Ever been a sexual gatekeeper?

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Ever been a sexual gatekeeper?

92 Women and 161 men have answered
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Note: The number of people taking this survey was low – less than half of what we usually see. This suggests the answers are less representative than usual.


  • One percent of men and 10% of women say they are gatekeeping, but are working to change.
  • Three percent of men and 7% of women say they are gatekeeping, but do not indicate they are working to change.
  • Thirty-six percent of women and 5% of men say they are former gatekeepers.
  • Among women, the number of former gatekeepers rise significantly with age. A third of women 35-44 said they were former gatekeepers. This rose to 63% of women 45-54 and two thirds of women over 54.

© surveymonkey.com

  • Sixty-three percent of women and 30% of men think their spouse might say they are a gatekeeper now or in the past. For both sexes this was more than who thought they actually are or once were gatekeepers.

Women’s Comments:

  • If I have been a gatekeeper in the past, it wasn’t intentional. It was the product of exhaustion, not really enjoying the sex we did have all that much, and not truly understanding my husband’s genuine need for greater frequency. For him more sexual activity wasn’t just a nice-to-have addition; it was a necessity.
  • We unwittingly suffered from the “drift” but did not know that was what it was….I did not feel much connection to him, therefore not much desire for sex. We had sex probably 6-8 times a month, but he was rebuffed more often. After some terrible mistakes we both made, we began talking about our marriage, our needs, etc. I began reading some good blogs and books and learned a lot. He was open to some changes as well. Things are so much better, including the sex. Don’t let anyone tell you that it gets less frequent with age….it is even better than as newlyweds (both quality and quantity).
  • We’ve had extended periods without sex, but I’m not sure that one could call either of us gatekeepers. I think we were each expecting the other to initiate, and poor communication led to misunderstanding. I assumed he wasn’t interested. He probably thought the same. Always had a great marriage and by God’s grace it’s great in the bedroom at the moment too.
  • I’m not interested in sex with my husband, I used to have allot of sex with my boyfriends before I got married, maybe I’m punishing my hubby because I’m not happy with my life.
  • Menopause is causing me to want to lock the gate and throw away the key.
  • The only reason my husband MIGHT say that I was a sexual gatekeeper was in times of strife early in our marriage when we were both emotionally charged. He WILL admit that I have never verbally or otherwise denied him, even in those times.
  • I think of sexual gatekeeper as saying no to sex or all but one position or demanding their way or no sex. Maybe this is not a right way of looking at it.
  • This is my second marriage. In my first abusive marriage, yes, I became a gatekeeper since I detested having sex with an abusive man. In my current marriage I have a very high sex drive and have never once said no to my husband in the three years we’ve been married, but he has turned me down about 98% of the time when I’ve initiated.
  • My husband and I have mutually agreed on boundaries. We are open to discussing our boundaries in the bedroom. Our marriage is bed is a place of mutual agreement and understanding.
  • It was unintentional; I didn’t realize what I was doing…
  • I have talked about this with my husband and He doesn’t seem bothered by the fact that I am the gatekeeper. I don’t know how to not be the gatekeeper because I am the low libido spouse and anytime I initiate sex, he always says yes. I’m the only one to say no. I’m not sure what to do.
  • I was in the 2 years or so after my sons were born, there was too much to do besides sex!
  • He doesn’t allow me the chance to want sex or to need to ask for it. He always wants it so whether or not we have sex is a matter of my choice. I am a gatekeeper by default….
  • At the time I didn’t think of it as gatekeeping. I had two C-section within two years, our oldest child was a night owl so I was tired all the time, worked full time and didn’t get much help around the house. It just became a habit and before long it was weeks then months between us having any intimacy.
  • Sex is difficult in our marriage. My husband only touches me or gives me attention when he wants sex. He is involved in Porn and has lied to me about serious things. I do not trust him emotionally or sexually. I am working on taking my heart out of the equation when it comes to sex, so that I am able to better meet his need and not get hurt in the process. Sex has always been about his needs, and I am always left wanting. To add to the frustration, he often gets angry at me because I did not do a certain move the way he wanted. He tells me how horrible sex is, and he constantly compares me to the loose women he was with when he used to go to bars and have one night stands. This has destroyed any confidence or desire I may have had in the department of sex within my marriage.
  • My husband was a refuser for years.. It was a combination of low testosterone and performance anxiety. Once the low T was diagnosed and treated, and he allowed me to initiate, I made a huge effort to be extremely generous. It took a while, but he finally realized I didn’t need a “performance” each time. Our sex life is amazingly satisfying now.
  • I am in early pregnancy at the moment so that’s why I chose ‘am now but working to change’ as I feel sick and am anaemic at the moment it is so hard with energy and evenings are a wipe out.
  • I probably needed a little more definition to give my responses a better perimeter.
  • Lots of wrong teaching, but God healed me and I’m so thankful for the new relationship I have with my hubby now!
  • Several contributing factors. I was raised to think of sex as dirty. I was sexually assaulted at 12 years old. I also used as means to let my husband know I was upset instead of talking problems out. I also didn’t enjoy it, he was the only one receiving pleasure. After 20 years I finally got fed up an dealt with things Marriage and sex life have never been better. No more gatekeeping.
  • I am always up for sex. It’s my husband that is more the gatekeeper. If he is tired, it’s a no go…
  • I think we were both gatekeepers for the majority of our marriage… We’ve been working on past hurts & I feel we’ve moved past our pasts. Our sex life has dwindled because of pregnancy/birth, but we’re hitting “the date” & are both excited to try & resume our normal sex life!
  • I have never said NO when my husband asks for sex. I have always been willing, but in the past maybe not always eager. There were times in the past that my husband went a month or two without asking for sex, due to busyness and life’s stresses… And I didn’t initiate. Now that I have learned to appreciate sex, I am usually the one initiating. I desire him emotionally, even though I have a low libido physically.
  • I grew up in a home that was extremely unfriendly to a positive outlook on sex. My parents viewed it as dirty, etc and most of the couples I knew were unhappy and not sexually enthusiastic. I was so fortunate to encounter TMB before marriage; I read eagerly, was willing to listen, and entered my own marriage with an awareness and gratefulness for my husband’s sexuality. I’ve been unquestionably available to him, for his sake, even on some occasions when I am too tired, etc. He never takes advantage of this, but seeing our sexuality as an important part of our relationship, like eating, has made all of the difference. He credits TMB with the healthy sexuality in our marriage — since I had no other similar influences in my life. So grateful!

