Virginia Ironside: Well I just felt sorry for him ...

There are all sorts of reasons for having sex. Many are quite humdrum

Share
Related Topics

Have women's magazines just been brainwashing us over the years with their hundreds of articles about women and sex? They've droned on about everything from the importance of orgasms to waiting to being in love before having sex, but have they been getting it all wrong?

It seems that they might have had done. A book out shortly called Why Women Have Sex has caused a storm by revealing the results of a survey of 1,000 women in America. And the reasons women have sex has turned out not to be, in the main, because they are madly in love, passionately attracted to their blokes, dying for babies or aching with lust. No, it turns out to be what I've always suspected – that although all those factors can play a part, women often have sex for a host of much more humdrum reasons.

Sometimes they've felt that having sex with their partners will stop them straying. On occasions they've had sex to finish an argument or resolve a tense situation – it's a way of resolving things without risk of him resorting to sulks or violence.

Some women have had sex as a kind of payment for being taken out to dinner ... and certainly I can't be the only one who, having been out to a party with a bloke and worried about him eyeing up another woman, had sex to stop him dwelling on the object of his desires. There's also guilty sex with a boyfriend – when you've just have sex with someone else.

The more ruthless among us can use sex as a bartering tool. Apparently loads of women – one in 10 – give sex in return for presents. And quite a few women give their men sex in return for simple chores, like putting the rubbish out, or doing the washing-up.

And – rather sweet this – some women have given sex to unattractive men because they feel sorry for them. Certainly I've often had sex with friends who've been going through a hard time. If I haven't been able to cheer them up by flattery and kindness, a quick spin in bed has usually made them feel a lot better.

I know I've occasionally had sex with a man if I've won hands down in an argument, for instance. To make him feel less lowly-worm-like, I'll suggest having sex to make the score equal, as it were. And other women have sex to relax and, even, to relieve boredom – presumably when conversation runs out and there's nothing left to do.

What strikes me as odd, however, is that these motives are attributed only to women. I've always seen sex as a tool, if you'll forgive the expression, that's used equally between the sexes, partly for fun and affection, but often as a kind of commerce. I know I've been placated by a man who has sex with me to avoid a row.

And men have often buttered me up (oh, dear, it's impossible to write a piece like this without it being littered with double-entendres) with sex before they want to suggest some preposterous idea which they know that in any other mood I might find rather unwelcome – like going away for a stag weekend, or spending Christmas apart.

Indeed, I'm pretty sure that, although it makes me feel rather queasy to admit it, with one younger man, I've been offered the "compensation" of sex if he couldn't afford to contribute to an expensive restaurant meal.

And why not? If this generous and warm gesture is sometimes used as a kind of currency between the sexes, is there really anything to complain about?



Virginia Ironside's 'The Virginia Monologues: 20 Reasons Why Growing Old Is Great' is published by Fig Tree

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

Recruitment Genius: Product Quality Assurance Technologist - Hardline & Electric

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...

Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

CPAC 2015: What I learnt from the US — and what the US could learn from Ukip

Nigel Farage
 

If I were Prime Minister: I would create a government that actually reflects its people

Kaliya Franklin
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower