Post by email@example.com
quote from a woman pioneer that says; "All the men were so helpful and no one held my being a woman against me!" I doubt you'll find one.
There are various types of one-sided sex within a relationship. In this
post I'll focus on what I call “peace-inducing sex,” whose purpose is to
maintain peace within a relationship. I'll also compare it with “pity
sex” and “charity sex.”
Marital Industrial Peace
“I have sex with my husband in order to maintain industrial peace in the
home, but all my emotional resources are focused on my lover.” — A
Industrial peace is characterized as a state in which an employer and
employees abstain from industrial actions, such as strikes and lockouts.
In the same vein, we can discuss industrial peace in marriage or other
long-term committed relationships as a state in which both partners
abstain from sexual sanctions, such as sexual deprivation or frequent
“headaches.” The purpose of this type of “peace” is to ensure an
ongoing, smooth relationship in which the two parties decide to stay
together even in the absence of profound love or intense passion.
The value of industrial peace in organizations is clear: The employer
and employee often have common interests and goals and can fulfill them
without necessarily liking each other.
Is marital industrial peace also valuable?
In marriage, the partners also have common interests and goals. They can
try to fulfill these without being profoundly in love or feeling
intensely passionate toward each other. If they decide that the show
must go on, they need to find a way to peacefully coexist in which they
both benefit—even if there's a lack of passion. However, such peace has
its emotional costs. A married woman who regularly engages in
peace-inducing sex said, “After I check sex off my "to-do list," I feel
bad about trading sex for this peace. I never talk about this with my
Love and Life
“There is love, of course. And then there's life, its enemy.” — Jean Anouilh
In life we cannot have everything we want and must compromise by
settling for situations that seem relatively close to our ideals, or the
closest we can get given our circumstances. Compromises involve
dissatisfied acceptance of a gap between a perceived feasible desire and
our actual situation. In a compromise, we are in a situation we have
chosen to be in, but which we prefer to be different. Our choice stems
from the fact that we are limited creatures, that we cannot always meet
our norms or achieve our ideals, and that we sometimes have to settle
for something less than we might want.
In romantic compromise, we give up a romantic value, such as passionate
love, in exchange for a non-romantic value, like the wish to live
comfortably without financial worries. Giving up a romantic option is no
small matter; the forsaken alternative might cast a lingering shadow
over our lives. Our awareness of the road not taken can remain part and
parcel of our lives, and sometimes this awareness becomes more
oppressive as time passes.
article continues after advertisement
The decision to give preference to love or life is usually not
clear-cut. Typically, it involves many considerations, each of which has
different weights. Princess Diana once remarked, “They say it is better
to be poor and happy than rich and miserable, but how about a compromise
like moderately rich and just moody?” Similarly, one may claim that it
is better to be poor and in love than rich and without love. But how
about a compromise like being moderately rich and just loving (rather
being madly in love with) each other?
In preferring life over love, people make romantic compromises; after
all, there are very few, if any, people who are perfect. The debatable
issue concerns more specific aspects of the compromise, and in
particular whether the long-term feeling of being romantically
compromised disappears or decreases. In order for the decision to be
viable, it should enhance the agent's flourishing in general and his or
her romantic flourishing in particular.
One-sided Love and Sex
"Men reach their sexual peak at 18. Women reach theirs at 35. Do you get
the feeling that God is playing a practical joke?" — Rita Rudner
The issue of reciprocity is central to romantic love. For both sexes,
mutual attraction is the most highly valued characteristic in a
potential mate. The lack of reciprocity—the knowledge that you are not
loved by your beloved—usually leads to a decrease in the degree of love
and ultimately to humiliation and breakup. However, one-sided
(unrequited) love also exists in ongoing relationships. Even more common
is the presence of unequal romantic involvement between partners—for
example, when you are in love with your partner but the partner does not
love you as much. (See here.)
article continues after advertisement
Unequal involvement is often expressed in the sexual domain, although
different degrees of sexual arousal are not necessarily related to
lesser love but may stem from various personal and contextual
circumstances. In some relationships, one partner might not be sexually
attracted to the other, or might have a lower degree of sexual desire.
One fairly common option in these circumstances is to allow the partner
to find sexual satisfaction outside the relationship.
Generally, one-sided love constitutes greater difficulties than
one-sided sex, as it affects more aspects of a couple's life. I focus
here only on the issue of one-sided sex.
3 Types of One-sided Sex
“I would say my sex drive is about zero right now. Last night we had
sex. I couldn’t wait for it to be over. Even kissing made me nauseous.”
— A woman after having "pity-sex"
We can discern three major types of sexual interactions based upon the
motivations of agents who are not sexually attracted to their partners:
pity sex; charity sex; and peace-inducing sex.
Pity sex happens when people have sex with other people because they
feel sorry for them. Pity (or mercy) sex is an experience in which a
woman (or a man) is not particularly attracted to someone who is in love
with her and wishes to have sex with her; she sleeps with him because
she feels sorry for him. Like a one-night stand, pity sex is usually an
isolated occurrence; unlike a one-night stand, pity sex has an
altruistic element, intended to give pleasure to the other person but
not to the one who pities—after all, pity is not a pleasant emotion.
Many people (women probably more so) may have sex because they think
they “should" rather than because they actually want to. This can be a
kind of guilt-induced sex.