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Subject: Withholding Sex rss

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Chad Ellis
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I interpret "withholding" sex to mean something more than not wanting it for some period of time. I think most women and perhaps less than most men have periods where their sex drive falls. My wife and I went through a slow period after our second daughter was born and by all accounts we were the envy of nearly all the other couples in her circle of moms because we were still having and enjoying sex on a semi-regular basis.

Not getting sex can be an issue...but it's very different if your partner is deliberately withholding sex as a conscious choice. As with most things, context is (nearly) everything but I would put that on the list of things that are serious enough to make divorce a consideration.
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T. Nomad
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DarthXaos wrote:
When she witholds sex, it's time to withold your wallet.

Lucky for me: I never dated hookers.



Sex is part of a healthy, adult relationship. If you're witholding sex, you're de facto opting out of that relationship.
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Scott Tepper
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Hey, G., I usually don't jump into these sorts of discussions, but your question above really pushed my button.

Not being married myself, but having attended many, I've observed that the vows(at least in the US) almost always include things like "in sickness and in health", or "till death do you part". I've never heard included in the vows, "or until you don't feel like being married anymore".

I was under the impression that marriage is this incredibly hallowed commitment...so special, and so holy, that many of those who have wanted to, were and still are excluded from marrying, despite their love and commitment for one another.

So I have to ask...When you ask:

GAWD wrote:

Is being the "victim" of withheld sex grounds/justification for divorce?



Are you asking because you think that this possibly is a valid ground for dissolving a marriage, and you want validation, or is it a comment on the hypocrisy of the solemnity of modern marriage vows(and of those who would deny others the right to marry) in the US, when 2 out of 5 marriages are ending in divorce?

Just curious...
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The Steak Fairy
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Gays can withhold sex as well as anybody--who ever heard of a gay or lesbian person with a real headache? Denying them marriage is just another way the Military-Industrial Complex seeks to exert its control over American society. Keep people irritable and agitated and there will be more and more war. Obviously we can't have gays in the military, because somebody has to stay home and be frustrated enough to cause the wars in the first place.
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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Scott Tepper wrote:
Are you asking because you think that this possibly is a valid ground for dissolving a marriage, and you want validation, or is it a comment on the hypocrisy of the solemnity of modern marriage vows(and of those who would deny others the right to marry) in the US, when 2 out of 5 marriages are ending in divorce?


Divorcing due to lack of sex (including lack of productive sex [productive in the teleological sense]) is probably the oldest and most hallowed of all reasons for divorce, historically speaking.
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The Steak Fairy
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Hey, Bagpipe Dan is back!!! Dan, have you been having a fun summer? Withheld any sex lately??
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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MisterCranky wrote:
Hey, Bagpipe Dan is back!!! Dan, have you been having a fun summer? Withheld any sex lately??


I'm not back, I just stormed off in haughty anger and like the fool I am forgot to leave my angry message. My plan is to build up my huge esteem again and then storm off proper-like. And yes, I have had such an enormously busy summer withholding sex from so many people that I haven't had a single moment of time to provide the internet with the one thing it is so sorely lacking: a smartass who holds beliefs outside the expected norms and who won't compromise on his perspective, yet surprisingly lives an extraordinarily mainstream and cowardly life outside the confines of anonymity.
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John O'Haver
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Recreational versus procreational sex was the ignition element in the explosive end of my 15 year marriage. There are a lot more factors than just that but the way our different sexual appetites and goals developed over time was the friction that generated the spark.

Since then, I've been a bachelor for over 20 years. In fact, the 22nd anniversary of my divorce is the 18th of this month. I've been several or many - I don't know how one generalizes such numbers- short relationships of one night to a few months and in a few long term relationships lasting several years. During that time I've never felt sex was being used as a manipulative tool or lack of sex as punishment.

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DarthXaos wrote:
When she witholds sex, it's time to withold your wallet.


...and women should dress in white like all of the other appliances in the kitchen. whistle

EDIT: LINK so y'all don't think that I am a Neanderthal. Sometimes I might be TOO subtle.
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Morgan Dontanville
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I've been withholding sex from MisterCranky for years now with more or less successful results.
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The Steak Fairy
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sisteray wrote:
I've been withholding sex from MisterCranky for years now with more or less successful results.


I felt you groping during the hug at BGG.CON '07. Don't pretend.
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Not trying to be trouble here, but I'm with Chad on the "define withholding sex" thing. How do you mean? I think that withholding sex maliciously to extort some sort of change in your lover's behavior or as some sort of punishment for some offense against you is cruel and wrong, but not grounds for divorce.

Other instances of not having sex, for any number of reasons that may be valid for the man or woman who is unwilling to engage in sex, may be considered withholding, but I don't think it's malicious. That's not to say that it doesn't hurt the other party.

I think it is pretty wretched that that chick refused to have sex with him for a year; heck, I'm going pretty crazy after a week here or there without sex -- a year?! wow! Dude must have felt really really bad, isolated, rejected.

That said, I wonder what her reasoning was, why she felt so disengaged with her husband? How does a couple let that happen?

Back to withholding -- If the definition involves maliciousness or the intent to harm. Why on EARTH would anyone be so selfish and simpleminded to do something like that? Withholding affection from your spouse can bring nothing but harm to the relationship. It's simple. When people take vows, those vows include to love each other, the list is long, but the gist is simple: we are honor bound, by the vows we took (God as our witnesses if we are Christians) to love our spouses -- when it's easy and when it's tough -- we love them. Simple. Simple sweet affection -- a message that they are important and that we notice them -- it's the thin end of the wedge that let's us get closer than close, lets us connect and re-connect. Why would we deny our relationships that? That seems cruel.

What do you make of the disparity in the numbers? Why do you suppose that three times as many people believe that they have been the victim of sex being withheld as say that they have withheld sex?
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Morgan Dontanville
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MisterCranky wrote:
sisteray wrote:
I've been withholding sex from MisterCranky for years now with more or less successful results.


I felt you groping during the hug at BGG.CON '07. Don't pretend.


Yeah, sorry about the bra strap hug...

...who knows what wandering hands will find....
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John So-And-So
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Lynette
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bat girl wrote:


What do you make of the disparity in the numbers? Why do you suppose that three times as many people believe that they have been the victim of sex being withheld as say that they have withheld sex?


Honestly Bat Girl... I think the disparity comes from the fact that a larger portion of the poll responders are male. Women (sadly) are far more likely to withhold *sex* as a control or punishment than men. I know women who seriously think that is actually a perfectly fine way to behave. Not many but a few.

But before the men all start saying hell yeah... I know men who purposely withhold attention and affection to punish the women in their life. Again not many but a few.

Same game just slightly different execution of tactic based on the vulnerabilities of the target.

Personally I find this kind of scorched earth game playing to be a horror all around.

But still based on how the poll was worded and the situation that inspired GAWD to write it... yes men are more likely to have been on the receiving end than the dishing out end of this particular bit of nastiness so the results don't surprise me at all.


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Meerkat wrote:

...Women (sadly) are far more likely to withhold *sex* as a control or punishment than men...


I got to agree with that, I always thought that a woman withholding sex with me would be the worst punishment. Self-punishment that is ninja
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Clay
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Given that there is quite an obvious difference between having a 'dry patch' of actually not wanting sex (Which is human and understandable. A good couple can work around this without villifying one another and making it all worse) and consciously withholding sex as some sort of 'punishment' or 'control tactic', I'm quite shocked that there are people who don't see this as reasonable grounds for divorce.

Of course, for the question to even make sense you have to see something as grounds for divorce, otherwise you simply don't believe that divorce is ever a reasonable course of action and shouldn't really be answering this question in the first place as that's a far larger issue.

So, what would be reasonable grounds for divorce then? Whatever your answer to that question, why is that more reasonable than your spouse being cruel and manipulative enough to shut down your sex life (Something I'm sure most, if not all, will agree is a fundamental aspect of a healthy relationship) and with it a primary avenue of shared joy? This is deliberately malicious behavior no matter how you look at it, so why would it be considered 'unreasonable' to seperate yourself from that individual?

Oh, and yes, I quite obviously do see this as reasonable grounds for divorce. Of course, as has been stated context is very important and withholding for a week after a serious argument is quite different from witholding almost completely in order to try and 'control' your spouse with sexual frustration and well-timed 'rewards'.

Edit: It's late and one of my sentences made absolutely no sense due to a left-out word.
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Chad Ellis
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Scott Tepper wrote:
Are you asking because you think that this possibly is a valid ground for dissolving a marriage, and you want validation


Anyone who thinks that GAWD is suffering from lack of sex with his wife must be relatively new here. Welcome to RSP!

