Getting Sexually Rejected Sucks for Men and Women

Getting Sexually Rejected Sucks for Men and Women
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People want to be wanted.

It’s not terribly surprising, but this principle has a profound effect on our relationships.

“To get a peek into the bedrooms of 115 heterosexual couples (participants were aged between 19 and 64), Kiersten Dobson from the University of Western Ontario and colleagues asked them all to keep sex diaries. Every day for 3 weeks, both partners independently logged whether they or their partner had made a sexual advance, and if so, whether that led to sexual activity. They also recorded their daily levels of satisfaction with their sexual relationship, as well as their relationship generally, answering questions such as “How good is your relationship compared to most?”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the researchers found that accepting a sexual advance, or having an advance accepted by the partner, resulted in an increase in both sexual and relationship satisfaction that day compared to other days. 

On the other hand, being rejected decreased sexual satisfaction. But intriguingly, if the participant themselves was the rejecter – that is, if they shunned an advance from their partner – their sexual satisfaction still increased. (Neither being rejected nor being the rejecter had any effect on general relationship satisfaction.)”

It’s not shocking that sex leads to mutual satisfaction.

It’s not shocking that being rejected decreases sexual satisfaction.

It is really shocking that people get a perverse thrill out of rejecting their partner.

It is really shocking that people get a perverse thrill out of rejecting their partner. Of course, that’s not what the study actually suggests:

“Rather than reflecting some pleasure derived from rejecting someone, the researchers suggest that being approached for sex leaves a person feeling desired, so enhances sexual satisfaction even when no actual sex ends up happening. The team found that the boost in satisfaction from having an advance accepted persisted for 24 hours, with the slump of being rejected lasting twice as long. And the gratification that came from being either an acceptor or a rejecter lasted a remarkable 72 hours.

This paragraph effectively illustrates two issues that men and women fail to acknowledge about each other.

  1. It’s really risky and scary for men to approach women. It’s debilitating to say hi to women and get ignored, buy drinks and get ignored, write to women online and get ignored, and make a first move and get rejected. Women don’t experience this nearly as much and, in my experience as a coach, tend to lack empathy and understanding for what men have to go through. Most of my clients want to quit online dating if some guy doesn’t write back.
  2. Conversely, within a relationship (which is what this study is about), sexual rejection is really corrosive to both men and women. When the person who has chosen you seems actively disinterested in sex, it is hard not to internalize that. And it is not just women rejecting their horny husbands. Lots of women have boyfriends who criticize their bodies, prefer sleep, gaming or porn, and reject sexual advances outright.

It’s a bit of a trick to make someone you’ve been with for a long time feel desirable, but it’s vital to the health of the relationship. Sex with a monogamous partner will rarely feel “new” but it can – and should be – mutually satisfying, no matter how long you’re together.

Your thoughts, below, are greatly appreciated.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    jen

    I dated a man for over two years who had a much lower and libido than I do. He was completely unaffectionate outside of the bedroom, Treated affection as if it was an unnecessary chore (would go so far as rolling his eyes if I try to hold his hand). It was incredibly frustrating… Especially since my love language is affection. After a year, I found out that he was satisfying himself through pornography on a daily basis. He could not understand that this was a form of neglect. After a while I just gave up and left the relationship.

    1. 1.1
      Jennifer

      I, too, was in a similar relationship where the man I was with preferred masturbation to porn to sex with me; and I was a very willing, enthusiastic, and sensually accepting partner. I’m also in good shape and considered attractive.
      The worst part was that I really enjoyed sex with him and found I could easily climax with him. He told me once that he felt like “a piece of meat”… a red flag that I should have noticed much earlier in the relationship.
      Now, I’m with a wonderfully pleasing man who is dealing with a painful condition (CPPS) that limits his libido. Still, though I know it’s not me, I have self-doubts when he rejects my advances. I’ve learned to limit those to a few times a week, rather than every day (like we used to have sex).
      Since learning that advances are still preferable even when rejection is anticipated, I’ll continue to let my man know he’s still the guy that lights my fire.

