Savage Love

Routine Maintenance


+1 for "you don't necessarily have to be horny to have really enjoyable sex." And yeah -- how else are you going to reconcile two sex drives which are bound to differ at least somewhat?
So a woman voluntarily having sex with her chosen partner when she's not horny just to make him feel good and be happy is now rape? I wonder how long it will be before it'll be considered politically incorrect for men to have a sex drive at all.
To the ladies: Next time your man seems angry or short with you for no real reason, think about the last time you had sex with him or gave him a BJ or something.

Men tend to use anger as a default emotion when frustrated, and will often act this way when they are sexually frustrated, and since it is not socially acceptable to say they are angry because they are not getting enough action, they often won't tell you.

Relationships do not survive without maintenence sex, and despite what sitcoms tell you, men often have sex when they do not really feel like it because we feel we always have to be "on" to be manly. The ladies have to do the same.
One tiny quibble, Dan. You said that maintenance sex is "sex that requires minimal effort, and it's likely to be non-penetrative sex." As a straight woman, I agree with the first, "minimal effort" part, but in fact, at least for me, it's far less effort to have penetrative, PIV sex than it is to give a blow job, which I'm assuming is the main kind of "non-penetrative" sex you're talking about (I guess a hand job also qualifies, but I have heard people talk about blowing someone rather than having PIV a lot more often than I hear about offering a hand job instead).

Blow jobs require work, focus, skill, concentration. I've spent a good while cultivating my technique and skills, and while I'm rather proud of my abilities, and love to give them when I'm in the mood for sex, giving a decent blow job takes effort and is sometimes more than I feel like doing if I'm not in the mood for sex and am simply bestowing "maintenance sex."

By contrast, being the recipient of PIV is pretty easy and can be fairly low-impact, if we're talking not "sheet-shredding sex." And when it's over, my jaw doesn't ache.

Otherwise, great column. Happy New Year.
I could've written the first letter AND nocutename's response, except to say that sometimes I'll offer a BJ when I'm not feeling sexy and also don't want to have to deal with cleaning up.

Unless there's an awful virus circulating in our house and one or both of us is on the receiving end (a distinct possibility with three kids), my husband gets laid every day, every other at the longest. Most of the time (when its penetrative), I come, too, either vaginally or clitorally, but there are plenty of times when I say, "This is yours, love - you can get me later," (especially likely if we're trying to squeeze something in while all of the kids are awake and at home).

And he, being a considerate lover and partner, does.

Like Dan said, if I'm just not up for it at all, it doesn't happen (and this holds true for him - he's a man, not machine); but the vast majority of the time when I'm neither particularly in or not in the mood and get down, it's (at the very least) a pleasant time to reconnect and time out from the rest of the day.

@5 (mockingbird80): Good point that once you're having PIV, you probably end up coming. I may start out being not in the mood, but having PIV is liklier to feel good for me physically, rather than just giving me the mental and emotional satisfaction of keeping my partner happy and satisfied, and that means it's more likely that I'll actually end up coming from that kind of sex; whereas a blow job given as maintenance, nice as it may be for my partner, isn't going to get me off. (Unless it turns into sheet-shredding sex. But that's not the definition of "maintenance sex," is it?)
I've been reading Dan for years but I've never registered to post until now. I finally felt compelled because I'm getting so tired of seeing the anti-Feminism trope that regularly consumes this board.

It's safe to say that all feminists support the equal treatment of women under the law. Language matters. Please stop conflating Feminism (equal treatment under the law) with whatever stereotypical female qualities you find objectionable.

For a sex positive forum, there is way too much gender bashing going on here. It really needs to stop.
@4: Agree completely, in fact I was coming back to say that "maintenance sex is non-penetrative" may apply to gay couples but definitely not to straights. It is definitely easier to "lie back and think of England" when you're tired or not in the mood. :)
I'd also add that the horny partner does bear some responsibility for attempting to *get* the non-horny partner in the mood. Rather than expecting their libido to flick on like a switch (hint: it doesn't work that way), try seducing them. Sure, they may put out just to make you happy, but enthusiastic sex is better than maintenance sex (also known as "a pity fuck" when not in the context of a relationship... right?).

In other words, if "Hey, wanna shag?" gets a tepid response, try some cuddling and kissing or whatever gets them hot, and THEN asking "hey, wanna shag?"
@7: Hear, hear and thank you! I couldn't agree more, especially with this: "For a sex positive forum, there is way too much gender bashing going on here. It really needs to stop."

I've been reading this column and Slog for years, and the gender-wars stuff seems to be a fairly recent occurrence. I don't remember it happening or happening nearly so often five years ago.
I don't think Dan was kidding when he made the Morrissey reference; it was an accurate nod to that schmuck's idiocy when he said "Anyone who eats meat is the same as a pederast." So I think Dan was making an apt reference to the disgusting degree fanatacism could easily reach.
LW2: The real issue is what the fuck is going on in SNIFF's workplace that people think it's okay to leave their dirty laundry in what is essentially a public place. It may be the gym, but it's still the workplace (Google, maybe?), and it's inappropriate. As well, I wonder if men and women at this company use the same gym, and if so, what the women think of those once-removed frat boys treating like their own bedrooms a space the women, too, have the right to use. Am I out of line in thinking SNIFF's coworkers need a talking to, at the very least?
I think its bad to have sex without being aroused. For men I think its bad to have sex without a boner. I don't do this; if I'm not in the mood then my partner pushes the buttons that get me there. My part is letting him do it and trying to relax and get into it. Vice versa applies as well.
@7 and @10: If only the phrase had been written "You have to have sex with your SPOUSE occasionally, even though you're exhausted. Sorry," it wouldn't have become a feminist issue.
@13 - Eh, every relationship's different, but if my spouse and I waited until we were both aroused or both had time and the inclination to get there (the kids are all in bed...and asleep...and the next day's preparations are done - things get going early, so we have to be locked and loaded as we roll out of bed) we'd have sex once a week or less.
That doesn't fly with me, so shower sex/BJs/fooling around and a stolen few minutes while the kids are distracted are the name of the day (with "good sex" once or twice a week after a large party planning amount of preparation).

