78 Cerberus
    April 27, 2010

    Haley @76

    Yes, this for the most part.

  79. #79 chaseacross
    April 27, 2010

    Sometimes you’re not in the mood. Sometimes your partner is not in the mood. Even if you’re not immediately receptive to a partner’s suggestion of intimacy, I think in a long term relationship it is necessary to make a good faith effort. Couples who have been together for over a year know that even when they’re not “in the mood,” at the start of intimacy, they can still definitely fall into the swing of things.

    That said, the whacko who wrote this seems like he would be very receptive to the kinds of laws and codes promulgated in Islamic countries, where a woman is obligated to provide sex for her spouse. I’m also pretty sure the Bible encourages fecundity. I remember “be fruitful and multiply.” I don’t remember “thou shalt get jiggy with thy husband whenever he desireth it.” This evil nonsense has the stink of misogyny on it, too. Relating a lack of desire for sex and household cleaning- I don’t think this one is directed at the men in the audience.

    Plus you have to love the finger-wagging at non-marital sexual relationships, a topic the author is clearly very ignorant of. Not enjoying your husband’s selfishness and lack of imagination in the bedroom, ladies? Well that’s your fault for being a harlot! Strap in for fifty wonderful years of not having your sexual needs met. For Jesus!

  80. #80 The Rambling Scholar
    April 27, 2010

    I don’t suppose I have much to offer this thread, but I do want to say what a breath of fresh air it is to see actual logical and thoughtful responses to each other instead of the mire I’ve had to wade through in Gungor’s threads. And yes, I was both surprised and not to be told I was going to Hell when it had nothing to do with what was going on. Pretty much all my feelings on this topic are summed up in my novel-length posts over there. But yeah…the idea of “do it whether you want to or not” is just all sorts of wrong, and it’s made worse by the commenters who are buying into it. They’re saying that “no” no longer exists in a marriage, and one of them was a former battered wife who said her husband never forgave her for her lack of sexual need. They think that if the wife says no, she’s being selfish, and a “True Christian Wife” would never be like that.

  81. #81 Jadehawk, OM
    April 27, 2010

    And to everyone: I note a certain sexism here. No one, not one person yet has seen fit to mention that often women are the horny ones in the relationship, and that they are often begging the man for sex.

    uh, no. It doesn’t work like that. we do not live in a culture where a man is expected to give up bodily autonomy for the pleasure of women, we do not live in a culture where men are encouraged to be subservient to women, we do not live in a culture where men must earn the right to a relationship while women are valueable as free agents who lose value when entering a relationship, and we do not live in a culture where women are trained in obtaining as much sex as possible and are told they deserve it, while men are told that they shouldn’t do it, and then do it as a chore.

    it’s not even close to similar to compare the situations. this isn’t simply about differing sex-drives; it’s about pressure and true consent.

  82. #82 Jadehawk, OM
    April 27, 2010

    and I’m also with Cerberus on this. They might be other reasons than being horny to want to have sex, but the wanting part just isn’t optional. Once it enters the “should” or “have to” territory, it’s no longer consensual and becomes a form of abuse.

  83. #83 Walton
    April 27, 2010

    Jadehawk,

    …we do not live in a culture where men must earn the right to a relationship…

    We don’t? That’s news to me. :-/

    …and we do not live in a culture where women are trained in obtaining as much sex as possible and are told they deserve it…

    I can assure you that unattractive and socially-inept men are equally not told, or made to feel, that we deserve sex. Quite the opposite.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’ll be the first to recognise that we live in a highly misogynistic society, with seriously weird attitudes to female sexuality and the female “place” in relationships. But men who don’t live up to the “real man” archetype don’t have it so good, either.

  84. #84 WowbaggerOM
    April 27, 2010

    If men are meant to be trained to obtain as much sex as possible then I my invitation must have gotten lost in the mail somewhere.

  85. #85 Walton
    April 27, 2010

    I should add as an addendum to #83 that I actually think it’s all part of the same problem.

    I would argue that, at root, the whole cultural attitude to sex and relationships in our society is designed for the benefit of heterosexual alpha-males – that is to say, heterosexual men of high social status who are seen as living up to heteronormativist archetypes of how “real men” should think and behave. This set of cultural attitudes hurts women, a lot, and suppresses women’s autonomy and choice in sexuality. But it also hurts the other people who are excluded or marginalised in this alpha-male-centred paradigm – heterosexual men who are seen as unattractive or of low social status. And these attitudes about how “real men” behave are, of course, also inextricably linked to homophobia, so gay and bisexual men are excluded to.

  86. #86 ambook
    April 27, 2010

    They might be other reasons than being horny to want to have sex, but the wanting part just isn’t optional.

    QFT!

  87. #87 Jadehawk, OM
    April 27, 2010

    We don’t? That’s news to me. :-/

    do you understand the difference between earning a relationship and earning the right to a relationship?

    anyway, yes, patriarchy does hurt men too, especially those that don’t conform. but speaking on the level of social pressures, it’s getting laid that makes a man more valued; a relationship is a “ball and chain”; a bachelor/player in his 40′s is not treated with the same contempt as a 40-year-old virgin or single woman is; (and the latter is a wee bit more obvious to the general public)

  88. #88 Cerberus
    April 27, 2010

    Walton @83

    The patriarchy hurts men too is what that is.

    Actually, that’s the fluff on the margins. Men who are highly successful at the supposed “reward” for “being a real man” (aka, are sexually desired and regularly engaging in sex), but nonetheless have done so without living up to the “real man” archetype dictated by the patriarchy (and indeed men who don’t probably have a good chance at that success because women don’t tend to like guys who treat them like shit and like men who think they are people and value their sexual needs, especially for flings) are also made to feel like total pieces of shit.

    My partner’s boyfriend is polyamorous, regularly has threesomes, has a wife and a girlfriend, and a large number of fuckbuddies and generally has a very successful and fulfilling sex life and is well considered by all his sexual partners for his considerate thoughtfulness in sex.

    He’s also constantly beating himself up thanks to the patriarchy about how he’s not “manly enough” and that this makes him occasionally anxious that some sort of punishment will befall him for this “failing” and that he should be really worried about it and what it’ll mean for his sexual attractiveness and his worth as a man.

    So, yeah, the patriarchy fucks up men from inside their own heads almost as much as women sometimes.

    But yeah, it also sucks way worse for women, but the patriarchy is no walk in the park for anyone.

  89. #89 ambook
    April 27, 2010

    @Walton – aren’t you like 20 years old? Many women learn to adore nerd men only after many many experiences of the wrong type. Plus the nerd-loving women may themselves be slower to develop. Overall, I think the curve may be less steep, but it doesn’t plateau as quickly.

  90. #90 Cerberus
    April 27, 2010

    Also what Jadehawk said.

  91. #91 Greta Christina
    April 27, 2010

    this isn’t simply about differing sex-drives; it’s about pressure and true consent.

    Jadehawk #81: Actually, I think it’s about both. And given how prevalent the myth is that men always want sex more than women — and how harmful that myth is to both women and men — I think it’s worth pointing out it out.

