Maintenance Sex is Fine, Really

Sex with a long-term partner varies from good to average to bad.  By definition, half of your encounters are going to be below average.  Remember this post: 12 Types of Sex for Married Couples?  One of those is “maintenance sex”.  I think there is a shades-of-gray distinction between the connotation of “Duty Sex” versus “Maintenance Sex”.  “Duty sex” to me connotates that your spouse recognizes the fact that as a man you need sex, and as a wife she can provide it, though not happily.  She may do it so you aren’t trying to get your needs met somewhere else, so she, as they say, Lies Back and Thinks of England (a reference to a story where Queen Victory told her daughter to fulfill her wifely duties on her wedding night).  “Maintenance sex” is similar in that usually the wife isn’t in the mood for whatever reason: tired, anxious, not warmed up, whatever.  But said wife also understands that giving herself to her husband is an act of love and fulfills his needs, mostly physical but perhaps emotional as well.  It’s the difference between doing it out of love verses a sense of obligation.  See what I mean, not a large distinction but some.

Anyway, maintenance sex while not great, is still fine.. sometimes it’s better than fine, but usually not.  It is necessary in those times where you aren’t perhaps clicking on all cylinders but is still needed to connect with your spouse in some way.  In some ways it can simply clear the air… like “I’m glad I got that over with and scratched that itch, now I can get my mind and body right to take on other things”.  It does become a problem if duty or maintenance sex is all you have.  It’s like subsisting on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Theoretically it’s possibly, but at some point you’ll become malnourished.  To have a PB&J once in awhile isn’t too bad though.

For a man, who’s more HD than his wife, I sometimes have unrealistic expectations about our sexcapades.  When reality doesn’t live up to these expectations it can sometimes be a mental hurdle that has to be overcome.  Instead of just appreciating the offering that’s on the table, I have a desire to make it more than it is and that’s caused problems in the past.  It’s something inside my head I am trying to improve on.  Bottom line guys: unless your wife is hating you with her vagina, take her offering of maintenance sex with a smile and her attitude of “this is all for you tonight big guy” as a sign of love and not as a slight against you… her not being into it sometimes is on her, not you.  Also, how you initiate in these instances is also important.  Being matter of fact about the need to have sex with her and not beating around the bush, being all beta puppy-dog pleading, or dragging out the act goes a long way in how you look in her eyes.  And don’t worry about her orgasm. If she has responsive desire and gets into it, you can change your game plan, otherwise have at it, she’s doing this for your benefit, not hers, so take her up on her offer and give it to her good.

We had one of these episodes recently, with Holly getting ready for an early departure for a few days out of town for work.  The evening before when she was clocking out from exhaustion, she had even acknowledged the need to have sex before she left.  Depature -eve she was busy packing and watching hockey until past our normal bedtime.  Despite being tired and all that was on her mind, we made out a little prior to less than mind-blowing maintenance sex.  At one point during the act, she made some comment that had me ready to eject until next time, but like the good wife she is, she pulled me back in and gave me what I needed, wanted from her.  This is an improvement in this department and I would say the frequency of our maintenance sex has gone down as our marriage has improved over the last year or two, which isn’t a coincidence.  It is still part of a healthy marriage and sex life and always will be most likely.  So enjoy it, it’s fine and a sign of love.


3 responses to “Maintenance Sex is Fine, Really

  1. “And don’t worry about her orgasm. If she has responsive desire and gets into it, you can change your game plan, otherwise have at it, she’s doing this for your benefit, not hers, so take her up on her offer and give it to her good.”

    This. I am an advocate for duty sex, because I see sex as an obligation (not a bad word) for both husband and wife. It’s not always perfect, but it’s always good. And sometimes that’s what gets you through the day, and on to the next, better day.

  2. How many couples do you think are able to successfully include maintenance sex into their relationship?

    I agree with your premise, but after 13 years, the recovering Nice Guy in me still recoils at the idea of “using” my wife for sex. In the past, that would have been coupled with the resentment that she didn’t enjoy being with me as much as I wanted to be with her.

    I’m finally at a point where I can request it without feeling weak. It took us a long time to get comfortable enough for me to take her up on the offer to lay there for me. Sometimes she gets into it more than she expected, sometimes not. We’re good with it either way.

    I never understood that she actually meant it when she offered in the past. She would have been glad to participate if I wanted. It scares me sometimes how much being a Nice Guy has cost me over the last decade.

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