Some married couples with kids who I know who wait for ideal sexitime circumstances measure their rendezvous intervals in months.
And neither seems happy with the situation.

FWIW, it's not a one way street: I know that my husband's gone down on me with no (time for) reciprocity and no indication that he was particularly aroused when I've been snappy or stressed.
Helps a bunch.
@14: Good point.
I especially like the cat checking the whole situation out.
@14 I agree, but I also think it would be weird if Ms Poehler adopted a gender-neutral voice in her book. She was writing from the perspective of a wife and mother after all...

Perhaps I'm being cynical, but it seems to me that the LW may have been trying to incite another gender war on this board by using the increasingly cursed F word.

And I apologize in advance if I am not giving the commentors here enough credit by assuming that they will take the bait. Hope springs eternal.
While I can't speak for all feminists,as a third year university student who just completed a Women and Gender Studies class that focused on implementing feminist goals and values, I must say I don't think that all feminists would equate maintenance sex with rape (though it may be that some extreme fringe opinions veer that way). I think that what most feminists would say they object to is the archaic patriarchal notion that marriage transformes a woman into her husband's property to be used and disposed of at his whim and pleasure. The idea that her wishes and opinions are null and void after nuptials and her body is an object that ought to be available for his utilization 24/7. Obviously, in this culture with our access to information and divorce, most partners would not put up with that type of attitude. Indeed in the opinion of many feminists, humanist goals are prioritized- meaning that both men and women in any type of relationship have just as much right to sexual (and other types of) agency. In practice, in a relationship of equals, maintenance sex is more likely to be merely a low impact activity; whether manual, oral, or penetrative; that is sought by one partner (sometimes the wife!) and provided as a friendly favor by the other, sometimes reluctantly at first, but often resulting in a good time being had by all. Anyone who has been married for a year or more can attest to the fact that these types of favors are crucial to the survival of a rigid institution involving monogamy.
@19, in my experience, maintenance sex is crucial for sex partners who live together and want to keep household stress levels low, even if the relationship is non-monogamous.

But I'm with BiDanFan @9 in thinking people should also make an effort to jump-start their partner's interest in some quick sex.

And be sensitive enough to the low-libido partner's mood to know when masturbation is a better option.
If I understand correctly, Enthusiastic Consent can take the form of being enthusiastic about the effect of whatever X thing one is doing rather than being turned on by X every time.

LW1 ends on a question for which she hasn't provided sufficient basis to judge. What sort of feminist did she think she was?

Mr Savage is perhaps not quite right about the third situation. Perhaps he has not known known people who describe themselves as "gay for football" - most frequently, in my experience, lesbians in I-Wouldn't-But-If-I-HAD-To mode and bi men who watch for the view, not the game mechanics. Those gay men who rate football a gay-appealing game usually phrase it differently. But one can readily enough tell from listening to football enthusiasts whether they view the game through the S lens or the G lens (perhaps some other lens is in play as well). Back in the day I was acquainted with several gay football fanatics, none of whom would have slept with his favourite football player if he'd come out and begged for it after winning the Super Bowl.

I'm willing to suppose there could be a straight lens for fanaticism about musical theatre, but I have not encountered it. I'd certainly question, though not in a hostile way, whether LW3 has a gay sort of appreciation for the genre. (Mr Savage goes too far universalizing "comfortable around gay people"; it is quite possible to view musicals through glasses so hetero-tinted as to accommodate some card-carrying homophobes.)

I'll accept that there are negative connotations attached to both the straight football fanatic and the gay musical fanatic, but Mr Savage is a little too far ahead of his time in thinking his analogy stretches into the effect of an outsider claiming kinship.

But Mr Savage misses (or, I'd suggest, ignores) the way LW3 tries to coin the situation. Heads, it's totes okay to throw around as much as he likes so long as he's pleasant about it; Tails, it's a slur that Must Never Be Uttered. In other words, Intent is either Magic or Irrelevant. I'll go for something in between - not inherently offensive, but likely to suggest unintended implications unless the second sentence of his letter is what comes through loudest and clearest about him when one knows him in person. I can see LW3's being either a button-pusher in general (hence his trying to get a Savage Pass of Immunity to brandish in the face of someone he wants to provoke) or someone whose society readily conveys genuine comfort with same-sexer equality (in which case this will be just a slightly clunky turn of phrase), or a mixture of both.
Wow... I relate to two of the three letter.

I am veggie, my husband is a meat-eater, and we pretty much follow the advice given by today's letter writer. Hubby loves the food I cook, so at home, we are veggie with the rare exception of BBQs and party food brought by his family. But, he eats most lunches out and when we go out, he usually eats meat. Neither of us has a problem with the other's eating choices.

Kinda sweet... he fiercely protects me from accidentally eating anything with meat in it.

