Sex is considered to be an instrument of love and passion. It is a normal phenomenon among people who genuinely have sexual desire for their partners. However, at times, relationships become the prey of mercy sex. Partners who indulge in having mercy sex are either unaware of it or hesitate to admit to it.
Some people believe that mercy sex is noble, while there are others who are of the opinion that it is cruel and has the potential to ruin the relationship. Whether mercy sex is a healthy option for your relationship or not, it is for you to decide. But, before that, you must know what it actually means.
What is pity sex?
Mercy sex or pity sex (as it is popularly known) is very much what it implies -having sex with someone out of pity. You are neither interested nor sexually aroused. But you have sex with someone because you feel sorry for that person. Pity sex means you feel obligated towards your partner, so you have sex with him/her when you are clearly not in the mood for it.
Pity sex is characterised by lack of satisfaction and enjoyment, especially for the person who pities. People generally have mercy sex just for the sake of it, without much touching or longing for the actual sexual pleasure.
Common features of mercy sex
- It involves minimal foreplay
- There is no sexual arousal or pleasure for the pitying person
- While having mercy sex, the person feels emotionally detached
- In addition, the person might not feel generous about it
- The pitying person will also be unmindful about the whole sexual act
- Plus the act itself becomes empty, formulaic, foreshortened and genitally focused
- Mercy sex seems more like a routine task and the pitying person might develop distaste for it in the long run
Related reading: 11 confessions by married people on why they stopped having sex
Can one have sex with someone they don’t feel attracted to?
It is assumed that one will have sex with someone they feel attracted to. But this might not be the case for everyone. There are people who have sex with someone even if they are not sexually attracted to that person. The reasons for such a gesture can be:
- Having sex with someone you are not attracted to means you are doing it to make the other person feel happy and satisfied
- Some might have sex with someone they are not attracted to, in order to develop interest and earnest desire for sex
- Some others fear that their relationship will fail and intimacy will be lost if they don’t have pity sex
- There might be other people who have mercy sex just so that they can brag about getting laid
However, such sex is unhealthy, unsatisfactory and not enjoyable. Relationship experts feel that it is unfair for the two people who have pity sex. Thus it must be avoided or the frequency of mercy sex should be minimal in a relationship.
Related reading: Why intimacy is as important as the act itself
10 signs that you have had mercy sex
It is essential that you feel comfortable and okay with the whole idea of having mercy sex with your partner. If you are pressurised or coerced into having mercy sex, then it is no less than rape or sexual abuse.
It is almost impossible to realise whether you had mercy sex or not. Therefore, here are the 10 signs that you have had it.
1. You do not initiate sex
Is it always your partner who steps forward to initiate physical intimacy between the two of you? If yes, then it means that you are not too eager to initiate sex and end up having mercy sex when your partner initiates it.
2. You develop distaste for sex
When you have pity sex with your partner for whatever reason frequently, then you will eventually develop distaste for sex. The idea of being physically intimate with your partner will make you feel dismayed and icky.
3. You just want to get over with the sexual act as soon as possible
This happens because you are not completely invested in the act and do not feel satisfied with it. You are not in the mood for a foreplay and simply want to get it done. You do not have emotional feelings, so you just want to get over with it as soon as possible.
4. Your mind is distracted while having sex with your partner
If you have pity sex with your partner, then it is highly possible that your mind is preoccupied with other thoughts during the act. You are not mindful about the fact that you are suppose to feel loved and make your partner feel cherished as well.
5. You do not like too much touching or kissing
When you have sex, you avoid too much touching or kissing because you are not interested in the foreplay sexual act. The kissing and touching during the act might make you feel disgusted and nauseated. You just want to button down and get things done. Sex out of pity can feel abominable.
Related reading: When my husband is in the mood
6. You avoid experimenting with new techniques and positions
Since you just want to finish having pity sex without any delay, you do not feel excited by the idea of trying a new technique or position. You avoid the idea of doing something out of the ordinary while having sex.
7. You do not refuse the advances your partner makes out of guilt
Even when you are not in a mood for sex and do not feel up to it, you do not refuse the advances your partner makes. You feel you would be guilty if you refused to reciprocate his/her advances.
8. You feel awkward after the sexual act
Do you find yourself avoiding your partner after the sexual act? Do you simply walk out of the room or just go to sleep after having sex? If your answer to these two questions is yes, then it means you are having mercy sex and it makes you feel awkward around your partner.
9. You utilise sex to brighten up the mood of your partner
If you find your partner sulking about the sex life you both have, then you will probably utilise sex as a tool to brighten up his/her mood. The sexual act will be done without your genuine interest, but only with the sole purpose of making your partner satisfied.
10. The overall status of your relationship seems shaky
You might be confused about your feelings and might feel that your relationship is not standing on firm ground. Therefore you might feel tempted to end the relationship many times. But actually you do not do so and end up having mercy sex with your partner.
Being merciful in the relationship and making an effort to make it work by having pity sex with your partner is not such a bad idea. However, you have to avoid using sex as a way to divert attention from the real problems you are actually facing in your relationship.
Communicate with your partner and make him/her aware of your sexual likes and dislikes. You both have to work together to come out of the zone of pity sex and try to have a successful sexual life.
Remember, ‘sex’ should be a positive and blissful experience for the people who love each other, not a compulsion or obligatory duty void of emotions and true passion.