12 Ways to Ruin Sex

I’m guessing there are some people out there who have this motto: “Even ruined sex is better than no sex at all.” I’m guessing there are others who have had so much of that ruined sex that they really wouldn’t mind not having sex for the rest of their lives if ruined sex was the only sex to be had.

And then, of course, there is every shade of every opinion between. Before you cast yours, check out this guest post from Lee Hefner and Nancy Wasson, Ph.D. They wrote the book Keep Your Marriage: What to Do When Your Spouse Says “I don’t love you anymore!” and also have the website KeepYourMarriage.com. They’ve listed the 12 top ways that couples ruin sex. I decided to print this guest post because, um, I’m guilty of at least one of these sex-ruining tactics. You’ll have to feed me a shot of vodka to find out what it is though.

Twelve Ways to Make Your Spouse Hate Sex

By Lee Hefner and Nancy Wasson, Ph.D.

It’s really not difficult to ruin what could have been great sex. If that’s your goal, following these twelve suggestions will ensure that, over time, your spouse will avoid having sex with you. Of course, we’re writing this article “tongue in cheek” to make a point. But we can assure you that these behaviors will detract from your sexual relationship. That’s because sexual feelings are vulnerable to being affected by so many other factors, such as self-esteem, expectations, criticism, emotional intimacy, and pressure. In the following list, you’ll find 12 turn offs. In italics is the faulty reasoning that gets marriages into trouble. In parentheses (…), we’ve added a counterweight to the faulty reasoning.

How to Ruin Your Sex Life

  1. Develop a set routine for when you want to have sex. Do it the same time and same place every week.“That way, you don’t have to wonder when you’ll have sex—Sunday night at 9:00 p.m. in the bedroom—just like clock work. No use leaving it to chance, right?”(How boring. Try adding excitement by surprising your mate with something slightly new and different.)
  2. Follow exactly the same “plays” and “moves” each time.“This way you both know what to expect each time. It’s just too much work to come up with different things to try, and after the honeymoon period, it’s not really necessary, is it?”(Instead, remember a variation on the old saying that variety is the spice of life…and of sex).
  3. Drink a lot first so that you’re loosened up.“If your mate doesn’t like the smell or wishes you wouldn’t drink so much before sex, it’s just too bad. You can’t let your spouse tell you what to do, can you?”(Consistent and excessive intoxication during sex is a big turn-off and could indicate deeper problems.)
  4. Only touch your spouse when your goal is to have sex.“Save your hugs, wet kisses, and holding hands until you’re ready to signal that you want sex. That way your partner will associate your touch with sex and know what to expect, get my drift? Cuts down on misunderstandings, doesn’t it?”(Actually, the best sex can be the result of hours or even days of buildup with no obvious sign of sex on the horizon. During this time, any sign of affection—a touch, a hug, some compliments—can be powerful foreplay that builds to ignite passion.)
  5. Expect your spouse to deliver the sexual goods because you’re married.“Your mate knows that every ‘good’ marriage partner owes sex to the other partner as part of his or her ‘duties.’ After all, isn’t this supposed to be one of the benefits of being married?”(When sex becomes an obligation, it becomes as appealing as paying taxes. Instead, if your goal is to make the experience breathtaking for your partner, you’ll never have to invoke guilt or obligation to get sex.)
  6. Push for sex even if your spouse seems reluctant and uninterested as long as he or she says “okay.”“If the verbal agreement is there, ignore the behavioral signals that indicate reluctance. If your spouse didn’t really want to have sex, he or she should have said so up front, right?”(Pay close attention to your mate’s body language. That can be more revealing of true interest in sex than words alone. You’ll damage your relationship if you forge ahead when your partner only agrees just to get it over with.)
  7. Skip foreplay and get to the major action immediately.“It takes too much time to bother with all that extra stuff. Besides, both of you have to go to work in the morning and need your sleep. You can’t afford to waste time.”(The truth is, there is often a direct correlation to the amount of foreplay with the quality of the sex. The better the buildup, the better the payoff.)
  8. Criticize your spouse’s sexual performance.“After all, you’re only trying to motivate your mate to be a better sexual partner. It’s not healthy to keep things in, so he or she will just have to listen to your critique.”(You will get more satisfying performance out of your mate by praising what he or she does that you like, rather than the contrary.)
  9. Criticize your spouse’s physical appearance.“If your partner has developed a beer belly or gotten flabby, you’re doing him or her a favor to say how much that turns you off. It’ll motivate your spouse to lose weight and shape up, which will help him or her in the long run.”(The rule is: use positive strokes to motivate your partner. Negative criticism will poison your sex life.)
  10. Answer your cell phone during sex.“You just never know; this call might be important. Anyway, what’s the big deal? It’s not like you’ll never have sex again. You’ve been having sex for years now, so why should your partner get upset with an occasional interruption?”(Respect your partner with your undivided attention to get back the same. Minimize all distractions if possible.)
  11. Get it over with as fast as possible as long as you’re satisfied.“Don’t ask your partner if there’s anything you can do for him or her. Just assume that everything’s okay unless your mate says something.”(If satisfaction is not mutual, your sex life will suffer. The simple question a couple can ask each other—”How can I please you?”—works wonders.)
  12. Jump up immediately and make your get-away afterwards.“The faster you get finished, the faster you’ll be able to get to sleep. There’s no time to waste just lying there talking. You can talk tomorrow over breakfast.”(Emotional closeness is the currency of intimacy and you can achieve it by allowing each other to share honest feelings. Pillow talk after sex is one of the best times for this.)

Lee Hefner and Nancy Wasson, Ph.D., are co-authors of the book Keep Your Marriage: What to Do When Your Spouse Says “I don’t love you anymore!” which is available at www.KeepYourMarriage.com.  To get free weekly expert advice for improving your marriage, subscribe to their Keep Your Marriage Internet Magazine at  www.FreeMarriageMagazine.com.

Do you practice any of these sex ruining turn offs? Can you think of other turn offs that are not listed? Leave a comment.

19 comments… add one

  • Jason April 13, 2010, 8:38 am

    Wow! 12 for 12… NICE!

  • Judy Armstrong April 13, 2010, 9:27 am

    Whoa…major coitus interruptus….What could be worse than answering you cell phone during sex? Texting???

    • StanVaden November 4, 2012, 6:06 pm

      Happened to me when I lost my virginity. She was texting… I was useless…

  • LeAnn April 13, 2010, 12:37 pm

    Sex? What is this thing you speak of?

  • Sarah Liz April 13, 2010, 12:42 pm

    Okay, I have to run out and do a few errrands, but I had to take a moment and say THANK YOU! This post made me laugh SO hard just now and it’s so great to start my day off that way! I’ve done a few of these too, but like you Alisa, I’m not sharing! LOL! The top 12 mistakes and their following explanations are hillarious! They’re not when you consider people actual do them and detieriate their sex lives in the process, but a hearty laugh and some serious thought provoking, I’d say that equals a great post! Have a great day y’all!

    Many Blessings,
    -Sarah Liz :)

  • Joanne April 13, 2010, 1:06 pm

    Very funny, I wouldn’t give a second chance to anyone who actually answered their cell phone while in bed with me. My husband who gets texts all the time from his nieces and nephews and our kids even leaves his phone in the kitchen while we are in bed.Our room is a cell phone, television radio free zone. We can get music but that is it we are there to enjoy some time together. I learned this the hard way. My husband had to go through his ESPN withdrawls but now looks forward to that time with me.

  • Frugal Kiwi April 13, 2010, 1:53 pm

    Ha! #1 makes me think of the Flight of the Conchords song “Business Time”:

    Ahh yeah, that’s right baby
    Girl, tonight we’re gonna make love
    You know how I know baby?
    Cuz its Wednesday, and Wednesday night is the night that we make love.
    Tuesday night is the night that we go and visit your mother, but
    Wednesday night is the night that we make love.
    Cuz everything is just right, conditions are perfect.
    There’s nothing good on TV, conditions are perfect.
    You lean in close and say something sexy like ” I might go to bed I’ve
    got work in the morning.” I know what you’re trying to say baby.
    You’re tryin to say “Ooh yeah, it’s business time, it’s business time.”

    If you’ve never heard the song, you can find it up on YouTube. Hugely funny!
    .-= Frugal Kiwi´s last blog ..Svelte Felt Sphinx Minx =-.

  • Alexandra April 13, 2010, 6:50 pm

    I guess I’m responsible for ruining Marriage #1, according to this list, but then it does not take into account cultural differences ….

  • Kathy April 13, 2010, 10:25 pm

    I’ve done #7, only because it was a “quicky” and there was no time for foreplay. Also, if I’m in the mood for a quicky, I don’t NEED foreplay. ; )

    I just as soon not even hear the phone ring during sex. But to answer the phone. Please!

    Wearing a watch while having sex is a huge sex ruiner for me. If you need to know what time it is, then you shouldn’t be having sex. Just my opinion.

    After re-reading #12, I may be slightly guilty of this one. But I think that only happened when the puppy was outdoors, the cats were by the window the puppy could see into and there was whining and barking the entire time and I was just done with the NOISE.