  92. #92 WowbaggerOM
    April 27, 2010

    Cerberus wrote:

    But yeah, it also sucks way worse for women, but the patriarchy is no walk in the park for anyone.

    Yeah, I agree, because as crappy as I might have it as a result of my social/emotional issues, I can’t pretend that there aren’t people – including a disproportionate number of women – a lot worse off than I as a result of societal norms/expectations.

  93. #93 Cerberus
    April 27, 2010

    Greta @91

    True. A woman who wants sex more than her partner has to wrestle with an internal voice that says that she is a nymphomaniac or that there is something wrong with her for daring to have sexual desires of her own, much less at a higher level than partners.

    And men are trained that they are less of a man in that situation and they might as well be gay if that happens and this often leads to men lashing out at their partners where this occurs (if their partners are women and they are presumably heterosexual) and trying to hurt their partners emotionally because of the way they’ve been “diminished” for failing to meet the “fantasy” and “prove their worth”.

    Again, yet another issue that would be greatly alleviated if we all had greater communication about sex both as a society and individually and better sex education (not just about the bare necessities of protection, but also about sex in general and how to value your consent and how what the 99% desire is not as abnormal as everyone assumes) so that people had a better idea of the freaky crazy world you sexuals try to navigate poorly on autopilot.

    Not only would it cut down on the “collateral damage”, but it’d vastly improve on everyone’s actual sex lives and remove undue and unnecessary stresses on relationships.

  94. #94 Greta Christina
    April 27, 2010

    A woman who wants sex more than her partner has to wrestle with an internal voice that says that she is a nymphomaniac or that there is something wrong with her for daring to have sexual desires of her own, much less at a higher level than partners.

    Not just internal voices. A lot of women who want sex more than their male partners have to wrestle with the literal, external voices of their partners calling them nymphomaniacs or sluts, telling them there’s something wrong with them for wanting so much sex, etc.

    Not disagreeing with you, btw. Just expanding on your point.

  95. #95 Cerberus
    April 27, 2010

    Greta @94

    Yup.

    And that’s before the external voices of churches or society telling women they are nymphomaniacs or sluts if they want it at all.

    And all those voices are really easy to internalize so even after you’ve ditched the douchebag and left the church, you’re still almost justifying your sex drive to yourself even if you manage to get a strong supportive partner and are living far away from the horrible messaging people.

    Can I just reiterate how much the patriarchy sucks for everyone?

  96. #96 paulmurray
    April 27, 2010

    Nothing quite so hilarious and sad as when christians reveal what their private sex lives are like from the pulpit. I remember (female) pastor MM saying that Jesus was “better than her husband”. But the best one I remember was up at Gosford, visiting my mum for christmas. We went to church (of course), and the young (male) pastor explained that he could still go out to a bar today by golly and pick up and have casual sex, but chooses not to. Also learned that his wife treats him like some chore on one of her damn to-do lists.

    I wonder if they are still together? Divorce is rife in christian circles.

  97. #97 Haley
    April 27, 2010

    I’m not just pro sexual freedom that includes sex before marriage without repercussions, I’m anti-abstinence until marriage. (for consenting sexuals, of course.) If these people had some experience before marriage, and if they fucked their marriage partner before the honeymoon, they might be able to learn some things about themselves and their sexual preferences. That way they would better know their sexual compatibility before they tied the knot.

  98. #98 Antiochus Epiphanes
    April 27, 2010

    I don’t know…I’m in a loving relationship, and I would do a lot of things that I didn’t want to do to put a smile on my girl’s face…many of them more disgusting and degrading than sex-when-I-don’t-feel-like-it*. She does the same for me**.

    I am not interested in coming up with rules for other people in other relationships (eg…sex should always be enthusiastic, and what not). Work out your own vibe. I’m also not interested in being judged for we have decided is OK in ours–and the way we roll is to try to be game for whatever the other person is in the mood for. I might not be enthusiastic about the act, but I’m enthusiastic about keeping my wife interested in me.

    *Like snaking six-months of hair clog from a drain, burying her dead cat, etc.
    **She does worse actually. She is generally my PR rep, saves me from all sorts of social blunders, and also from talking to people at social gatherings, etc.

  99. #99 Lola
    April 27, 2010

    Sex is basically why we are here. It is designed to fool us into reproducing. Only problem is, it IS for reproducing. The world can stop that for the next 1000 years or so and we will still be the scourge of the earth. And why do we have to be subjected to the stupid erectile dysfunction commercials? If you can’t get it up, give it up. And women, your bodies naturally phase out the need for sex after menopause. That’s the best thing that happens to us; not childbirth.

  100. #100 Benjamin Geiger
    April 27, 2010

    This just in: Airborne bacon spotted! Satan strapping on ice skates! I wholeheartedly agree with Walton! (#83, specifically)

    Let me put it this way: I’m 28 years old. I’ve had one relationship; it was with a woman who was eight years my senior and only dated me because I was the only person to express interest. She slept with me because she didn’t want to be a virgin in her mid-thirties. I’ve had a grand total of two dates since, with one person who ended up being nuttier than squirrel shit.

    Yes, we men have to earn the right to a relationship, too. Granted, most guys earn that right without even knowing they’re doing so, but that doesn’t mean they don’t. I need to lose about 100 pounds to earn the right to a relationship. (I have it relatively easy, even, compared to some of the people I’ve met; once you have a head injury, for instance, you can’t go back in time to avoid it.)

    When did I start bleeding LiveJournal?

  101. #101 Haley
    April 27, 2010

    Lola, have you ever heard of pair bonding? Humans don’t just have sex for procreation. If we did, why would we have concealed fertility?

    I’m sure many post-menopausal women would be shocked to learn that they don’t have sex.

  102. #102 Deluded Creodont
    April 27, 2010

    Many women learn to adore nerd men only after many many experiences of the wrong type. Plus the nerd-loving women may themselves be slower to develop. Overall, I think the curve may be less steep, but it doesn’t plateau as quickly.

    I’ve heard this, but most of the women who’ve said so seem to prefer nerds who look a lot like Matt Damon.

  103. #103 tiggerthewing#8a4e4
    April 27, 2010

    Thank you, Cerberus, for your fantastic posts in this thread.

    I had a table full of baffled faces at an atheist meetup three weeks ago when I ‘came out’ as asexual; I’m convinced that no-one there had even considered the possibility that people like us exist.

    There were a lot of questions from the women (the man sitting next to me was, oddly, very uncomfortable with the idea that I could never, want sex with him). I was getting nowhere with straightforward answers, so I made a (rather poor, I expect!) analogy.

    I asked them whether they understood that some people really enjoy train-spotting. They said they did.

    I asked “How much do you think about train-spotting?” They said “Not at all”.

    However, I asked, if you had a parter who you loved, and who loved you, and the pair of you were compatible in all other ways, plus you knew that going train-spotting with them occasionally would make them ecstatically happy, would you do it? “Of course!” was the reply.

    I said “Replace ‘train-spotting’ with ‘sex’ in that idea, and you know where I’m at.

    They got it. And realised that other people do think differently to them. I believe they learnt not to make assumptions. I am a mother of five and a grandmother. I have been (mostly happily) married for over thirty years. Of course, there have been many times where we had to do a lot of negotiating about sex (and toilet-cleaning!) but we are at a balance now. We respect each other.

    Nobody has a ‘right’ to sex. Nobody has a ‘duty’ to provide sexual favours. From anecdotal experience, even sexuals do not get the balance of desire right all the time. ;-)

    But if I feel like making my husband happy, why not? It is my right! Just because my brain happens to be wired in such a way that I get no biological pleasure feed-back from sex and orgasms are perceived as irritating, doesn’t mean I don’t get intellectual pleasure from his enjoyment, and satisfaction at the sharing of his pleasure. The point is, when I do not want to do it, he has no right to insist, any more than the hypothetical train-spotter has a right to drag their partner to a railway platform! This is what I understand Cerberus to be saying. And the opposite of the whole dreadful idea of ‘marital duty’. Keep politics, obligations, and especially God(s) and the Church out of the bedroom, educate everyone about informed consent, and then we can trust adults to decide amongst themselves what is right in their relationship.

  104. #104 tiggerthewing#8a4e4
    April 27, 2010

    Oops! HTML fail. Bold was supposed to end after ‘no.

    Sorry!

  105. #105 BlueMonday
    April 27, 2010

    @93 &94

    My former partner constantly accused me of emasculating him because I wanted sex more often than he did. This bled over into almost every area of our lives. It was not as if we never had sex–we actually had sex almost daily during the 3+ years of our relationship, and it was always desired by both of us (although sometimes the gears needed a bit of oil to get ‘em moving). Still, the fact that I initiated more often disturbed him.

    It is telling that at first he was quite taken with my openness about my sexuality but that it degenerated into perceived emasculation. He liked dating a “slut,” but over time he began to view me as alpha and a threat. Patriarchy really does such for everyone.

  106. #106 aratina cage
    April 27, 2010

    Oops! HTML fail. Bold was supposed to end after ‘no.
    -TiggerTheWing #104

    Hah! Don’t worry, it made your ending points more effective. :)

  107. #107 Hairhead
    April 27, 2010

    Another few comments here, in particular @Haley

    You said: “Only problem is, it IS for reproducing.”

    Ah. No. I’ve had sex thousands of times (30+ years), and I have only one child.

    You said: “The world can stop that for the next 1000 years or so and we will still be the scourge of the earth.”

    Math fail. If everyone stopped having sex, or were rendered sterile, mankind would be extinct in 100 years.

    You said: “And why do we have to be subjected to the stupid erectile dysfunction commercials? If you can’t get it up, give it up.”

    Why would anyone give up something which is so pleasurable and which, done right, enhances your primary relationship so much. It seems you dislike men as much as you dislike sex.

    You said: “And women, your bodies naturally phase out the need for sex after menopause. That’s the best thing that happens to us; not childbirth.”

    I take the last statement back; you clearly hate women AND men as much as you hate sex. Survey after survey has found that a substantial number of women enjoy sex MORE after menopause because there is no longer the danger of pregnancy.

    And a final point: there is both more and less sex out there than most of us realize. As Cerberus told us here, he knows one man who, through polyamory, has a large number of satisfied sexual partners; and I know too that there are many more virgins in their 30′s, 40′s, and 50′s than most generally suppose.

    The experience and value of sex of every human being is always different and fantastically variable.

  108. #108 Haley
    April 27, 2010

    Hairhead, I think you mean to direct your comments at lola? I’m completely on your side.

  109. #109 Aquaria
    April 28, 2010

    Just spread your legs on demand. Your hubby doesn’t care about you, just what you can do for him. And if you don’t, he’s got every right to take it because, hey, that’s what marriage is about.

    Reminds me of this infamous scene, from the soap opera, Guiding Light. ca 1979. It was a creepy scene then, and still is.

    Not all soaps were all bad all the time.

  110. #110 jcmartz.myopenid.com
    April 28, 2010

    Dry sex is always boring. No matter what.

    …sex is a chore like scrubbing a toilet…

    Is it a close simulation of giving head.

  111. #111 Hairhead
    April 28, 2010

    Haley, my deepest apologies.

    Lola, that was for you.

  112. #112 John Scanlon FCD
    April 28, 2010

    When I’m done with cleaning the toilet, I hold the brush in and flush. This cleans the brush. Then I beat the brush against the rim

    and far too often, the stupid brush snaps off its handle and I have to buy a new one anyway.

    Am I doing it wrong?

    Of course, in the case of the itch in the center of one’s back, one could always simply direct the spouse to the toilet brush.

    Eeww.

    Lola #99: Eeww-er.

  113. #113 Haley
    April 28, 2010

    It’s fine Hairhead, I just don’t want you to associate my name with anti-sex bullshit. :)

  114. #114 hermetically sealed
    April 28, 2010

    Should I be surprised that this post was written by a man?

    Funny how the wife should be “considerate” to to husband’s desire for sexual gratification, but the husband does not need to be considerate of the wife (who may not be “in the mood” because she’s had a rough day, or perhaps her husband is simply being a prick– that’s a sure turn off to sex). Who is the one being selfish here?

    I guess for Christians that whole consideration thing only works one way…

  115. #115 TheCalmOne
    April 28, 2010

    Jadehawk said: “uh, no. It doesn’t work like that. we do not live in a culture where a man is expected to give up bodily autonomy for the pleasure of women, we do not live in a culture where men are encouraged to be subservient to women, we do not live in a culture where men must earn the right to a relationship while women are valueable as free agents who lose value when entering a relationship, and we do not live in a culture where women are trained in obtaining as much sex as possible and are told they deserve it, while men are told that they shouldn’t do it, and then do it as a chore.”

    Never, ever let your ideology get in the way of reality, Jadehawk… In the real world, where some people want sex and aren’t getting it within their marriages, they don’t think about ideology – theirs, yours or anybody else’s – or morality, even how the world should be if it were perfect and everyone were nice to one another. They just want sex, women just as much as men. I have three close female friends who have had affairs and it happened because their husbands were neglecting them sexually, in one case just avoiding and avoiding it for literally years because of his own personal hangups.

    That’s just the way it is. If you don’t give it to some people they will look for it elsewhere. And yes it IS most definitely our duty at times to have sex when we don’t feel like it. Forget the ideology, baby – If you love somebody how can you deny them pleasure? It’s called “giving”. It’s the “give” part of “give and take”.

  116. #116 TheCalmOne
    April 28, 2010

    Cerberus @77

    “I actually probably do understand a bit of that. I’m asexual and most of the separation in needs with me and my partner we settle with opening up the relationship with polyamory, but there is a limited amount of unidirectional sex acts I’ll engage in with my partner because I have with full informed consent decided that I wish to fulfill her needs in those ways and I get a measure of intellectual satisfaction in getting her off in those ways.”

