Some think sex is the world’s greatest work-out. Others think it’s the most fun two (or three, or four, or eight?) people can ever have together. But I’ll tell you what it’s not—a tool.
Healthy sex is supposed to be based on mutual desire that’s enjoyable for everyone involved. But sex quickly becomes unhealthy when it’s used as a tool aimed at achieving anything other than both partners’ pleasure or love.
For instance, sex has commonly been used as a tool to try to keep a dwindling relationship intact. More commonly for women than for men, one might resort to a having sex more often, even when he or she might not want to, in order to appease his or her partner in hopes of trying to salvage a lackluster relationship or an unsatisfied partner. In trying to resolve the problem, using sex as a tool in order to keep someone in a relationship will only work briefly at best, especially since having sex with an ulterior motive isn’t a healthy option for anyone.
Others might use sex with more selfish intentions, guilting their partner(s) into having sex or doing sexual favors for them, which is called emotional abuse.
Emotional abuse affects as many as two-thirds of couples and eventually led to Mariah Carey’s first divorce. If you’ve ever heard “You owe me” or “It’s the least you could do” prefacing you for sex, you know there’s a problem. Although it might not always feel like it, you don’t owe anybody anything apart from respect and consideration–and quite frankly, guilty sex just does not sound like the best kind of sex out there.
These are just a couple of instances in which sex is abused and seen as more of a “tactic” or a “means” rather than an “end.” Remember, sexual health has as much to do with STD's and STI's as it does with the emotional aspect of sexual activity, which should never be belittled.
This story is part of our week-long series about sexual health and awareness. Check back tomorrow for the next addition!