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ANSWERING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Is sex the answer to your relationship woes?

The answer is generally “yes,” of course: “When the so-called ‘low-desire’ partner – who is, she is at pains to emphasise, just as likely to be a man or a woman – was encouraged to have sex they didn’t particularly want, not only did they end up enjoying themselves but the high-desire partner became a much nicer person to be around.”

Hey, “maintenance sex” has saved many a marriage. Including, as you can see, some InstaPundit readers’.

ISN’T THIS KIND OF “MEDDLING IN AN ELECTION?” Both the New York Times and IBT report that a  long-time friend and financial supporter of Hillary Clinton is reported to have paid $500,000 in an effort to assist the women who were ready to come forward with their allegations of sexual misconduct against President Donald Trump before the 2016 presidential election:

According to a report by the New York Times, Susie Tompkins Buell, founder of the clothing brand Esprit, handed over the money to celebrity lawyer Lisa Bloom, who was handling the cases of women accusing Trump of sexual harassment.

Tounge-in-cheek “meddling” question aside, it’s interesting to compare the reaction (or lack thereof) with Peter Thiel’s funding Hulk Hogan’s privacy suit against Gawker. Wags insisted that Thiel was engaging in champerty or maintenance, but there was never an allegation that Thiel directly paid a litigant, and smarter people explained what Thiel did was perfectly legal:

Funding someone else’s lawsuit for ideological reasons, long perceived as a dangerous stirring up of social conflict that might otherwise have remained at rest, is now applauded as a means of holding powerful institutions accountable, ensuring wronged parties their day in court, and so forth.

After all, few could complain that the sponsorship of the litigation in Brown v. Board of Education was unethical. It would just be nice to see an even-handed approach.

THIS IS GENERALLY, ALTHOUGH NOT UNIVERSALLY, TRUE: Suzanne Venker: We Need To Admit That Men Need Sex More Than Women Do. “As a rule, men communicate via sex. Via action. Your husband isn’t being insulting when you walk by and he grabs your butt. He’s not being rude when he turns some innocuous statement you made into something sexual. (If I had a dollar for every time that happens in our house!) He’s trying to get close to you. So let him. If he didn’t do those things, you’d have a problem on your hands.”

Well, that’s where the Maintenance Sex comes in, you know. And maintenance sex has saved some InstaPundit readers’ marriages.

SHOCKING NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF SCIENCE: Sex may be key to a happy marriage, study finds.

Hey, “maintenance sex” has saved many a marriage. Including, as you can see, some InstaPundit readers’.

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: How a lack of sex is making women ANGRY. “While Corrine’s mood swings may bear some resemblance to the symptoms of pre-menstrual tension or mild anxiety, they are completely unrelated to her hormones or mental state. Her crushingly low spirits are caused by something else altogether: when she last made love. Too long without sex, and she becomes miserable and fractious. . . . Dr Geoff Hackett, a leading expert in sexual medicine and former chairman of the British Society for Sexual Medicine, believes if we carry on like this, sex is in danger of being a lost art. ‘The domestic set-up in the Fifties, for example, seemed to positively encourage sex,’ he says. ‘But nowadays there’s not enough focus on it.'”

Hey, maintenance sex isn’t just for men.

And it reminds me of this from Caitlin Flanagan over a decade ago:

It turns out that the “traditional” marriage, which we’ve all been so happy to annihilate, had some pretty good provisions for many of today’s most stubborn marital problems, such as how to combine work and parenthood, and how to keep the springs of the marriage bed in good working order. . . .

Nowadays, American parents of a certain social class seem squeaky clean, high-achieving, flush with cash, relatively exhausted, obsessed with their children, and somehow—how to pinpoint this?—undersexed.