    As long as her needs are being met by somebody, even if it is outside the relationship then that’s fine, as long as your relationship is sustainable in the long term under these conditions (which isn’t a foregone conclusion by any means). But – you do these things because you “have with full informed consent decided that you wish to fulfill her needs in those ways and you get a measure of intellectual satisfaction in getting her off in those ways”? Christ on a stick – you don’t do it because you love her and want to make her happy? Do you see everything in terms of ideology?

  117. #117 A. Nuran
    April 28, 2010

    I’m beginning to like my Tribe’s take on it more and more if this is what the Christians believe. According to our tribal tabus the wife has conjugal rights. The husband doesn’t. One of his obligations is to see that she gets sex and has orgasms on a regular basis and twice on Shabbos. Sex is seen as a positive good and according to the mystics the union of husband and wife during sex is the Divine Presence.

    Not that it’s all kichel and kugel. The primitive menstruation tabus are, well, primitive.

  118. #118 Walton
    April 28, 2010

    Jadehawk,

    do you understand the difference between earning a relationship and earning the right to a relationship?

    No, I really don’t. Please explain.

  119. #119 John Morales
    April 28, 2010

    TheCalmOne,

    And yes it IS most definitely our duty at times to have sex when we don’t feel like it.

    WTF?

    It’s only a duty if you choose it to be so; if it’s forced on you, it’s an imposition, not a duty.

  120. #120 Haley
    April 28, 2010

    If my husband makes me have sex against my will, then I don’t have a good marriage.

  121. #121 Jadehawk, OM
    April 28, 2010

    Never, ever let your ideology get in the way of reality, Jadehawk…

    what ideology, you fucking moron? I haven’t described any ideology to you; I have described social conditioning, as it exists. This has precisely fuck-all to do with people cheating.

    And yes it IS most definitely our duty at times to have sex when we don’t feel like it.

    no. go fuck yourself.

  122. #122 Jadehawk, OM
    April 28, 2010

    No, I really don’t. Please explain.

    yeah, I didn’t express that well at all.

    basically, while everybody needs to do some work to get into and maintain a relationship (i.e. they don’t hand out relationships at the welfare office; if you stink like a rotten egg from 10 feet away because you shower once a year and throw rotten tomatoes at women, you have only yourself to blame if you remain single forever :-p ), in the case of women* there’s this general vibe that by default, them being female makes them automatically just not good enough to be a man’s companion (unlike his buddies; every man has the right to be someone’s buddy; he won’t get rejected just for being a man, even though). And as such, it’s this huge reward bestowed upon them for “not being like other women”; it’s a form of top-down charity with the women in the position of beggars.

    Or differently yet: the “right” to a relationship is basically that everybody is worthy of human companionship, but some individuals just aren’t as appealing to a wide enough audience. OTOH, there’s groups of people who aren’t granted this right because they’re considered lesser beings and are treated like all affection towards them is an act of charity for which they should be grateful.

    - – - – - – - – - –

    *and here I have to correct myself and expand this to certain other, similarly reviled, groups of people; fatshaming can have precisely the same effect, for example

  123. #123 Rorschach
    April 28, 2010

    in the case of women* there’s this general vibe that by default, them being female makes them automatically just not good enough to be a man’s companion

    I can’t say I’ve ever come across that phenomenon.In fact my best “companions” have mostly been female.

    do you understand the difference between earning a relationship and earning the right to a relationship?

    I don’t think there is any such thing as “earning the right to a relationship”.And even the things we do to make the event of getting into a relationship more likely, like wrt personal hygiene, working out, whatever, do not actually make a relationship more likely in the end,who knows whether the one person you will someday meet in the queue at the supermarket will like you better the way you tried to prep yourself?

  124. #124 Walton
    April 28, 2010

    Or differently yet: the “right” to a relationship is basically that everybody is worthy of human companionship, but some individuals just aren’t as appealing to a wide enough audience. OTOH, there’s groups of people who aren’t granted this right because they’re considered lesser beings and are treated like all affection towards them is an act of charity for which they should be grateful.

    Hmmm. I think I see the distinction you’re drawing, but I think that’s more to do with social status and perceived attractiveness than with gender. People of a low social status, or who deviate substantially from cultural norms of attractiveness, are often made to feel like they don’t “deserve” a relationship and like any kind of affection towards them is an act of charity. But I think this holds true for men as well as women. As you said, fat-shaming is a very common example of this, but it isn’t just overweight people who are treated like this.

    This is the downside of the whole “free love” and “sexual liberation” concept. When you live in a society where it’s obvious that some people are having lots of sex with lots of partners while others are having none, and when expressions of sexuality are everywhere, the inequality and elitism is very much on display, and it reinforces self-perceptions of inferiority for those of us who are excluded.

  125. #125 John Morales
    April 28, 2010

    [meta]

    Walton, your self-pity is mildly amusing (and self-sabotaging), but wears thin.

    Bah.

    it reinforces self-perceptions of inferiority for those of us who are excluded

    You’re a smart, young, clean-living healthy person who should be thinking the amorphous group known as “they” are missing out on you, rather than you’re missing out on them.

    Your shyness is an excuse, but a wimpy one. I, too, once was shy — I got over it.

  126. #126 Carlie
    April 28, 2010

    I need to lose about 100 pounds to earn the right to a relationship.

    Oh, for fuck’s sake. NO YOU DON’T. What you do to earn the right to a relationship is to be a decent person. Sometimes the right person comes along, and sometimes the right person doesn’t, but it’s not about how you look (I’m also talking to you, Walton). Go read the fantasy of being thin, (and Walton, read it and substitute “handsome” for thin). Gaaaa. Go look around. All kinds of ugly and fat and even not so smart people are having sex and relationships all over the place, and it’s because they’re nice people who happened to find someone who got along with them. I swear, it’s just like religious thinking with a lot of people, that if they just do this magic thing (lose weight) or that magic thing (new hairstyle, new clothes, whatever) they’d find a date, because they can’t face that at some level it really is all about chance and who you meet, and isn’t under their own control. You can game it by trying to engage in a lot of social activities with people who are like-minded with you, and you can make yourself presentable and polite and not smelly, and you can make sure you’re a kind and tolerant person, but you cannot do one magic thing to change your appearance and suddenly have all sorts of potential dates flock to you. And if you could, would you even want those people who rejected you before on such a superficial basis?

  127. #127 Cerberus
    April 28, 2010

    TCO @115

    No. No, no, no, no, no. I really can’t fully capture how wrong what you just outlined is. For a taste though, let me note that the original patriarchal excuse for the “lie back and think of England” duty in women (well, not the original, the original was “I bought you fair and square from your father”, but certainly the most popular model from the Mad Men/Feminine Mystique era of the early 60s) was the idea that meeting his needs was critical to prevent them from cheating on you and that if you were cheated on it’s because you didn’t “do your duty” to keep him home.

    Cheating has little to nothing to do with what you suggest and “lying back and thinking of England” is about the worst solution you could have to the sort of breakdown of communication you describe and that attitude is really at the heart of many of the things that end up making heterosexual monogamous relationships so potentially fucked up.

    What people, all people, need is steady communication with one’s romantic or sexual partners, knowing where the other is and figuring out what relationship model works best for each other and whether sexual incompatibility just gets in the way of desired relationship models and any feelings of love.

    Cheating is a flaw born out of a system that tells people, “Just do monogamous relationship structure, because” and “don’t ever talk about sex in any in depth full-consent seeking fashion because that makes you a bad slutty person”. Where incompatibilities are not talked about until resentment builds and where the other is demonized to justify the fact that most people will be sexually attracted and potentially in love with multiple partners.

    Furthermore, serial cheating often indicates either a partner unable to commit to monogamy and thus shouldn’t really be trying to force themselves or someone with absolutely no respect for their main romantic partner and who gets off on the madonna/whore complex that separates the “good wife” from the “down&dirty slut”.

    Again, “lying back and thinking of England” as some sort of “insurance policy” for a non-communicative broken relationship structure is how women did it in the decades before no-fault divorce and its a horrible system. It literally makes sex a horrifying chore, it doesn’t really satisfy the “horny” partner because sex with an unresponsive partner is just using someone else’s body to masturbate, and it doesn’t at all deal with any underlying issues of sexual incompatability, failure of foreplay or taking needs into account, etc…

    And that’s only the tip of the iceberg of fail.

    You again @116

    I will pray everyone will forgive this far less than reasoned and measured response, but go fuck yourself Calm One.

    For a more reasoned elaboration, 1) I don’t owe my partner a violation of my bodily autonomy just because I love her, 2) Rape is not sex and anything without full, informed consent is not only too damn close to rape, but bad fucking sex that doesn’t satisfy the other partner, 3) Again, no one owes shit because of love. The idea that bodily autonomy and consent literally require being thrown out of a window because that’s what you owe a person you love is the toxic ideology of the rape culture, 4) My personal decision for limited unidirectional sexual acts to meet her sexual needs are valuable and something I enjoy continuing entirely because I intellectually enjoy the action of getting her off. If it was painful for me or if it was something I owed I’d quickly drop off doing it. Consent freely given allows more sex because the terms and boundaries are safe to explore. 5) Do I see everything in terms of ideology? Go fuck yourself.

    I guess, I still failed on the measured response attempt. Sorry everybody.

  128. #128 Walton
    April 28, 2010

    To be fair, I don’t think my unattractiveness is solely or even primarily a question of physical features. Rather, it’s also affected by certain destructive personality traits (narcissism, cowardice, self-absorption, a tendency to wallow in self-pity) which are obvious to anyone who’s had more than a five-minute conversation with me. People on here have sometimes commented that I tend to turn every conversation into a therapy session or a “plea for affirmation and pity” (Professor Myers’ words), and it’s not news to me; I am well aware of this problem and know that I do the exact same thing in real life.

    That’s why I find it easiest to maintain friendships in the context of political activism. When I’ve got an external focus and topic of conversation which is not about me and my failings, I tend to get on much better with people.

  129. #129 Jadehawk, OM
    April 28, 2010

    This is the downside of the whole “free love” and “sexual liberation” concept.

    no it isn’t; I’ve already explained this in a previous conversation. what it is is the downside of treating male-female interaction as a competition. There is no “natural” beauty/attractiveness standard. There is however a cultural one, which is only as important as the necessity to be able to “keep score”. when no one is keeping score, then going out with the “officially” fugly but awesome dude is not going to cost you, socially.

    The less competitive your society, the more equitable the fucking.

  130. #130 Walton
    April 28, 2010

    no it isn’t; I’ve already explained this in a previous conversation. what it is is the downside of treating male-female interaction as a competition. There is no “natural” beauty/attractiveness standard. There is however a cultural one, which is only as important as the necessity to be able to “keep score”. when no one is keeping score, then going out with the “officially” fugly but awesome dude is not going to cost you, socially.

    The less competitive your society, the more equitable the fucking.

    So, if I understand you correctly: you see competitiveness and elitism in sexual relationships as a side-effect of competitiveness and elitism in society as a whole?

    If you’re right, I suppose this supports the hippie-era counter-cultural view of the ideal society: where a “free love” ethos is combined with a communitarian, non-competitive, non-hierarchical social and economic system. But I would suggest that this is probably hopelessly idealistic on anything other than a very small scale, given that competition and elitism in various forms seem to be part of human nature.

  131. #131 Jadehawk, OM
    April 28, 2010

    I think I see the distinction you’re drawing, but I think that’s more to do with social status and perceived attractiveness than with gender.

    and this one is, actually, a bit of a case of male privilege. Basically, the “undesirables” rule hits all women, and women who have low social status twice (because they already have lower status as women in general).

    I don’t think there is any such thing as “earning the right to a relationship”.And even the things we do to make the event of getting into a relationship more likely, like wrt personal hygiene, working out, whatever, do not actually make a relationship more likely in the end,who knows whether the one person you will someday meet in the queue at the supermarket will like you better the way you tried to prep yourself?

    that’s what I described as “earning a relationship”; the “right” is a much more basic level.

    And I’ve seen it a lot. I think universities (especially American ones, but I’ve heard a lot of similar shit from Australian ones) are the worst offenders, with the most concentrated bullfuckery. and once you can observe this shit in such blatant form, it also becomes easier to identify in it’s less obvious forms as they happen outside of such completely testosterone-poisoned areas.

    Gaaaa. Go look around. All kinds of ugly and fat and even not so smart people are having sex and relationships all over the place, and it’s because they’re nice people who happened to find someone who got along with them.

    fugly assholes get into relationships/get laid, too. An hour of watching Jerry Springer should make it pretty obvious that virtually everybody can at least theoretically find a partner.

  132. #132 Cerberus
    April 28, 2010

    Walton @114

    While the way our culture trains people to have intense body dysmorphia (see patriarchy and the being bad for everyone nature thereof) if they fail to meet the false white, thin standards of advertising, the real world is far less delineated. One does not necessarily need to be conventionally attractive to be “sexually desired” nor sexually “successful”. As way of example, I’m in the polyamorous community as noted earlier. Those who fit into this relationship model would be, by the patriarchal model, often considered highly successful (a good number have threesomes and foursomes or have more than one stable sexual partner at a time).

    Advertising and the patriarchy would have you believe that such people would be conventionally attractive, young, white, thin and the men would all have “real men” values and other attributes that would make them drip with masculinity.

    But then there’s reality. Polyamorous people are just like “normal” people. There are old people, fat people, and patriarchal “real man” values tend to be hard to find because such attitudes tend to turn off women and tend to go hand-in-hand with being pissy about safe sex and consent which are big no-no attitudes in the community (for pure community safety and comfort). Not to mention the links to the kink scene (not exactly traditionalists there) and bisexual scene.

    And in the mono straight world, many of the “real man” types tend to go dry and become bitter about that because they feel “entitled to pussy” by their meeting of the patriarchy’s standards and many “loser” types end up supporting feminist or feminist-lite values that not only attract women but keep them around longer.