Maintenance sex: Dude, there is no way that our marriage would survive with out "Quicklies" as my husband calls them.
Re: SNIFF's letter, I have to wonder if the continual and egregious jockstrap littering isn't more deliberate than accidental. If he could find a way to discretely determine this he might find either (a) a way to discourage the slobbiness (yay!), or (b) line up a source for a steady supply of, uh, fresh underwear (yay!). In either case the change room will probably be tidier. Everybody wins!
Is passion for musical theater being "gay" an American thing? Never heard about that particular assocation over here.
I really like the letters that run more like "I'm totally a straight guy, but I have to admit that I'm totally gay for well-built guys with humongous dicks!"
I'm straight and find the phrasing, "I'm totally gay for musical theater" to be, if not insulting (to all gay men and all straight men and women and lesbians who like musical theater, just . . . how shall I say . . . oh yeah: stupid.

How is saying that so much cooler or cuter or funnier, or hipper than saying, "I really like musical theater?" Or is Mr. "I am such a manly, straight man who likes football and belching and nailing women" worried that if he doesn't say something like "I'm totally gay for musical theater" people will think he really is gay for more that that? Is this what's called doing a preemptive strike?

Mr. Ven: a candidate for your Gertrude Award?

On the other hand, this seems like something not worth getting one's panties in a twist over. Or as Mr. Ven has put it, I wouldn't make it the hill I'd die on. But if it's your hill, I understand.
Maintenance sex still has to be good sex or else it becomes self-defeating.

When I knew in advance that I wasn’t going to come because I was just being used as a masturbation sleeve, then I mentally put myself into a zone where I let myself become relaxed and aroused enough that penetration wasn't painful but not aroused enough that not-coming would be a problem. When that happened often enough, resentment started to build and zoning out became a habit. It became very difficult to ever have good or sheet-shredding sex. Sex was then exclusively a somewhat degrading chore. Eventually my partner got himself cut off.

(Yes, I’m somewhat passive-aggressive — my own self-defeating behaviour. Please, no well-meaning advice on how to improve our sex life. We struggled with this for years with all kinds of communication but there are technical obstacles I prefer not to get into and the way things are right now it’s just not going to happen. The technical aspect might change some time in the future and we will revisit at that point.)
I relate to three out of four letters. Possibly a record given how vanilla I am.

First: Maintenance sex is goddamn mandatory for a relationship to function long-term. When you're in a relationship with someone, the default answer to "sex?" switches from "no" to "yes." Not only does that mean my wife can grab my ass from behind or hop on top of me when I'm asleep, it also means I should try to fuck when she's horny unless there's a good reason not to. "I'm tired" is not a good reason, IMO.

Second: I too am gay for musical theater. I don't think I've used that expression before, but maybe I will going forward! It was actually fairly liberating as a teenager to acknowledge that I love show tunes, that that love doesn't have any impact on my sexuality, and that I'm free to love any "gay" thing I damn well please.

Finally: I'm another veggie with a meat-eating partner, and I definitely don't expect my wife to keep a meat-free house. As a practical matter, that would preclude her from eating meat on most days. Our compromise is that when she cooks, she keeps the food vegetarian and adds the meat to her portion at the end. Just like when I cook, I keep the food spice-free and add the chilis to my portion at the end.
@15 If my relationship required unarousing sex it would be impossible to stay in. That is gross sex to me, and I can't imagine a good sexless romance. I can't imagine choosing bad/unarousing sex over no sex. I don't ask my partner to do me when he's cold either. I try to warm him up. It's not good for a vagina to have unaroused sex; it's like smashing a limp penis around it doesn't work and can hurt.

I do expect a good reason if my partner rejects attempts to warm him up.
The 'enthusiastic consent' model has its points -- certainly young people having sex for the first time or the first few times should be looking for 'oh yes let's do this NOW'. But it does create this weird confusion and guilt about long-term relationships. I've seen several third-wavers write about this and even repudiate the model a bit.

No one is saying that "oh gee, he's right, we haven't had sex in a few days and I don't feel opposed to it" is rape. What some people are saying is that hearing no and not taking it can be coercive and unethical. Hearing no and saying "are you sure? It's been a while and I'm going out of town tomorrow?" might not be so bad. But there are huge amounts of nagging and pressure and guilt-tripping that happen in some relationships, and they're not okay. It's total disrespect by the nagging partner for the other partner's autonomy, or at least the desire for sex overcoming respect.

I've been in that kind of relationship. I've been woken up from dead-asleep by my partner groping me aggressively, and not been allowed to go back to sleep because he kept 'playfully' insisting no matter how much I said 'no'. I've been guilted for not putting out enough (2x a week in the worst week, and I did initiate), responded constructively with suggestions for how he could initiate that would get better results (this was not complicated, it was like...start with our clothes on and make out with me, I'll be warmed up when we get down to skin) and had the guy continue to just see me naked and start dry-humping and expect me to get onboard. It was wearing, stressful, and upsetting. He actually had me convinced I had a low libido, because I didn't want it immediately when he snapped his fingers or grabbed my hips. (I dumped him because he was an emotionally abusive asshole and then discovered that actually my natural libido is huge, he was actively turning me off.)

And I've also, since, been in the opposite situation, in a relationship where the guy seemed to want sex about once in a blue moon, and then the sex was great. I always had to initiate, and most of the time the answer was 'no'. So I edged into whining and wheedling a little myself, but stopped like a shot when he asked me how I would see that behavior if our genders were reversed.

