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Sex as a Bargaining Chip
smg67 posted:
I revealed to my partner that I believe that witholding sex because one partner is upset with the other is a bad idea and unhealthy for our relationship. I wonder how other people feel about this. I accepted an invitation to lunch with someone I once had a "crush" on and my girlfriend seemed very jealous and when itwas time for sex she said she was put off because of this. Before bedtime I discussed it with her and we came to a compromise that I would no longer see this friend ( a quite severe compromise in my opinion) but she still seemed uneasy and did not want to sleep with me. Until that point I had not harbored any animosity towards her but the idea of this witholding sex put in my mind an animosity. Our relationship is fairly young only 6months but so far this has been the first and worst conflict. I cant see myself being with someone who feels they can just use sex as a tool to punish or something like that. I believe that it is my duty ( a fun one) to pleasure my partner even if I am "not in the mood" or tired. Of course there are obvious times when it is not expected...illness,or if we are both tired, etc. Thoughts??
AlexKatehakis responded:
You are correct, intentionally 'withholding' sex as a punishment for bad behavior is manipulative and unhealthy in a relationship.

That being said though, this may not necessarily be what is happening. While I am not your partner and can't speak for her, here is another possible explanation for her behavior:

For a lot of women, sexual arousal and interest in sex stems from feeling safe, loved, and comfortable with your partner. She may be feeling insecure knowing that you are lunching with someone you are attracted to, and that is what is putting a damper on her willingness to have sex. It may feel like a punishment or manipulation but it could be more about her feeling jilted (read: not sexy, not attractive, not loved).

The best way to combat this scenario is to express to her how you feel about her and make sure that she understands and knows how much you care about her-- and only her.
smg67 replied to AlexKatehakis's response:
I appreciate your reply!! Things have since worked out. I was feeling a little self consicious about my stance on the issue...perhaps I thought I was being unreasonable. I am glad to hear that this is considered "healthy"

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