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Guy Perplexed After Wife Refuses To Have Sex With Him Unless He Does Her Chores For Her

Husband and wife arguing in bed
Jacob Wackerhausen/Getty Images

When it comes to sex and love in a relationship, every couple will have different interests and ways of showing their attraction to each other.

But like many other vital parts of a relationship, communication is key, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITAH) subReddit.

Redditor Apprehensive-Tie7252’s wife had expressed an interest in “rewarding” him with sex every time he completed extra chores around the house.

But when it became a reward and punishment system where they were only intimate when she was rewarding him, the Original Poster (OP) began to feel grossed out by it.

He asked the sub:

“AITAH for not wanting to have sex after my wife turned it into a reward and punishment system?”

The OP’s wife started playing a game with him that felt fun… at first.

“I think my wife is experiencing a phenomenon called the “seven-year itch” right now. We have been married to each other for seven years now and did not have any serious problems before.”

“Around the end of 2023, she started offering sex for small gestures such as gifts and doing chores.”

“For the last seven years and since I have been an independent adult, I have made sure to handle my share of chores.”

“In 2023, she offered mind-blowing sex for me, also doing her part of chores, which I enjoyed first. Then, it turned into also giving her gifts and gestures.”

“Mind you, me doing these chores and doing nice things for her have all been present in our relationship for the last seven years. They were nothing out of the ordinary, but then my wife started rewarding me for them.”

The OP was weirded out by the change in his relationship.

“That change happened literally overnight. Great sex life, both take care of other parties’ needs by communicating clearly, and respecting their wishes… and then the rewards system started.”

“At first, it was pleasant. Having good sex after some small gestures was good. It added a new dynamic to our relationship.”

“It was good until it turned into a reward and punishment system and happened all the time. She’d be like, ‘You did not do X, no sex for you,’ or ‘Good, you did this and we can have sex.'”

“I asked her what is the deal with this. She did not do it before.”

“She said she gets turned on and feels emotionally connected when I put extra effort into the relationship.”

“I just rolled my eyes at that. What did it even change overnight for it to happen? I should have asked it back at the beginning, but it took me a while to realize how weird it made me feel.”

The OP finally had had enough of it.

“It has been a few months since this started and I could not take it anymore. I started refusing her advances because it was such a turn-off for me.”

“Yesterday, she came to me and said, ‘You did the chores, I think you deserve a reward.'”

“I told her, ‘I do not know where you have seen this, but it’s getting out of hand. I am not Pavlov’s dog that you are giving threats or punishment to. Communicate with me if there is something wrong, but this change you had overnight is ridiculous. Do you expect me to beg for it and obey you in every case?'”

“I added, ‘You are making me feel like I have not contributed anything to chores or did not show you any gestures before that. Just tell me what is happening because if we are going to change every good aspect of our relationship because you saw it somewhere else, this relationship will die out faster than a candlestick.'”

His wife did not appreciate the feedback.

“She stormed out crying and slept on the couch. I am getting cold shoulder now.”

“Did my wife turn into an 8-year-old child or what? What is this sudden change? Am I the a**hole for not wanting to have sex with her and calling out her behavior?”

“I would appreciate advice, especially from women.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some said, ‘Yikes!’ and felt the OP’s wife had an ulterior motive behind her offers. 

“NTA. That’s some weird power trip s**t. If sex is made into a transactional thing, it’s pretty well destroyed.”

“Maybe she thinks she’s doing some empowerment thing, but it sounds like she’s going for all the power instead of half.” – Primary_Afternoon_46

“Sex in relationships needs to be about intimate connection, otherwise, she is just… Chore Wh**ing, or maybe even Choreplay.” – sleepyj910

“I see two possibilities: 1. She decided she is into some kind of femdom kink. Or 2. She read an article about using positive reinforcement.”

“Either way, she proceeded with it without having a conversation with you about it.”

“Now she is emotionally manipulating you into groveling by giving you the cold shoulder.”