My husband now has trouble initiating, so not only do I do maintenance sex, I set the schedule. I don't find it at all contrary to my feminist principles -- it's respecting my own agency enough to trust myself to self-assess and weigh inclination versus relationship benefits. 'Enthusiasm' doesn't always come into it. Everybody has to figure out what they're comfortable with, obviously.
I should add that part of maintenance sex as far as I'm concerned is being responsible for amping yourself up as much as possible. It is an effort, a real effort, and yeah, sometimes you're not going to be able to go there. But it's about being game as well as giving...and your partner doesn't have to know what you're imagining that got you aroused for them.
I thought the phrase enthusiastic consent referred to physical arousal or horniness. And it was popularized because "men get boners and have sex" and "women say yes and have sex". In other words, arousal is stressed for men while only consent for women. But really there should be no sex without both arousal and consent, or enthusiastic consent. Duty sex, sex as a chore, is like eating dirt, stresses out your system for no benefit, and could mess it up, and unconsensual sex is just illegal.

If your relationship is worth it, then keep learning how to turn your partner on enough for sex, and keep letting your partner try to learn your own body. But telling a partner that they owe you sex doesn't usually work. Didn't that cause a sexual revolution?
Maintenance sex; does that sound appealing or what?
Reflecting on my 30 yr marriage, which has ended, I found the expectation of sex was the real turn off. And expectation of sex like it was just some maintenance thing. The whole aspect of romance, of some sort of sexual tension had gone.
Of course marriage is about expectation that sex would be a component, so
Maybe I really wasn't cut out for marriage. Once children came along, though, the wish that they would have a father around was strong- so I got caught.
In a marriage where issues coming up are dealt with well, I'd image the sex aspect must/ could be different. Sometimes I do lament he and I had too many neurotic ways and communication got stuck. Though our children are great.
And our sex mostly involved me having orgasms. I like Philos position. That she is available to be wooed. After yrs of marriage, that wooing sorta stopped.
For both of us.
I have no problem when issues of Feminism come up here. Is it really Feminist bashing to query what the hell it all means? I feel the men and women who write here, are intelligent and questioning. I'd rather see issues of confusion brought out in the open and looked at.
Some men seem confused about it all, and some women seem to justify every individual reaction they have ( I'm probably guilty of this), by cloaking it in a Feminist response.
Musical Threatre guy. I'm with nocute here. Like dumb. Just enjoy musical threatre. Since when did only gay men take that appreciation over?
Boxer sniffing guy. No comment.

@32 I know why 'enthusiastic consent' is a feminist standard and I think it's valuable as a counter to the 'woman as gatekeeper' standard. It's important to recognize that women desire and enjoy sex, and without recognizing that we're going to have the same crap for the next century we've had for the last.

But the drumbeat for 'enthusiastic consent' can also lead to this situation where people think it's not okay for them to have sex if they feel like 'enh, why not?' rather than 'OH YES SEX'. Yes, sex as chore is awful, but if you're having sex for reasons other than 'OH YES SEX' -- say, for intimacy and touch you want, or to get pregnant, or to express love -- and it's fine with you, we shouldn't be telling them they fail at consent. I'm not in the business of telling people their consent isn't good enough because they're not properly performing horny enthusiasm.

A lot of people, women especially, have more...I forget the term, but reactive desire than spontaneous desire. They may never feel 'enthusiastic' at the mere idea of sex, but that doesn't mean they're incapable of consent. They just know their bodies and their partners and their relationships and decide to go forward on what they have -- goodwill, love, willingness to get aroused, even detached mental interest in sex -- rather than waiting for the lightning strike of spontaneous enthusiastic desire that's never going to come.

Again, I'm saying this is a thing that's okay, if it's happening in a healthy self-aware environment. I'm not talking about lying back and thinking of England.
@34. I've been celibate for four and a bit yrs now. Which over the 40 odd yrs
since " loosing" my virginity( where, where did I loose that virginity. I know I had it somewhere), is a first. I was with Men all the time. During this period I've been able to watch my desire and feel it in such a different way. My appreciation of Men too. And the differences between men and women.
My sexual desire comes up every day now and quite strongly. And not in relation to any outside stimulus . Maybe it's just different after the Change, that aspect of my body. No more fear of pregnancy.
I never took the pill, so I was a bit of a Russian Roulette, condoms
sort of woman( hence six pregnancies)..
The fantasies I have now, with masturbation, I find very liberating. I find having such clear sexual desire very life affirming.
In #7, JibeHo wrote: Please stop conflating Feminism (equal treatment under the law) with whatever stereotypical female qualities you find objectionable.

No true Scotsman would make such a fallacious argument. Feminism is as feminists do.

For a sex positive forum, there is way too much gender bashing going on here.

Criticizing gender-related political extremism is not gender bashing. That's like saying that being critical of Hitler is mustache bashing.
Ms Cute - I wouldn't normally expect a candidate for the Gertrude Award to lead with being so pleased to live in an Equality State - unless he were *really* trying to suck up to Mr Savage. As I'm guessing that Mr Savage's Suckup Detectors are in fine working order, that bell isn't ringing.

I shouldn't say insulting so much as unnecessary. If that's the only way one has to attempt to show solidarity, it won't come off that way; otherwise there's a faint hint that the speaker covertly approves of the closet and gays pandering to straights that would not be conveyed by LW's calling himself, say, a total Show Queen. Eh, I think I've been in a mood lately to be slicing minute differences quite finely.

Funny you mention dying on hills - Mr Savage in the first response sounded quite like Dr Schlessinger.
Ah Hunter. At last! Yes, you Are a Feminist and sometimes I feel, we do have to argue with ourselves.
Then maybe if we assume a common ground, ie Feminism is about Women's freedom and equality, then maybe that word doesn't have to come into all the discussions, where s/c ( straight- cis) Men and Women are working thru
Differences. If it's understanding you are looking for. And not just an excuse to be naughty/ though sometimes being naughty is fun.
So how bout the F word is just put to the side and discussions occur between people.
After reading MSS's letter and Dan's response, I guess I'm not into maintenance sex, even if there's a chance of my getting more enthusiastically into it later. Forced sex in my opinion, especially when the enforcer is drunk and belligerent (like my ex repeatedly was)--I cannot view as good sex. But that's just me.