If I Don’t Know How She Does It, a book about a working woman who discovers deep joy and great sex by quitting her job and devoting herself to family life, had been written by a man, he would be the target of a lynch mob the proportions and fury of which would make Salman Rushdie feel like a lucky, lucky man. But of course it was written by a with-it female journalist, so it’s safe, even admired. Allison Pearson, we have been given to understand, is telling it like it is. And what she’s telling us, essentially, is that in several crucial aspects the women’s movement has been a bust, even for the social class that most ardently championed it.

Indeed. Hey, maintenance sex isn’t just for men.

AT LEAST UNTIL ELECTION DAY IN NOVEMBER: Desperately holding on to the debunked idea of gender wage gap.

Even though economist after economist has debunked the gender wage gap over and over again (it’s more accurately referred to as an “earnings gap”), some in the media just can’t let it go.

Enter Danielle Paquette of the Washington Post, who wrote an article on the website’s “Wonkblog” section titled “Men say they work more than women. Here’s the truth.”

Paquette attempts to explain away the fact that the Department of Labor repeatedly finds men who work both full-time and part-time are working more hours than women in the same categories. Her assertion is that the statistics only show reported hours.

“Let’s start with a few massive caveats in the Labor Department’s report. First, the researchers asked each respondent to log their own time. Nobody submitted manager-approved work hours, and research tells us one of the sexes generally tends to overestimate,” Paquette wrote. “Secondly, the survey didn’t measure productivity or efficiency. Workaholism isn’t necessarily a sign of value.”

She’s right that working longer hours isn’t necessarily a sign of value, but that’s beside the point unless she has a study to bring out demonstrating that men are systematically less productive.

Her other point about respondents logging their own time is a new angle and, as with every study, it’s an important caveat. Paquette loses some credibility on this point, however, when she later links to studies showing women spend more time doing chores at home but neglects to add the same caveat that these are also self-reported times.

Another caveat with many studies regarding household chores is that they don’t mention many chores that men typically do, like lawn maintenance and household repair.

It’s like the whole thing is just a bogus, politicized sham.

21ST CENTURY HEADLINES: Robots Must Be Able to Say ‘No’.

Does that include sexbots? And if a sexbot becomes self-aware, and then self-identifies as differently gendered, is it entitled to sex-reassignment maintenance?

POLITICIANS LIKE TO CUT RIBBONS AND AWARD NEW CONTRACTS. MAINTENANCE ISN’T SEXY. Michael Barone: The tragic deterioration of Washington’s Great Society Subway. “If government is what we decide to do together, Metro seemed to be government at its best. But after 40 years it has come to be government at its dreariest, with problems overlooked, maintenance deferred and safety scanted, by employees secure against discipline or dismissal and more concerned about overtime pay and pensions than serving the public. We have seen the same phenomenon across the country.”

At least its decline serves as an object lesson to the denizens of our capital city on how government really works. But there have been a lot of those object lessons, and they still don’t seem to have learned anything.

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: Why Do Lesbians Have Such High Divorce Rates? I’m thinking its connected to the fact that they typically have less sex. Maybe we need a book on Maintenance Sex geared to lesbian couples.

AT THE ROOT OF MANY MARRIAGE PROBLEMS: “While our culture becomes more sexualised than ever before, we’re less likely actually to be having sex, and we’re certainly not talking about it – even to professionals like myself. I call it the silent epidemic.”

This goes back to our “maintenance sex” discussion.

APPARENTLY, even lesbians need maintenance sex. Or something. Background here.

“MAINTENANCE SEX” CAN WORK BOTH WAYS: The stereotype is of a frigid wife, but plenty of women find themselves the more desiring partner.

SEX: When He Says “More” And She Says No.

It’s the whole maintenance sex discussion again. As usual, the MSM is just catching up with InstaPundit.