    My male best friend is a fat, prematurely balding straight man with no money to his name, a shitty job, intense nerdiness, slow mental faculties (though he tries to be proactive against his ignorance and never shies from an opportunity to learn even if it takes him a while to grasp a concept), and some baggage from being raised fundie christian.

    A real catch, right?

    He’s had a steady string of girlfriends and never seems to go too long without.

    Basically, the “rules” society sell you aren’t actually true and someone introverted and conventionally unattractive (hey, you want to talk about that, I’m a brick transwoman) does not automatically translate to unloveable or unfuckable in this world.

    The trick is to fully value women as true equals and approach a relationship on those grounds and to take the risk in putting yourself out there, joining multi-gendered groups, getting help for low self-esteem and desperation problems from a therapist or willing friend, and really thinking about what it is you want and accepting that it will come in time even though periods of drought make it seem like it’ll never come.

    Again, I’m about as far from conventionally attractive as you can get, I’m asexual, introverted, and accept all relationships whether friend or romantic by sheer zen stumbling into them and I’m in a relationship. It’s not as mysterious as the patriarchy makes it seem though low self-esteem can make it seem that way.

  133. #133 Jadehawk, OM
    April 28, 2010

    given that competition and elitism in various forms seem to be part of human nature.

    so is cooperation and community. the point is to channel “human nature” in such a way that it minimizes the negative and maximizes the positive.

    Mind you, that still wouldn’t get everybody laid, but it would really become more about personal taste and inclination than about who is Officially Fuckable and who isn’t.

  134. #134 Andreas Johansson
    April 28, 2010

    Carlie wrote:

    And if you could, would you even want those people who rejected you before on such a superficial basis?

    Why, yes. Desperation doesn’t breed high standards.

  135. #135 Carlie
    April 28, 2010

    Also, don’t be that guy.

  136. #136 Cerberus
    April 28, 2010

    Also adding on myself, consent fetishism, feminism, free love and the other attitudes moving us away from sex in the puritan model and towards approaching sex from a standard of full knowledge and the exploration of lust and what that means, etc…

    These things all lead to greater and better sex. When women feel free to explore themselves without the patriarchy breathing down their neck and with men allowed to be themselves rather than worry that their “masculinity” will be revoked at a second’s notice and that this will have dire social consequences, not to mention people being free to figure out what works for them sexually and being able to trust that their consent will be sought and respected makes it easier for people to have sex, form relationship structures that work best for themselves in their circumstances and limits the “elitism and segregation” in society.

    Basically, Walton, you should be rather thankful to the gains made by “free love” and feminism as its moving us all further and further away from the patriarchal models and towards rational sane models of love and sex that better take into account people’s actual desires and needs.

  137. #137 Rorschach
    April 28, 2010

    Basically, the “rules” society sell you aren’t actually true and someone introverted and conventionally unattractive (hey, you want to talk about that, I’m a brick transwoman) does not automatically translate to unloveable or unfuckable in this world.

    And finally, I get to say it, like all the cool kids…

    QFT !!!

  138. #138 Cerberus
    April 28, 2010

    One last note on the Walton thing, this would be another great example of “the patriarchy hurts men too”.

    The breeding of low self-esteem in men who feel they are in no way competitors by the standards of “masculinity” so that there is an assumption of failure that breeds desperation simply because there is a complete loss of self-esteem and trust in one’s one self and ability to be attractive to those they sexually desire.

    Sure, body dysmorphia in girls owing to body image is far worse with problems like anorexia and bulimia, not to mention the way that “unattractive women” can be actively punished by men for failing to “make themselves attractive” for them (“Why don’t you take care of yourself” says random stranger on the bus, ” a little makeup goes a long way”).

    But the breeding of low self-esteem and an assumption of “I will never get to sleep with a woman again in heterosexual men who don’t destroy themselves into bitter woman-haters for the patriarchy is also a casualty of the broken system.

    Again, “the patriarchy is bad for everyone”.

  139. #139 Walton
    April 28, 2010

    (“Why don’t you take care of yourself” says random stranger on the bus, ” a little makeup goes a long way”).

    That’s really awful. Someone would have to be a total asshole to say something like that. (I can very much identify with how the recipient of the insult would feel.)

    The breeding of low self-esteem in men who feel they are in no way competitors by the standards of “masculinity” so that there is an assumption of failure that breeds desperation simply because there is a complete loss of self-esteem and trust in one’s one self and ability to be attractive to those they sexually desire.

    Yes, I think that’s true.

  140. #140 Carlie
    April 28, 2010

    That’s really awful. Someone would have to be a total asshole to say something like that.

    Walton, women get told things like that all the time. The patriarchy: you’re soaking in it.

  141. #141 David Marjanovi?
    April 28, 2010

    have said that the biggest-talkin’est men are usually the wimpiest in bed!

    Doesn’t surprise me ? I bet the latter causes the former, like in the joke about the inverse relationship of the size of a man’s car.

    The comments were what was interesting, and the interaction with Amy. Especially the person who said to Amy that they were not calling her immoral, but that plenty of moral people go to hell.

    Christ.

    I haven’t read it, but I suppose there are people in there who have a better-delevoped sense of morals than their own god. Barb is such a person that was very sad to watch.

    “I have an itch right in the middle of my back where I can’t reach, can you scratch it.”

    (Off-topic… you can’t reach the middle of your back?)

    I think there’s something wrong with a person who can enjoy sex with an unwilling or unenthusiastic partner.

    Seconded.

    My partner’s boyfriend is polyamorous, regularly has threesomes, has a wife and a girlfriend, and a large number of fuckbuddies and generally has a very successful and fulfilling sex life and is well considered by all his sexual partners for his considerate thoughtfulness in sex.

    He’s also constantly beating himself up thanks to the patriarchy about how he’s not “manly enough” and that this makes him occasionally anxious that some sort of punishment will befall him for this “failing” and that he should be really worried about it and what it’ll mean for his sexual attractiveness and his worth as a man.

    <headdesk>
    <headdesk>
    <headdesk>

    I’m not just pro sexual freedom that includes sex before marriage without repercussions, I’m anti-abstinence until marriage. (for consenting sexuals, of course.) If these people had some experience before marriage, and if they fucked their marriage partner before the honeymoon, they might be able to learn some things about themselves and their sexual preferences. That way they would better know their sexual compatibility before they tied the knot.

    Seconded and thirded.

    And women, your bodies naturally phase out the need for sex after menopause. That’s the best thing that happens to us; not childbirth.

    I think you’re asexual and you believe everyone is. If so, you’ve had an incredibly sheltered life.

    and far too often, the stupid brush snaps off its handle and I have to buy a new one anyway.

    Am I doing it wrong?

    Brushes snapping off their handles!?! What kind of plastic do you use in the faraway land of Australia?

    Buy a more stable brush next time. If you can’t find any, emigrate.

    And if you could, would you even want those people who rejected you before on such a superficial basis?

    That’s why I don’t bother working out ? I don’t want those who are interested in upper-body musculature above all else.

    (My lower-body musculature must be genetic or something. Years of not moving haven’t made it go away…)

    Why, yes. Desperation doesn’t breed high standards.

