The “Sex Spreadsheet Incident” – Men’s Health Magazine

Lessons from the “Sex Spreadsheet Incident”

Emily Mitchell, writing in Men’s Health online, questioned several sex therapists over the “sex spreadsheet incident,” in which a man sent his wife a spreadsheet showing how rarely she wife agreed to sex — and she proceeded to post it to Reddit.

All sex therapists queried felt the couple’s relationship was seriously disturbed, but they differed in various ways about the matter.

Here was my response:

“He’s been asking her nearly every day for sex. She’s been agreeing to sex roughly every 2 weeks. If they are really interested in finding a satisfying sex life together, I’d suggest they negotiate a frequency somewhere in the middle. Then he wouldn’t have to be rejected so often, and she wouldn’t have to be pestered so often. But it’s a concern when one partner is sending spreadsheets, and the other is posting to Reddit. Communication should be a lot easier than that. I’m not sure at this point whether this couple is still really interested in finding mutual satisfaction together at all.” — Stephen Snyder, MD, sex therapist

Here’s the Men’s Health article:

“What You Can Learn from the Sex Spreadsheet”

Sexual desire problems are the bread and butter of most sex therapists’ practices. But that presumes that a couple has the maturity and judgment to show up together for counseling. And the resources, and in many cases the health insurance.

For everyone else, I suggest reading my online articles on how to have good married sex— since if the sex you’re having isn’t any good, it’s likely that eventually you’ll stop wanting to have it.

And on what to do if your desire suddenly goes out the window. (Hint: It’s best to take action relatively fast, since the longer you go sexless together, the more awkward it can feel when you try – due to the “Westermarck Effect”).

If more people knew the essentials of good sex, and what to do when desire wanes in a relationship, situations like the “sex spreadsheet incident” might be a lot less frequent. But life being complicated and human nature being what it is, such things will probably always happen to someone.

Let’s just make sure it’s not you.

stephen snyder md author photo Stephen Snyder, MD

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