Men’s Comments:

  • I wouldn’t say gatekeeper in the sense that I said no in order to manipulate her into doing something I wanted. But I did say no if I was tired or didn’t feel like it, which was all too often.
  • She is the gatekeeper. All of my exes have been gatekeepers.
  • My wife is.
  • My wife is the ultimate gatekeeper
  • My wife decides when and if we are going to have sex
  • My wife is definitely the “gatekeeper” But I am sure I have missed some opportunities at some point- I for the most part have given up the rejection just leads to depression so I have put my hope in Christ. She was sexually abused by her father and never has been able to deal with it, there are some that just can’t seem to get through it
  • One gatekeeper is one too many. My wife has that more than covered!
  • Once — I thought I would give her a taste of her own medicine, and test my strength to resist sex at the same time. It didn’t work out well. Two wrongs don’t make a right!
  • Never, never, never! My wife is, and has always been, the sexual gatekeeper!
  • When we have sex, it is always on her terms and timing. She controls when and how much.
  • She is the Gatekeeper.
  • I had low testosterone and therefore low drive. Once my problem was fixed medically it was no longer an issue. Now unfortunately there has been a bit of a role reversal. Now my drive exceeds my wife’s.
  • Question 5 was difficult: have I acted in such a way to discourage my wife from having sex? I would hope not, but as a guy, I often do not totally know or understand my wife’s mind. I would say “no”, but put what I believe what my wife would say “maybe”.
  • She is the gatekeeper. She was surprised that I felt this way the first time I expressed it, but I think she understand now. I’m getting better about accepting it. She’ll change as she is able.
  • Well, at least not with vanilla sex.
  • Sexless marriage for 3 years
  • She won’t ever admit that she gatekeeps. To her that’s just her personal preference with all the limits, don’ts, not-gonnas, are just the way she is and I should just get over it.
  • My spouse is a sexual gatekeeper.
  • My wife might say I’ve been a gatekeeper, not because she’s ever had a request refused, but because I get so in my head about when it’s OK to ask her for sex. She complains so often about how she’s exhausted or how she needs to get up early, sometimes as a way of saying No to sex, sometimes just as a general proclamation over what I can expect from her that evening. Or as soon as the kids are down she suggests we just watch Netflix, or play a game, and so I take the hint that she wants to do other things than sex. So we get to the end of the week and I’m feeling especially needy, and she tells me it’s my own fault for misreading her cues throughout the week. She only looks unavailable. So according to that reasoning, I’m the one limiting sex.
  • My DW tends the gate in our home.
  • A definition would have helped here.
  • Most of our sexual droughts were because of physical separation or physical ailment.
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