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Sexual Entitlement in Relationships

Often when we become sexually intimate with someone we transfer the responsibility of our sexual satisfaction to the other. This is the basis to sexual entitlement. I am not sure if it comes from the way different society’s see relationships and sex. Perhaps its that most of us unconsciously tend to make other people responsible for our experiences within relationships such as our happiness or safety or self worth.


If we have had any wounding experiences that were sexual in nature we can have a distorted and dis-empowered view of sexuality. Also of our own and our partners. Wounding can be as abusive as sexual abuse or rape. It can also be as subtle as a parent having a strong reaction to different aspects of sexuality.

To create healthy sexual experiences within relationships we need to have an understanding of our own sexual experiences, expectations, boundaries and desires. With the understanding of how they impact our view of sex.

Within a sexual relationship it is important that participating parties feel able to ask for what they want and verbalize it! With a willingness to hear no to any action Without a repercussion or consequence. When this isn’t the case sexual entitlement is often in play.


Often within relationships in which sexual entitlement exists, there are both subtle and obvious consequences to not satisfying the sexual entitlement of the other.

These consequences can present themselves in many ways including:

  • Judging the person for asking or declining a request.
  • Diminishing the importance of how the other feels.
  • Giving out to the other for not meeting your needs.
  • Slagging a persons request or reason for saying no.
  • Using guilt to manipulate a partner about their request or decline.
  • Withdrawing love or affection when the entitlement isn’t met.
  • Blaming the other for not finishing or satisfying you.


What ever gets between the couple discussing their individual needs in a way that is equal and valid can be an unhelpful consequence of sexual entitlement within relationships.


We all have a set of ideas around sex, we bring these into every sexual experience we have. When we can’t discuss them openly with a partner then we tend to get stuck in a sexual dynamic that isn’t fulfilling and empowered. A dis-empowered approach to sex can result in different forms of sexual entitlement. Which often leads to game playing and a breakdown in connection. Further impacting sex.

Where there is a struggle for power or for a partners needs to be considered valid within a relationship it is difficult to have a healthy, empowered sex life.

Power struggles and feelings of being inadequate or resentment within the relationship will come into the sex life of a couple. It can’t not!


Relationships developing a healthy sexual relationship requires an understanding of the expectations and boundaries each person has of themselves and the other.

It requires the opportunity to negotiate and discuss these things in a way that allows both people to be heard and for their experience and feelings to be considered valid.

  • If one persons needs are considered more valid than another persons then it is not equal.
  • If one persons insecurities hijack the conversation then it isn’t equal.
  • If someone’s feelings about their needs are rejected as wrong, then it isn’t equal.
  • If someone is fixed on an outcome that is self serving, the conversation can not be equal.
  • If one persons point is to blame the other, then it isn’t equal.


When true equality within a conversation doesn’t occur we experience behaviors such as avoiding sex, not having sex, demanding sex, fantasizing about others, over indulgence in porn, switching off during sex or being function rather than connected during sex. This is connected to sex representing yet another place we do not have a right to our feelings or experiences.


Where there is entitlement and taking for granted within a relationship there is a risk for sex to be unequal. To be made the responsibility of one person over another, there is a risk that one person’s desires, boundaries and previous experiences be blamed for the lack of satisfaction of the other.


As with most things as adults we are responsible for the quality of our sexual gratification. Are partners can enjoy it with us, however they do not owe us it. We are not at a market, we are in relationship.


I understand within monogamy that can seem odd because you agreed to only have sex with your partner. This agreement may have been made ages ago and your relationship and sexual relationship may need revisiting, a new conversation and a new understanding. A new agreement may be required, one that meets your needs and your partners theirs.

Your sexual gratification is your responsibility and your partners theirs, then you can share that with each other, rather than expect it of each other.


To open that up, try starting a conversation with your partner considering these questions ..

  • What do you want from your sex life?
  • What do they want?
  • What do you expect?
  • What do they expect?
  • What do you like?
  • What do they like?
  • What do you dislike?
  • What do they dislike?


Just talk, not when something has happened but as a general conversation. Create that intimate moment with no other agenda than to hear and be heard.


If you want to be right or get something out of your partner besides deeper understanding, it is not a conversation your having but another attempt to put your needs first.


Sex is complicated and I always recommend getting some external support as it runs deep in our society as to whats ok and whats not and for who! This can require objective, informed support.


No one has a right to sex more than another has a right to say no. Even if your monogamous!

Sex within a relationship is not about obligation or appeasing another. Sex is to be enjoyed together, not dispensed.



It is often our unspoken rules, discomfort and fears within relationships that stop us discussing sex. If we do not discuss it, we end up stuck sexually and within the relationship. If you can’t talk to your partner, start talking to a professional!


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