Reluctance vs. Rejection

    This is a piggyback off Friday’s question of the day. Gentlemen, is is better for a wife who isn’t in the mood for sex to reluctantly accept your initiation, or to say no altogether and put it off until the next day?

    I ask specifically because of the situation I’ve been in the last two weeks. Dh had a bad cold, and I’ve got a recent knee injury that’s putting limits on our acceptable positions. Sex really wasn’t a priority for either of us.

    I was at a work conference Thursday/Friday. When I returned Friday evening, I was exhausted from driving and my knee was hurting. Dh wanted sex. I consented, knowing it had been almost two weeks and wanting to give him release. I did feel I needed to warn him that I wasn’t up for much because of my physical condition. It was clearly duty sex on my part – I’d initially said no but then felt I wasn’t being fair. I’ve been actively trying not to say no since last summer.

    I initiated the next morning when I was well rested so that we could have a better experience than the night before.

    But reading some of the answers about duty sex in Friday’s QotD made me question my actions. Was the duty sex hurtful? Should I have just asked him to wait for the morning to avoid that? Is there another perspective that I’m not seeing? I’m going to ask Dh, of course, but he sometimes keeps his needs to himself.

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    16 Answer(s)

      I don’t believe that occasional “duty sex” is a bad thing, especially in the circumstances you mentioned. It is when Duty sex is all there is that it creates an issue.

      Fell out of ... Answered on February 2, 2020.
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        I think the general feeling is that “duty” sex is when the partner giving the duty is bored and unresponsive. The sex is for the purpose of duty only, not for the benefit of the relationship. There’s a difference if there is willingness to engage and please, even if it is more about the other partner. If you can’t be willing and engaging, then I believe you should say no. This is why open communication is so critical.

        Hammock Answered on February 2, 2020.
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          Great question, one I’ve been wrestling with as the HD spouse. Sometimes my wife tells me, yes but it’s “gift sex” and needs to be just for you. I’m torn whether to accept (especially since historically sex has been weekly or less for us) or say I’ll wait til you’re up for it.

          Having experienced a lot of rejection prior to our current season, I don’t want to reject her love offering to me. OTOH, I don’t want to be selfish by having sex just for me knowing that she’s not that excited about it. For me, I’m very happy to accept a “not tonight” when I have confidence that “yes” is coming tomorrow. When my wife makes clear that’s what she’s thinking (which isn’t always the case), it’s far easier to hear no.

          Fell out of ... Answered on February 2, 2020.

          Thank you for that insight. I wish that when I said no, I had asked for a postponement until the morning. I was hesitant to do so because so often for me a postponement turns into a never. I’m still working on improving that. What you said is a good reminder that I must continue my work.

          on February 2, 2020.
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            I talked with him about it. Two things came to light.

            1. Talking about sex makes him uncomfortable. Not sure why. I’ll have to spend some time with him on that.

            2. He says it’s obviously better when I’m into it. It looked like he was leaning toward saying that we should have waited until the morning. But he changed his mind when I explained that it was more of a gift from me. An act of gratitude for all he does for us. He then said he was fine with it.

            But it seems that he had been a little hurt by it until I explained that it was more of a gift. He seemed flattered at that point. So the next time this happens, I will be more wise about my choice of words. I verbally offer it as a gift, instead of what I said Friday. I realize now how conflicting my words were then.

            So weird how honest communication works so well! It’s almost like God designed it to be that way. 🤔

            Blanket on a secluded beach! Answered on February 2, 2020.
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              I think you did the generous thing – especially considering your situation.

              If it had been me, I would have appreciated DW offering -in spite of her condition. So, then I might have said, let’s wait a day.

              I don’t think I would call what you did duty sex. Sacrificial sex maybe!

              And then you initiated the next day! You did great!

              Under the stars Answered on February 2, 2020.
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                There is no duty sex in our marriage… If she says she’s not into it, I back off and we go sleep

                On the floor Answered on February 2, 2020.
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                  The closest we’ve been to ‘duty sex’ is when Mrs. Youngbear/Oldbear ‘knows’ I need/desire release. It’s always been through masturbation for me, never PIV. Over the years, if I’m ready and she’s not (tired, not mindful, etc.) for PIV when I’ve suggested (never have persisted, pleaded, etc.) we defer to the next day. The anticipation prepares both of us for an even better time. This has always been fine with me as her pleasure is as important as mine.

