"Why Won't He Have Sex with Me?"

By Siobhan Rosen, GQ


Photo by CN Digital StudioPhoto by CN Digital Studio

The sitcom stereotype goes like this: Guy is always horny, guy tries to have sex with girl, girl shoots him down. But as Siobhan Rosen tells it, the script's been flipped. And now there's an awful lot of young, perfectly sex-capable dudes who won't get off their asses to, well, get some.

Hey, guys, recognize these excuses for not having sex? Stomachache. Headache. Stressed. Gassy. Tired. Leg cramps. The old Maybe we should just talk some more? I do, because I've been hearing them from men-a.k.a., the supposedly sex-obsessed sex-far too much. These days, more often than you'd think, guys are begging off the one thing we women are expecting you to beg for.

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It's not like I'm trying to hump the pope's leg here. These are men who have previously made it clear that they enjoy having sex with me: boyfriends, guys I've been dating for a while, men with whom I regularly bump nethers. Yet they seem to turn me down way more than I turn them down. Or to frame it positively: I want to have sex more than they do. I don't expect laundry Sunday to unfold like Basic Instinct. But getting laid four or five times a week? That would be nice.

Lest you think I'm some sort of unreliable narrator (read: nympho), know that plenty of my female friends are having the same problem. One pal, a girl who's been living with her boyfriend for two years, told me she aims for sex only once or twice a week and still often gets denied. She'll put on something sexy and hear, I have to get up early. Another friend knows that when she sees her boyfriend putting in his retainer, she's going to bed unboinked, no matter how hard she tries.

To be fair (and painfully obvious): Men are human, too. You guys have feelings and problems and hungers that sometimes take precedence over boning. Maybe you had too many beers and are experiencing acute alcohol-related performance anxiety. Or maybe your not-in-the-moodness has to do with something bigger: the ubiquity of porn-effortlessly consumed like a drive-through value meal-or some existential male malaise that Zach Braff will surely explore in his next movie.

But still, it can be hard for us ladyfolk to reconcile your unwillingness to bed us with the larger cultural perception that all men are Wile E. Coyote-level schemers trying to get laid. At least that's the view reinforced everywhere from beer commercials to Anthony Weiner's extracurricular penis pic-ing to Cosmo cover lines swearing that men think about sex every seven seconds. And to be denied in light of that? It's enough to make us think you're a dick for withholding yours.

See, women take it personally. After years of battling the dreaded sexlesshousewife stereotype, we're careful not to nonchalantly spurn your advances. But now we have to worry about morphing into the other sitcom cliché-the dopey husband, pawing pathetically for a bone. There are only so many times even the most brazen among us are going to get rejected before icily retreating into non-initiation mode forever. And just in general, we keep tabs on these kinds of things. A week goes by without sex? We notice. I get the feeling men don't monitor the situation in such a macro sense. As far as you're concerned, a good sex life is just having sex when you feel like having sex.

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But guess what? That's selfish. Sex is a two-way street! Or...I suppose, if I'm being technical about it, it's more of a one-lane freeway tunnel and a car driven by a confused 16-year-old who keeps switching between drive and reverse over and over. The larger point is: Just try saying yes to us more often. Even if you're a little tired. Even if Mumford & Sons are doing that namby-pamby forest jig thing you like so much on Fallon. (DVR, dude.) We'll be happier, so by Newton's Law of Relationships, you will be, too. And I also can pretty much guarantee you won't regret getting busy, either. It's not a trip to the dentist's chair, it's sex. Three minutes in, you're going to be having a blast. Just hopefully not a literal one.

This story originally appeared on GQ's website.

Siobhan Rosen is a pseudonym. The author would rather her grandmother remain ignorant of her hearty sexual appetite.

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