Pressured to Perform, or Make Excuses

By now I’m sure you’ve all heard of the sex spreadsheet a husband made documenting his attempts at lovemaking and his wife’s responses (usually shutdowns) that went viral. (Pish-posh to the things that ‘go viral’ nowadays, amirite?)

Sex? ...or sex not. A spreadsheet

At first I saw it while scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed. I didn’t click on the article, but I read the ‘excuses’ from the thumbnail and had a little laugh. Then I realized hey, I say those things a lot. (Well, said because there’s currently no hanky-panky going on in this house.)

And I thought those reasons aren’t excuses, they’re real-life true reasons for not being in the mood to be fondled and have your junk all exposed and pawed at.

I’m going to get to writing a post explaining this sometime in the future, but I don’t shower as much as the average person. I loathe getting wet. I hate brushing my hair. I despise the process of drying off and finding new clothes and putting them on. I don’t know why. But I have to work myself up for a few days, thinking about how horrible the shower is going to be but then thinking more about how horribly dirty I’m getting before I manage to take one. And even then, it’s painful. Literally.

This might be a result of my Eeyore Syndrome, I’m not sure. Either way, it’s not an excuse. It’s me trying to explain as truthfully as possible why I’m not comfortable hopping-on-the-good-foot-and-doing-the-bad-thing*. If I feel gross, I don’t want you to feel my grossness. If I smell gross, why would I want you anywhere near areas that have a tendency to smell a certain way even when they’re clean?

(I’m not saying I don’t wash up and make sure I’m sanitary — I do, but that still doesn’t mean I feel clean enough to expose myself to your every desire.)

So, there’s that. We don’t personally know these people. We don’t know if this woman was making excuses or simply had legitimate reasons for not being in the mood.

But more importantly, why do we need an excuse to not have sex? Why can’t we just not be in the mood, and have that be okay?

I feel like this whole thing plays into the ‘women owe their husbands sex simply because they’re married’ thing. Or even the other way around, but since this particular spreadsheet is focusing on the man wanting sex and the woman not, I’m going to focus on that stereotype.

I still thought this whole ordeal was kind of funny, but a little bit sad, when I came across the segment on the Kidd Kraddick show in which they address this ‘issue.’

Everyone and their mother, it seems, has a different view on who’s in the wrong here. Some side with the wife because — immaturity. Others side with the husband because — sex. You can tell right off the bat how the members of the Kidd Kraddick show feel, since ‘lame excuses’ is in their headline.

Usually I love the show, but I did not agree with this particular segment. They took calls from people who told stories about the worst excuses they gave or were given to avoid having sex. I don’t know what made me so mad, honestly, but it just all seemed so clear to me after listening to the stereotypical manner in which they discussed this topic.

It’s always usually about men being shot down by women’s ‘lame excuses.’ But you know what? No excuse is ‘lame,’ because if someone, anyone, isn’t in the mood, there should be no pressure for them to perform.

Do you think it’s going to help your relationship to pressure your partner into something they don’t want to do? ‘Cause I don’t, but who knows, maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about.

But wait, I do.

I’ve been in a relationship in which my partner went through a serious dry spell. He never wanted to have sex, and I felt horrible because of it. I made advances constantly and he shot me down every time. I started to complain nonstop about how he must not be attracted to me anymore and all that crap. It went on like this for months.

Until one day, we talked. He explained that it had nothing to do with me, and he actually felt horrible for not being in the mood, and every time I complained it simply made him want to retreat even more. He didn’t give me excuses — he told me the truth. And we communicated. I vowed to take his feelings into consideration and stop complaining all the time, and he promised to try to allow me to get him in the mood, so long as I wouldn’t take offense if it didn’t work. We worked through our issues and started having sex regularly again.

Then I was in a relationship in which I went through a dry spell. And my partner felt the same way I did in the previous relationship. Only, I didn’t go about it the way my past partner did — I made ‘excuses.’ I felt so pressured to have sex whenever and wherever and to beat that damn women never want it stereotype that I always had another reason why I didn’t want to get down and dirty. Sometimes those reasons were partly valid, but overall, I just wasn’t in the mood. And having to come up with excuses all the time and being bugged about it didn’t help. On the rare occasion that I did want to have sex, something happened that killed the mood and I didn’t want to anymore.

That relationship did not last. (I mean, neither of them did, but the first one ended for completely different reasons that had nothing to do with our sex life.)

We, as women, as human beings, should not feel pressured to give excuses. Our partners, and the rest of the world, should be respectful of our feelings and our wishes. Sometimes we’re just not in the mood. Sometimes we don’t want ice cream. Sometimes we don’t want to watch a certain show. Sometimes we don’t want sex. It’s really that simple.

Photo Credit: Karen / Flickr CC BY 2.0)

Photo Credit: Karen / Flickr (CC BY 2.0) (Cropped)

Relationships aren’t about excuses or sex. Relationships are about communication. Maybe if that sex spreadsheet couple were better at communicating, they wouldn’t be having this problem in the first place.

Maybe if women felt comfortable enough telling their spouses “I don’t know why, but I’m just not in the mood,” and then their spouse said “I’ll work through it with you” instead of jumping to no-sexy-time-ever conclusions, couples all around the world wouldn’t be having similar problems.

Just because a couple is dating, or married, does not mean either partner owes the other sex. It means the couple should be dedicated to working on their issues and helping each other.


*(The only person, other than myself, I’ve ever heard use the term ‘hopping on the good foot and doing the bad thing‘ is my son’s father. I highly doubt he coined it, so someone out there please tell me you’re familiar with it.)

Facebook: Nonsense & Shenanigans / Twitter: @nonsenanigans
Have you ever been in a relationship in which one of you had a ‘dry spell’? How did you work through it? Do you often feel pressured to give ‘excuses’ when really you’re just not in the mood? Has a relationship ever ended because of it? Do you think women feel more pressure to come up with excuses than just tell the truth? Let me know!

25 thoughts on “Pressured to Perform, or Make Excuses

  1. The question that never gets discussed is why cant we be intimate, sharing, holding, cuddling, etc., without it always being about sex? We need bonding with other human beings. We deny it and then we suffer from the lack of touch and physical connection.
    Great post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly! I’m typically a very sexual person. But sometimes I just want to cuddle or have my back rubbed or whatever. In the ‘bad relationship’ I talked about, every single time my partner got close to me at all was to hopefully get an end result of sex. Why would you using me turn me on?
      Thank you!


  2. Great points! My college roommate said the same, but for her and her boyfriend, it was easier to figure out they needed to cool it if either one of them wasn’t in the mood — because every time they tried to do something anyway, they’d go to kiss and bonk noses, hug and get an elbow to the face, etc.!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I experienced that, too! If you’re not feeling it, it’s obvious and things get awkward. But sometimes the other party is SO obsessed with getting laid that they don’t notice the weirdness and keep going, which only makes things worse.


  3. I definitely agree that a relationship shouldn’t be built on being obligated to do something you don’t want to do. There’s enough of that in society without coming home to it as well. But I can also sympathize with people who feel like they’re not getting everything they need out of the relationship, whether it’s sex, intimacy, or just basic relationship security (like knowing that you’re not gonna find your stuff bagged up on the front lawn because you forgot to put the toilet seat down). But I think you hit the nail on the head with communication. Talk about it, preferably before it builds up to the point where frying pans start flying. In a healthy relationship both parties in my opinion should care about the other person’s happiness and would be willing to work on a compromise towards that goal. No one knows what’s going on in your head until it comes out of your mouth. Seems to be something we forget a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree — I think, for people who are sexual (because not everyone is), having a strong sexual connection and a good sex life is very important. But, it shouldn’t be the basis of he relationship. I’ve had relationships like that, and they never worked. I’m not saying that the man isn’t valid in his feelings of frustration, but he should be frustrated that his wife doesn’t communicate clearly why their sex life has changed, instead of being frustrated that he’s not getting the sex he feels he’s entitled to, which it how it seems.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I saw, quite honestly, a disgusting argument about this on Facebook where thousands upon thousands gave their views. The majority were so closed minded and were basically condoning the husbands increasing pressure saying that “She can’t expect to marry someone and then refuse them sex”, as if marriage is also the legal declaration of endless sex. People then continued to say that they “wouldn’t blame the husband if he now cheated on her. It serves her right!”. I was left horrified. I despise the unwillingness to accept that society is changing and someone has the right to say “No”.

