The Sexless Marriage Double Standard?!

This angle on the issue is something that has been praying on my mind for a while.
Having discussed this issue on other sites as well as this one and read many articles about it there seems to be a certain undercurrent that i have noticed.
This is the difference between the way female refusers/refusees are treated as oppossed to the way male refusers/refusees are treated.
I have only been on this site for a few days but have found that on this as well as other sites female refussees feel the need to have to justify why their partner/husband no longer wishes to make love with them or show them any affection. ( i am as guilty of feeling the need to justify myself too) and it usually comes down to a female refusee feeling the need to say that she hasnt put on any weight or "let herself go" etc.
I do not see as much need to justify themselves from the male refusees.
There was an article in the Daily Mail a while back about husbands who dont want sex anymore and the mysogynistic woman blaming underneath said article were disgusting.
There were comments underneath about how its all womens fault for "letting themselves go"
In my case the comfort eating came AFTER the rejection NOT before.
It seems to me that if the man doesnt want sex its the womans fault.
If the woman doesnt want it ....hey guess what its still the womans fault!
I have noticed on this site too that the ratio of male refussees posting on this site is 66%. Higher than the amount of female refusees.
I belive that these statistics are skewed.
Because a lot of women in the same position as me are scared to speak out for fear of being blamed for the situation.
I have had some lovely supportive messages from people on this site.
I have also had some dubious ones. This is another problem that is often encountered by female refusees who come looking for support.
And i believe it is possibly something that makes women think twice before joining a site to look for support.
Another aspect i have encountered is the emotional abuse aspect. I have posted about my situation on another site and got some responses from other women whose husbands wont touch them when they are alone at home ,but are all over them like a rash when they are out in public.
This serves two purposes.
1. its almost like they are marking their territory. Treating their wife like a possession instead of a person. The "i dont want you but i dont want anyone else to have you" brigade.
2. the second purpose this serves is that if the wife does decide to confide in anyone,the husband is probably hoping she wont be believed.
What "Joe" but hes so taciturn with you . Its sooo obvious that he loves you so much"
The double standards at work in this kind of situation are absolutely astounding.
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11 Responses Dec 14, 2012

I believe you make strong and cogent points. I too am clear there are many more men discussing this issue than women yet I have had female co-workers complain their husband has no desire for intimacy. I also believe this is cultural. that is to say women on many levels are discouraged from discussing their sensual/sexual selves for fear of being considered "wayward, loose and generally undesirable." We as men often suffer the opposite of that and are cultured to be strong virile and encouraged to "sew wild oats". Thus we as men often find it easier to point an accusatory finger at women for the lack of sensual intimacy in our relationships. On the other hand, (and in my case) there are those women that for whatever reason just loose interest in intimacy and some who detest it. This leaves me as a refused spouse wondering what is wrong with me...."I am I somehow a failure as a mate, lover, and less than a man?" I am clear women suffer much the same as we men do yet I believe the genesis of this pain is somewhat different for the genders.
I am nearing leaving my marriage. Not because I am selfish but because WE are entitled to be happy. She is uncomfortable knowing I am unhappy and she has little interest in doing anything to change the state of affairs in our bed-room. For my part I am unwilling to settle for sex as part of a wifely duty. Vaginal ************ just isn't my thing. I want and need to feel desired, wanted, and I need a partner willing to engage me mentally, emotionally, spiritually and yes sexually.

Perhaps there is such a thing as "Great minds think alike" LOL. Thanks for your courage and strength to post and speak your truth and mine as well.

I can relate to my wife being more affactionate when we are around her family or mine. It used to make me feel good and optimistic for a little while, but then when we're alone its back to being frigid.

If anyone looked at us and was asked which one of us "let ourself go" they wouldn't pick me, but I'm still as physically attracted to her as when we were first dating and she wants nothing to do with me physically.

Interesting points you make here wtbd.....and I do agree on a lot of it.

I don't always get from the stories here that , as you said, " if the man doesn't want sex its the woman's fault. If the woman doesn't want it ....hey guess what its still the woman's fault! "

I see many stories in here that address the men's intimacy issues as much as the woman's intimacy issues,,,,and have found that regardless of gender, a great deal of intimacy issues can be traced to the unmet childhood emotional needs and self esteem of the refusing spouse.

I do agree with you on the tactic that spouses will put on an act in front of others,,,,,,,for the purposes of looking like they would be impossible to leave....

thanks for sharing your thoughts.


You could be me writing this. I am totally with you. And magazine standards I have probably "let myself go" from what he married. He married a 22 year-old swimsuit model with perfect skin and hair. I am now a chronically deprived and lonely 40 year-old with kids and a career and lines on my face and food is my new sex. I'm not a BBW or anything, but I'm not prancing about in bikinis either. Maybe if I had a reason to be really fit I would...but I was training for a marathon a couple of years back and I was really tight, and it really didn't seem to be on his radar.