    What kind of desperation? That about not getting laid, or that about not getting a long-term relationship? I think you’re only talking about the former…

  142. #142 KOPD
    April 28, 2010

    My lower-body musculature must be genetic or something. Years of not moving haven’t made it go away…

    Weird how that works, isn’t it?

  143. #143 Endor
    April 28, 2010

    “These things all lead to greater and better sex. ”

    Exactly. Marcotte said something very similar to this once. Basically, it’s the “you owe me this” view of sex (rape-apologetics)that keeps people from getting laid, in part, as it forces women to hide, be ashamed or worried about being shamed, all the way across the continuum to rape and abuse. She ended it with “think about that”. I wonder if they ever did.

    And thanks to those who dealt with that totally bullshit “godwin” accusation upthread. It’s deeply heartening to know not everyone buys the “you owe me access to your body whether you want to or not” crap.

  144. #144 Benjamin Geiger
    April 28, 2010

    Success breeds success. Failure breeds failure. And my dating life has been a series of failures.

    (Note that I’m not talking about getting laid. I’ve got two perfectly functional hands, and if push comes to shove—pun intended—then I can find someone of negotiable affections.)

  145. #145 iambilly
    April 28, 2010

    When I read the quote in the OP, I flash back to the ‘doctors’ during the late 1800s who (a) denied that women had any sex drive at all (it was up to the man initiate sex and then it was for breeding, not recreation or love (and men had to be careful not to do it too much or they would be drained of their manly essence, productivity, creativity, and aggression)) or (b) claimed that women were succubi out to drain a man’s essence, productivity, creativity and aggression. Basically, a good woman will not enjoy sex but a slut/whore will so don’t let your wife enjoy sex or she will stop being a good woman and become a slut/whore.

    When I was in high school (last century, not 19th) the same perception persisted. Girls were expected to, eventually, succumb to the aggression of the male (but only after having gone steady for a long time) but were not expected to enjoy it. From various conversations, the girls themselves didn’t expect to enjoy it. Those who did enjoy it were immediately labelled as sluts and the general assumption was that they would go all the way on a first or second date. There were girls with this label. I have no idea if they enjoyed sex or not. I wasn’t too good with the ladies in high school.

    This is, of course, all hearsay on my part. I had one girlfriend who, in retrospect, may have been engaged in date saving.

    For the (((Wife))) and I, sex can be releasing, hot and horny, slow and loving, or any other adjective you would care to name except a household chore. For sex to be a household chore, the man (generalizing here, it could be the other way ’round) would have to view his wife as a thing, a household appliance, not a human being.

    Sadly, there are probably many marriages like that. And I suspect many of them are both Christian and subscribe to the good girl if she is a cold fish and slut if she enjoys it false dichotomy.

  146. #146 Andreas Johansson
    April 28, 2010

    David Marjanovi? wrote:

    What kind of desperation? That about not getting laid, or that about not getting a long-term relationship? I think you’re only talking about the former…

    Both actually. Perhaps I’d learn differently if I had the opportunity, but from where I’m now being in a romantic relationship with someone who likes me for superficial reasons seems preferable to not being in such a relationship at all. (Assuming the partner not to be abusive or otherwise odious in addition to superficial.)

    I should perhaps clarify that I do not think that my looks or weight (losing 100 lbs wouldn’t prettify me; it would kill me) is the primary reason for my romantic failures; I was answering a hypothetical.

  147. #147 staceyjwsolar
    April 28, 2010

    Walton- *Warning- off topic somewhat!*
    It sounds to me that your relationship problems are more mental then physical. I’ve known lots of guys that were overweight or unattractive, but they had plenty of sex, and good relationships.

    I only realized how far the real world was away from the “socially perfect” one when I was a stripper- the fact that men liked ALL the girls, even ones not conventionally pretty, and that overweight ones could do BETTER than the playboy model was very eye opening.

    You don’t have to be perfect, hell, you don’t even have to be half way attractive- ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING!!! I’ve dated some physically UGLY guys that became sexy and attractive by their personality/sexual talents ;).

    Anyway, there are lots of ways to meet women that will like you, but before doing this, you need to get some therapy (unless you can make the changes alone, hard but possible). It’s tough to undo all the years of body issues, self hate, and damage from others insults, but you HAVE to do it. Make it your #1 goal to never whine again, and to learn to love yourself.

    Getting in shape is never a bad idea, if it’s about caring for yourself first. Just know that while it may make things easier, losing weight won’t magically fix your problems. I’ve known HOT guys/women with the same self hate issues and they are either alone, or in terrible relationships. It a cliche that you have to love YOURSELF first, but it is a true one.

    The other reason I’ve found for people not getting into relationships/laid is that they are only interested in being with a Playboy model/movie star. If a person is so extremely physically judgmental that they only want “perfection” and can’t deal with real humans, they will be miserable. I don’t think this is happening here, but I wanted to add it.

    Good luck

  148. #148 staceyjwsolar
    April 28, 2010

    THIS one is ON topic-

    It’s very fundie (xtian/ muslim) to tell a woman to submit sexually to their husbands. This pastor might have added men to this sermon, but I would be willing to bet that the congregation knew he meant YOU WIVES PUT OUT- ITS YOUR GODLY DUTY to satisfy your men. It is institutionalized rape, in many ways. It’s very sick, and breeds contempt, misery, sexual dysfunction and hatred.

    Really, the whole xtian “life plan” is awful: get married early as a virgin, no divorce permitted, no masturbation either (some sects), no adultery, no birth control, no “unwholesome” sexual pleasures, wifely submission, men that MUST lead. For muslims, its MUCH worse! It’s a trap that ENSURES your marriage life will be awful, and your sex life will be unsatisfying and barren of passion. It’s amazing to me any fundie couples manage to make it work at all!!! (can’t comment on religions I don’t know about, not leaving them out because they are innocent of these things)

    Sex should never be a chore, but I do understand the healthy give and take that happens in a true partnership (or poly relationship)- there is a difference between sex as duty and sex to make your partner happy because YOU want too. Consent IS the key, along with choice, I agree with the previous posts on this.

    Lots of the disagreement here seems to be because people are mixing up choice and personal priorities with duty. It would be great if every loving relationship came with complete sexual satisfaction, but that isn’t the reality. Everyone has their own priorities, and their actions follow them. It only becomes a problem when people start doing things sexually because they feel they HAVE TO (duty), which is (sadly) promoted by patriarchal religions.

    I think this was more ramble than anything, sorry about this!

  149. #149 Aquaria
    April 29, 2010

    It sounds to me that your relationship problems are more mental then physical. I’ve known lots of guys that were overweight or unattractive, but they had plenty of sex, and good relationships.

    Hear, hear.

    Walton, Walton, Walton… Whatever am I going to do with you?

    I want you to look at this guy: Gabriel Iglesias The last thing anyone could call him is physically fit. He’s “fluffy,” to put it kindly. But he has a girlfriend. He has women clamoring for his attention. Why? He’s fucking hilarious.

