Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Not getting enough

French wives may or may not be pleased to know that their husbands now have a legal duty to have enough sex with them during the marriage. If he doesn't, he could be liable for hefty damages of up to 10,000 euro*.

France's civil code says married couples must agree to a "shared communal life", and a judge has now ruled this includes regular sex. Even if the husband excuses himself on the grounds that he's too tired, or has health problems, it won't impress the court. The 51 year old Nice man who claimed just that was still found to have shirked his marital duties.

The judge ruled that a sexual relationship between husband and wife is the expression of their mutual affection, and in this case it was absent. By getting married, he said, couples agreed to share their life and this clearly implied they would have sex with each other.

So those guys who're not so excited by their wives as they used to be, or just can't be bothered with the whole awkward business, or find they can't quite manage what's required, had better sort themselves out or they could face a large hole in their bank account.

A bit tough on those blokes who for good medical or psychological reasons simply can't make the grade and have to disappoint their loved ones. Are they now expected to do their conjugal duty whatever it takes?

And there again, some women may not be too keen on sex and wouldn't relish the prospect of hubby trying it on at every opportunity on the grounds that he's legally required to have plenty of sex with his spouse.

I don't recall the British marriage vows including a promise to have heaps of nooky as part of the deal. Surely "shared communal life" can be achieved by all sorts of means that don't necessarily include erotic bliss.

So is this some kind of feminist triumph for thwarted French wives who want their fair share of sexual pleasure? Maybe. But only if it makes inattentive males more considerate. Not if it turns them into priapic gropers.

* £8,500 or $14000 or A$13200

27 comments:

Rummuser said...

Does the ruling also apply to the wife? Can a husband complain that he is not getting enough, because of the proverbial head ache?

nursemyra said...

I like the term priapic groper. But I don't want to be married to one.

Nick said...

Ramana - Yes, logically it applies the other way round also, but that doesn't seem to have been tested in court yet.

Myra - Is there any woman who would? There are too many such men already without their being encouraged by the courts.

Scarlet Blue said...

Sorry, Nick, I have a headache coming on and have lost the energy to comment.
Sx

Nick said...

Scarlet - A likely story. You'll be telling me you've got PMT and repetitive strain injury next.

Macy said...

Can't think how Scarlet would have got repetitive strain injury...

Also having trouble imagining why you would divorce your husband for lack of sex if everything else was hunky dory.
And if everything else wasn't hunky dory, why you wouldn't use that as a reason rather than discussing your sex life in public?

wendy house said...

Indeed, feminism is about 'equality'. But this equality seems like the wrong direction, it looks like its extending the idea that men can expect their wives to deliver sex to women providing legal basis for women to do the same. I'd rather have the equality that does not prescribe sexual relationships beyond freely given mutual consent. Freely given mutual conset is sexy

John Gray said...

well bugger me!

I need to move to france

One way to make more pennies

Nick said...

Macy - I agree. Why should lack of sex be an insuperable obstacle if everything else is fine? But apparently that was the reason given for her divorce request.

Wendy - Quite so, what's wrong with freely given consent? It's only a short step from a woman demanding sex to a quasi-rape situation.

John - I don't think you'd make any pennies, but you might have to hand some over if you were lack-lustre in the bedroom. Buggery is another matter entirely of course....

Anonymous said...

i have been denied sex as a method of oppression and i would like to be compensated but i dont think the amount was enough

Nick said...

Anon - Without any further details, I don't feel able to make any constructive comments. Certainly deliberate withholding of sex happens more often than we think.

Jim said...

All I have to say is that I am a bit relieved that my Great-great grandfather, Theodore, had the wherewithall to come to the 'new world! lol I never was one to 'perform' under pressure.
New here, and glad to meet you Nick.
Jim

e said...

Without getting too graphic, it is hard for lack of sex not to eventually erode a close relationship. I feel that both parties share the responsibility for affection and for dealing with any problems that interfere with it. There are certain situations in which a male can have difficulties with "performance." This can be caused by developing vascular/cardiac problems about which he can be unaware, so it's best to visit a cardiologist if the problem doesn't clear up. Another can be lowered testosterone levels or depression. If however the bloke is so embarrassed he won't see a medical professional, he is essentially condemning his partner to a sexless union, which is unfair to her and may lead to resentment over time.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Orthodox Jews are required to have sex on the Sabbath, which begins Friday night, even if they're not French. I am not in favor of such rules which kill spontaneity and desire. Some things really should not be legislated as they do not allow for a difference in libido as well as a host of health issues.

Anonymous said...

i dont need constructive comments, my dear, i've made my peace with it (kind of)just wanted to throw in the idea that maybe the dude deserved the fine

Nick said...

Hi Jim. Indeed, your great great grandfather seems to have got the hang of it! And I think many men are as unresponsive to sexual pressure as women are.

e - I think it depends on the relationship. Some can work very well with little or no sex, in others sex is an essential aspect. But yes, men who refuse to get medical advice even when their partner is totally frustrated are being cruel and selfish.

Nick said...

Heart - I agree, spontaneity and desire are preferable to rigid rules. And as you say, all sorts of medical and physiological issues need to be considered.

Anon - Okay. I'm glad you've made your peace with it. But I'm not sure that court rulings and awarding damages are the best way of handling the situation.

Wisewebwoman said...

H'm, I don't see any accommodation here for asexual beings or alternative unions of which I've known a few and written about.
It is not all about the naughty bits and their placement.
XO
WWW

Nick said...

www - Hmmm, do asexual beings actually get married? As for alternative unions, would the new legal judgment cover civil partnerships, I wonder? Logically it ought to do.

Wisewebwoman said...

Yes, they do Nick, like with like. A chapter in one of my novels (based on fact)covers exactly that topic or I would be more specific.

Asexuality does not exclude love and commitment.

XO
WWW

Nick said...

www - That's interesting. Obviously they keep their asexuality to themselves, as I've never known such a relationship. I guess not telling other people is sensible as it could encourage all sorts of stupid comments.

secret agent woman said...

That's a horrible idea. How absurd to legislate the sex within a marriage. Either of the couple has the right not to have sex if they don't want to. And if it's a big problem, they do not have to stay together.

Nick said...

Secret Agent - And why is sex singled out as a legal requirement? Why not a requirement that each spouse will do their fair share of housework, cooking, childcare etc? Now that really would be revolutionary.

The strange thing is that the couple were already divorced but his wife went to court again over the sex issue.

blackwatertown said...

This could set an earth shaking legal precedent. (Did the earth not move for you? - No, I'll see you in court.)
Does is have to be good sex? Or is it the thought that counts legally?
On the basis of what heartinsanfrancisco says - will French orthodox Jewish people suddenly rocket up the popularity stakes on online dating sites?

Nick said...

Blackwater - Indeed, just how hot does the sex have to be to ward off legal action? And how many times a week? And does the sex not count if you were thinking of someone else? This could be another nice little earner for the lawyers....

Baino said...

Well I've NEVER heard of a man shirking his sexual responsibilities. Heard of loads of women losing their libido though. Oh how I wish that was so . . .

Nick said...

Baino - Really? You should get out more! I think men lose their libido just as much as women, though they keep quiet about it because they're terrified of not conforming to the masculine skirt-chasing stereotype.