    Anyhow, I could write a blog about it myself so I just wanted to say it is such a relief to see this piece of writing. You are not arguing pro-him or pro-her – you’re simply stating the importance of communication. I wish that others had come to the conclusion before attempting to obliterate the ‘opposition’. Thank you for such a practical and reasonable argument!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! I heard people make fun of her for posting it “thinking people would be sympathetic,” people saying it’s her duty to have sex with her husband, and people not exactly condoning him cheating but saying they wouldn’t be surprised if he did, which is basically the same thing.

      I don’t think he’s in the wrong for being frustrated, or that she’s in the wrong for not wanting to have sex. I think there’s obvious lack of communication and we know nothing about the inner workings of their relationship. And mainly, what people are getting from the spreadsheet makes it seem like women either HAVE to say yes to their husbands all the time, or come up with a ‘decent excuse’. Since when is “I really don’t want to” not a ‘good enough’ reason? It’s all absurd.

      Thank you so much for your comment!


  5. OMG yes. I have certain parts of my life marked off as ‘not for online sharing,’ but I will say that I definitely relate to this, and would really, *really* love to see this reframed as ‘reasons’ and not ‘excuses’ – and certainly not ‘lame excuses’! I don’t understand why sex is so complicated, but basically every intimate friend I have who is in a long-term committed relationship has, at some point, expressed that he/she has had sex woes with his/her partner, usually related to differing levels of desire. It’s just so weighted by cultural expectations, and so quickly wanders into territory of blame and shame. It makes it feel hopeless, because it all becomes a joke of one sort or another, like you said. Thanks for writing this. It needs to be out there as Something to Talk About way more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I didn’t even really fully realize how pressured I felt to come up with ‘excuses’ — my REASON is just that I am not in the mood, damn. And being ‘not in the mood’ can be caused by a million and one things OTHER than not being sexually attracted to your partner. If more people were comfortable just being open and honest, this wouldn’t even be a problem (as much, at least, because then there’s the whole “we’re together so I’m entitled to your body” thing). Thank you for your kind comment=]


  6. I have totally been on the receiving end of a dry spell with my ex-girlfriend. She all of a sudden stopped wanting sex (after having it every day, multiple times a day), and I was left feeling ugly, repulsive and needy. We tried to talk about it. We tried to make compromises, but it just wasn’t working. Then I found out why – she was CHEATING! Sometimes that is the reason. Not always, but sometimes.

    I agree that anyone in a relationship has the right to say no at any time without a reason. My wife and I have been together for 10 years, and there have been times when one of us said no, but you deal with it and walk through it. We’ve been lucky not to ever have had a complete dry spell together, but I’m sure if we did, we’d get through it. We have the rest of our live to have sex together :)

    I think sex is very important in a relationship, but it’s not everything. You need balance, communication and trust, in addition to sex.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh definitely — there, of course, can be an underlying reason that DOES have to do with the relationship. I’m sorry you had to go through that.

      I know from experience that sometimes, even when you’re super attracted to your partner and very in love, you’re still just not interested. So many other things can contribute, and it makes me sad to see people assuming that just because this couple is married that the woman should be like “Yeah, let’s go!” every time.

      Thanks for your comment=]


  7. Ι’m amazed, I mսst say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s equally educational and interesting, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The issue is something too few people are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy ӏ found this in my hunt instead of the normal posts about taking sides.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great article, well written. “Relationships are about communication.” This is what I think it all boils down to. The problem is that there usually isn’t enough communication early on in the relationship or the first few dates. Learning what each other expect in the bedroom is as important if not more that what they do for work, activities for fun, political and religious views, and favorite food and such.

    Lust and puppy love usually fill the beginning part of a relationship with sex which makes everyone feel that things might work out great. But as soon as someone starts not wanting or desiring sex as much as the other person that should be a pretty big red flag that things might not work out in the long run. If you want to be with someone long term, I feel it’s super important that your energy levels be relatively equal for everything: sex, sleep, exercise and adrenaline, moods, emotions and more.

    I will definitely be checking back and reading more of your posts; thanks for the great, intriguing read! Au revoir!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much!

      I feel that couples should work through their issues. Most of the people I know have gone through periods during which they’re not as into sex, or something else. Helping your partner and supporting them should be a top priority in a relationship.


  9. Wonderful blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News?

    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!


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