  2. 2
    Chris

    Low libido dampens the pleasure you get from sex, to the point where masturbation with porn becomes as satisfying as regular sex. But masturbation is much less work, so it becomes the preferred option. This seems to be something that mostly happens with men, women with very low libido just seem to lose interest in sexual activity altogether.

    1. 2.1
      sylvana

      Chris,

      “masturbation with porn becomes as satisfying as regular sex”

      I find that interesting. I’m extreme-high libido, and I find masturbation with porn way more satisfying than regular sex. It stimulates the mind way better, is more exciting. You can “live out” all your fantasies (including things that are impossible in real life, thanks to 3D). And you can pleasure yourself exactly how you like it. Not to mention it’s a guaranteed orgasm. But I guess that’s different for men. It’s pretty much a guarantee for them with regular sex as well. Not so much for women.

      Still, I find it rare that a man (or even a group of them) can be anywhere near as exciting and mentally stimulating as porn when it comes to sex. Part of what makes porn so addictive is that it is so exciting. There’s always something harder, more drastic, wilder, etc. out there to keep your mind from getting bored. 3D takes this to a whole new level, since there’s no more concerns about human limits or legalities. Reality is hard pressed to come anywhere close to that.

      Part of the reason why it can be so dangerous or damaging to relationships. You’re right, laziness certainly plays a part. But I think it’s the excitement and lack of limits that makes it so dangerous and damaging. If reality can’t complete, it’s not longer as arousing or exciting, and no longer as satisfying.

      This is something that I’ve always found fascinating. What is it that men get out of sex with a person versus sex with porn/masturbation that makes is so much different or more special? Is it validation? The feel of conquest? I’ve met a lot of women in my life who weren’t all that interested in sex (whether they had partners or not), but will masturbate readily. Part of that certainly was due to sexual satisfaction (orgasms, mostly). But since men achieve orgasm both during sex and masturbation, having regular sex has to be adding some other element as well, outside of physical satisfaction.

      1. 2.1.1
        Mrs Happy

        Re – “What is it that men get out of sex with a person versus sex with porn/masturbation that makes is so much different or more special? Is it validation? The feel of conquest? ”

        Sex with the same person, again and again, is fairly boring for many women – maybe men don’t get as bored, or maybe they experience something really positive that compensates for the boredom? But Sylvana, I don’t know what that is, either, or why the genders are so different on this. It’s probably just increased sex drive and testosterone.

      2. 2.1.2
        ezamuzed

        @sylvana

        What is it that men get out of sex with a person versus sex with porn/masturbation that makes is so much different or more special?

        You are right, for me it is far, far more special. I think it is that feeling of approval and a feeling of connection. That feeling of validation, is there anything more biologically validating to a man than knowing that a woman is possibly willing to have babies with him? I said biologically because obviously with birth control it is not likely, but the feeling is still there.

        For porn additions I heard that the excitement of porn isn’t because it is wilder, harder or less boring. It is that you can feel like you are having sex with a variety of woman with zero risk of rejection.

        1. sylvana

          ezamused,

          thanks for answering. I figured it had to be something along the lines of validation, etc. Connection I can see, but only in case of relationships/with someone you actually care about..

          As for the porn addiction, maybe that’s different for men and women as well (and yes, there are plenty of female porn addicts too). Women into hardcore porn tend to go for things that are more and more exciting, to the point of switching over to fantasy (monsters, rape fantasies, things that aren’t possible, or she would never do, etc.). Plain variety of men would bore us to death soon too…lol.

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @ezamuzed

          That is an interesting take on the subject. I agree with most of what you wrote. However, at my age, birth control is unnecessary. Plus, I have been sterile since my early 40s. I suspect that a lot of younger divorced guys have also undergone vasectomy.

