Hey! Let’s stop telling women to have sex against their will! Sweet thanks!

by Janelle Hanchett

I don’t have a problem letting the internet know I drank Ancient Age whiskey alone in my Ford Taurus for two show-stopping years, but talking about sex makes me feel weird.

Leave me alone I was raised Mormon.

But it must be done. Take this is a sign as my love for you.

The first time I heard it (what I’m about to say, not sex) I thought I had entered some anomalous reality where women forgot it’s not 1953. “Or,” I thought, “Maybe they were dosed by their Mormon grandmothers.”

THAT WAS A JOKE. Mormon grandmothers do not dose children.

Or they’re super religious themselves. Like this guy, who explains (complete with scriptural “evidence,”) all the things a “Christian man” should do to his wife (call her out in front of people, stop taking her out, deny her finances – basically abuse her psychologically) if she fails to perform her godly wifely sex duty.

One can only hope a beaver mistakes his penis for a log and has at it.

Small log?


But it appears my assumptions were wrong. Turns out there are actual, non-dosed, non-religious-zealots out there who think a woman should provide sex whenever her husband wants it because it’s her duty as a wife and if she doesn’t do it he’ll start boning his doctor. (See how I didn’t say “secretary?” Overturning gender stereotypes at every turn!)

Thus, in the interest of a lasting marriage, the Traveling Vagina must be open for business at all times, should the Brave Penis come a’knockin’. So many puns, so little time.

Recently heard a woman tell a room full of other women that wives should “suck it up for 15 minutes” and “get it over with” because it “ain’t that bad” and “he needs it.”


Call me old-fashioned, but I’m pretty sure we should not be telling women what to do with their bodies or casting them in the undisputed service of other bodies because those other bodies are more important than theirs.

That is, perhaps, not the finest sentence I’ve written. But I digress, because I’m nervous.

I’m pretty sure a woman’s body IS HER OWN and if she doesn’t want a penis in it, SHE SHOULD NOT HAVE A PENIS IN IT, even if it ruins somebody’s day.

What the hell is wrong with people?

I’m trying to like you, humans, but you make it so hard. (See what I did there?)


Dear teenaged girls: This is your body. You own it. It’s yours. You have total and complete agency over what happens to it. UNTIL YOU’RE MARRIED AT WHICH CASE YOU LOSE ALL RIGHTS HEREIN BECAUSE YOUR HUSBAND’S DICK IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU.

 Look, I’m married with four kids *edging toward that uncomfortable feeling*. I know every time a married couple has sex it’s not hanging-from-the-sex-swing exciting. We’re old. We’re tired. I know there are times when one partner or the other isn’t super into it but we’re like “alright cool let’s do this” because it’s cool. Let’s do this. We love each other.

But that is the exception, not the rule, and it’s certainly not out of a sense of threat, obligation, or duty. It’s out of a place of “Well I’m not SUPER into it but I’m not NOT into it either.” The way these people depict it, it doesn’t matter if you have zero interest and the idea of sex sounds as appealing as a root canal without anesthetic, you do it because he wants it. Full stop.

Yes, that’s right. You submit to him no matter what. Whenever however forever.

I’ll be damned (and in the eyes of some, that’s in the bag) if the only factor in the do we or do we not have sex question is “Does the male want it?” And the woman’s job is to “suck it up” because she’s been told her marriage is at risk if his rocks aren’t blowin’ off enough times a week.

He was 15 once. HE’LL BE FINE.


It is a lie that men will die without sex. It is a lie that they can’t control themselves. It is a lie that they are hapless victims of penile drive and just can’t help it because biology. Until they prove that unused semen travels to the brain and starts consuming life-giving tissue at an alarming rate, you won’t convince me that a dude can’t just take a visit to the shower on occasion.

Not only is it a lie, it’s the root of rape culture. It reinforces “Well, she was drunk. There was an unprotected vagina just lying there! What’s a boy to do?” mentality, which perpetuates and justifies rape, placing the woman’s body under ownership of the man while reducing his conscious act of violence to “an uncontrollable urge.”

This is why nobody likes you, humans.

Maybe, instead of telling women it is their duty to provide physical gratification to their partner no matter how they feel about it, we suggest that couples ask themselves and each other what the problem is if one person is routinely not interested in sex.

I’m no genius but I think if a husband or wife loses interest in sex, there may be a problem that needs to be addressed in the marriage. 

Go ahead. Hire me for a life coach. I charge a lot though. We can talk about everything except sex because sex talk makes me uncomfortable.


Why don’t we try to get to the root of the problem rather than look at it as merely some deficiency on the part of the human in question? I don’t know. Maybe get some counseling. Maybe there is something emotionally lacking. Maybe depression. Maybe one of the people sucks in bed (obviously not in a good way). I feel weird.

I don’t fucking know. I know approximately four things about marriage, and three of them are questionable. One of them though is for sure that the solution to sex problems is NOT “have sex against your will.”

Grow up, people. Women want to get laid. Men want to get laid. Some men want it more than some women and some women want it more than some men, whatever, but I don’t see too many essays telling men that it is their job to meet the sexual needs of their wives at all times whether or not they feel like it.

So don’t fucking tell me this isn’t rooted in patriarchy and the assumption that women don’t have sexual needs but rather a whole bunch of fee fees. FEELINGS. Women are overly emotional, illogical creatures. Men need sex. Women need heart-to-heart talks while sipping chamomile and watching their tiny special snowflakes play in the sand. Duh.


But wait. If that’s true, and we’re all about equality, then there should be lots and lots of literature, articles and religions and “godly leaders,” telling men that if they don’t cater to their wives’ every emotion they aren’t doing their duty as a husband and she’s gonna run off to bone her secretary because he’s cute. AND CARES ABOUT HER FEELINGS.

Right? Where is that stuff? Oh that’s right it doesn’t exist.

Because women are looked down upon for this alleged/invented/bullshit “irrational, emotional” nature. Men don’t need to cater to it because it’s a weakness. A fault. A shameful sad thing that makes us unfit for politics, capitalism, and STEM. But virility, oh, manliness, oh, the mighty dick, that is a “need” and if it’s not satisfied, obviously you have to go bone your favorite computer engineer.

Newsflash: I am for sure irrational, emotional, and sensitive. Just like my husband. I am also fiercely intellectual, logical, and insensitive. Just like my husband.

Why? Because that’s how brains work, asshole.

ALL OF THEM. All the brains. Penis or vagina downstairs. No matter.

Okay. Pull it together, Janelle.


So let’s break this down. Here’s what society tells women about marriage. (I just want the young girls to have something to look forward to):

Ladies, you have profound emotional needs but men don’t need to meet them because they’re a sign of your flawed brain. We value reason and logic in this country. Act like an American! If you go out and find a man to be with because your emotional needs aren’t being met, you are a lying whore and family-ruiner.

Men have profound sex needs and you must meet them because you have a vagina and they want it. If you don’t give them that vagina, they will have no choice but to run out and find another vagina. This will be your fault because you locked away what’s theirs. Way to be a family-ruiner.


You know what? If a person is a cheater (I’m assuming we’re into the whole monogamy thing here) – man or woman – they’re a fucking cheater and no amount of listless sex is going to save that. And if a person is devoted to you and your marriage they’re going to invest in some quality shower time and ask you WHY you don’t want to have sex rather than finding the nearest willing human to cheat on you with.

So please, please stop thinking of people in isolated cells of definition: “Men will die without daily sex.” “Women will die without daily heartfelt sensitivity.” We all need sex. We all need sensitivity. We have got to let go of these rigid and arbitrary definitions that frame women as swooning feelers and men as walking virility, constructing whole societies recasting natural gendered variation as twisted, wrong, and defective.

Our problems reflect our individuality, our humanity. The solutions must reflect that too.

Anything short of that is a discredit to us all.

Wanted to close with something about “blue balls” but couldn’t quite fit it in.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Twigs. Beavers. Logs. Leave me alone.


hey look two married people. (no idea what photo to use)



I know you’ve got something to say. You just have to figure out how and where and when to say it.

Write with me in January. We’re all afraid to say what we need to say.

But we can learn together to do it anyway. 


53 Comments | Posted in cohabitating with a man. | November 17, 2015
  • Lynne Christie

    Hi Janelle,
    I Love your rants, I love the fact that you take the bull by the horn ( in this case balls) and write some highly amusing pieces of work. You are an inspiration to all in recovery. Keep up the great work…..a day at a time xx

  • Allison Williams

    “Recently heard a woman tell a room full of other women that wives should “suck it up for 15 minutes” and “get it over with” because it “ain’t that bad” and “he needs it.”

    Not surprised that there are still women out there spewing this nonsense (Hey it takes all kinds, right?) What does surprise me is you being in a room where such an opinion gets center stage.

    • renegademama

      This surprised me as well, my friend. And yet, it happened. haha

  • Tracy

    Whew! I love it when you start clacking away on that keyboard and you’re just ROLLIN, and then you’re like, whoa! Let’s reign it in… for a few paragraphs, maybe, but then I’ll tell you what I REALLY think!

    • Jessica

      Yes!!!! I love it when she comes “unhinged”. It’s my favorite.

      • Lou Taylor

        yes….I like unhinged thoughts my self!

  • Rebecca Ullmer

    Amen sista. You crack me right the hell up. But you hit it right on.

  • Post-hoc mormon in Watsonville

    Fantastic. I find these blog posts you reference all the time while, eh, searching for, eh, stuff….and well, I find myself with my jaw on the floor. WTF. Seriously?

  • Doni

    All that.

    And don’t get me started on *some* people’s definition of “sex = love.” Why can’t love=love and sex=sex?

    I like how you make me think and giggle at the same time.

  • Susie

    Well said. Wish You had been around in the sixties/seventies.
    You are a breath of fresh air….keep it going!!

  • Courtney

    I started reading this and thought it was a joke. I thought somehow I was time-warped back in time to when women didn’t have rights and were property of their husbands. I looked a the link of the Christian guy telling men what to do if their wife refuses sex and couldn’t help but laugh. The comments were completely bizarre. So thank you for slamming it in to perspective because that is probably the only way these men who are publicly shaming their wives or cutting off their funding might, MIGHT (probably not) get it. No where at any point did he mention that the man might be part of the problem…

    • Esther

      I agree with you and want to add that if you think your wife only deserves money to spend if she sleeps with you then you clearly think of her as a prostitute. Lovely.

  • the other janelle


  • michelle olson

    Love, Love, Love!!!!!

  • Rose gilbert

    “Because those other bodies are more important than thiers”. Amen yes!! The whole social issue in a nutshell!!!

  • Tasha Batsford

    I am sorry in advance for what this will do to your blood pressure but if you haven’t already seen it, this site may give you enough material for Parts 2- 100 of this post … especially any posts relating to Roosh V


  • Lindsay

    Know what’s crazy? On that psycho’s comment section some dude said he disagreed and when he and his wife had some sexual troubles he took the time to talk to her and learn her body and what really got her engine purring and all in all – because of the talking and connecting – their marriage improved – BOTH people happier. And this reverend dude replied and was like, “nah, she manipulated you into caring about her emotionally and that makes her a bad person and you a tool.” That’s not a *direct* quote but it’s close enough. My head just about fucking exploded.

  • Sherry

    Yet another entry of yours that I’m going to print off for my girls to read. When they’re, you know, a tiny bit older than their current 5 & 8.

    I try to articulate this kind of thing all the time, but I just don’t have your flair for everything I want to say! Thanks for being you.

    • Gypsywater

      YES! I was thinking the exact same thing. My daughter is 9 months old and the whole time I was reading this blog post I was thinking “how the hell do I remember this word for word to tell my daughter later in life”

  • Elle

    Such a great post! I even had to read it to my husband who also thoroughly enjoyed both the context and your humour. Also, I still just LOVE that pic of you two! ♡

  • Lucy

    Well, that’s just crazy talk ( them, not you)! I’m a Christian and think that is utterly absurd. If men are commanded to love their wives as much as Christ loved the church, then these “Christians” are WAY off base. Love reading you, btw!

