Johnny

Is Sex an Obligation Within a marriage?

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Also, if you follow Christianity, another religion, or simply believe in your own version of morality, do you believe that a spouse who withholds sex or affection in general or uses it as a bargaining chip is in sin or is being immoral?

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It says in the Bible that we should love our spouse as we love our own body and that we should submit ourselves one to another.  I think these ideas highlight the fact that in a good marriage, the partners care very deeply for each other and are willing to sacrifice to honour their spouse. 

 

If sex (or anything for that matter) is being used to manipulate the other person, then I would say that the relationship is starting to deteriorate.  Of course, there will be compromise and negotiation in any marriage, but one partner should not use the needs of the other to control them. 

 

From my experience, negotiating the frequency of sex is one of the challenges of marriage.  There will almost always be one spouse who wants to have sex more than the other.  Therefore, this will involve compromise.  One partner will not get sex as much as they want and the other will have sex more than they want.  But if you are truly seeking the best for your partner then you should be able to work through this conflict. 

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An admin has apparently moved this thread to the religion forum, but is there any way I could have this thread moved back to the Relationships forum now that I've framed it for a larger audience?

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I think there's a difference between not wanting to have sex because you're not in the mood, have something else that needs to be done, aren't feeling well, etc, and withholding sex in an attempt to punish your partner, or to try to coerce them into doing something for you. The former is perfectly fine; the later is unacceptable.

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Moved to Topics about waiting.

From a Christian perspective, sex is a duty within a marriage. 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 talks about how we should not deprive our spouse of sex unless its mutually agreed upon FOR A TIME. Then they are to come together for sex to safeguard against sexual temptation. That is NOT to say you are responsible for your spouse cheating because you're not, but you would be responsible for not tending to your spouse's needs. Sex is a need in marriage just like emotional support.

So unless you're sick or recovering from something, I think its important to make an effort to tend to your spouses sexual needs. If not in the mood, then compromise somehow.

Any form of coercion or bargaining is abuse and has no place in a marriage.

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I believe my body becomes my husband's when I marry. Therefore, I will never deny his right to my body. (I will expect him, however, to be sensitive/understanding and not intiate sex when I'm clearly sick, or whatnot.) I won't withhold sex as a punishment, like some women do. However, I may use it as motiviation.

"You know, babe, if you finish painting the kitchen today, there might be something special in it for you!"

 

And if he doesn't paint the kitchen?

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Sex is NOT optional in a marriage. God Himself commands us to not deprive one another of our sexual needs. People who withhold sex when it only suits their needs are too selfish and should not be married (Exceptions are sickness or health issues). 

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I must admit that I feel uncomfortable when people refer to sex as a "duty" or say that they will never deny their spouse the right to their body.  Both of these statements makes sex sound like an obligation or that your partner's body is just a tool that you use to get off.  I'm sure that wasn't what was intended by the people who said these things but I do want to challenge the ideas that these phrases are connected to. 

 

Our culture has commodified sex so strongly that it is often seen as a right or a demand.  We are told that we should have sex whenever we want it.  Media, advertising, television, films, etc seem to do their best to increase in us our demand for sex.  Mostly because they can then harness that increased desire to sell all kinds of things. 

 

One of the most powerful things of WTM is that is stands strong in the face of our sex-crazed culture.  It helps us to see that relationships are about so much more than sex.  It puts sex in its proper place.  It teaches us about self-denial and sacrifice. 

 

I know that at times our culture's commodification of sex can seep into our belief in WTM.  We start thinking that once we get married we will have all the sex we want, whenever we want, and however we want.  We hold on and wait and white-knuckle it now because dammit we will have have all the sex we can get once we get married!  But having that kind of view is dangerous because it sets us up for failure.  You won't get to have all the sex you want once you get married.  And your partner's body is so much more than just a sex toy.  Sex is not something we use to bargain with.  It should not be part of a power struggle. 

 

I deeply believe that sex is meant to unite two individuals.  It's about serving each other, pleasing each other and seeking the good of the other.  I challenge all of you single people to continue to grow the ideas of sacrifice and selflessness in your hearts and minds even while you are still single.  I think it will do wonders for your future marriage.  

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Technically it is. God said to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. So in order to do that we must have sex. But if you or your spouse are not in the mood for health reasons or just don't feel like doing it right then and there you don't have to.

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Thank you for saying all of that, Shane. The attitude that you're "owed" sex from your spouse when you're married disturbs me greatly. While no one used that language, I'm not sure how else to interpret words like withholding, duty, and obligation.

 

I think it can be very difficult for single people, especially single people WTM, to understand what a married sex life looks like. And while many waiters scoff at the importance of sexual compatibility, ideally you'll partner with someone with a comparable sex drive. This is why I stress over and over that even if you're WTM, you seriously need to talk about sex a LOT with your partner before you get married. If one of you wants sex every day and the other wants sex once a week, you're in for a very unpleasant sex life, which will greatly and negatively harm your marriage.

