Today I want to discuss the topic of withholding sex in relationships. I grew up watching a lot of television and movies, even reading books, where this was a thing. “Uh-oh, he said something embarrassing about you. Guess he won’t be getting any tonight.” As a kid and teenager, I honestly thought this was part of a healthy relationship. The man is wrong, better hide that schlong. The media taught me this. Not my parents. Not any other real-life relationships.
This is not part of a healthy relationship.
First of all, why is this a punishment? Why assume that a woman doesn’t have as much sexual drive as her partner, whether they be male or female? I cannot agree with that at all. I like the sex. I want the sex a lot. (Calm down grammar Nazis, that was intentional.) This assumes that it is a punishment but really, who is losing here? Both parties, am I right? No sex for them means no sex for you, unless this is an open relationship, a poly relationship, or a really, really unhealthy one where cheating is involved.
Second of all, why are you punishing your spouse or significant other? This is the equivalent of sending them home to their mom for a spanking. They are not your child. You don’t have to teach them a lesson. Healthy relationships are not about mind games or power plays. You have an issue; you sit down and discuss it like adults. Seriously people, grow up.
This can go the other way as well. Sex is not a reward for your partner. You don’t give sex because they got you flowers or candy or a thoughtful piece of jewelry. When people do this, it tells me two things: you can be bought and you think you can train your lover to please you.
Telling or even hinting that you will have sex with a guy for a certain item you want basically means you are a prostitute. If you are a prostitute, do your thing, no judgement here. If not, what kind of relationship are you looking for? Relationships usually involve some form of commitment; something clients are not looking for with sex workers.
Your significant other is also not a dog. You are not training them to do nice things for you so they can get a reward. Telling them that they will get a passionate night that will blow their mind if they get you those diamond earrings you’ve been nagging about is the equivalent of holding a treat in your hand, pointing at a stick, and saying “Fetch!” Or, let’s put it this way, you’ll get a pat on the head and a “Good job” if you go in the kitchen and make him a sandwich. Yeah, doesn’t feel good, does it?
There are always exceptions to withholding sex and sex as a reward, of course. Role-playing. An inside joke. A mutual game you like to play. The main thing here is communication. A healthy relationship does not involve two (or more) people trying to dominate the other(s). You are supposed to be in this together. In the end, when it really comes down to it, you should want to have the sex because you want the sex, and so do they. Mutual understanding.
Keep this in mind with your relationships and with your writing!