<p>Well, there are a lot of double-standards and crazy shoulds, oughts and puffed up self-serving morality that affect both men and women (possibly in different ways and extents), that hurt them in their effects. I know I've been on the end of toxic rubbish from the media and ideology that has put me, my relationship and my family at risk. That can be either self-talk or the effects of those standards on people around us.</p><p>One thing I found quite useful was to make a list of standards I could think of around gender and sex - not that I really believed but that were potentially poisonous under the radar. It's a surprisingly long list, and the benefit of writing it down is that you can see it for the twaddle it is.</p><p>I think, as suggested below, one of the best aspects of this site is that that stuff is blown out of the water, which can help a person cast out the nonsense from themselves, and challenge it in others. Vive la SLF!</p>

Somewhat repeating what's already been said, but here goes:-

The Daily Mail is an unpleasant pernicious rag that promotes and echos back some of British society's nastier anxieties. It is generally ridiculed for being xenophobic, homophobic and sexist. In the 1930s it was a staunch supporter of fascist and national socialist parties across Europe, praising such wonderful characters as Oswald Mosley, Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler. It is a publication that is designed for, and appeals to, a subset of society that is less than progressive. That you found many commenters on its website to hold narrow minded, thoughtless and hypocritical views is unsurprising (it's almost by definition...).

You should also be aware that much as women being refused in sexless marriages are fearful that it may be perceived as inadequacies in their own attractiveness, desirability and sexual performance. Those exact same perceptions and anxieties apply to men, just as much. To wit: it will frequently be assumed that the man is incapable of satisfying his wife, if she also acts in public like a caring, fun and witty spouse.

It works across both sexes. A sexual and emotional distancer who is adept at hiding that side of themselves when performing for public approval, is capable of keeping their victim locked in self doubt, uncertainty, fear,... for decades.

Your fear is one that many of us on here relate to, I similarly assumed that I would never have a lover again. Years of rejection makes you think like that, it destroys your confidence and makes you irrational. In fact most normal people enjoy affection, touching and sex; that's not to say that ideal partners are easy to find, just that it's not that bleak either.

Are you being so guarded about the Mail because of the UK's absurd libel laws?! And if I agree with you 100%, am I also, subject to jurisdiction, liable?

I realise it looks like a "Godwin" (see: Wikipedia - Godwin's law), but in the Daily Mail's case, it's true. So it isn't libel. This really is a newspaper that actually was sympathetic to some of the more unpleasant ideologies of recent history. In the UK it has a circulation of just under 2 million.

While you are about it, what about double standards outside ILIASM? Here are two video clips.

#1. Elaine tells Jerry she has often faked ******* with him. Later, Jerry begs her for "one more chance". I.e., when men are told they are not good enough in bed, the expected response is to take up the challenge, train oneself, and excel in subsequent attempts.

#2. In Liar Liar, Jim Carey is asked by a woman how the root session felt. Unable to lie because of a spell, he blurts out "I've had better." The next shot shows him crashing to the ground and the woman closing the door with a resounding slam. I.e., if a man expresses any dissatisfaction with the quality of sex a woman partner brings to bed, he is a jerk and a loser that should be kicked out.

Flame-bait: Only losers without self-respect participate in heterosexual acts under these prevailing cultural and political conditions. Women are not sex objects. They are not wombs for hire. They do not unilaterally "provide what men need". So there's no reason men (at least those with access to one healthy palm, lotion and Kleenex) should put up with the above asymmetry.

You'll find lots to challenge your perceptions here. There will be stuff which resonates with you and others which you might find confronting. The main thing is that you'll find many well thought out as well as hard won experience here.

Just wanted to say that my ex also used to be demonstrative in public as well but had a 'no touch' policy at home. In fact, she used to sleep in flannel pjs and have the covers tucked around her. So that characteristic is not restricted to males. She was also quite happy to make suggestive comments about how amazing our sex life was.

Yeah, mine too. When I told my parents I was leaving, my dad said "Really? But she dotes on you?!". He was astonished, for that exact reason.

I'm not saying that all refusers are like that, but it seems many of them are aware enough to realize they need to put up a show of accepted normalcy for friends, family and the general public.

I'd just like to say that in my experience, the average Daily Mail commentator isn't someone that anyone should take seriously. Most of the views of people who post comments to the stories on its site are seriously jaded and fueled by fear, lack of knowledge, lack of willingness to see another point of view and selfishness.

Most people you'll find here simply want to give you the tools to make your own choices, and encourage you to take a good hard look at your own situation and see it as it is, for yourself. It's why I'm still reading loads of stuff here and using it to expand my own viewpoint, and have given up looking for much useful info elsewhere.

All the best

I am writing this from a basis of having been a contributing member here for just under 4 years.

I have not noticed this double standard you refer to being particularly prevelant on this board.

Indeed, I find one of the great things about this board is the memberships tendency to call people out who promote such bullshit views. In fact, to call out bullshit generally.

If you are not a big fan of bullshit, then this IS the right place for you.

There are not a real lot of herd followers here.

Tread your own path.