What would it take for you to make a sex pact promising to sleep with your partner every single day?
You’re too tired. You’re too awake. You’re stressed. You have a cold, and feel like lying flat on your back could come with the very real risk of choking on your own phlegm. You have a cold, and feel like sitting upright could also come with the very real risk of choking on your own phlegm. You ate half a chocolate cake ten minutes ago, and would rather not dislodge it from its current resting place in the pit of your stomach. You’re on your period. You’ve just finished your period, and you feel like you need another three weeks for your body to recover from the trauma of it all. You’re watching Homeland. You haven’t done any laundry for five weeks, and you don’t really want anybody to find out that you wore bikini bottoms to work. You’re busy on Whatsapp. You’re busy on Facebook. You’re eight months into a total stranger’s Instagram account and you don’t want to risk losing your place. Your nail polish is definitely wet. Your nail polish might be wet.
You’re just not in the mood.
Here’s the thing. When it’s on your terms, sex is amazing. It’s empowering, and hilarious, and enjoyable. It can be exciting, and it can be emotional. It can end arguments and start relationships, start arguments and end relationships, or just provide you with something-to-do-for-five-and-a-half-minutes-for-the-sake-of-it. You can initiate it, or he can initiate it – it doesn’t matter. As long as you both want it, and you both enjoy it.
Which is why a new trend for making ‘sex pacts’ with your partner is so controversial. Because even if they do appear to make your relationship stronger on the surface – they tend to prioritise the man, rather than the woman.
According to writer Natasha Bell, who has a sex pact with her husband, it’s the single reason why their relationship is a success. ‘When he returns from a trip, no matter how fraught, fetid or unwashed we both are, we have to have sex within 60 minutes of him walking through the front door,’ she writes in the Telegraph. ‘It works, because it gives sex a deadline.’
‘Everyone bangs on about sex being a gift,’ she adds. ‘I’d rather call it a chore – if chore means “necessary job to keep our life together”. More to the point, ‘chore’ means it’ll actually get done.’
Meanwhile, Davina McCall was recently quoted as telling women to ‘keep your husband satisfied in the bedroom department, even if you’re absolutely exhausted. Otherwise he will go somewhere else.’
But while, sure, relationships are all about compromise, and we’re all aware that sometimes it’s important to make an effort, neither Natasha, nor Davina, sound like they’re having sex for themselves. They’re having sex because they feel like they have to.
And this is where the problem lies. Throughout history, female pleasure has been overlooked in favour of the male orgasm. So if your pact involves having sex until both you and your partner climax, that’s great! That sounds fun! But your naked wrestling stops as soon as he’s finished, then that’s another.
Because, while the idea that women enjoy sex less than men is totally outdated, so is the idea that sex is something we’re ‘supposed’ to do to keep our male parthers happy and keep them faithful. After all, keeping ourselves happy is just as important.
And sometimes – just sometimes – that happens to involve watching Homeland in our bikini bottoms.