Let’s take a few examples:

Spend just a few minutes a day studying Anki flashcards, and at the end of a year, you have a ton of new phrases and sentences learned of a new language. Sure, it’s not the same as being fluent, but it’s much better than you were a year ago.
Spend just a few minutes a day doing pushups (even if you can’t do any at first), and by the end of a year, you’ll be much stronger. I’ve seen the same thing happen to me when it comes to lifting weights — I was very weak when I started, and though I’m not going to impress any weightlifters with what I can do now, I’ve made remarkable progress over time.
I started out not being able to run 10 minutes, but started with 7 minutes. Soon I could run 10, then 12, then 15. At the end of my first year of running, I ran a marathon.

Adding little amounts over time makes a huge difference.

It does.

UPDATE: Reader Richard Samuelson writes: “Combine that with maintenance sex and you really got something.” Yes, you do.


Is that the same thing as maintenance sex? More here.

PRESCRIPTION FOR LOVE: “Have Maintenance Sex.”

Well, we’ve been over this before.

CHANGE: Lagging at school, the butt of cruel jokes: are males the new Second Sex? “They work longer hours, face economic insecurity and suffer worse health. Now their feckless ways are lampooned in the media. A controversial new book argues that men increasingly face a prejudice that dare not speak its name. . . . The American men’s rights author Warren Farrell calls it ‘the glass cellar’. There might be a glass ceiling for women, Farrell once told the Observer, but ‘of the 25 professions ranked lowest [in the US], 24 of them are 85-100% male. That’s things like roofer, welder, garbage collector, sewer maintenance – jobs with very little security, little pay and few people want them.’ . . Another area of concern, according to Duncan Fisher, co-founder of the UK’s Fatherhood Institute, is the ‘gratuitous exclusion’ of men from child-rearing: midwifery services are described as ‘one-to-one care’ and whereas employers frequently allow women flexible working hours if they are mothers, the same option is rarely offered to men in similar situations.”

Related: “Hmmm, but women still aren’t picking up the check.”


So are we back to the whole maintenance sex thing? Not quite the same.

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: Hitting your Sex Occurrence Quotas.

Well, that’s one approach to maintenance sex.

UPDATE: I’m leaving out the names even though they didn’t request it. But a female reader emails:

Let me tell you, the “quickie” saved my marriage. I read about it in the book “Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus” years ago where the author explains how important the sex act is to the man and that the woman should give into the quickie.

Best…I mean BEST…sex advice I ever received!!! Long live the quickie!!

Meanwhile, a male reader writes:

While our “N” of 1 (or, more accurately, 2!) can hardly prove or disprove the authors’ thesis, I completely concur with their view, as does my wife.

We are both psychiatrists, who started out as family doctors, and have been together for 38 years, happily married for 36 of those, and have raised our four male children, all of whom turned out healthy, prosperous and well (thank God!).

We have been blessed throughout with a gloriously happy sexual relationship, where the male partner clearly “needs it” more often that the female partner, but far from creating tension or dissatisfaction, coming to grips (as it were!) with this difference has enriched the relationship, and both of us could not be happier.

We both agree that our relationship has also, as a sort of bonus, made it possible for us to help couples in our work who are having conflict in their sex lives.

I doubt that many people get divorced because they’re having sex too often.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Okay, she actually asks that I not use her name:

Yep, you helped our marriage, too. After seeing the book that you mentioned, my husband bought it for me (us?). Then, maybe six months ago, you also linked to some guy who blogged about having sex like every day of his fifteen year marriage, or something. Anyway, it hit me that his wife just never said no. So I thought, as an experiment, I’d just not say no. Not necessarily be the initiator, but never say no. I have to tell you my husband is probably the happiest man I know. I’m not exactly unhappy, either. I have come the the conclusion that women vastly, vastly underestimate the good they can do for the men they love by just saying yes.

It’s funny–you don’t blog about sex too much, but it is very effective when you do! Keep up the good work, on all fronts.

Doing my best here.


Please withhold name, of course!

