Should You Have Sex If You’re Not That Into It?

7962Saying “yes” to sex when you’re not that into it can be a real problem. Yet unexpected benefits may arise. It depends.

Women should never agree when it repels them or goes against their values and self-respect.

Yet University of Texas, Austin researchers who wrote Why Women Have Sex found there are times when sex can be rewarding, even when initial interest isn’t too strong.

As one woman put it,

When my fiancée needs to feel closer to me or release tension, I feel I owe it to him to have sex with him. Even if I’m not particularly “in the mood” at the time. He has done the same for me on numerous occasions. I feel that it’s a part of a healthy, loving, monogamous relationship to be able to see your partner’s needs and help them in any way you can. I never feel anything but the satisfaction of knowing that I have given to him all that I can, as he does for me.

And what starts out as “not that interested” can end in pleasure. As another related,

There have been instances where I have told my partner that I did not feel like having sex. On the occasions when I have had sex due to my partner’s insistence it has been because his insistence came in the form of foreplay (romantic kissing, petting, etc.), and I found that I had changed my mind about wanting to have sex.

Some women felt “extremely glad” afterward, or said it “boosted my confidence.” Many saw it as a healthy way partners can nurture each other.

Those who end up enjoying themselves are typically not entirely against the idea beforehand. But whether mood turns to desire depends on her partner’s skill at foreplay, her bodily responses, and the extent to which she comes to experience pleasure, physically and emotionally.

It depends on her motivation, too.

Problems often arise if she agrees in hopes of avoiding negative or painful consequences. Desperation, shame and remorse can arise if she goes against her values, leading to feelings of self-betrayal and damaged self-respect.

But different circumstances can lead to happiness and contentment. Was she seeking a positive experience? Did making her partner happy make her feel good? Does her partner do the same for her? Did she stay true to her values? If so, she likely felt good about the decision, creating a good experience all around.

Note: I’m doing reruns for the holidays.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych, women's psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State University. And I have blogged for Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos.

Posted on December 27, 2013, in psychology, relationships, sex, women and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. I think the key here is that the people who had the most enjoyment were in committed relationships. They understand each other and the types of actions they will respond to. It becomes dangerous when you don’t know people that well. If, for example, a couple had been dating for a short period of time, they won’t know what they can do to persuade the other to have sex or if they will respond well to being persuaded.

    • That’s a really good point. Thanks for pointing it out.

      And of course, it’s always about saying yes. Men should never pursue sex unless a woman consents. And women need to know when consent may harm or help them.

  2. It is less problematic if you find a life partner with the same sex drive you have. With my first wife and mother of my kids, I knew we had different sex drives before we got married but I thought that things would improve after marriage. Well, as anyone who’s ever been married knows, problems do not get better after marriage, in fact, they usually get worse. Making a lifetime commitment to someone that has an opposite sex drive to yours can be quite frustrating and crazy-making.

  3. I can only speak from the perspective of being in a relationship but I think that as long as it’s not some sort of demeaning sexual act or that you’re being manipulated or guilted into it then it’s probably a good practice to give in even when you’re not necessarily in the mood. Granted, it should be the guy’s job to figure out what he needs to do to get you there, but I think sex should be an act of giving as well as receiving.. so sometimes you have to put a little more effort into the giving.

  4. Quite a good post. At times,Sex can be done to please your partner whether you are in the mood or not!. I have seen girls saying yes so that their partner dont feel offended. On other hand when a girl is in mood, their male may response with a yes or if they having a bad temper or not in mood they would straight away say a No. According to me , sex must be done when both are in mood . Sometimes though it happens that if you are not in mood, later after initiating sex, mood is turn on . :-)

  5. Well, not every person’s sex drive is going to be the same or at the same time. So if the partner is not completely against sex at the moment that it should be fine. But maybe it because many relationships around me are long distant and when they do come together the girls feel obligated to satisfy the guys. But could it also be true that some girls don’t have a big of a sex drive as men?

  6. nice post.Also great quotes used by women who experienced this particular situation.Relating to this topic In my opinion I believe men experience this with woman also. For example, say sarah is sexually active and feels horny in a way but her husband Dave is tired from work and is’nt in the mood for sex. But then Sarah still sexually active touches Dave mid section and tries to turn him on Suprisingly enough Dave gets turned on and starts taking part and at the end both are stoked at what took place. This shows that men even though they don’t feel like their into it would eventually change their mind once a “sexual spark” sets in. Also this shows that men is not that different from woman when caught in the same situation.

  7. I agree with the first woman who had sex to meet her partners need. That seems the best way to maintain a healthy relationship. Instead of having one person giving and one person taking, you have a couple communicating with each other and working together to make the other happy. It’s also interesting how other women have experienced pleasure after sex, even when they told their partners that they were uninterested beforehand. I think that just goes to show that when compromise on something you were previously against, you don’t always lose out. Honestly, I think it depends on how much a couple communicates on their true feelings and their trust for each other.

  8. I strongly agree with the first woman. In fact, I believe that in a relationship the man and the woman should care about making the other happy for the relationship to grow and get stronger. One of the most common ways to make someone happy is to do what they want you to do. In this case, it will be positively respond to your partner’s need to have sex with you. As far as I am concerned, I strongly believe that if your partner never wants to have sex with you, you should question yourself or your relationship. Love firstly comes with physical attraction, so women should be happy when their partners want to have sex with them because it somehow shows that they love you or that this strong attraction is still present. Also, if you consecutively refuse to have sex with your partner, he/she can get frustrated or think that you cheat on them or even that you do not love them anymore.
    Furthermore, sex is part of a healthy and harmonious relationship as the first woman mentions it. Another disadvantage of always or often refusing to have sex with your partner can be that getting too frustrated will foster his/her need to cheat on you in order to satisfy this need. So, it is in your advantage to say “yes”; however, you do not have to say “yes” every time you are asked to do it.
    Nevertheless, it is also important that you feel the same need; otherwise, it can be a waste of time and energy for both of you. For example, when my boyfriend wants to have sex with me and that I am not in the mood, I do not always say “yes”. Indeed, sometimes I am just too busy with work or I just feel like cuddling, but not having sex. I realized that when I say “yes” in these times, there are two outcomes: Either, I end up enjoying it or he will feel that I did not want it at first which can sometimes frustrate him or make him be mad at me. Again, sex is something that needs a mutual investment in other to get pleasure out of it. Investment implies interest (or vice-versa); therefore, if you are not interested in having sex with your partner you will not put all the efforts or investment that you need to in other to “get your partner going” or completely satisfy him. Consequently, your partner can feel that difference in your reactions and get frustrated or even hurt in some cases. Additionally, I think that those who having sex go against their values, it will always be challenging as far as man-woman relationship goes because every time their partner will ask for sex they will say no for their satisfaction, but they will most likely end up alone or desperate. Again, not having sex with your partner will not make you virgin again, so you won’t get hurt by doing it for your partner. To sum up, I think that it is better to accept to have sex with your partner even when you do not feel like doing it just because you will satisfy your partner’s need. Finally, it is important to do sacrifices when in relationship.

    In conclusion, as “it’s a part of a healthy, loving, monogamous relationship” (Woman 1), it is important to sometimes accept to do what you do not want/like to do for the satisfaction of your partner.

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