Everybody eat your veGGG's!

Thanks Dan, bless you, and wishing you and everyone a happy, healthy, prosperous 2015 and beyond!
Allen. I almost sort of agree with you. Though the Hitler reference, a tad confronting.
Extreme politicised gender issues , fueled by personal issues , can be very tiresome. That may be a good description of feminazis. Where Women just hate
Men, and try to cover this hate with proported F Doctrine.
Of course, the reverse can also be true. Where Men hate Women, and attack any F words, no matter how rationally presented.
These people have, IMO, issues with the significant caregivers from their childhoods and just project out to a whole Gender.
Yes, Hunter. I didn't last long, not mentioning the F word. It was though necessary to use to respond to Allen.
@44. I won't comment on all your words here, Hunter. Though I'm sensing they are slightly incendiary .
I do agree re the movies of some musicals. Carousel, Oklahoma .. South Pacific. Loved Cabaret.. Though, looking a little too closely at some of the themes, can be a bit of a problem.
The songs though, I can still sing. Well, bits of them. My Father took us to some live shows, I think Fidler on the Roof was the last one we saw, before he died.
The term "Feminazis" is one widely used by Rush Limbaugh, an ultra-conservative, shit-stirring, misogynist, bigoted, homophobic, racist, vitriol-spewing radio personality who fans the most rabidly hate-fueled fires.

Just so you know.
The first two I wasn't that taken with. Music Man and My Fair Lady were great. West Side Story, bit too dark for my younger self..
Rogers and Hammerstein were perceptive of cultural shifts occurring as well as dealing with how Men and Women were. Genius creatives.
Nocute. And your point is? You don't think some Women behave in an over the top fascist way, not trying to heal anything. Rather create more fire and anger?
I wasn't thinking of adopting it as a term I'd use into the future.
Thanks, Hunter. Now I'm in trouble. How was I to know an arch fascist man in your country used that term?
Hunter78 @36, now your vague use of language has me even more thoroughly lost than usual.

In last week’s comment thread when you referred to “fems” I thought you just didn’t know what it meant and that you thought it was an abbreviation of “feminists.” But now you are saying that the concept of feminism is not one you find useful, so it wasn’t that.

What did you mean then? You throw around labels and catchphrases like they’re going out of style (I sincerely hope they are) but all you communicate with them is that you experience contempt, frustration and anger.
I am curious about Dan's comment

"This vile comic strip, which ran in Hustler (of course)"

Now I am gay,I have never had much interest in looking at Hustler so forgive my ignorance, but what is so bad about Hustler? I always thought Larry Flynt was our ally on progressive free speech issues. Am I wrong?
@LavaGirl: No point. I just thought you might want to know the origin of the term, how it's used, who uses it, and the associations and connotations it has here in the U.S.
@9: "In other words, if "Hey, wanna shag?" gets a tepid response, try some cuddling and kissing or whatever gets them hot, and THEN asking "hey, wanna shag?"

Provided your partner is not one of the type who thinks that doing that is equivalent to not accepting No as an answer and equates it further to a form of rape.
Nocute: well I didn't think it was a term of endearment..
Hunter, just being his provocative self, then, throwing it out there.
Even though I'm an old hand at this 2015 thing, wishing you guys
Happy New Year..
@30: "But there are huge amounts of nagging and pressure and guilt-tripping that happen in some relationships, and they're not okay."

Seems to me that there is a greatly reduced reason for nagging and guilt-tripping when the default answer is changed from "No, Not Unless I Am In The Mood First" to "Sure, why not?"
@30, continued: Sorry, somehow I missed the "more" in your post. The things you describe below the fold go far beyond the pale in terms of not accepting No for an answer.

But then in the subsequent paragraph where the genders were reversed, I think your partner was playing dirty. "Sure, why not?" would have been much more reasonable for him to adopt, but he was playing the "No, Not Unless I'm already in the mood" card, combined with "And how would you like it if the genders were reversed, huh?"

You are supposed to want your partner and find them attractive as the general default. If either partner has to resort to whining or wheedling, you are probably with the wrong person.
@19: Some advice - should you ever find yourself in a heterosexual relationship, treat your man like a individual, not a political class.
@Allen Gilliam, Hunter, et. al.
Emma Watson may have said it better than I've heard it said before, and because she's a popular, young, beautiful actress, she may have greater hopes of being read or watched.
But however you do it, you should listen to her message.
I'm having one of the shittiest days I've ever had, so I'm not going to take the time and energy to go into this round and round again.
I thought that her message that men stand to benefit from feminism or gender equality was important. I think that if more men identified as feminists, rather than seeing feminists as women who are somehow against them, we as an entire society could move forward.
But never mind.
@64: I went to a technology/trades school. Understandably, I needed this lesson. Thanks.
Great way to start the New Year!
Sorry your having a shitty day, nocute.
Hunter, so, what's your point? And what or who is this Fems thing?
Suddenly , I get the feeling you really don't want to heal any thing in yourself, here. Just use this forum to clear your personal angers, issues. You find this area an easy target.. But it does get a little tiresome, a little unattractive.
These positions may very well be stated by some women some where. I personally don't hear them. Then I'm not American or a college kid.
I do remember in my youth being pretty strident, that however has been tempered greatly by life experience. The development of some wisdom.
You wanna talk with college women, is this forum really the one? I get the impression most/ not all who comment here are of mature yrs. life experience under their belts. Families to raise.
If you really want to be taken seriously, and not sidelined, then give up something.
Talk bout what is real in your life. Stop all these mirrors, deflecting..

