SWM024: Why Do Men Think Sex is a Reward?

OSex Within Marriage Podcast Image for Postsften men see sex as a reward, even when it’s not intended for one.  Conversely, if they don’t have sex, sometimes they feel punished, or that they failed at something.  Why is this?  I think there are three reasons:

  1. Hormones – specifically dopamine, the “reward” hormone.
  2. Society – We’re taught that sex = winning
  3. Sex is a big part of being male

If you don’t want to listen to the podcast, you can also read the older post here.

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7 thoughts on “SWM024: Why Do Men Think Sex is a Reward?”

  1. Jeff Harris says:

    Well said. I think we forget about the physiological components that affect our mood and behaviors. And sometimes, we mistakenly allow them to negatively influence our lives and marriages. With this in mind, husbands and wives have the opportunity to bless each other by being each orher’s healthy sexual outlet.

  2. Brian Collis says:

    (Just about) Every movie shows the hero, as part of his spoils of success, “getting the girl.” How can we NOT have at least a partial, subconscious belief that us winning at life will net us similar results? For married guys, the girl is already ours! Should be a given, right? This obviously falls under your point of how society programs us to believe these things.

    Worldly views on sexuality are insidious, and it takes rigorous discipline to recognize, acknowledge and overcome them.

  3. Kay says:

    I apologize I didn’t listen to the podcast yet (too many little ears) but I am curious whether you feel that is a good or bad thing, or if that depends on the relationship. For example, my husband and I waited a long time before our first kiss when we were dating. Our first Christmas together he gave me an extremely extravagant gift, unlike any other boyfriend, and I was so taken aback that I kissed him. More than once. ? We had been dating long enough that it was very funny when he made a comment about how he learned from this that he just has to buy me stuff to get me to put out. I didn’t mean for it to work like that, of course! Haha. But now that we have been married ten years, when I feel loved, I naturally want more sex. I don’t think his actions are motivated by getting sex as a reward–though I suppose I could be wrong–but I think we instead have a healthy dynamic similar to the energizing cycle from Love & Respect, where I feel loved and so I want to love on him, and because I love on him, he loves even more. (Of course, we are called to love like this regardless of our spouse’s response, aka even if there is no “reward.”) What do you think? Is this a reward system or just an overflow of a [mostly] healthy marriage? Or both, and that’s okay?

  4. LatterDay Marriage says:

    Also, the fact that getting sex depends on the consent and approval of your wife, so it is easily seen as something that is given to you by her because you have earned her love, trust, respect etc.

  5. Tony Conrad says:

    I have never seen it that way personally. When I need sex I need it but I will not instigate it if I think that things are not right between us. In a sense it is a reward for putting things right I suppose, but that’s in me not her.

  6. Anonymous says:

    In many Christian marriages, sex is as seen as a reward for the man. At my church, men talk about how “to get lucky” with their wife. In my marriage, sex is very conditional too… 🙁

  7. Nuniabizness says:

    Simple…. many, many women advertise themselves as a product. It is especially true in marriage.
    Wife: “IF you do what I want, I will give you “some” love. If you don’t do as I WANT, you will NOT receive love.”
    Husband: I will do whatever my wife says or wants.

    …. and therein lies the problem. Women hold all the power yet usually do not possess the wisdom to deal appropriately with it.
    If your wife uses very little wisdom then you’re going on a roller coaster ride for the rest of your life. Sure you think it’s exciting at first but after so many decades, you no longer even feel ill, you just want the ride to end and think, “Surely there’s more to life than this!”

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