Am I Promoting "Rape Culture" With My Relationship Advice?

3 years ago

Last week I wrote a post that was shared so many times on Facebook and seen by lots and lots of people... it's quickly made it to the top 3 most viewed posts on my site and I am happy that people found it useful at all. It always makes me nervous to post about marriage, or about advice we have used that worked... anytime it gets down to the personal, there is always a possibility of offending someone who just might do it different than we do.

The post, 10 Ways to Have a Marriage that ROCKS!, was just some of the best advice we had read or heard in our few years married together. One of the comments I made in that post was regarding sex. I said that I have heard friends say they told there husbands they just "weren't in the mood" or "can we maybe just do it tomorrow..." like it was a chore that they don't enjoy! I said that even if it's not your idea, go for it. You will enjoy that and agree you needed it, even if it wasn't your "idea" to begin with.

I also said that it's one of men's needs. Yes, we women need sex too, but men literally need it more than we do, so why not give them something that we know they need, that ALSO happens to show our love for them? Sounds like a win-win. Oh, and you will enjoy yourself and relieve some stress too? Sounds like a plan.

After so many shared on facebook and posted things like "Hey, here's actually some new things I hadn't heard..." or "Great advice and I've been married for 40+ years!", I was quite surprised to see a comment from a reader who said this:

"Women 'need' sex just as much as men do. To put a clock on that schedule just places more expectations on how women should behave. It makes my skin crawl to hear you say, have sex with your husband even when you don't want to--it's for him and he needs it. That is promoting rape culture."

Is it though? I thought all night about my reply to her, wondering how someone could have interpreted my thoughts so differently. She also said that I "offended men and women" in my post. Each of her concerns seemed a little out of context, as she also seemed to be saying that I am replusive for "promoting" Dr. Laura because of something that she once said or did about rape victims. {Dear World, I am now a bad person because I agreed with something this person said. And this person is obviously a bad person. Ergo, I am "bad", and it is your right to tell me so.}


Image: Charlotte Cooper via Flickr

I am all for a discussion and I am happy to agree to disagree, but to tell me that I promote "rape culture" just might have gone a bit far.

My reply was simply this:

"I am sad that you were offended by anything here. I wrote this thinking about marriages of happy, content couples who have {or should have} healthy sex-lives. To clarify, I could have also said, if partner A instigates sex and partner B is not in the mood, go for it anyway! {you're right, women need it too! Which is why I say to GO FOR IT!!} You'll get in the mood quick! What I did not say is "If you are being forced into something you don't want to do, give in." Because that, friends, is an abusive relationship, and not something that would ever happen in a happy marriage where two humans love each other. If you or anyone you know is being forced into sex against their will {the definition of rape}, THAT IS AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP- GET OUT OF IT."

So what do YOU think?  What could possibily be wrong with saying YES to sex, every time? If you have a spouse who is inconsiderate of times when you don't feel well, or obviously would not want to, that is perhaps a conversation that needs to be had... In my house {and largely due to the advice I have been given along the way}, I go along for the ride, even if it takes me a few minutes to get on board to the idea. I am ALWAYS better for it, I ALWAYS enjoy it, and our marriage is ALWAYS better for it.

big red clifford

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