                  Her reluctance has never been interpreted as rejection by me. Even reluctance doesn’t describe her reason(s) for not wanting to engage in lengthy PIV sex at that particular time. When she isn’t ready and able (she is willing to take care of me, anytime) to engage in PIV there isn’t a hint of rejection. It never bothers me when she says, ‘Not now’ because she’ll be into it and generous, later.

                  Blanket on a secluded beach! Answered on February 2, 2020.
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                    I like the term “gift sex” vs “duty sex”. One is cold and feels like, “Hurry and get this over with” and the other feels warm, and communicates, “I love you this much”.

                    My wife will willingly and kindly sometimes give me “gift sex” because it’s for release and connection. We were talking about this last night cause we were both tired and while I was feeling horny, I was also very tired and she willingly offered herself to me. I said no so we could both get to bed and she’d had a couple bad nights of sleep but the goal would be to save some energy and come together tonight.

                    To answer you’re question, I can live with a “Can we plz wait till tomorrow morning? (Or night?) and I’ll (fill in the blank: wear this,,,,do this….)” (This allows me to build my appetite and desire and have something to look forward too.) Then follow through and FULLY engage in the experience and rock his world. What man wouldn’t want that? BUT don’t put off AND promise to make it special and not follow through or you’ll train your spouse to not trust you, cheapen the marriage bed, inhibit intimacy AND potentially make sex a take it when you can get proposition, which just spirals downward.

                    Let me also add that in your situation, I’d probably want some type of release after two weeks…so gift sex or at least stimulation to orgasm from you OR with your help and/or presence would be a significant “gift”. I’d already feel rejected after two weeks of not ML and my DW and I would both be asking, what’s going on? Typically, the longest we might go without when together is 4 days during a busy work week or a time of difficult tension.  (I HATE that and usually feel it.) If that happens,  then we usually make up for it on Thursday night and keep going thru the wknd.

                    On the floor Answered on February 3, 2020.
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                      I would always prefer reluctant but willing to have a quick thing over any sort of no.  I don’t consider an “I’m exhausted or not feeling well, can we wait until morning” request to be a no however.  More often, waiting is the best way to go, but sometimes just connecting quickly is.

                      The idea of duty sex doesn’t bother me like I see it bother others.  The way I see it is that if we are going to do what 1 Cor 7 says, you have to assume there will be times when one person isn’t as in the mood or enthusiastically excited about it as the other – why should they have to lie/pretend to be?  Obviously it is more ideal when both are excited about it at the same time.  I’ve got no problem with my wife providing her body to me as a duty, and I’ve got not problem providing my body to her as a duty.  Maybe people mean begrudged sex when they say duty sex – that would be like “do it but I have an attitude towards you about it”.  That would be a whole different thing to me and I could understand why it would be very hurtful.

                      California King Answered on February 2, 2020.

                      I agree with you, especially about 1Cor7. What happened with me was duty sex, but not begrudged sex. But I realize now that it may have been construed as begrudged sex due to the way I offered it.

                      I’m now choosing to call it gift sex because it has a more positive connotation. And I will offer it as such so he’s clear that I’m happy to do it for him even though I don’t necessarily want it for myself.

                      on February 2, 2020.

                      @sd “you have to assume there will be times when one person isn’t as in the mood or enthusiastically excited about it as the other – why should they have to lie/pretend to be?”

                      When one spouse is very LD/no drive and responsive only they may never be in the mood or enthusiastic. I think this is the struggle for many, especially men when they call it all duty sex. If a spouse is giving some duty/gift sex but has other times where they are really into it and enthusiastic it is much easier to accept.

                      on February 3, 2020.
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                        @duchess – I think that is kind and the idea of “gift sex” rather than “duty”.  As a man, I can accept that from my wife if the vibe I’m receiving is love and warmth (smile…touch…etc.) vs. appearing annoyed, short and curt; then I’d rather just stop and forget it, admit it was a bad idea because it didn’t feel like a loving gift, it felt like an obligation.

                        I suspect at that point, most women would feel like they’re being used for a sperm depository and it seemingly, reduces the interaction to a sex act RATHER than God’s design and plan, for a union of souls, that “gift sex” can be a connection point for the couple, even when the female is saying, “I’m tired…BUT I love you enough to allow this connection point for us right now. I want to be one with you.”

                        On the floor Answered on February 4, 2020.
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