Ms Cute - You're nearly the first person I've encountered who actually liked Ms Watson's speech. Of the reactions I've seen, feminists of colour found it very white, white feminists found it way too accommodating to men, most MRAs were too fuming to be coherent (though I did get a Team Homo smile from the delivery of one Anti reviewer who recalled how he was sexualized by men when he was 14 and it was awesome).

Ms Watson could serve as an example. She is the sort of woman of whom I'd be likely to say that we'd probably work on parallel lines most of the time, but I wouldn't go out of my way to be an official Ally. Why not? I'm not that familiar with her, and my opinion is open to revision, but at the moment she strikes me as the sort of woman who can't quite fully *see* gay men, the kind who might, for instance, want to regulate all porn to solve an OS-only problem because it wouldn't occur to her that the dynamics of SS would make that element non-problematic for us.

Accordingly relatively dispassionate, my response was to give her a pass on the misdirected delivery, circle the one bad gaffe in red, and overall pronounce the sort of "fine" you might bestow on a dinner served by one of the Miss Cutes when asked if she'd overcooked it.

I *am* sorry if that's insufficient for you. But there it is, one of the major natural advantages of Team Homo. You can have natural children; we can be natural separatists. Honours about even?
@62: Well, thank you MR Hunter, for mansplaining to us women exactly what feminism means. Because we feminists had no idea. We just thought it meant equality with regard to gender. We must not have got the memo with all your bullet points!
Ms Lava - Before you ventured among us, Mr Hunter's posts seemed largely to be devoted to sparring with "Mydriasis", who, by her own account, was a woman in her twenties, waiting or in some service position while working on a medical degree, conventionally very attractive and a decided non-feminist, though agreeing with a number of feminist positions. I think she might also have been another of the Evopsych Brigade, but would want to check on that.
Ms Fan - I salute your capital R. Oh, and, by the way, a belated salute as well for your aisle walk from the other thread a week or two back.
A couple of things , Hunter. Calling all men rapists, is , a dispicable thing.
Men, however, could perhaps be more aware if they see women in danger, to assist.
Disparagement of women who want to be homemakers. That's a big accusation. No doubt it is lobbed at some women by some women. Women like Men can be right royal bitches, sometimes. I reared my kids, with little money, but it was what I did. I was lucky though, I could do it. I'm sure a lot of women ache to be with their small children. Though, maybe not. If women can choose to be homemakers, good on them. If that's what they want. If other women choose to combine home and work, good on them. If some women want a career, and give the whole family thing a pass, good on them.. It is about choice. It is about women having the freedom to find out what life can offer. To fuck up and do good. I really don't care whether other women want to be called a Feminist or not. Not my business.
I am a Feminist. I'm glad I've been free of that repressive story my mother lived. I can see where I've fucked up. But I haven't been stuck in the kitchen or obsessively cleaning a house. My mother, at 93, living alone still tidies up her house before her cleaning help comes.
I wish I could just say, fuck you Hunter. Then I remember, I've taken you on as a challenge. We all need our projects.
Wtf is a Evopsych? Then I can determine what an anti- Evopsych might be.
Mr Hunter - Ah. I recall her having been quite opinionated in such threads, and was probably going with the odds. Who was the pro-evopsych woman who has wandered away in the last year or so? I'm fairly sure there was one.
"Evolutionary psychology is a theoretical approach to psychology that attempts to explain useful mental and psychological traits—such as memory, perception, or language [or gender roles]—as adaptations, i.e., as the functional products of natural selection."

The arguments are over how it's applied. Telling people they're wrong about why they think they've made the choices they've made, or telling them that they are making incorrect choices if they don't obey their "genetic programming"... well, that's going to irritate people.
Also, Happy New Year, everyone!
nocutename @63, sorry to hear about your shitty day; sending you some e-hugs and hoping you don't mind them:
<<<<< hugs >>>>>
Thanks EricaP. And I join you in sending nocute some hugs..

As EricaP says, while some of the evo-psych research may be legitimate it’s almost always overblown in popular media, and on the internet it’s The One True Answer to Why I Can’t Get Laid.

Take the link that Fortunate posted in last week’s comment thread:…

Let’s assume that this meta-analysis has identified something real. EricaP expressed concerns about GIGO (garbage in = garbage out) but we are going to assume there was no garbage.

The findings were small and specific.

After analyzing the raw data from 50 studies over the past 15–20 years, they determined that there is a small to medium effect. When you need to look at data from a thousand subjects to get statistical significance, that means that the effect you're looking at is small and/or inconsistent. While the effect is real and and is measurable when you look at a large number of people, it may not affect everyone Even for the individuals who do experience the effect, other factors may be much more important in everyday life.

The finding is that during the two or three days of ovulation, women are more responsive to certain signals, such as the smell of a symmetrical man, than they are during the rest of their cycle. That’s it. Whoop-dee-do.

Interpretation by AntiEverything:
“The majority of straight women are deeply, primally attracted to [a big, burly, bestial man who can pick up a woman and fuck her senseless with his big ol' hard cock] - drawn like moths to a flame in a way that their boss, or a politician, or any socially powerful man never could.”

Interpretation by Fortunate:
“you are genetically programmed to desire a good provider most of the time, but a stereotypical masculine man when ovulating.”

