Why sexual entitlement in committed relationships is an anachronism we can do without…
Recently a very close friend of mine reviewed my latest work on extraordinary intimacy. This particular part focused on men giving their female partner what they want in the bedroom. All with the idea that men are wired to feel their greatest sense of sexual fulfilment the more they are able to selflessly please their partner in the way they desire. While he enthusiastically agreed with my thesis and approach, he mentioned something else that took me by total surprise. The very idea of selfless sexual giving apparently also triggered his shadows surrounding male sexual entitlement. My friend is one of the most conscious men I know, so it blew me away when he brought it up. I actually had to ask him if this kind of thing was still prevalent in our society, which he readily confirmed. Wow…
“I have needs.”
I first had to ask him to clarify what he meant by sexual entitlement just to make sure I was fully understanding what he just said. Essentially, he defined his shadow of “male sexual entitlement” as the right to have sex with his partner when he wanted it, primarily to release his periodic libidinous impulses. I guess that’s where the expression “Wifely duty” originated. While he is certainly not the kind of man to act out on these impulses, the fact that he still had them just confirmed how strongly the default human Sexual Operating System* is still in place.
(* The default human Sexual Operating System or S.O.S. is a collection of largely unconscious drives, beliefs and behaviors that impact nearly every aspect of intimate relationships primarily for the purpose of propagation of the species.)
This exchange prompted me to explore more deeply into the issue of sexual entitlement in general. One of the first definitions I found was: “Male sexual entitlement is the belief that men are owed sex on account of their maleness.” Okay. I can see how rapists may justify their actions this way, but conscientious men in committed relationships living in highly advanced societies –come on, really? Perhaps a more sedate version of this is “If I provide for you and the family, you owe it to me to put out when I want it.”
Women Can Feel Sexually Entitled Too
In sharing this story with a sex coach who works primarily with women, she was not the least bit surprised and went on to explain just how prevalent this still is within our culture. She then shared how some women feel equally entitled to “get off” with their man when they want it. Essentially a form of female sexual entitlement. Clearly, as women have become more independent in all areas, this was bound to emerge. It is also not uncommon that the female within a committed relationship has the stronger and more demanding libido. Great news for the lucky stiff she happens to be with, right? Hardly. Unless he really gets off on being used as a flesh and blood masturbation tool.
No One is Entitled to Sexual Favors
I sincerely hope the irony is not missed here. The very definition of a deeply connecting committed intimate relationship asserts that *no one* is owed sexual favors. Sex is one of the most intimate forms of giving that happens to be highly pleasurable. Turning it into an obligatory act of helping one’s partner achieve gratification flies in the face of being truly connected. If I ever felt my partner saw themselves as entitled to my body and sensual giving rather than enjoying it with mutual respect and desire of it, that relationship would soon be over. In my view, the idea of exchange of sex for being a provider or giver of some other value within the relationship is just a more socially acceptable form of the world’s oldest profession.
Granted, it is almost impossible for two committed intimate partners to have the same levels of desire at the same time. This will often result with one or the other building up sexual tension looking for release. This is something my partner and I encounter occasionally. I typically have the stronger libido between the two of us. If I sense a strong buildup of sexual energy and desire prior to us getting together, I will sometimes “bleed it off” via masturbation. I do this out of respect for her so that we are on the same level sexually speaking and I am not constantly fighting overwhelming desire for release when we are together. This is something we have discussed openly and she fully appreciates as it reflects my love and respect for her and her needs.
Call me naïve and idealist, but I simply cannot fathom how in 2016 some men (and women) residing in highly advance societies can continue to assume sexual entitlement. In the grand scheme of things it simply serves no one –period.