“Just keep telling her that you were very happy with life until this new thing started and that it makes you very uncomfortable. That you two should be equals.” – welovegv

“I don’t know what it was exactly, but something about this post makes me think it’s exactly this (an interest in FemDom). Which, if it’s a kink, I feel like they can communicate more clearly about it and be able to integrate it and have it not feel totally transactional.”

“I’m sure it would take time and experimentation like maybe certain chores make him feel worse than others or whatever, but if it’s a kink, I just think they can probably work around that.”

“Otherwise, she went down the wrong rabbit hole online and needs to get off the damn internet.” – LaughingMouseinWi

Others agreed and said this sounded more like dog training or trendy “husband training.”

“Is she talking to a friend who’s giving her weird advice? Because it’s not far off to say that women are told to praise and appreciate their partner to try to get them to do something they want.”

“For example, if I want my boyfriend to do the dishes, I might gush about how wonderful he is when he does the dishes, so in theory, he does it more so I keep telling him he’s great.”

“BUT what you’re absolutely not supposed to do ever is say, ‘Good boy, here’s some sex,’ or ‘Bad boyfriend, no nookie for you.’ This is dog training.”

“So I wonder if she is badly applying some terrible advice. And if she is, what is she trying to get you to do? Like, what problem is she trying to solve by doing this? You need to have a long convo with her when she’s not in the ‘she giveth and she taketh away’ mindset.” – highoncatnipbrownies

“There’s also no indication that OP needed motivation for being a good husband as it seems like he was already doing the right stuff anyway, according to him. It’s insulting to act like he needs to be trained by her when he trained himself to be a good partner without her manipulation.”

“I’d have been insulted, too, not to mention turned off.” – HellyOHaint

“NTA. You’re a person…. not a dog doing tricks for treats.” – judgingA-holes

“It’s very condescending of her. ‘You did your chore so you deserve a reward’? I’m surprised she doesn’t tack on a ‘good boy’ at the end, treating him like a dog or a small child.” – wewora

“My husband and I will joke here and there, like, ‘D**n, you look so sexy when you mop a floor. You’re getting me hot.’ But we’re playing around and we both know it.”

“Not only could I never imagine treating him like a child for doing his chores well, or giving him treats like a dog, but my p**sy isn’t for sale or in exchange as a commodity. Gross.” – TicoSoon

Rather than rating them, some felt that communication was the real issue in this scenario.

“She has made sex transactional. I jokingly told my husband one time that if he would help me pick blackberries, I would give him a b**wjob.”

“He got completely serious and said, ‘Married people who love each other don’t make their spouse ‘earn’ sex.'”

“I immediately apologized. He is completely correct. And then he helped me pick the blackberries because he wanted to.” – Ambitious-Island-123

“The only sex-reward we do in my marriage is if my husband is struggling to finish a task and complains he doesn’t have the motivation (like he needs to finish writing something but just isn’t into it). If I’m up for the fun, I’ll offer sex as his finish line to give him some motivation to work. But he’s always free to decline, and I’m never obligated to offer.”

“It almost sounds like this was a cute way for his wife to feel supported and get her in the mood that has become an obligation and created resentment.”

“I think it’s best to talk about this while calm and ask to back up and define how and when this kind of scene should be happening. Ask for it to be agreed on beforehand so you can be excited for it too instead of having it sprung on you. Just have a discussion calmly.” – LateNarwhal33

“There is such a thing as a powerplay kink. This almost, almost sounds like your wife is exploring that side of herself… BUT, this is not how it’s done, and it’s not done without the other person’s (you) consent.”

“I could be wrong. But, if I’m right, then she needs to communicate with you and be open and honest. Not create some award system without your consent or input.” – Ashamed-Ad-263

“I mean, this is a pretty typical thing that people who are emotionally/physically lazy do. I’m assuming, given how generous she isn’t getting bad sex that she would otherwise avoid and you already are doing your part of chores.”