    Now here’s something that will really scare you: The story in that video didn’t really happen to Gabriel, but to his cousin, who happens to be one of my son’s friends. He’s even bigger than Gabriel in size, and banned from several all-you-can-eat restaurants here in San Antonio, because he can make the concept unprofitable for them. That’s how much he can eat, and the pounds have piled up from it. I think he tops out at 450 lbs.

    Want to speculate about his success rate with women?

    Over at his college, he has girls fighting to leave school with him in his Camaro every day. He rarely leaves with less than 3 of them; they pack into the car to spend time with him. I’ve never known him to be without at least one girlfriend, and he’s juggled as many as 8 at a time. Before someone wonders, some of these girls were drop-dead gorgeous. Some weren’t. Most were in-between, like most people are.

    My guess about his secret with women is that he’s outgoing and fun to be with, a very funny guy (do not cross him, though).

    Now if a guy who’s supposed to have the most negative trait imaginable for physical attractiveness can succeed with women, what is your excuse, Walton?

  150. #150 Jadehawk, OM
    April 29, 2010

    What kind of desperation? That about not getting laid, or that about not getting a long-term relationship? I think you’re only talking about the former…

    oh, no. people can be driven to the sort of desperation where they’ll date (and even marry) absolutely anyone, regardless of how they feel about them (and vice versa); for women specifically the “spinster” thing looms large; so does that “biological clock is ticking” crap. Though I’m sure some guys can be driven to the same level of desperation.

  151. #151 WowbaggerOM
    April 29, 2010

    I’m wondering why no-one’s mentioned charisma yet. That’s the real deal-breaker; charismatic people can be of any physical type and – like many of those mentioned upthread – can include those who don’t otherwise meet societal standards of attractiveness, and who sometimes aren’t possessed of any of the other things people consider important qualities, i.e. sense of humour, intelligence and so forth.

    My father is very charismatic; I, sadly am not – and it’s more frustrating because he, like so many other charismatic people I’ve met, seem unaware of this uncommon quality and, as a result, think everyone should be able to have people respond the way people respond to them.

    Trying, at age 15, to explain to my clueless charismatic father why I didn’t have a girlfriend – or very many friends in general – was more than a little difficult.

  152. #152 JustALurker
    April 29, 2010

    I’m just going to throw my 2 cents in real quick. My 2nd and last boyfriend is a great guy for many reasons. He’s a real nerd, very smart and funny. However, he has VERY low self esteem because he didn’t measure up to this “real man” bullshit. He was socially awkward and it took him awhile before he actually lost his virginity. He might be considered ugly to some but honestly, if you get to know him that will change. I was very, very attracted to him and wanted a lot of sex. (There was also the factor that before him I had never actually enjoyed sex or wanted it.) Well, because of his issues he hardly ever wanted sex since he always felt inadequate and said I was faking it. Since he claimed I wanted it so much and faking it, he thought I was cheating. I was not but it lead him to talk to other girls and get naked pics, sexting, that sort of thing. I tried so hard to try and get him to talk, try new things since I thought there was something I wasn’t doing or doing right, and I also tried to change my appreance to get him to want me since I automatically blamed myself for him not wanting me .

  153. #153 JustALurker
    April 29, 2010

    Crap sorry. accidentally posted mid writing. Anyways, my point was this shit just sucks all around. Traditionally non attractive guys are hot to a lot of people, especially to a nerd girl like me. Poster boys are just too fake and superficial. If you can’t look past that bullshit then obviously you aren’t going to like me. Also, I didn’t realize the factors that caused mine and my ex-boyfriend actions that lead to our downfall until after it was too late. Live and learn I guess, but I wish I had learn this lesson with the first major fuck up bf of mine. I made all the big mistakes with him, now I guess it’s just fine tunning…..(sign)

  154. #154 leepicton
    April 29, 2010

    The most successful men with women are the ones who can make them laugh; I am convinced of that. Many years ago when the spawn (as a child) had done something particularly irritating, and the husbeast and I were seriously on his case, he suddenly said something (quite unintentionally) that was so side-splittingly funny, our anger dissipated instantaneously. He had the most bewildered look on his face and I said, “Spawn, you will discover that if you can make a person laugh, they will forgive you most anything.” He soon discovered he had a knack for it and trust me, when he got older, he was a babe magnet. The parade of young ladies at our dinner table was never-ending and we were continually bemused. This young man was not an Adonis, but a bespectacled, pleasant-looking, somewhat tallish mesomorph. But he genuinely liked people, women as well as men, and they responded in kind. But it was the killer wit that sealed the deal. I was never a nosy mother, and he was a serial monagamist, and I suspected he got laid – a lot.
    Note to Walton: After you get the therapy and like yourself better, try to find something you like about everyone you meet. Talk about THEM, not you. Keep your mouth shut about your insecurities; there is nothing, but nothing, that turns a woman off faster than listening to a guy wallow in what he thinks are his shortcomings. Also, before any kind of social engagement, have a short shot of something with a little vodka in it. Seriously.

  155. #155 leepicton
    April 29, 2010

    Speaking of toilets – whoever said parents bred so the children could clean the toilets may have had a point, but in our family it only applied to female children. As the oldest girl, I did indeed have to clean the toilets. It was a chore I only got rid of during the years I could afford a housekeeper, and now, some 60 years later, I am once again cleaning the fucking porcelains. Well, the husbeast “man cleans” his, as it is something he can still do from a wheelchair, but you women know what THAT means. I still have to get down on my hands and knees and get all around the back and sides and the floor, because men in the bathroom are just not……real specific.

  156. #156 desertfroglet
    April 29, 2010

    Oh, dear. I made the mistake of following Carlie’s link @140 and now have to sit quietly in a darkened room to calm down.

    Thankfully, I’m now of an age where I’m almost invisible, so no one orders me to smile anymore. This avoids the rapidly escalating aggression that usually follows. Apparently, if you don’t welcome a personal comment from a random male stranger it’s because you’re a miserable man-hating bitch. It’s an odd world.

    However, despite my middle-aged translucence, I’m still visible enough to be touched by people I’ve never met before. Once again, if you mention politely that you’d prefer people not to do that, there’s clearly something wrong with you.

    Sorry, I just had to have a bit of a rant.

    Carry on.

  157. #157 desertfroglet
    April 29, 2010

    Lee Picton @154

    The most successful men with women are the ones who can make them laugh; I am convinced of that.

    This.

    Funny and smart is a devastatingly attractive combination. (I have a crush on David Marjanovi?. Also Louis.)

  158. #158 Jadehawk, OM
    April 30, 2010

    I have a crush on David Marjanovi?

    welcome to the club. take a number and wait your turn ;-)

  159. #159 WowbaggerOM
    April 30, 2010

    Funny and smart is a devastatingly attractive combination.

    Yeah, but sometimes it’s still not enough. I’ve made a lot of women laugh in my time, but the number of them who’ve wanted to do more with me than be amused are very, very few.

  160. #160 Benjamin Geiger
    April 30, 2010

    And charisma isn’t something you can learn. I don’t have it, so it doesn’t do me any good.