The Wall Street Journal wants you to know that married men NEED sex. And if they're not getting enough sex, it's probably because their wives are withholding.
The April 22nd piece centers around one Mormon couple, Chris and Afton Mower, who slept together for the first time on their wedding night and then stopped having sex often within their first year of marriage. After months of Mr. Mower making graphs charting exactly how little sex they had, doing chores because he "[read] online that women are turned on by men who do housework" and becoming "grumpy," he finally told his wife, "It feels like you don't love me." She got "scared" and decided to "raise [her] game." Sex problems solved!
According to the WSJ, men need sex because:
1. They can't express their feelings with words, and "unlike a lot of women, they probably don't have heart-to-heart chats with everyone from their best friend to bus driver."
2. "It's a way for them to be aggressive and manly but also tender and vulnerable."
3. If they don't get sex, they'll be really sad and lack the "chemical stimulants that give them a sense of well-being."
4. When men aren't touched enough, they are emotionally deprived, "just like the little boy who stands in his crib and cries to be picked up."
Beyond the fact that the WSJ legitimately tried to compare a wife not having sex with her husband to emotionally neglecting one's child, as The Cut's Kat Stoeffel noted, marital sexual issues are not caused by members of one gender. A difference in sexual needs is absolutely a problem that many long-term couples, married or unmarried, deal with. However, there are plenty of women who prioritize and value sex as much (or more) than their male partners do.
Plus, focusing on the biological and gendered components of why a couple might not be meeting each other's sexual needs takes agency away from both husband and wife. (Unsurprisingly, this Wall Street Journal piece ignores the fact that not every married couple is made up of a man and a woman.) The Mowers admit that their sexual disconnect began after Afton had a miscarriage. Afterward, they had a hard time discussing sex and the "pressure" Mrs. Mower felt from her husband made her "want [sex] less." It was communication and beginning to "work together on a healthy sex life" that ultimately saved their relationship -- something that warranted action from both of them.
Different men and women have different desires when it comes to physical intimacy, and they often grow and change within the context of a long-term, monogamous relationship. Great sex happens when both parties are into it, and telling women that they need to offer more sex in order for their husbands to maintain a fighting weight and sunny disposition seems like a twisted way to incentivize the act. So please, Wall Street Journal, stop discussing sex as though it's a duty instead of a pleasure. That isn't good for anyone.
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