  • Carey

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  • Adrienne

    I made the mistake of going to that asshat’s blog.

    FLAMES. Flames on the side of my face.

    • Susan

      Me too. I left a nice little comment…

    • Janine

      FLAMES. Best reference ever.

  • SuzyG

    I, too, have been told by the pastors wife to just give it up. It felt weird to be told that. Wrong in fact! But you have ever so eloquently stated the truth: it’s my body! Thank you! I am passing this on to all my friends!

  • Carrie

    Excellent rant. My own mother has told me that it is my duty to give my husband what he wants when he wants. Eyes rolled and message ignored. Even my husband found this unacceptable. But I have a great man.

  • Laura

    As a tired wife( well really common law partner) and mother of 3 I want you to know that every time you make the effort to write this shit down it makes my fucking day – Every time. Some days its Laughter, some tears, some more often then not Laughter and tears. In a world were people make my head spin you are a voice of reason , beauty and humour rising up above it all.
    Thank you dude. Really, Thank you.

  • Susan

    So I shouldn’t have clicked on that first link. Now I’m pissed off! “Let’s not allow our lowly women to manipulate us into foreplay. I need to get my dick wet” … I may or may not have left a lovely comment for him. I doubt he will approve it though…

    I love how you can make me laugh talking about real world issues. Love your blog!!

  • katrina

    Love!!! You take words right out of my mouth all the time. Love your stuff. Keep em comin

  • Joanna

    I love you and you’re writing but did you know in Judaism it actually is stated I the ketubah (Jewish marriage licesnse) that a man has to fulfill his sexual duty to his wife?

  • Boom Bust and Echo aka Rob

    Oh God you feminist just embarrass yourself. I can understand why you’re mystified by the first article, biblical roles of husband and wives you don’t understand it unless you’ve grown up in that environment. My comment to the author was great in theory but messy in reality.

    Did you even read the second article obviously not. What the author clearly stated is marriage is about self giving love! Please explain why that is wrong!!!!

    I couldn’t really understand why my wife really really wanted a new wedding ring for our 30th wedding anniversary, I’ve had the one for 20 years (lost the first one) and it’s fine, personally I’d rather spend the money on a new TV but I did it because I love her and it matters to her.

    So please again explain why self giving love is so wrong. If more people practice that we’d have far less devoice!

    • Boom Bust and Echo aka Rob

      Comment policy: try not to be a dick. – can you remove the first line I was being a dick. Hate when right wing blogs do that Thanks!

    • Amanda

      If unconditional sex is expected, demanded, and/or forced there is no room for self-giving love. It would be the equivalent of paying taxes. Do you pay taxes out of the goodness of your self-giving heart? It doesn’t even matter because it’s required of you. You know what else doesn’t matter (to the IRS, as far as taxes are concerned)? How many good deeds and acts of kindness you may do as a good citizen, out of your self-giving heart. Because all that matters when it comes to taxes is whether you have paid them.

      You sound like a nice person who truly cares about his wife. And I doubt you’d want either of you to feel the same about sex as most seem to feel about taxes (even though we are well aware that they are necessary and fund services we all need).

      I thought the author did cover some of the healthy aspects of self-giving as it relates to sex in a marriage. Sometimes either partner may not be fully into it, willingly participates anyway. That is very different than one partner demanding “Give me sex!” and the either being put in the position of not having the option to say no. If “no” or “not now” is not an option than it really isn’t a willing (or self-giving) choice.

  • Jamie

    This is glorious as always. I’m going to print it and mail it to my mother, and stick it to every telephone pole on the way to the post office. I was raped by an ex-boyfriend because I didn’t want to have sex during my period. I told my mother about it before going to the police, and he response was “Why didn’t you just give him what he wanted? Wouldn’t that have been easier than going through all this trauma?” I didn’t go to the police because she convinced me that they would just laugh at me. 4 months after I married my husband (NOT the same guy, obviously), I found out I was pregnant. It was super high-risk and after the first ultrasound, my doctor ordered me off of sex. My mother told me (loudly in a public place) to either start giving my husband daily blowjobs or give him permission to go have sex with other people. My husband cheerfully suggested (just as loudly) that my mother shove her opinions up her ass because he’s not a mindless semen machine and if the urge to blow a load is THAT strong and I can’t handle the thought of having a dick down my throat, he has two perfectly capable hands. He was applauded, even by the men.

    • Kerry

      That is so awesome. Your husband is a true man.

  • Mishmash

    A psychologist told once told me that I’d have to suck it up at some point, or he’d eventually cheat on me and believe it was my fault. I think I’ll look up her details and send her a link to this blogpost. Thanks!

  • Lydian DeVere Yard

    I want to copy and paste this blog on my forehead.

  • lisa

    I’m sorry, what did you say? I was distracted by all of my chin hairs.

  • exmormon

    Totally agree! I haven’t had sex with my husband in I have no idea how long (few months?). We have a 13 month old and quite frankly, I just don’t need or want sex much – especially now. (geesh and I thought once a week before kids was bad). I equate it to a massage – I LOVE a good massage – but good lord is it a lot of work. I have to shower and shave – and that alone is enough to deter me because I’m already exhausted from everything else. So I don’t get them much but I sure do love it when I do have them 🙂 Still though – I feel guilty for not ‘just doing it’ – I was also raised mormon so there’s something ingrained that says not ‘just doing it’ is selfish and yes, could potentially drive him to look elsewhere. However, when those feelings come up, I try to slap them across the face and tell them to shut the fuck up. Gender roles need to be a thing of the past – yet still, I’d be willing to bet ‘most’ women still do the lions’ share of the housework, childcare etc. I also think this is part of it – at least for me. I work like a dog and then you want doggy style? Um, no.

  • Kerry

    I read that article you referenced. It was one of the most terrifying things that I’ve ever read. Honestly, I’m very concerned for the wives of the men that read that drivel. I’m terrified for me that I’m walking around on an earth with people who actually subscribe to that nonsense. I’m going to have nightmares about that article.

    • exmormon

      Holy crap – I didn’t even read that before posting my reply. Interesting that the article is all about the woman working like a slave and the man plopping on the couch and then wants sex on top of not helping around the house. Who’s needs aren’t being met again? And women don’t get to strive for an equal and fair relationship? I don’t think, at least for me, that I”m intentionally withholding sex because of this. It’s that I’m seriously fucking tired and sweaty and I just need to go to bed because I just worked from sun up to sun down and my back hurts and I’m exhausted. Maybe if I didn’t have to do most everything I wouldn’t feel this way. I’ve started demanding more equality in our house which has helped but it’s still not equal and probably never will be (his mom did EVERYTHING for him and he thinks things ARE equal). So, it is what it is. Because you don’t help, I have no time in my day for this ‘extra duty’ – and I totally agree – it should NOT be seen as a chore. So, I have sex when I want it. The end.

  • Carrie B

    I’ve really been noodling this for a while and I’m very pleased to see this in my RSS feed. I’m “recovering” from being in a church environment that said “ladies don’t let them stray, just say yes, you might like it after you get started” (as if enjoying sex during marital/personal issues is equal to getting a picky toddler to eat and enjoy green bean casserole). Anyway, the church (fairly progressive) I was in really pushed the “mean need respect, women need love” thing. While these might be the “general, gender-binary lines,” I think both my husband and I need varying degrees of both.

    It’s been a pretty damn dry year for us, mostly due to what’s going on in my brain, but the times I’ve tried to “do it, you might like it” has only reinforced how f-ing resentful I am of being told I’m a toddler who won’t eat their veggies and, “goldarnit, you’re in a time out!” Bump that shit.

    I don’t want to do my husband. I haven’t figured out precisely why because there are years of compacted brain caca to dig through. He DOES want to do me. But if he doesn’t want to a) rape me or b) make me file for divorce, he’ll give me some space. What he does in the shower, or doesn’t do, isn’t my concern. And if it causes a divorce (“in sickness and in health, good times and bad”) we weren’t very strong in the first place. I’m super-accepting of that.