“This is something you do with a partner who doesn’t do anything they’re supposed to do, not a good partner. Like he said, he isn’t a dog. She’s just trying to roll making you do her chores into your sex life because it works for other couples.”

“Let her give you the cold shoulder. DO NOT BREAK THE STALEMATE. Let her be immature until she addresses it.”

“When she does talk to you, be straight that you aren’t interested in a transactional sexual relationship, that it’s demeaning, and makes you feel like you aren’t doing what you’re supposed to be doing.”

“Let her know sulking over you not handling 100% of the chores for something you shouldn’t have to be working for in the first place shows she thinks little of you, and if this was some form of kink play she owed you a conversation a long time ago, because it stopped being a reward and started being labor after the first couple offers.” – Grimwohl

“The OP said, ‘It was good until it turned into a reward and punishment system and happened all the time. I think this is key, that it has since ‘happened all the time.'”

“Seems like your entire sex life has started to hinge on this system, not just part of it.”

“Doing something transactional like that once in a while could be fun, diverting, and exciting; it’s just another way to add some spice. But that’s the thing about spice: It shouldn’t be the only thing you taste.”

“Your wife has unwisely turned your entire sexual dynamic into something transactional, which AT BEST is going to make you constantly feel like you have to earn intimacy with your wife and that will get boring and frustrating (it seems it already has), and at worst, it has a strong ick factor.”

“Like, sometimes my wife gets turned on when I attack that gigantic pile of dishes we’ve both left for too long. I think people generally like feeling cared for, feeling like someone else cares for the home they share, and it’s attractive.”

“I know I feel very attracted to my wife when she cooks a favorite meal. People get warm feelings from that kind of expression of love and care, which can turn into sexual excitement.”

“And that’s all fine. But your wife has taken that and turned it into something else, something less warm.”

“I think you need to sit down with her and calmly, gently explain what’s in your mind and why this dynamic needs to change.” – Far-Obligation4055

After receiving feedback, the OP shared an uplifting update in another post.

“I was planning to talk to my wife today, but surprisingly, she came to talk to me in the early morning during breakfast. She apologized and told me the things I said made her understand she hurt me and she felt terrible for that. She told me she took it too far without reading my reactions.”

“I also apologized for telling her off like that and losing control of my emotions. We had a great discussion about what happened, why it happened, and about our marriage in general.”

The OP’s wife cleared up a few of the OP’s concerns.

“I asked her if she thought my gestures were not enough and if she thought our share of chores was unfair.”

“She said it was not like that, and there was no problem with sharing chores or my gestures. She has been feeling less confident and adding a new dynamic to our relationship by making me try more made her feel better, just like before we were married.”

“Also, she told me having fewer things to do allowed her to completely focus on me and turned her on more. She also stated she was feeling shy initiating due to her confidence and this dynamic helped her to initiate.”

“I asked if she was happy with our sex life and me. She said she is more than happy and the reward and punishment thing had nothing to do with it.”

The couple then broached the subject of kinks in their relationship.

“My final question was if she had this kind of kink.”

“She said maybe, she felt good playing like that, but she also accepted that turning our whole sex life into this was terrible of her.”

“I agreed that while it was good in the beginning, turning the whole sex life into a reward and punishment system and doing it all the time became a problem for. I told her I was okay with that kind of play or any kind of play as long as it’s communicated.”

“We talked more about private things that I won’t share here, but in the end, we communicated our thoughts and feelings to each other clearly. In the end, she told me maybe I should reward her for being a good girl this time, and this awakened something sleeping in me. I do not know if I will be able to wait for the night.”

“The problem is solved, and I would say with that challenge, our love and sex life will level up from the looks of it. Thank you for all the suggestions and help. Cheers!”

Communication is a vital part of every relationship, perhaps especially long-term relationships, in which the couple might eventually explore new tactics to keep their relationship interesting.

It seems that now this couple has spoken to each other about their concerns and motivations, they’ll not only be able to move forward together, but they may have just unlocked another fun way of living life together.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.