(GAWD is married to bat_girl and apparently has more sex than the dreams of a frat house.)
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Ben Foy
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The Message wrote:
Given that there is quite an obvious difference between having a 'dry patch' of actually not wanting sex (Which is human and understandable. A good couple can work around this without villifying one another and making it all worse) and consciously withholding sex as some sort of 'punishment' or 'control tactic', I'm quite shocked that there are people who don't see this as reasonable grounds for divorce.

Of course, for the question to even make sense you have to see something as grounds for divorce, otherwise you simply don't believe that divorce is ever a reasonable course of action and shouldn't really be answering this question in the first place as that's a far larger issue. .


I don't believe in divorce but I'm not going to judge others who've been in that situation. I have 2 kids and its hard to concieve of any reason I'd do that to them. But my marriage is generally good. Though like most people we have our problems.
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BFoy wrote:
I don't believe in divorce but I'm not going to judge others who've been in that situation. I have 2 kids and its hard to concieve of any reason I'd do that to them.

But sometimes people who shouldn't be together are doing their kids a favour by divorcing. I need two hands to count the number of couples I know who stayed together "for the benefit of the kids," but where the kids would have been significantly better off had their parents divorced. The only time I saw the kids (and only 2/3 kids at that) come out relatively normal was the one instance where the parents were up front about disliking each other, and told the kids that they were maintaining a partnership, but not a marriage, until the kids were grown and moved out.

I guess I'm saying divorce is no more an intrinsic evil than marriage is an automatic good. Love, honesty and duty are what parents should aspire to; not togetherness at all costs.
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Chad Ellis
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My parents did about as good a job as I can imagine of keeping the family together for me and my brother. They probably fought less than most couples (in our presence, anyway) and most people were stunned when they got divorced shortly after we were out of the house.

I still think it might have been better for everyone if they'd divorced much earlier. They are both much happier now and because of that my relationship with each of them is much better. I can't know how that would have compared with the impact of divorce, but if Mom had moved to a nearby house (as she did in any case) and they'd been as civil in sharing custody as they were keeping their marriage going it seems likely to me that the result would have been very good.
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tommynomad wrote:
BFoy wrote:
I don't believe in divorce but I'm not going to judge others who've been in that situation. I have 2 kids and its hard to concieve of any reason I'd do that to them.

But sometimes people who shouldn't be together are doing their kids a favour by divorcing.


A successful marriage requires work. Marriages fall apart for many reasons but complacency is usually part of it. But if both spouses are putting the effort into the marriage, the marriage is likely to last. When I say 'I don't believe in divorce', I am saying that I will expend the effort to make the marriage work.

The people who are 'staying together for the kids', have already given up on their marriage and so everything they are doing is a farce. Thats the difference. And I agree about that, I'd choose honesty over lies any day.
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DarthXaos wrote:
The solution to a dry patch - a good woman will say "I have a headache tonight, but here's my friend/sister for you!"


Dude... what? It's one thing if you're both into swinging, but for the majority of couples "You happen to not want sex on this particular occasion so I should get to screw someone else" is not the best way to make a relationship work.

Honestly, do to how my mind works I would be highly suspicious of a partner who apparently cared so little about who I slept with. I wouldn't consider this to be a 'good woman' (Why are we even focusing on women? Couldn't this apply equally to males?) at all, at least in terms of being compatible with my personal tastes.

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Purposely withholding sex is detrimental to a relationship.

However, if my SO/partner/spouse is ill, stressed out, upset with me (for a valid reason or not), I understand the reluctance to have sex and would understand.

There are valid reasons to not engage in sex without purposely withholding it for spite or other reasons.
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DarthXaos wrote:
The Message wrote:
(Why are we even focusing on women? Couldn't this apply equally to males?)


Because I can't conceive of a male ever being "not in the mood".

In fact ladies, if a man ever tells you he's not in the mood, it means he's not in the mood for it from YOU.

I have the libido of a stoat, and even I'm not in the mood sometimes. Please spare us further snippets of inanity from your Maxim collection.

FWIW, the simple answer to sexual gratification when one partner is not in the mood is masturbation. Preferably in the presence of said partner.
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