Hi Glenn,
My husband and I assume that we’ll have sex every night (he’s an early riser, so this means that if I have any project to do in the evening, I do it after we have sex and he falls asleep). That’s one of the “big rocks” in our daily jar. If a day is missed here or there, it’s ok because there is plenty of opportunity. I think it has a very positive effect on our overall well-being, and keeps a close, affectionate bond between us.

Needless to say, his first wife maintained an “artificial shortage” to keep up the imagined value of sex with her. That’s hell on a man with a strong drive.

Perhaps that has something to do with her status as first wife.

STILL MORE: Related thoughts here.

BEWARE THE High-Maintenance Boyfriend. “With the overwhelming acceptance of (or resignation to) metrosexuality, men who once feared being ridiculed for their highmay ways are stepping out of their walk-in closets onto the well-manicured path blazed by their sartorially-inclined cousins.”


I work for an electrical utility. When I first started there, in the late 70’s, we were taught about the separability and redundancy built into the system, which was designed by cold war engineers. Each region had its own generation, subtransmission, and distribution components, and could be operated as a separate entity. The regions were connected at a high level for efficiency and redundancy. Not true today. No one wants generation plants anywhere near, so they are far away and out of mind. I remember standing on top of a mountain, looking down and seeing the fragile thread of the transmission lines across the desert. The strongest impression I had was one of vulnerability. We still have a comparatively robust system with a fair amount of redundancy at lower levels. But like the rest of our infrastructure, much of the system is old and overloaded. Solar panels and high speed rail won’t solve the problem. We need a national program to rebuild our infrastructure, combining people who are willing to sweat and get dirty with the most effective of the new technologies we have developed. In the meantime, I just remembered that I am overdue for maintenance on my portable generators…

Yeah, we’ve pinched pennies by reducing robustness. That’s a poor practice that produces rotten results.

UPDATE: Reader Jeffrey Hollister writes:

If Obama back in ’09 had used the gazillions in ‘stimulus’ funds for an FDR-style plan to rebuild roads, bridges and the power grid, the actual work on the associated projects would probably be going into high gear right about now. Between the skilled jobs directly generated and the multiplier rate of those jobs, the unemployment rate would be heading downward without the need for statistical hocus-pocus; state and local governments’ balance sheets would gradually be repairing themselves through added tax revenue; and Obama himself would be a prohibitive favorite for reelection next year, even without the assistance of his MSM sockpuppet corps. But rebuilding the country and stimulating the economy (the real one, not the public-sector hog trough) was never Obama’s objective. Has everyone forgotten Robert Reich’s call to congressional Democrats to make sure they keep stimulus funds out of the hands of ‘white male construction workers?’ Just in case anyone HAS forgotten, here’s the video…

Yes, and the feminists wanted to be sure that the money didn’t go to white male construction workers, too.

Last November, President-elect Obama addressed the devastation in the construction and manufacturing industries by proposing an ambitious New Deal-like program to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure. He called for a two-year “shovel ready” stimulus program to modernize roads, bridges, schools, electrical grids, public transportation, and dams and made reinvigorating the hardest-hit sectors of the economy the goal of the legislation that would become the recovery act.

Women’s groups were appalled. Grids? Dams? Opinion pieces immediately appeared in major newspapers with titles like “Where are the New Jobs for Women?” and “The Macho Stimulus Plan.” A group of “notable feminist economists” circulated a petition that quickly garnered more than 600 signatures, calling on the president-elect to add projects in health, child care, education, and social services and to “institute apprenticeships” to train women for “at least one third” of the infrastructure jobs. At the same time, more than 1,000 feminist historians signed an open letter urging Obama not to favor a “heavily male-dominated field” like construction: “We need to rebuild not only concrete and steel bridges but also human bridges.” As soon as these groups became aware of each other, they formed an anti-stimulus plan action group called WEAVE–Women’s Equality Adds Value to the Economy.

The National Organization for Women (NOW), the Feminist Majority, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, and the National Women’s Law Center soon joined the battle against the supposedly sexist bailout of men’s jobs. At the suggestion of a staffer to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, NOW president Kim Gandy canvassed for a female equivalent of the “testosterone-laden ‘shovel-ready’ ” terminology. (“Apron-ready” was broached but rejected.) Christina Romer, the highly regarded economist President Obama chose to chair his Council of Economic Advisers, would later say of her entrance on the political stage, “The very first email I got . . . was from a women’s group saying ‘We don’t want this stimulus package to just create jobs for burly men.’ ”

No matter that those burly men were the ones who had lost most of the jobs.

Or, you know, fixed things like electrical grids. The feminists won. So the money went elsewhere, and we got . . . er, what did we get, anyway?

MORE: A reader emails: “In the past, many utilities maintained a 60-90 day coal inventory at the power plants. Now I’ve heard that some state regulators have forced the utilities to reduce their inventories in order to keep rates low. As low as thirty days.” So if coal shipments are delayed by weather, etc., that could be a problem much sooner than in the past.

MORE STILL: Reader Dan Harlan writes: “As much as I would like to blame Obama for not doing anything about the sorry state of the American power grid, I have to give credit where it is due. The Bush administration did nothing after the northeast regional blackout in 2003, which should have been the wake up call for the entire country. I don’t know why anyone is surprised about the lack of any real stimulus in the so-called stimulus bill. The main problem with Keynesian Economics has always been the fact that governments do not spend money for economic reasons, they spend it for political reasons.”

SCIENCE: Relationships are better if you wait over a month to have sex. Huh. I’m not sure I ever did that. I’m not even sure I know anyone who did that . . . .

UPDATE: Reader Colin Frazier writes: “You don’t know any married people? Oh, you mean wait over a month before the *first* time… Nevermind.” And I guess we’re back to our discussion of “maintenance sex. . .” Or maybe this one.

Meanwhile, though, there’s a question of when the clock starts. If you start with the first official date, the above is true, but most of the women I dated were women I already knew — I’d known Helen for over a decade before our first official “date.” So how does that figure in?

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Michael Gebert writes:

Seems to me that the author of this piece, and the scientists involved, misread their own study (not that that ever happens with journalistic reports on, say, the economy).

A bad relationship with sex may plug along for a while just because of the sex, but a bad relationship that doesn’t also have sex going for it is quickly over. Therefore, the body of bad relationships will have fewer sexless relationships in it than the body of good relationships. So all this means is that there is a higher proportion of good relationships which don’t include sex– not that sex leads to better relationships.

Sex, casual yes, causal no!


SCIENCE: Frequent Sex Protects Marital Happiness for Neurotic Newlyweds. Once again, I’m reminded of that “maintenance sex” discussion.

BOMBSHELL STUDY: Old Men Want More Sex Than They’re Getting. So do young men, a lot of the time . . . .

Related: Married men are nicer, and here’s why. Somehow this takes me back to last year’s “maintenance sex” discussion.

AND AROUND THE WORLD, MILLIONS OF GUYS ADMIRE HIS GENIUS: “One woman even admitted to having sex just so her husband would put the rubbish out.” But hey, “maintenance sex” is cool now.

“MAINTENANCE SEX?” So what do you think? Is this important in a relationship? I wonder if we’d see something of a male/female split on this. Maybe not!

MICKEY KAUS: Orszagism Reeling: “Orszagism–the idea that health care reform will be able to dramatically ‘bend the cost curve’ and solve the long-term budget crisis, without compromising care– suffered a couple of blows in the past 24 hours.” Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: A reader — shockingly, a man of the cloth, so I’m leaving him unnamed — writes: “Glenn, I find it deeply disappointing that you have a headline like ‘Orszagism Reeling’, and then follow it with budget and health care issues. C’mon! With a lead-in like that, can’t we have something on porn, or at least prostitution? :-)”

Blame Kaus for the tease, not me. But I’m scheduling a post on “maintenance sex” for later, so maybe that will meet the day’s need for prurience.