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Sex with Dr. Jess


July 23, 2014

Sex Spreadsheet of Rejection “Excuses” is Utter Nonsense

'50s couple

What better way to seduce your partner than to guilt and shame them into having sex with you?

This was ostensibly the logic behind one man’s decision to create a spreadsheet detailing every instance of his wife’s refusal to have sex in the past month. The record is complete with verbatim explanations from his wife, which he charmingly terms “excuses”.


Excuses spreadsheet

There is so much wrong with this, I don’t even know where to begin. The fact alone that someone devoted time and energy to making their life partner feel bad is bewildering and saddening. The tone of the document is little better than its already remarkably offensive over-arching message, and his little addendums (“Friends re-run”; “didn’t shower until next morning”) are dripping with snark and condescension. The husband’s entitlement to his wife’s body and sexuality speaks volumes about the expectations society places on women and girls, and the tendency to archaically view sex and “pleasing one’s husband” as a requisite of marriage.

The spreadsheet was posted to Reddit a couple of days ago, along with commentary from its recipient:

Yesterday morning, while in a taxi on the way to the airport, Husband sends a message to my work email which is connected to my phone. He’s never done this, we always communicate in person or by text. I open it up, and it’s a sarcastic diatribe basically saying he won’t miss me for the 10 days I’m gone. Attached is a SPREADSHEET of all the times he has tried to initiate sex since June 1st, with a column for my “excuses”, using verbatim quotes of why I didn’t feel like having sex at that very moment. According to his ‘document’, we’ve only had sex 3 times in the last 7 weeks, out of 27 “attempts” on his part.

Was posting his private email to Reddit a reasonable response? Probably not. But it does nothing to negate his entitled behaviour.

The utter failure of this husband’s endeavour (resulting in nothing but public ridicule and a furious wife) makes one wonder what his motivation was for creating the spreadsheet in the first place.

Were his efforts to initiate sex fueled by actual desire, or was he seeking rejection to prove a point about his wife’s supposed failure as a partner? What did his attempts to instigate sex look like? Was he persistent and aggressive and single-minded in his approach?

Her degree of satisfaction with their sex life is also key. Is sex a “duty” the wife feels she needs to explain her way out of fulfilling (as Focus on the Family would have us believe), or is it a genuinely enjoyable and satisfying experience for her (I personally find it hard to believe that anyone capable of this could be an attentive and caring lover)?

I feel that the take-home message of this debacle should be that, regardless of whether you have been on three dates with someone or have been married to them for fifteen years, you do not owe anyone sex. Ever. No matter what. This contemptuous guilt-trip of a document also raises the question of why anyone even needs to have an excuse. Shouldn’t a simple “No.” be enough for a partner who loves and respects you?

People who view sexual intimacy in a relationship as something inevitable and owed to them, rather than earned and cultivated, do not possess the maturity to be having sex in the first place. May your dry spell continue, Microsoft Office misogynist.

– Arena Thomson