  • Joanne April 14, 2010, 8:34 am

    Am I the only one or do the rest of you see really about three different types of sex? There is 1) Making love which is a tender wonderful emotional ties that bind kind of connection. 2) Sex as a romp, so to speak, carefree playful stress relieving and 3) Just a good slamming, raw.

    I see the purpose for all three and can enjoy each at the appropriate time so when Kathy says a “quicky” I am so there with her and I think as long as both people are on the same page any one of them can be amazing, I think the conflict arises when One thinks they are making love and the other just wants a quick lay.

  • Marissa April 14, 2010, 9:19 am

    i read these out loud to a gal pal last night over dinner, and we laughed till we cried.

  • Rich April 16, 2010, 2:18 am

    Saying “ouch” during sex will ruin it too.
    Even worse is then launching into the story of why it hurts in that spot for the umpteenth time.

    Talking about your mother (his or hers) during sex.

  • landschooner April 19, 2010, 6:05 pm

    I think I agree with the whole list except for #5. Hopefully sex will be given as a gift with joy, but at the very least it IS an obligation. Most folks, though certainly not all, would agree that staying faithful to your spouse is an obligation. That means one person, your spouse, for a lifetime. (or at least for the duration of the marriage.) Additionally, breaching this is also seen by most folks, as the ultimate in marriage betrayal. So how is it that staying monogamous, in body, and if you’re religious, in mind as well, is seen as paramount and a strict RULE of marriage but, but being proactively sexual with your spouse is only seen as a gift?

    ….So I’m to abstain from any sex apart from you (mind or body) whether I feel like it or not…..but you have have no obligation whatsoever to be sexual with me unless you feel like it?

    “You are bound to me but I am free to deny you.”

    That’s quite a double standard in favor of a low desire spouse.

  • Alisa Bowman April 20, 2010, 8:16 am

    Landscooner–I think there are two different ways of looking at that issue. I hear what you are saying, though. In some marriages, one partner does not see sex as important, and just downgrades it to the same category as “whenever we get around to painting the kitchen.” That’s not what marriage is about. On the other hand, though, do you really want to have sex with someone who doesn’t want to be there and who is just going through the motions because he/she feels obligated? I know I wouldn’t. In the end, if one person is not happy in bed, that’s a sign of a problem that needs exploration. It shouldn’t become a power struggle.
    .-= Alisa Bowman´s last blog ..How to Get Along with an Introverted Spouse =-.

  • Joanne April 20, 2010, 9:35 am

    I am so on the fence with this issue. As a woman with a much higher libido than her husband it is hurtful when he doesn’t desire me as much as I do him. It makes you wonder if you will have to spend the rest of your life being less than satisfied in a what for me is a hugh area of my marriage. But that being said no I don’t want my husband going through the motions just because it is his marital duty or my marital right. I want to be wanted. Fundamental but true and if we aren’t careful it could ruin our marriage. We love each other dearly, we are best friends, but ……….

  • Drummer Guy April 24, 2010, 1:05 pm

    That was some funny stuff. Did you send that to my first wife? :-)..Just kidding

  • OneHotTamale25 June 24, 2010, 8:57 pm

    This list just made me cringe. I can’t really imagine doing any of this stuff… I acknowledge, though, my husband and I are still in the youth of our marriage. I hear that’s a very frisky time when sex is consistently marvelous. I may pick out some numbers after year 3 or once some babies are in the picture.

    Alisa, I think you are so transparent in your blog we don’t need vodka to pick out the ways in which you have ruined sex. In your defense though, you often also verbalize how you came to your senses and rocked your husband’s world. :)

  • Katie M March 5, 2012, 8:41 pm

    This list seems like a whole lot of no-brainers to me, but maybe I’ve just been lucky in my sex life. Also, I’m not married and don’t plan on it any time soon, so that could be another factor. As for the back and forth going on about rule number 5, I am firmly on the side of this rule. If a spouse is pressured or forced into having sex that is marital abuse. It is not a RIGHT to have sex with your spouse, it is a PRIVILEGE, and to take advantage of that and coerce the person you supposedly love into having sex is wrong. If they don’t want to, back off- it will be better for both of you in the long run.
    I’m surprised that inappropriate talking points weren’t brought up in this list. Like Rich said, talking about your parent’s sex life is a huge sex disaster!

  • Amy September 2, 2013, 10:35 pm

    I don’t have to worry or think about any of the above mentioned items, because my husband hates me and refuses any form of intimacy or sex. He never talks to me, sleeps with me just nothing I’m just another annoying human that happens to live in the same house. This has been going on for our entire marriage and weve been married 45+ years. I’ve hung around all these years and I don’t care any more, I’ve been miserable all these years but my anti-depressants have helped dull the pain.


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