by Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.
Sexual coercion is something that many couples stumble upon. For some, awareness can lead to change and an improvement in the relationship. For others, once the topic enters into the conversation, the relationship is over.
The bottom line is that many men truly believe that when they have an erection, it’s her duty to do something about it. And if she doesn’t, he will guilt and shame her into compliance. I have seen these dynamics in couples of all ages from 20’s to 70’s.
The “Need” for Sexual Coercion
For example, let’s look at Jonathan and Melissa. They have known each other for decades and now with her in her 50’s and he in his 60’s, they strike up a romantic sexual relationship.
Johnathan comes to stay at Melissa’s home and they enjoy an evening out. Upon returning to the nest, they find themselves making out on the coach. Johnathan leaps out of the scene and Melissa assumes the party is over.
Within 30 minutes, Johnathan is fast asleep snoring so Melissa gets ready for bed assuming sleep is before her. Wrong assumption.
As she is settling into slumber, she is awakened in the middle of the night by Jonathan…so she thinks. What she doesn’t know is she’s really awakened by the action of Viagra taking its toll on Jonathan, because now he has an erection and a sleeping partner.
Classic Sexual Coercive Control
Melissa is holding onto to slumber, while Jonathan is attempting to arouse her into wakefulness because he has a throbbing erection that is now her responsibility. So, the chase is on. For hours this couple partake in a dance that culminates in Johnathan convincing Melissa that he will have “blue balls” that will cause serious medical issues for him unless “she relieves him.”
Upon awakening, the feeling of servicing him against her will was so clear to her that she proposed taking sex out of their relationship. She could no longer engage in the recurring coercive control dynamics that defined their sexual relationship. She explained it to him as being scummy to her.
Melissa knew sexual exploitation and her experience with Johnathan brought it to light again. Scum is the word she used to describe it. And when she did, Johnathan then declared his victimization.
You see, Johnathan is now a victim of verbal abuse because she called him scum, so he says with conviction. This couple could not get beyond the damages due to an established year-long pattern of sexual coercion, and they parted ways.
Sexual Control via Sexual Coercion
Sexual coercion is one of those forms of sexual control that has a wide variance of meaning. I have seen it in its subtleties, as described here, and in its most flagrant presentation — wherein one is expected to sign a written “contract” obligating them to five blow jobs per week.
If you are questioning dynamics such as these in your intimate relationship, you will want to know all you can about sexual coercion, before it spirals out of control.
To learn more about sexual control, visit http://www.preventabusiverelationships.com/controlling_relationsip.php
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Psychologist Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps people break the cycle of narcissistic, domestic abuse and find wholeness, happiness and harmony.
© Dr Jeanne KingPhD — Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention