The Men Who Turn Down Sex.

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 12.06% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert says “Access to sex is strictly controlled by the women.”
Maybe if you’re Scott Adams. I’ve turned down sex.
And I don’t think I’m unusual in that; I’ve turned down sex because I was in other commitments at the time, I’ve turned down sex because I was tired, I’ve turned down sex because I found the woman unattractive.
I’m not gonna say I turn down sex all the time, but… it happens.
Yet I think there’s this narrative in Western Society that men are these poon-seeking beasts who would hump a dead moose in a bathroom if you slapped a lady-mask on it. Every guy? Wants every girl. All the time. The “Harry met Sally” model, if you will.
And because we’re saturated in that concept of men being sex-crazed beasts, we obscure the times when men do turn down sex. If a guy doesn’t want to have sex with a willing girl, there’s something wrong with him – that guy’s clearly a pussy, right? Or the girl must have something so terminally wrong with her that it’s actually a defect in her character – she’s too ugly, she’s too loose, she’s too something.
If you’re saving yourself for marriage, you’re some kind of brainwashed religious nut.
If you’re too tired and just want to get some sleep, you must be low on testosterone, it’s a medical condition.
If you’re a demisexual who’s only turned on by personality and a mere body doesn’t flip your switches without context, man, that’s crazy.
Because we all know a real guy would fuck a rolling donut if he got the chance, amiright?
What’s happening here is that there’s a narrative that “women control the sex”… And so the times men control the sex get quietly erased. Either there’s a good excuse why the guy shouldn’t have had sex, or the refusal is presented as a man with a problem.
Which would be fine on some level, except this narrative of “women are the gateway to sex, and they’re always *stopping* us” leads to resentment from certain strains of men. They’re taught that women are like some sort of stingy stockbroker millionaire who could pay their mortgage but just won’t – and as a result, women become an obstacle. The reason they’re not having sex? Women. Women are selfish, women are hypercritical…
Women are the problem.
And that leads to a stagnation among that strain of men. They don’t ask the necessary questions like, “What do I bring to the table? What makes me compelling enough to have sex with? How can I improve myself to make the women I find attractive attracted to me in return?”
No. It just degrades into a seething feeling that women somehow owe them sex, and all the times the men don’t want to have sex with someone are, well, different. Somehow.
All that is in quiet opposition to a more sane model that says, “People turn down sex for all sorts of reasons, and nobody is obligated to have sex with you.” I suspect if Scott Adams were societally obliged to have sex with all the gay men who were attracted to him, he’d suddenly switch to the traditional woman’s perspective and complain that he didn’t want to get pounded in the butt by Chuck Tingle.
None of this is to erase the very real reality that women do turn down sex more, of course. They do. But that might not be because women don’t want sex, it might be a combination of “a random guy is likely to suck in bed” and “I’m worried this guy might get too attached and start stalking me.”
But that doesn’t matter. It should be okay if women want sex for different reasons than men do, or even want sex less. The point is that everyone should be able to turn down sex for whatever reason they desire, and that should not turned into some sort of battle scenario where “The person who turns down sex is controlling the supply of a resource that should be FREE TO ALL!”
I get the frustration. There are all sorts of people I’d like to have sex with who don’t want to have sex with me. That happens.
But I think for most men, if they look at it honestly, there are people they turned down sex with as well – because they were the wrong gender, because they were the wrong body type, because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Phrasing these refusals as “controlling access” implies that your body is like a computer, where every resource should be available to the collective unless there are good reasons to restrict it.  Whereas the truth is that your body is owned by a conscious human being, and you are not an unmoderated comments section where any idiot can come in and do whatever they please whenever they want.
It’s not wrong when you turn down sex. And it shouldn’t be wrong for anyone else.


  1. Becki
    Dec 22, 2015

    Men turn down sex with me often. There are other guys in your camp, trust me.

  2. Kendra
    Dec 22, 2015

    We teach our boys and girls that men cannot control themselves and so are not totally responsible for their actions–then we expect them to go out into society with a full understanding of consent. When we make women the “gatekeepers,” and put the burden of sexual guilt solely on their shoulders, we make sex a competition and create a rape culture. The narrative really needs to change and it needs to happen when children are young enough to internalize a different message.

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