Interpretation by Hunter78:
“behavioral differences between men and women (not "all men" and "all women")”

None of these interpretations is supported by the findings of the meta-analysis, even if the findings of the meta-analysis are real. That’s the problem with evo-psych. People like AntiEverything or Hunter78 have a story in their minds that they firmly believe is true. Therefore they believe that any finding about male or female sexuality must necessarily support their story. They don’t bother reading the science in detail, being critical of it, understanding the difference between frequency and size or between size and relative size, understanding the specific findings and their practical implications, using accurate phrasing or being careful with restricting their declarations to those supportable with the evidence they have.

It’s not evo-psych that’s necessarily the problem — it’s the commenters.
nocutename: Sorry about your shitty day, too. Big hugs, too, from grizelda!
@78 EricaP: Happy New Year to you and everyone, too!
@57 LavaGirl: Happy New Year!

Sissoucat: Happy New Year to you, too. I haven't read anything from you in a while---hope all is well your way.

@52 LavaGirl & @55 nocutename: Personally, I think Rush Limbaugh should be on a rotisserie, broiling over open flames with a wormy apple in his ugly mouth. He represents the most rotten worst of corrupt white trash in the U.S.
@17 gonzo: Cats do seem to enjoy doing that, don't they? Especially in bathrooms. Nothing is said, yet somehow they exit with a smirk.
New commenter -- registered because the maintenance sex notion brought back such unpleasant memories. Around two years into a (now ended) 13 yr marriage, I realized I really wasn't that physically into my then-husband. There just wasn't chemistry. We should have ended it then, but didn't for various reasons. Instead, we stuck it out and sex became an absolute chore. He wanted it regularly; I grew to resent every moment. By the last few years, when he would tell me sex was a requirement, meant to "grease the wheels", that if I didn't put out, he reserved the right to be a jerk, etc (yes, he really said that)... sex absolutely felt like rape. I indeed felt forced. I often cried, after, or during. It was awful, and damaging, and sad -- and we are now divorced and I learned a tremendous lesson on the importance not just of similar sex drives, but being with someone I'm truly attracted to physically, not just mentally.

Now, even on the days I am a bit tired or not that much in the mood, I want to have sex with my partner because he is kind, and loving, and understanding. And has healed me with his commitment to not just his pleasure, but mine as well.

As someone who has truly been there, believe me: sex can be consensual in sheer technical terms but can still be, in my opinion, a form of rape -- and deeply hurtful.

Be kind, y'all.
Thank you all for the support. I appreciate it, truly.
@Alison: Loving your analytical mind.

I think we can all wish Ms Grizelda cheap, non-exploitatively-produced yoga pants that fit perfectly and are seen as the height of fashion wherever she goes.
Alison. I think anti Everything posted before Fortunate did, with her proposition that a woman wants a big guy to crash land her on some soft bed somewhere and fuck her brains out- soft rain pouring down on the tin roof, just after dark..
Not being a scientific brained person, I just respond to some of these studies intuitively. Very bad of me, I know.

Dr Sean - Any road that leads to Rome?
saxfanatic @69, you’re welcome!

seandr @88, thank you! Sometimes it’s all I’ve got. That and giving OldCrow hope.

LavaGirl @90, you are correct that the AntiEverything’s brute bit was posted before Fortunate’s link, but AntiEverything followed Fortunate’s comment with an assertion that the earlier comment was supported by the link. The bit in [] is from the comment before the link and the rest is from the comment after the link.

vennominon @91, appreciating my analytical mind won’t lead seandr into my pants because he won’t follow it — he’s monogamous. Also we wouldn’t get eachother really. He’s a party boy and I’m an introvert. Our OKC match scores are probably high eighties but our enemies scores are probably high teens — not a pants-wetting combo. The appreciation is appreciated for its own sake.

In November, Mr Anti wrote a post in which, "as a man of exactly average height", he saluted Ms Erica.

Several posters took his vivid descriptions of the ONLY sort of man to whom ANY woman could EVER POSSIBLY feel attracted as being typed by a woman.

I was contemplating snarking about "her" post in which "she" stated, "I'd love to be proven wrong," or something to that effect, but decided to check "her" previous posts first. Fortunately, I found his definitive presentation, which made *his* willingness to be proven wrong much more sensible.
Oops; forgot to clarify that it was the recent thread which confused people, not the original thread.


Ms Cummins - I merely pay Dr Sean the compliment of assuming he's always on top of his game.
OK, wow. I'm not going to participate in the evo-femo-psych debate, although I do hope nocutename's shitty day has gotten better.

I was just going to say to Letter #1 - I thought Dan got it just about right. It's not that big a deal. Sometimes you actually want it, sometimes you truly don't, sometimes you end up liking it better than you thought you would. Avoid the guilt / pressure thing and everyone should be fine.

Letter #2 - yes, you are a pervert, but a harmless one. You might want to be a considerate pervert and return the underwear to the lost & found box when you're done with it (but wash it first, especially if you've "used" it). I suspect these guys aren't leaving their underwear behind by accident, though, so it might be that you're satisfying more urges than just your own.

Letter #3 - I always thought that being "gay for" something meant "I love it so much that I would [do something I would normally never do] for it." I've mostly heard guys say it about Tom Brady and/or LeBron James. Just sayin.
@67. WTF? Separatism vs. historical "normal" conception, that's the bottom line? both are normal & healthy. We're not opposites, we're the same.
Is everyone still arguing about how men are attracted to big boobs and women are attracted to big dick or similar?

Are we still arguing whether it's shallow to be attracted to something as well?