  3. 3
    sylvana

    “It’s a bit of a trick to make someone you’ve been with for a long time feel desirable, but it’s vital to the health of the relationship”

    And therein lies the major problem. A lot of men tend to fail to make their partners feel desirable in long-term relationships. Men seem to think that just because they want sex, their partner will feel desired. This is not true. It just shows that he desires sex, and she’ll do. Meanwhile, he makes it more than clear just how desirable other women are. Which leads to his partner feeling even less desirable.

    She no longer feels desirable, she no longer feels like having sex. So she turns him down, and now he feels undesirable because she doesn’t feel like having sex, or – in her mind – playing cock sleeve while he fantasizes about whatever hot chick it is at the time. It’s a vicious cycle.

    1. 3.1
      Paula

      Perhaps I’m in the minority but if I’m otherwise feeling love and affection from my partner, I feel desirable.

    2. 3.2
      Seth

      @sylvana

      That is a two way street.
      When I was married, I listened to my wife and helped out around the house where I could with what she needed help with.
      Since we had 3 kids and she worked as well I worked.
      So I would take care of all the “manly” chores around the house, but I would also help her with other things around the house.
      All in the hopes maybe I will get to have sex tonight.
      Men want to feel desired as well….and a lot of times that doesn’t happen from the female side of the relationship…..and I know men can show lack of desire towards the woman.
      And I even told her things I wanted…point blank.

      Even in the dating world now, I have told people I have been with, things I would like to see from them….just to let me know they “want me”. But they wouldn’t do it.
      So both sides have to step up their game in that dept.
      Not just the men.

      1. 3.2.1
        Adrian

        Hi Seth,

        You said, “Even in the dating world now, I have told people I have been with, things I would like to see from them….just to let me know they “want me.”

        It doesn’t work like that. Well it does and it doesn’t (o_O)

        Go back and read some of Evan’s advice about waiting until a person is emotionally invested before revealing certain things about yourself, or some of Jeremy’s debates on what triggers comfort vs lust in women. Women expect certain things from men (even if they say differently or won’t admit it) it’s best to take the lead when dating and focus on winning her over before showing her your needy side. I have observed that women love to give, to please, and to make their man happy. So you should see giving more than you receive as a long-term investment during the beginning stages of a courtship/relationship.

        Something you can “gradually” do after you two become an official couple is let her know what things you need to feel desired… Remember Evan has often said “it is not about what is fair or unfair but about what is effective.”

        1. Seth

          @Adrian
          For the record. The particular instance I am thinking of…I was with the person for 2 years.
          When I told her what I was wanting from her side of things….it was about a year into the relationship.

      2. 3.2.2
        sylvana

        Seth,

        you just pointed out the one major mistakes a lot of men make:

        “I would also help her with other things around the house. All in the hopes maybe I will get to have sex tonight.”

        Um, you’re doing chores to get sex. Sorry, but chores aren’t very sexy. I don’t see a man doing dishes and go “oh, man, that really pushed my horny button.” Try doing something sexual, something that actually creates arousal. Doing chores ain’t it.

        Also, that sounds like you did your chores and now you hope she’ll do hers. Well – sex is NOT a chore. Or at least, it shouldn’t be. Since 75% of women don’t reach orgasm with sex with a man, I guess it is pretty much a chore. Still. REALLY???

        Men, you pulling your weight around the house has absolutely nothing to do with sex. Sex is not a reward. Sex is not a payment. Sex is not a chore. Quit treating it as such!

        If you want sex, put some effort into sex. Put some effort into making your woman feel desirable. No, you doing chores does not make her feel desired. I realize you guys feel desired when a woman wants sex. It doesn’t work that way for women, since men always want sex, and will pretty much hump anything that will let them. On top of it, as I’ve mentioned, you have a bad habit of really letting us women know just how desirable you find OTHER women. That really does not help put us in the mood. If we don’t get anywhere near the same reaction out of you, guess what? You’ve now successfully made us feel UNdesirable. Kiss your sex life goodbye.

        Studies have also proven that women actually get bored easier with same-partner sex than men. So you have to step up your game little. Which, in most cases, honestly, isn’t all that impressive to begin with.

        Just like for you, it’s not what you do for a woman, it’s not what you provide that puts her in the mood. It’s how you make her feel. Get out of this insane mindset of doing things in EXCHANGE for sex. That’s why you guys don’t get laid anymore after a few years.

        You need to give her the sexual equivalent of what you want. It needs to be an equal exchange of sexually related things. Not an exchange of something different for sex.

        “Even in the dating world now, I have told people I have been with, things I would like to see from them….just to let me know they “want me”. But they wouldn’t do it.”

        You don’t even want to know what kind of image popped into my mind when I read that…lol. On a serious note, depending on what you’re asking for, if it isn’t given, don’t see that person again. That’s given you’re not asking for what popped into my mind. Sex isn’t everything, but sexual compatibility is vital. Keep in mind, though, that to this date, a lot of women still fear being considered a “slut” or showing “slutty” behavior – even in relationships. Plenty of women aren’t at all comfortable being sexual.

        1. Seth

          @sylvana
          My thing when I was married was not the idea of “I did chores now you owe me sex”
          That wasn’t my mindset or thought.
          It was she asked for the help around the house, so I did it, trying to help take some of the load off her.

          Since I have no idea what popped into your mind I can’t comment on it.

  4. 4
    Seth

    In my marriage I was constantly rejected. Hated it!!!
    So now when I date or meet someone, they have to be interested in sex. Plain and simple.
    I refuse to be in another relationship where I am not sexually satisfied….especially if I am contributing in ways that makes her happy.

    Recently (this past August) I started talking with this person. She had just ended an 8 year relationship. 4 of which they lived together and bought a house. And he wasn’t sexually interested in her at all….so it frustrated her to no end. Which is one of the reasons she eventually ended things.
    So she is in the process of fixing up her house (they bought together) to sale, and with work and all the other stuff, she isn’t looking to focus on a relationship. She “just doesn’t have the energy for it”. So what we have is very casual….we get along good, go out and do things when we can…and enjoy each other sexually. But we are not exclusive
    And I myself am finding it hard which way to navigate this “relationship”. Because I can totally see myself catching feelings for her. But I am not trying to push her in any direction, since I know she just wants something that she can escape to and not have a care in the world….just enjoy the moment and have no stress.
    She is a manager at work. So it’s like one of those women who are in a high stress environment always having to be in control and when she is with me, control is the last thing she wants.
    I guess just make her feel like a woman and a sexually desired woman.
    So i am trying to meet and talk with other women….I figure this might be the best way to go about things.

    1. 4.1
      ezamuzed

      @Seth

      “So i am trying to meet and talk with other women….I figure this might be the best way to go about things.”

      Yes!

      Hearing your story in a number of your posts, I think this situation is a wonderful growth opportunity for you. If you haven’t already please read Dr. Robert Glovers: “No More Mr Nice Guy” and his “Dating Essentials for Men” books.

      One more thing: I noticed that your grammar and spelling seem rushed at times. Woman will judge your intelligence based on your grammar and spelling. Make sure you review and edit your messages to them when you send them.

      1. 4.1.1
        Seth

        @ezamuzed
        Thank you for the critique.
        I will watch what and how I say things
        I tend to just be direct, and I guess that isn’t a good thing.

        I will see if I can find the book.

    2. 4.2
      Adrian

      Hi Evan,

      Seth said, “she isn’t looking to focus on a relationship. She “just doesn’t have the energy for it”

      In all my years on this site I have heard some form or another of this used to describe people who are into casual dating. Would you mind explaining the mentality behind this to me?

      I guess I don’t understand why would a person “intentionally” go on a “dating site” or “intentionally” go to any serious love based venue to meet the opposite sex if they don’t want anything serious. They think they absolve themselves by telling the person in the beginning but as you always say “explaining that you are an athiest doesn’t change the fact that you intentionally went to a church full of believers.”

      Why not go to hookup sites or seek FWB instead of going to places with people seeking long-term love?

      1. 4.2.1
        Seth

        @Adrian
        I will see in regards to my situation and this person I met.
        It wasn’t on a dating site/app.
        It happened to be off Reddit
        She contacted me.

        1. Adrian

          Hi Seth,

          I hate to admit it but it sounds like what the commenter YAG often speaks about. She’s not really into you. Sounds like she is using you as a place holder, someone she can have fun with, but not get emotionally attached to.

      2. 4.2.2
        sylvana

        Adrian,

        but what sites are actually serious love based venues? In the U.S. eharmony, maybe? Which a lot of people get rejected for.

        1. Adrian

          Hi Sylvana,

          Well I can’t speak for everyone but I thought all dating sites were about finding love. Perhaps it just doesn’t seem that way because people are unrealistically selective; we overvalue shallow things and take for granted how easy it will be to find things like kindness, character, and willingness to meet you halfway.

          I think people go get on those site with good intentions but then we get lost in the search for perfection. However, I still don’t understand a person who goes on a dating site with the intention of just trying to hookup or find casual sex/relationships. I mean aren’t there sex site specifically for that?

      3. 4.2.3
        ezamuzed

        @Adrian

        Maybe because the majority of people don’t know exactly what they are looking for? Because many of those people still want companionship, closeness and sex but are afraid of commitment and heartbreak? Because many long term relationships started out as casual dating with no intention of being anything serious?

        1. Adrian

          Hi Ezamuzed,

          Interesting. I actually can see that being the case. People are afraid of hurt so they stick their foot in the dating pool hoping that magically someone will come along that is perfect.

          Or they are lost, confused, and numb after a long relationship and they just want to feel something.

      4. 4.2.4
        Seth

        @Adrian
        Yeah I kinda think that is a strong possibility and has crossed my mind that when things in her life settles down she will be more open to a relationship again and pursue someone else as well as someone closer to her than I am (I am 2 hours away).
        So I am trying to keep feelings in check with her and meet other women and stuff….
        I will say it is hard doing that, because I am really attracted to her.

        1. Adrian

          Hi Seth,

          Correct me if I am wrong but you are an American living in Europe right?

          I only bring this up because I had the opportunity to live over there for a short while in my early 20’s. From what I remember about women in the western European countries they approach dating in a more direct, straightforward way compared to us Americans. All the games, the rules, and the roundabout strategies to make her attracted aren’t their way.

          So many of the things the guys here are recommending to you will probably not work. It doesn’t sound like she is playing games nor will she change her mind. She is being honest about what she wants and her intentions. If you are catching feelings then I would advise you to leave her alone since it’s NOT her but YOU who would be changing the already pre-established foundation of the relationship.

          You may become needy, clingy, and even jealous which will make her lose respect for you. Best to bow-out gracefully now before that happens. You can date all the other women you see but if you only have feelings for the one who doesn’t want you then being with other women will be about as helpful as eating cotton-candy when you are hungry.

      5. 4.2.5
        Seth

        @Adrian

        I live in the U.S.
        Not in Europe. Wouldn’t mind visiting there one day.

    3. 4.3
      Yet Another Guy

      @Seth

      As I mentioned in another blog entry, image is everything with women. Women will claim that they are not that shallow, but image is one of those areas where women will say one thing and do another. Projecting a rock solid masculine image is imperative. As ezamuzed mentioned, If a guy is educated and desires an educated women, he needs be careful with grammar, sentence structure, and word usage because women often parse every word. Remember, women tend to use indirect language, so they are looking for hidden meaning. They are also judging your intelligence by what you write. Highly intelligent, attractive, masculine men are like catnip to women. Humor is also a sign of intelligence. Humor also puts women at ease; therefore, it increases comfort. As I mentioned in another blog entry, attraction + comfort = seduction. The PUA sites attempt to teach guys how to use this formula, but it comes off as fake. Attraction plus comfort works best when it is genuine. Meeting women is a lot of fun after a guy gets past the fear of rejection. The guys who meet the most women get rejected by the most women.

