Today over on Jezebel the topic up for discussion is “Maintenance Sex“, you know sex you have with your partner that you may not necessarily want yourself at that very moment. In any long term relationship couples are bound to be on different sexual schedules. So how do you navigate this? Do you just accept maintenance sex as a necessary chore? A social worker on Huff Po had this to write on the “Myth of Maintenance Sex” and how to get over it:
The phenomenon of maintenance sex is fueled by a stereotype of male sexuality as the face of pure impulse, devoid of any relational meaning. Esther Perel, a leader in the field of sexuality, says it like this: “the cliché is that men are always interested in sex. Male sexuality, we think, is like a perpetual motion machine. Contrary to women, their desire is seen as uncomplicated, a simple biological force seeking an outlet.” And it is true that many women I have encountered revert to a narrative in which male sexual desire has the subtlety of a Labrador Retriever mindlessly chasing after a ball — a one-sided, unvaried primitive pleasure. In this story, whether or not the women actually want or enjoy sex is secondary to men satisfying their need for penetration and orgasm.
She suggests that instead of just accepting maintenance sex from women that men should ask for better than that.
If a guy actually wants better sex, he may have to start turning it down when he gets the feeling that his partner is just doing him a favor. And he needs to start holding the woman in his life accountable for her own gratification by asking her to tell him what she needs to get turned on. This is grown-up sex — the kind where both parties take some responsibility for their own pleasure — and unlike maintenance sex, it’s actually pretty hot.