    We both work, we both keep house, we both parent, we’re both awesome and assholes all in the same bag. So basically, to those holding the “give it up, ya wifely toddler” tenets can suck my big toe. I ain’t eatin’ your green bean casserole.

    • Carrie B

      *mean need respect = MEN need respect. GD typos.

  • Tiffini S.

    You’d be amazed at the number of non-religious marriage counselors who still give out that advice. I think we went to all of them when my ex was cheating on me. Except…I wanted sex more than he did. So every time they whipped out that gem, I let them in on how many times per week I initiated, how many times he turned me down, and how many times he cheated on me.

    Stick that up your research pipe, frigging counselors…

  • Natalie

    Hell. Fucking. Yeah.
    I love you (I know I’ve told you that before).
    So I was brought up that way. My mom still believes it and when I sent this blog post to my sister, my dad was reading over her shoulder and spouted “the Bible disagrees!”
    So you see what I came from, yeah?
    Happy to say, not only have we left that way of thinking far behind, but we are happily raising a gaggle of children to believe and act differently than we were raised to believe. I’m not on Facebook so I texted this link to all my friends. Thank you for being so fucking honest and for speaking out.

  • Alex

    Too true.

    By the way, the British Police came up with a typically British way to say something similar. It involves tea.



  • Colette

    *stands up applauding* I’m a huge fan and this post has finally compelled me to leave a comment and say well bloody done. I want to make a poster of this and stick it on my husband’s computer screen.

  • Angela

    I honestly didn’t believe this advice was as widespread as you implied, until I got in a huge dirty fight with my partner and started googling phrases like: “how to repair a failing marriage”. Holy shit is all I can say: “Holy shit.”

  • Jacinda Cote

    LOVED every word!!
    AS another one in recovery I thank you for enlightening the rest of the world. You have gained a new follower and reader… I’m excited to read what you have already written and what you will write.

  • Seen People Destroy Lives out of Pettiness

    Admittedly, I am not Christian. And I come from a religious culture in which men are indeed taught “that it is their job to meet the sexual needs of their wives… whether or not they feel like it.” In my specific stream, they are even taught “to cater to their wives’… emotions.” However, in my limited experience in mediating, I have found that shared background cultural norms of how people “normally” handle a given issue make negotiating emotions and relationships easier.

    So, as someone from a different culture I may have misunderstood those Christian sites, but I have thought that they meant what you wrote:
    “It’s out of a place of “Well I’m not SUPER into it but I’m not NOT into it either.”

    If people (men or women) shut down the part of themselves that is sometimes slightly into it and sometimes very much into it, they subsequently act as do people in non-loving relations and increase their unhappiness with both life and their spouses. So the spouse (husband or wife) is not merely in the situation of a frustrated “15 year old” but in a non loving relationship.

  • Sarah MacLaughlin

    Just when I thought I couldn’t love your writing more. This is awesome.

  • Amy

    Thank you. I’m so tired of researching my concerns and only finding articles that talk about how I should cater to him and blah blah blah. It’s ridiculous. Men are not that fragile and should not be taught to be. I’m tired of being shamed and put down by society. I’m tired of having to decide against sex or no sex or rather being married or not being married. Why do men get to be married and still act single, but women have to do it all and never complain. Worse yet even when we don’t even complain someone will still say we’re nagging aargh!
    I just want a best friend in life. I don’t want to feel like I owe a man anything. My husband thinks it’s easier to sleep on the couch than to have to actually care about me and quite frankly I don’t really care and quite enjoy having the bed to myself. Sex culture has to change. There are millions of articles on how to please your man, but very few on how to please your women unless they are the same article with the gender changed. I don’t want f-Ing have sex with a man who acts like a spoiled angry self righteous prick. Sorry I got a little angry there. Thank you again for sharing a different perspective. I hope men can read it without calling you a man hater or a lesbian or whatever name they have to come up with for an intelligent, caring, hard working, mom that doesn’t want to feel like they’ve been raped in order to stay married.