On this Saint Valentine’s Day I’m going to write about duty sex. No, it’s not a very romantic topic, but, many of you are giving it or are receiving it so I thought I write about it. We talk a lot about intimacy and how true intimacy, allowing one’s true self to be known, can be intimidating and duty sex is one of the many ways a lack of intimacy reveals itself in your marriage bed. What is duty sex? Basically it’s the physical act of sex without the emotional or spiritual intimacy. It’s doing your physical duty without living up to your spiritual duty. It’s devoid of emotion, charity, and self or, if there is an emotion, it’s a grudging tolerance. In other words, it’s very unsatisfying for the receiver and it does nothing to enhance the giver either.
Why do people resort to duty sex? Keeping the letter of the law while ignoring the Spirit of the law. In other words, they don’t want to be accused of refusing their spouse sex but they don’t want to be accused of anyone actually enjoying the act either. I’ve heard it described as allowing one’s body be used by their spouse as a masturbatory device.
The sexual union to be fulfilling must move beyond just the physical and must reach into the emotional whether that emotion is loving tenderness or red hot passion. It’s more than just saying, “Yes.” It’s sometimes being the one to initiate. It’s being present and engaged. It’s about offering yourself and your sexuality to your spouse and not just your body. It’s about being known and getting to know your spouse better.
In other words, real sex, non-duty sex, is for grown ups.