Sex and Work

Some people seem to have a healthy sex instinct but a comparatively less healthy work instinct. Can this combination create a problem when a person is looking for a marriage partner?  This article examines four different scenarios in which couples can be affected by the health (or sickness) of the work-ethic of each of the two partners.

The birds and the bees

In most relationships, the two partners start out by being physically attracted to each other. That gets the ball rolling.  There will usually be a series of intermediate steps and then they move in together.  For most couples, that is the point at which they really get to know each other.

There is more to life than sex

Sex is an important part of living together.   But between episodes of sex, there are also the day to day issues of food, shelter and clothing.  In a healthy relationship, both partners make a good-faith, cooperative effort to address these needs.

Usually, this means that one (or both) partners have a full-time job.  If one partner does not have a job, then they make a full-time effort to contribute in non-financial ways to keep things going – such as taking care of the house, cooking, washing, etc.

Its good work – if you can get it

But what happens when only one partner makes the effort to carry their weight about “paying the bills?”

Interestingly, there are couples for which it is true that only one partner makes an effort to work or exert themselves.  Sometimes the non-working partner makes up the difference with their sexual capital.  When it is the man who takes care of the non-working woman, the relationship is called a “sugar-daddy.”  When the woman takes care of the non-working man, the relationship is called a “sugar-momma.”

But that is not the usual case.  For most couples, both partners have an expectation that they are each going to contribute to make the relationship and the household work.

Instincts:  Sex and Work

What are the issues that can come up when one (or both) partners in a relationship have an unhealthy work instinct?   The following chart describes four different combinations of (H)ealthy and (S)ick Sex and Work instincts as they can occur in couples. Each of the four lines represents a man and a woman in a couple. Cases of (S)ick instincts are marked in red to make it clearer where potential problems can arise:

H = Healthy; S = Sick
----- Man -----   --- Woman ---
1) Sex: H, Work: H  Sex: H, Work: H
2) Sex: H, Work: S  Sex: H, Work: H
3) Sex: H, Work: H  Sex: H, Work: S
4) Sex: H, Work: S  Sex: H, Work: S

Why do they always have a healthy sex drive?

You may have noticed that, in all four couples, both the man and the woman have a (H)ealthy Sex drive.  So, aren’t there cases in which one or both partners do not have a healthy sex drive?  Yes, there certainly are those cases – but, at least to start with, both partners need to be sexually interested in each other.  Otherwise, you wouldn’t form a couple to begin with!

Couple Number 1

Everything is fine in this relationship.  Both the man and the woman have a (H)ealthy Sex instinct and a (H)ealthy Work instinct.  They are happy with the sex and also happy with their respective perceptions that their partner is contributing a reasonable effort to keep the household together economically.

Couple Number 2

In this case, the man has a (S)ick Work instinct. He is not very keen on exerting himself to help out with the economic needs of the household. Of course the lady in this pair is very happy with the gentleman’s healthy willingness to exert himself sexually.  But it is likely that she will, eventually, tire of his failure to also exert himself to help to pay the bills.  This may result in nagging: “Honey … uh … when are you going to get a job?”  It is also likely that the man will feel a sense of shame or resentment as he comes to grips with the fact that the woman is controlling him economically.  In any case, things are likely to go down hill.

Couple Number 3

Couple number 3 is suffering from an issue that is similar to that of couple number 2.  The sex is good, so at least that part is working.  In this case, however it is the woman who is not exerting herself to help with the bills.  When we speak of “helping with the bills”, this could also be thought of as a catch-all term to describe all of the various tasks (physical exertion) that are needed to keep the household going.  The simplest way of looking at this is to think of working-to-earn-money-to-pay-bills.  Of course there is also the idea of household chores like cooking, cleaning, running errands, etc.   In any case, in couple number 3, the woman is not pulling her weight.  An argument is likely to come up at some point if the man senses that he is being used.

Couple Number 4

There is a fairly serious problem here.  Both partners are excited about exerting themselves sexually, but neither of them are particularly interested in exerting themselves about looking for work or participating in household chores. Eventually, the couple will use up all of their resources and there will be a poverty-based crisis.

To top things off, because neither of them is working or looking for work, they will have plenty of time to express their (very healthy) sex drives. All of this extra sex, in turn, could easily result in a new member of the family coming on the scene.  Of course a baby will place even more pressure on the couple’s resources.  Again, as in the case of Couple 2 and Couple 3, the end result will likely be an argument that revolves around: “When are you going to get a job!?”

Contributing positive energy

Fortunately, most people have a healthy sex drive.  That is a good thing.   But if you want to express your sex drive in a happy relationship, then you will (most likely) need to also find a way to express your work instinct, too.

If you find that your work instinct seems to be faltering, then please consider taking advantage of the free help that is available through Get Help Get Active.  A partner who has both a healthy sex instinct and a healthy work instinct is going to be better able to contribute positive energy to keep the relationship going.  If you are having trouble getting active (on your own) then get help.  Get help and get active!

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