My new position is that it is shallow for Hunter to be attracted to features besides wallet size. But everyone else is free to like whatever the hell they like.
And Happy New Year! And please Hunter just call yourself a feminist and argue about feminism/equality from the inside so you don't come off as such a bigot. Saying you like equality while separating yourself from feminism is.. not intelligent looking.
To all of us, Dan especially, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! to a wonderful, prosperous 2015!
Yes, in LTRs there's the need for sex-when-tired or maintenance sex. Especially when there are kids at home, split schedules or a traveling companion, to mention some cases. If you wait to be "in the mood" and only have sex when in the mood, your opportunities diminish to about ten percent of what they could be. I'm all for "have all the sex you can" even if it requires an extra effort from time to time. Work it or lose it.

@SNIFF: Pick them, use them and return them afterwards. First problem solved. As for the moral issue, I don't know if that really amounts to non-consensual sex. The owner of the smell is not actually present when you masturbate and they'll never know, so, to me: no harm done. Enjoy!
Ms Jes - Not a bottom line at all. Closer to the same than to opposites, I grant, but those aren't the only choices, surely? (It's a little like the way the third LW is trying to turn a multiple choice question into a coin flip.)

While the human non-physical ingredients are the same, it does seem to me that we make greater joint progress by understanding and accommodating logistical differences than by pretending they don't exist. You are welcome to disagree as much as you choose.
My husband will not accept maintenance sex. He only wants to have sex if I am completely in the mood, but I only get this way twice a week. There's no just doing it, as he notices lack of enthusiasm and takes it as an affront. If i don't have an orgasm, he gets upset. Twice a week gets him pissy. We've discussed it to the wall, and he has stopped being pissy, but the whole thing has given me a complex about my sex drive. I generally aim for three to four times and do my best to get in the mood, but it is stressful and I would really enjoy sex more often with less pressure to perform. Not looking for advice or condemnation, but has anyone else dealt with a partner like this, and has some insight?
I wonder if the realities of "maintenance sex" are covered in those pre-marital counseling sessions some couples take? Because before a naive, young, hormonally charged couple who can't keep their hands off each other walk down the aisle, they should really take the time to clearly imagine their future, older selves providing and/or settling for sex that only one of them wants.
Alison @64: Before I noticed "Montreal" on your profile, I was tempted - but declined - to say how useful "straw man" is to describe the way the Harper government dismisses its political opponents.
"I wonder how long it will be before it'll be considered politically incorrect for men to have a sex drive at all."

Um, where did it say that that advice was gender-specific? I'm sure there are plenty of instances of men placating their hornier girlfriends even when they're not especially into it. And Dan gave his own relationship as an example - his relationship with another MAN. Nobody's trying to vilify men's sex drives here - I don't understand where you got that impression.
You mean antiE is a male/ female? Geez.. Changes its gender, wow..
Hunter, my husband wasn't the same sort of abuser as Griz talks of. He was just a damaged man and I think the pressure of children just set him off. He was Jewish I was
Catholic( both of us not practicing, so cultural). Think we had some cultural differences, that never got worked thru.
His kids still love him, from a distance and I have some affection left.
It's best though, that we parted.
And I think attractions are also connected to unresolved issues, at least that's how I read my choices. My husband was like my mother. Unpredictable. Loving and abusive. Not consistent, emotionally.
I no longer ovulate, but am still attracted to men who have a slight edge. Haven't quite been tamed.
How a woman picks a mate to breed with. One would assume she would pick a candidate that could help her produce healthy offspring. One assumes part of this choice is done thru some organic process. Attraction involves sight and smell and mind and then touch. As well as ones own
Issues coming into play.
3rd wavers, eh? These the daughters of the daughters of women who came of age in the 60s, that what makes them 3rd wavers? The evolution of Feminism.
Guess there's a Uni course in that.
Hunter78 @95, by “overblown” I mean overstated, with importance and relevance exaggerated. I don’t mean “too widely reported.” Of course people are interested in this stuff. I’m interested in this stuff.
@106. Personally, I think the whole structure of a man and a woman living tog, then bringing children into the story creates the problems. How to create different structures? One has to be imaginative, I guess.
Obviously, some nuclear families flourish. Many many don't. It's a weird isolated structure. Closed system.. I hated it. So glad to be free of it. And my husband and I lived in seperate dwellings though very close to each other. It still was a closed system, still felt claustrophobic, to me.
@ven: I guess I can't blame you for assuming I'm on the make. Turns out I'm as partial to Athens as I am to Rome, however, and I'm just the slightest bit hurt that you don't know that about me.

Having never done the online dating thing, I have little confidence in my ability to infer much beyond mental chemistry from just text alone. Smart is definitely sexy to me, however, and simple is definitely not.

Anyway, it was a genuine and deserved compliment.
Do you know how much underwear costs?
I am still just marveling that people just leave multiple pairs of underwear lying around and never seem to want to reclaim it.

Which leads me to believe that it's not an accident that the underwear is left lying around and it's no surprise that it's not being looked for and taken out of a lost and found. It also leads me to wonder if the underwear's original owner(s) isn't/aren't paying close--very close--attention to when the underwear goes missing and perhaps getting off thinking about how they're being used, too.

If this is the case, then SNIFF isn't involving the underwear owner(s) without their consent, so that's good from an ethical standpoint. But it does mean that both SNIFF and the underwear owner(s) are sort of involving the entire workplace environment in a sex act, which is kind of creepy, even if hard to prove.
Nocute. Yes. Bonds briefs for men are like Aus$15 each. The whole thought of sniffing some random dudes briefs is just so goddamn unpleasant to me. And, slightly intrusive. Who are these people who leave their briefs lying around at any gym?