Transactional Sex in Long-Term Relationships

Dr T J Jordan
4 min readAug 11, 2022

If you do something for me, I will do something for you…

Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash

By Dr T J Jordan

Commercial sex with a worker paid for their services is one kind of transaction — money is exchanged to purchase one person's sexual release. But there is a far more common transaction that many of us experience — the trading of localized physical sensations in "obligatory" sex with our primary partners.

Near-dead bedrooms are prevalent in the world of long-term relationships. We might make intermittent attempts to address each other's sexual needs even when our hearts aren't in the mood. We do the minimum required of us. Then we get disappointed by the absence of passion. And when we can't seem to find catharsis in our pursuit of orgasms, we give up on co-creating ecstasy.

"Needs" are different from “wants.” When we desire a partner, we can't get enough of them — enough time together, enough sex with them, enough expressions of loving. This is "wanting." When we feel sexual frustration and the uncomfortable buildup of sexual tension, we are experiencing unmet "needs."

And frustration of our needs is a primary source of anger.

Without love and the magnificent bonding adventure of sex with a beloved partner, sexual desire wanes while resentments and anger multiply. And without great sex, we fall out of love.

Bedroom Failures

Heartbreak comes from being rejected by the one we are trying to love. Heartbreak arises from the failure of a connection to develop into the kind of love we once anticipated or dreamed about. And heartbreak comes when the person we desire most ceases to desire us.

When we dare to want, we make ourselves vulnerable. When our wants are rejected, we feel betrayed.

Dr T J Jordan

Passionate about sexualities, masculinities, relationships, intimacy, mental health, CPTSD , animals, growth, psychology, and exotic locations.