      1. 4.3.1
        Seth

        @YAG
        I do agree with you in the line of logic. Been my experience anyway.
        And women do tend to parse every thing you say and then use it against you later. LOL
        I will work on my written and grammar skills. It is an area I do need to focus on.

      2. 4.3.2
        sylvana

        YAG,

        you’re pretty much dead on with that one. Although I do have to say that also depends on what kind of woman a man is looking for. You go for a certain type of woman. And that woman definitely wants that type of man.

        But there is a level of dominance that tends to come along with it that also tends to scare off a lot of women. (That’s why PUA sites tend to fail. You cannot fake dominance. A person either has it or doesn’t. And you can tell a faker from a mile away).

        In general, though, the advice is great. I’d just advice that it might have to be toned down a bit, depending on what kind of women a man wants.

    4. 4.4
      sylvana

      Seth,

      In this comment, too, you clearly showed that you have a bit of a funny approach when it comes to sex.

      “I refuse to be in another relationship where I am not sexually satisfied….especially if I am contributing in ways that makes her happy.”

      Contributing WHAT to make her happy, exactly? You want to be sexually satisfied. So is her sexual satisfaction the way in which you are contributing to make her happy? Or are you, as I’m suspecting, referring to other things? Other things that make her happy have nothing to do with sex. They will never lead to you getting sex from her. They’ll only lead to her making you happy in other ways.

      The only way she’ll make you happy by bringing you sexual satisfaction is if you make her happy by brining her sexual satisfaction.

      Too many men think they can buy sexual favors with other things. That only works for gold-diggers and whores.

      1. 4.4.1
        Seth

        @sylvana

        In all aspects of the relationship, I will do what I can to give her what she needs/wants/desires.
        Not just sexual.
        The current person I am seeing right now had a really crappy sex life for the past 8 years with her ex.
        So one thing she was wanting, was sexual satisfaction.
        So I aim to do that with her….and I ask her what she wants or would like.

        But at the same time, I am willing to do other things outside of the bedroom that she would like/appreciate.
        For example….I am big on getting the door for whoever I am with.
        So when we are together I get the door for her….this shocked her so much that she even commented “No one has ever gotten the door for me.”
        I also hold her hand when we are out…..something she didn’t get a lot of in her last relationship.
        At my age and what I have went through….I do make an effort to get to know the woman and see what are things she likes and responds too.
        I may not remember everything or get it right. But I do make an effort

      2. 4.4.2
        Yet Another Guy

        @Sylvana

        I read an article over the weekend where a woman really cared for her boyfriend, but she did not want to have sex with him like she did with earlier boyfriends who were crappy partners. The reality is that more than a few women struggle with the comfort/arousal dichotomy. If that were not so, women would not seek “dads” for marriage and “cads” for sex. Ideally, a woman would find both types in one package, but that is a lot rarer than most of us believe.

        You are right when you stated that making a woman more comfortable in a relationship will not lead to a higher level of arousal. Jeremy has mentioned this phenomenon many times, which is why the argument that if a man did more around the house, his woman would be more interested in having sex with him is little more than a lie women tell themselves to feel better about not physically desiring their partners. Nothing, and I do mean nothing could be farther from the truth. A woman may have sex more often with her partner if he does more, but it is not because of increased desire. Sex is still seen another chore. Who in the heck wants to have sex with someone who sees it as a chore? Dread is a more powerful motivator when it comes getting a woman who married for comfort more interested in sex.

        The reality is that more men need to know about the comfort/arousal dichotomy. Why? Because a lot of men would forgo committing to women who chose them for their dad attributes, which, sadly, encompasses the majority of relationships that lead to marriage. That is why I preach to men the importance of staying away from women who need time to access them for their dad attributes before becoming physical. If a woman is doing the assess for compensating (a.k.a. dad) attributes thing, a man should run away as quickly as possible, as there is not a woman on this planet who will not have sex with a man around whom she finds herself highly aroused if he bothers to escalate. Women are sexual beings too.

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