Part II at #1872 described how women are far more capable than men to ease the discouraging thoughts that arise between a husband’s desire for sex and wife feeling victimized. Other causes produce similar results.
Let’s look back in time. Let’s imagine a typical couple that ultimately marries. Originally, two conquerors face off. He seeks sex without obligation. She seeks marital commitment and both have big lures to make their case. She has first time sex and the presumption that he’s capable of fulfilling her hopes and dreams. He’s motivated to do what he does best, providing and protecting, in return for frequent and convenient sex. Because her best negotiable is one-time only, she has first dibs. She has two options, yield sex before or after the altar.
1) She yields before marriage and the marital dynamic changes to favor his dominance. She yields to his pressure before she gets what she wants most. He learns how to get his way.
Their first sex together bonds her and toughens her intention to marry, but conquest changes him. It frees his hardhearted nature for other pursuits. Conquest also lessens the importance of her major lure, weakens her influence, and undermines his need to remain committed to her.
To lead him to the altar, she has to rely on adulation and fawning to finish the capture. His primary goal is achieved. He now has little or no reason to search for ways to overcome her resistance to yielding, so he learns little more about what and who she really is. He doesn’t need to know more because he got the most important thing. He learns little of her other qualities simply because he quits looking; his interests wander away from her. His mind diverts because his instinct to conquer has quieted. He sees less reason to marry and damage inflicts his sense of commitment. Most important of all, his devotion to her doesn’t escalate beyond that attained before conquest.
Her major lure is gone; the intensity of his interest declines. Detecting it, she tries harder to keep from losing him. Recognizing her weakened status, she depends on sexual attractions and accommodation; she doesn’t challenge unacceptable behaviors figuring she can correct him after marriage.
After marriage sex is old hat and less interesting to her as tool of getting what she wants. His expecting sex too easily becomes an interruption to her other plans for them. She changes from who she was during courtship days, and he comes to resent it. Her changes move her away from pleasing him; denying or resenting sex seems to have the best effect for making her feel better.
He expects frequent and convenient access to sex. She isn’t as up to it as he expects; their premarital sex makes it less important for her to continue as reliably after marriage. He was captured at the altar and she is now freer to focus and get her way on other matters. Her commitment to sex wanes; she makes him pay a price for his having won the battle of the conquerors, that is, for her having yielded first. (It reminds of Some Other Guy’s comment at #1871, “My divorced men friends joke about how marriage destroyed the good sex that they enjoyed as a non-married couple.”)
2) If conquest comes on the wedding night, then husband sacrificed. He backed off the pressure for sex to please her. He learns in the slowed-down process just what and who she is and the promise she holds for him, which bonds him more closely. Winning her becomes more important than conquest, which converts in marriage to a more accommodating and negotiable sense of male dominance.
Having held him off for so long, her heart retains the importance of sex to him. Every delay in his conquest emphasizes her importance to him, which translates into the best inducement for marriage. She conquers him, shifts from competing to cooperating, and provides sex because he earns and deserves it with all his might; he joined her at the altar with the promise she envisions of brightening her future and fulfilling her hopes and dreams.
Those aren’t the only outcomes. I use them only to describe how their natures interact before learned values, beliefs, and expectations override natural actions and reactions.
Sexual harmony is all about likeable, pleasurable, and compatible attitudes, and two attitudes reflect two hearts. What he earns, he appreciates and earns it by going to the altar. What she obligates herself to do, she expects to deliver with eagerness if not pleasure, and her obligations increase as she parades him from courtship to altar.
A man marries for a woman’s virtue (what men admire) and the promise he sees and anticipates for his bride to brighten his life in parallel with his work and other endeavors. Marriage isn’t part of his nature and vowing commitment for life is a gigantic dedication, an achievement of great significance, a commitment born of prideful and steadfast masculine character—provided she’s truly worth it in his heart of hearts.
From so much effort and commitment, great things are due to him. Bride becomes his, he earns her. Consequently, he owns what she possesses which translates to frequent and convenient access to sex. Given all that he expects in quantity, he’s willing to negotiate on other matters. (If not, he dislikes himself, he’s not Mr. Good Enough, and she should have discovered it during courtship extended for the purpose of uncovering lack of fitness for her.)
One last thought that leads to a wife’s disenchantment in the bedroom. Some women misrepresent themselves to themselves. They sell themselves short by calling Mr. Good Enough their Mr. Right. They start out by expecting their man to be perfect, which automatically dumps them into the role of finding and correcting husband’s faults. They seek to fix him before they learn to tame and domesticate him. It’s the female ego at work.
Men seek frequent and convenient access to sex. If earned at high cost, they marry for the guarantee of it. If given to them at low cost, women don’t receive a decent return on their investment.
Unachieved before marriage, the suspended lure of their first sex together provides time, incentive, and opportunity for men to bond and devote themselves better than any other way—and women are in charge.