It’s Time To Stop Having Sex Out Of Obligation

You might think of bad sex as the thing that doesn’t get you off, but there’s another type of bad times you need to know about: the kind of sex that you just don’t feel like having but you go through with anyway. It’s not always about lacking desire or the guy you’re with not being hot—you’re just not in the mood for getting down, so why have it?

  1. It’s a freaking epidemic. The American Sexual Health Association surveyed 2,500 women between the ages of 21 and 50 and found that 81% of them had had been getting down with their partners even when they weren’t in the mood. Wow.
  2. Consent should always be enthusiastic. Bad experiences shouldn’t be forced—you choose to have it. Even though you don’t really want to, you pretend that you do. Often, your intimate partner might think you’re totally down with having it because you haven’t said otherwise. Yikes. Just because you haven’t said no doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be saying “Hell yes!” every time. If you’re not feeling it, don’t bother doing it.
  3. What’s the point? There are many reasons for consenting to bad experiences. You might be worried about what your partner will think if you say you don’t feel like it. Maybe you fear hurting his feelings or coming across as some crazy, confused, or prudish woman. None of these reasons are good enough.
  4. If you call it mercy sex, it’s still wrong. Sometimes bad sex is actually mercy sessions—you’re doing your partner a favor by having it. For instance, if your partner’s in the mood for it but you’re not, you’ll agree to have it so that he can get pleasure. But what about you?
  5. Life’s too short for “meh” sessions. Instead of saying you don’t feel like having it, you go along with it because it’s easier to just surrender. Um, this isn’t going to the dentist for a root canal, for God’s sake. It shouldn’t be a chore.
  6. It causes you to put others ahead of yourself. If you’re choosing to have sex so that your partner gets what he wants or doesn’t feel bad, then you’re saying his feelings matter more than yours. This is bull. What about your feelings? What about your thoughts?
  7. What about your rights? You have the right to change your mind about it, even if he’s bought you dinner at an expensive restaurant and planned a romantic evening at his place. The circumstances don’t matter. “No” is always an option.
  8. This is the next step after faking an experience. When you consent to it you actually don’t want, you’re taking deception further than faking an orgasm. You’re faking the whole sexual experience, from start to finish. Where do the lies end? It’s exhausting to try to pretend all the time.
  9. You can’t be a hot siren all the time. It’s crazy how many messages are out there telling women that we’re not normal. If they can’t have a deep experience via internal sex, we’re not normal. Meanwhile, most women need other types of stimulation to reach that sweet spot. Similarly, women are told that we have to want it, otherwise, there’s something wrong with our bodies or drive. Meanwhile, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with not wanting or agreeing to it every time it’s on the table. It doesn’t make you any less hot.
  10. Maintenance sex is stupid. Sometimes women are encouraged to have maintenance sessions in a relationship. This is just as bad as bad times because it’s about having it to maintain the relationship rather than the experience that you really, really want. That’s just not worth it. An article in Brides writes about maintenance sessions by comparing it to going to the gym: “It is like going to the gym: You don’t want to do it before, but once you suck it up and hit the elliptical, you feel amazing afterward.” Suck it up? Oh, no.
  11. It’s actually doing your partner a disservice. If you’re in a healthy, happy relationship and you think that you have to agree to bad or maintenance sessions once in a while to keep things going, you’re not only hurting yourself but your partner too. Imagine how he’d feel knowing that you’re actually not into it as much as he is and that you’re just agreeing to do it to get it over with as soon as possible. It’s seriously messed up. If he loves you, he’ll want the kind of sex that you enjoy just as much as he does. So, don’t feel guilty if you don’t feel like getting down. It doesn’t make you a bad partner.
  12. You can change your mind. You don’t have to feel like once you’ve agreed to go to the guy’s house and get down to it that you’re committed to it. That’s total nonsense! You can change your mind if you want, even if you fear it’s inconveniencing him. He’s a grown man, he’ll survive. Better to leave him when he’s horny than do something you’re not up for.
  13. Forget about compromise. Sure, compromise might be important in relationships, but who said you had to compromise yourself? If you’re both not winning by having amazing experiences you both want, what are you compromising for? You really don’t have to take one for the team.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.