 

If we were independently wealthy (so we didn't have jobs and never had to take care of our house) and never got sick, I'm sure my husband's biological sex drive would have him happy to have sex twice a day, and I'd be happy with every day. But life doesn't work like that. He leaves for work before I wake up in the morning. I have Crohn's Disease, so I get sick a lot. We both work full-time. Sometimes I turn him down for sex. Sometimes he turns me down for sex. And if I tell him that something is stressing me out and I can't think about being intimate until that's done, I am NOT manipulating him or forcing him to help out. Or if he does nice, spontaneous things for me like buying me roses or bringing me breakfast in bed, he doesn't act entitled to sex afterward. If sex does happen, I don't treat it like a reward.

 

Sex is a need in a relationship, but so is nonsexual physical touch, time spent with respective families, alone time separate from each other, emotional support, physical support, mental support.

 

My husband and I joke when he cuddles me awake on the weekends for morning sex. I tease him for only playing with my hair or scratching my back to get sex, and he insists that I just happened to respond sexually, that he hadn't planned on seducing me for at least another ten minutes. Then I fake pout that I could've had more time enjoying his nonsexual physical touch. In reality, I need a LOT of nonsexual physical touch to feel connected to my husband. Having that constant affection means I'm more likely to be receptive to seduction or to initiate sex myself.
 

I deeply believe that sex is meant to unite two individuals.  It's about serving each other, pleasing each other and seeking the good of the other.

 

This is so perfectly stated. Sex is NOT about performing an obligatory duty, or meeting a weekly quota. It's a physical representation of your love for one another.

 

Finally, from a biological standpoint, I want to remind everyone that sex is NOT supposed to hurt a woman. Penetration should NOT be painful. A large contributing factor to a woman's arousal is that she is relaxed and she wants to have sex. If a woman has sex when she is stressed out and is only doing so out of some twisted marital duty, sex will potentially be very painful for her. Biology really should not be left out of these discussions.

 

Also I now plan on seducing my husband when he gets home. I'm sure he'll thank y'all later. ;)

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Finally, from a biological standpoint, I want to remind everyone that sex is NOT supposed to hurt a woman. Penetration should NOT be painful. A large contributing factor to a woman's arousal is that she is relaxed and she wants to have sex.

 

Though, it is possible for women to experience pain from penetration even if they want sex, are fully aroused, etc. Conditions such as vulvodynia and vaginismus are more common than you might think (especially because it can be quite hard to get a proper diagnosis).

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Technically it is. God said to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. So in order to do that we must have sex. But if you or your spouse are not in the mood for health reasons or just don't feel like doing it right then and there you don't have to.

 

At more that 7 billiion people I think earth is pretty much filled.  It would probably be better if we decreased the population! :)

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If we were independently wealthy (so we didn't have jobs and never had to take care of our house) and never got sick, I'm sure my husband's biological sex drive would have him happy to have sex twice a day, and I'd be happy with every day.

 

Note to self: Become independently wealthy before getting married... ;)

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Well, to be honest, one of two things would probably happen... 1. We would skip painting the kitchen and get on with the reward ;)

2. I would get mad because its not getting done and do it myself, resulting in us having a fight... And we'd probably still end up having sex hahahaha

 

GOOD answer.  :)

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At more that 7 billiion people I think earth is pretty much filled.  It would probably be better if we decreased the population! :)

I disagree. No matter how many billions of people are on this earth, it is our duty to have children. Sex isn't just for bonding and pleasure it's for procreation.

The population is already decreasing. Haven't you seen the news?

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I disagree. No matter how many billions of people are on this earth, it is our duty to have children. Sex isn't just for bonding and pleasure it's for procreation.

The population is already decreasing. Haven't you seen the news?

 

This isn't exactly what I had in mind with this thread, but this is an interesting thought. No matter how many billions of people there are on the planet, the entire population could theoretically go extinct within basically a generation. That's a little disturbing to think about...

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The population is already decreasing. Haven't you seen the news?

 

Source, please.

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Source, please.

Fox news

World news

CNN

MSNBC

CBS

International News

Do you not see all the deaths and murders around you? There's war in so many places all over this world and you can't see that the population us decreasing? So many are dying and you think that we should decrease earth's population?

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This isn't exactly what I had in mind with this thread, but this is an interesting thought. No matter how many billions of people there are on the planet, the entire population could theoretically go extinct within basically a generation. That's a little disturbing to think about...

It is really disturbing. And I'm sorry to have brought it up. It just came to mind when I was reading the thread.

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Fox news

World news

CNN

MSNBC

CBS

International News

Do you not see all the deaths and murders around you? There's war in so many places all over this world and you can't see that the population us decreasing? So many are dying and you think that we should decrease earth's population?

Our currents wars do not decrease the population by any significant amount, neither do death and murder. We need a decrease in population.
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Our currents wars do not decrease the population by any significant amount, neither do death and murder. We need a decrease in population.

100's of people dying.... ok I'm Done with this tread.

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In comparison with the 7 billion on earth, the thousands mean nothing, we could lose 100,000 and it would have near to no effect on population growth.

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@Johnny

I believe sex is an obligation unless for health reasons or you or your spouse aren't up for it at at time.

I will not say anything else about it.

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@Johnny

I believe sex is an obligation unless for health reasons or you or your spouse aren't up for it at at time.

I will not say anything else about it.

 

Why not?

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