There are a LOT of relationship tips and tricks on social media. Lots of traps too, and this one is possibly the worst. Dig in, dear listener.

What’s your take? Would love to hear your thoughts on Instagram (or check the YouTube video)!


So today, we’re gonna be talking about one hypocritical thing that you should never allow in your relationship. Doesn’t matter what type of dynamic you’re in.

There is this notion that circulates online that I see a lot within certain relationship circles and content that essentially says that it’s okay for a woman to leave a man if she’s not getting her emotional needs met. It’s okay for a woman to be very upset with a man if he’s not doing his part in understanding the emotional landscape, in prioritizing what she needs emotionally, in making that front and center.

But it’s somehow not okay for a man to leave the relationship if he’s not getting his sexual needs met. And it’s not okay for a man to be very upset in a relationship if a woman isn’t prioritizing or putting the effort in to maintain sexual connection.

So there’s this hypercritical sense, and I think one of the rules that I’ve generally had within the context of relationships is my partners don’t get to decide if and when I’m celibate.

My partners don’t get to decide if and when I’m celibate.

I think what happens – and this doesn’t mean that they, in the past or in the present, that my partners have had to have sex with me or any of those things. It’s just more of an agreement between you and your partner that sex isn’t going to be a power tool.

It’s not going to become a bargaining chip. It’s not gonna become something that’s I’m gonna take this off the table if you’re not giving me what I want. If you’re not acting the way that I want, if you’re not checking with me emotionally, that’s gonna be the thing that I take away from you.

That is a recipe for disaster. And I think one of the things that has become interesting in a lot of the conversations in modern-day relationships is that has almost become an okay standard within relationships. That it’s almost – it’s completely unacceptable for a man to not have emotional intelligence, for a man to not be prioritizing emotional connection.

There’s a lot of women that would say it’s not okay, it would not be okay if a man was relegating emotional connection to 30 minutes a week, right? It would not be okay for a man to be relegating any type of emotional connection to a certain time of the week, or relegating emotional connection dependent on certain criteria, right? “I’ll give you emotional connection, if you X, Y, and Z.” That man would be called a narcissist. That man would be called unhealthy, toxic, et cetera, et cetera. And the woman in that situation would be told, “you should leave him immediately.”

And yet, if we replace emotional connection with sexual intimacy, it has almost become the norm for sex to be a bargaining chip within a relationship for sex to be something that a woman gives and a man is lucky to receive. That a woman gives and a man has to jump through all these hoops and do all the checklists and all these things have to be prioritized first and take precedence before any type of sexual connection happens.

And one of the things that I have found in relationships is that is a recipe for disaster. Especially if one person in the relationship really has sexual intimacy as a top priority, or really has emotional intimacy as a top priority.

If two people aren’t willing to give equal weight and equal prioritization to these elements and these aspects of the relationship, to seek to understand. What does it look like for sexual prioritization to happen? How? What do you need in order to feel sexually prioritized? What do you need in order to feel emotionally prioritized?

These things go hand in hand. And for a lot of people, for a lot of women, there’s a lot of data and a lot of research out there that says that, I think it’s something like 70% of women have what’s called responsive desire. And so they respond to their partners sexual advances, and they respond to their partner’s emotional openness and connection and intimacy being present beforehand.

All of those things are true, but the problem happens when sex is deprioritized in the relationship to a degree where emotional intimacy is this maze that you have to traverse before sexual intimacy is even possible. And what I really want to drive home is that sexual intimacy is not the dog treat or the reward at the end of the emotional maze. That’s set up within a relationship is destined to fail. That setup in a relationship is destined to fail because what happens is that one partner, traditionally the man, will then have to go through a whole maze of things that his partner thinks that he should do or say, or experience, or prioritize in order for sexual intimacy to be possible.

When that’s the case, what generally is going to happen is one of the people or both, likely both, are going to become resentful because the emotional intimacy and the sexual intimacy are not on the same playing field. They’re not given equal weight within the relationship. And I think this is the really important piece. It’s not that sex and emotional intimacy are the same, that they’re equal in that way. They’re very different pieces of a relationship, but they should have equal weight within the relationship. So being able to have a discussion as a couple to say, “look, we’re not going to do this. We’re not going to…let’s create an agreement where sex is not something that we only prioritize after this laundry list of emotional connection and emotional relating has happened.”

Yes, of course those things are important. Yes, of course those things matter. But we also have to give equal weight to sex and intimacy and make it a priority because what do we know about relationships? Within two years of being in an intimate relationship, 30% of couples will be in a sexless relationship.

30%. Why? Why?

Because for a lot of couples, sex is the thing that gets deprioritized the quickest. It’s the thing that gets deprioritized when you have kids, when life gets busy, when you’re having to work that second job to try and pay off the mortgage, when your family’s visiting, when you’re on vacation, and people get sick, and whatever happens, right? Life happens. Sex is usually the thing that gets deprioritized within a lot of people’s relationships. And the expectation that a lot of people have that’s very much pushed into the modern narrative of Instagram and TikTok and all these social media accounts, is that you have to maintain emotional intimacy a hundred percent. It’s unacceptable to not have that be prioritized, but it’s okay to let sexual intimacy wane.

I would say that is a losing strategy and that the winning strategy for any relationship is that emotional and sexual intimacy have equal prioritization within the relationship and that part of your work.

As an individual in the couple, and part of your work as a couple, is to talk about what it looks like to have sex and emotional intimacy be equally prioritized. How are you going to do that? What would it look like? What would each of you need? What do you need in order to feel emotionally prioritized? What do you need in order to feel sexually prioritized? And to have that conversation happen, because what will happen, I guarantee you, if that is not discussed or agreed on, is that at some point in the relationship, the emotional connection will take priority. And this is what I see a lot in couples work, in couples therapy, is that people go into some type of couples work or couples therapy because, generally speaking, there’s some emotional disconnect that’s happened. But the sexual disconnect has happened far before that. Usually what’s happened is that there’s been sexual disconnection and then over time emotional disconnection has grown and grown and grown. Now, maybe the emotional disconnection has contributed to the sexual disconnection, for sure.

But do not fall into this trap. Do not fall into it. Talk to your partner about it if you’re in it right now and your relationship is okay, I would say that the majority of relationships fall into this trap of deprioritizing sexual connection and sexual intimacy, which is a huge – hugely important part of an intimate relationship because it’s one of the primary things that creates a demarcation between a regular relationship, a regular friendship, and an intimate relationship.

Sex, and then the depth of emotional connection, the depth of transparency, the depth of belonging, the depth of understanding, are also the important pieces. So have a conversation with your partner. Ask them and ask yourself, do I feel like sex and 📍 emotional intimacy have equal prioritization, equal weight in our relationship?

And if not, what might it look like for us to create that?

And until next week, this is Connor Beaton signing off.

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