Chart of the Day: When does a woman owe you sex?

Apparently, there’s an emerging trend of dudes tracking when their partners refuse sex and whining about the “excuses” they use. Hoping to nip this one in the bud, Elizabeth Plank and Raquel Reichard put together a helpful chart to help you determine when a woman owes you sex:


While a rampant sense of male entitlement to women’s bodies–which, as Plank explains, underpins so much of rape culture–means this reminder is particularly important for men to hear, it’s worth noting that the rule is gender neutral. Nobody owes anybody sex–which is why it’s so great when freely given.

Maya DusenberyMaya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing.

Atlanta, GA

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director in charge of Editorial at Feministing. Maya has previously worked at NARAL Pro-Choice New York and the National Institute for Reproductive Health and was a fellow at Mother Jones magazine. She graduated with a B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. A Minnesota native, she currently lives, writes, edits, and bakes bread in Atlanta, Georgia.

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Editorial.

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  • jeremyb

    At the risk of wading into a minefield here, isn’t some discussion of sexual compatibility part of the foundation of a good relationship? Don’t both partners have to have a discussion about how often they would ideally like to have sex, and how often they are capable of having sex? If those discussions reveal an incompatibility, then doesn’t the relationship fail?

    I agree there are too many men who feel entitled to sex, and that by most definitions a rape culture does exist within our patriarchal system. I agree that sex is best when freely given, and for young and attractive people it can be freely given quite frequently. That paints a pretty rosy picture of how the need for love and attraction work though – especially over a lifetime.

    I consider myself a feminist, or at least a feminist ally, though perhaps my self-labeling is inaccurate. As a cisgendered hetero white male, I’ve got almost too much privilege to unpack. I thought the most responsible thing to do was to have an open discussion with my partner about what I thought was good sex and how often I liked to have sex. She talked to me, we arrived at a fair bargain. Maybe that is not romantic, but that’s what we did. (People say the prenup that I advised her to get to protect her assets from my debt was also not romantic). We haven’t always followed the plan because life gets in the way, but we have tried. If someone got frustrated, then they would let the other person know. Sometimes things have been wonderful and sometimes not. But at least there was some kind of mutual understanding. I’ve never subscribed to the sex happens organically thing, because I always ask using words and wait for a response. The just initiating thing always seemed to troublesome for me precisely because it is imbued with the culture of patriarchal male dominance and female submission.

    Maybe it is entitlement, maybe it is completely wrong, but the idea of being in a marriage, being required to be monogamous and then being forced into celibacy based on the whims of a partner is terrifying to me. I would compare it to a partner who said they wanted/didn’t want kids changing their mind or a partner saying they didn’t want to work anymore or taking a job in a different city. I will acknowledge there may be other correct answers and I would like to read them.