Pity Sex: Why in the World Do We Do This?

Of All the Reasons to Get It On, Don’t Let It Be This One…

No one really gains from a sexual experience born out of pity. To feel pity for someone is to think of them as having less-than in some fashion, and to have sex with them based on charity and sexual martyrdom is asking for unpleasant complications. Best-case scenario, it’s dissatisfying to one or both parties; in a worst-case scenario, there can be regret, resentment and misunderstood intentions.

Call It What It Is

First of all, you need to own your true intentions. Labeling a night with someone as pity sex because you don’t want to admit the truth to yourself or others only cheapens the situation. Whether you don’t want to confess to your peers or family members that you actually were attracted to that person, or whether you just wanted to have sex with someone, it’s best to be honest. Honesty is much more attractive than rationalizing a hook-up based on your need to demean another in an attempt to make yourself feel better.

Riddled With Guilt

Guilt is a powerful weapon that can make people say and do many unwise things. Sometimes in the male-female dynamic, one person can feel more intense emotions than the other. For the partner who feels less, guilt is a common byproduct. The partner may rationalize that although they don’t care for the person as much as their partner cares for them, they can give back in certain ways—namely through sex. In another scenario, perhaps you broke up with your partner but know they still love you so much that your guilt over their unrequited feelings convinces you to give them some form of validation, even if it’s just physical. The problem with this solution is that the person who wants more from you will never be satisfied with just “pity sex,” and all you really accomplish is to string them along instead of cutting them lose to find someone who is able to return their feelings. After all, there are few things that make a person feel less desirable than the knowledge that you are sleeping with them out of pity. It’s just not sexy.

“Sex can be very emotional, but remember to look at sex in a practical view too so that it won’t dictate how you think you feel emotionally. If you can enjoy a person with or without sex, then that’s a special connection.” – Leo ext. 5265

So ask yourself what your true intentions are when you’re considering “pity sex,” and whether in the long run it will actually benefit the other person. Chances are, you’ll find that there are more meaningful and effective ways to make someone feel better than this kind of physical validation, and that certainly involve less drama!

“Attracting sex is simple. The hard part is when someone believes that sex and love are the same or that one will naturally lead to the other.” – Reed ext. 5105

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12 thoughts on “Pity Sex: Why in the World Do We Do This?

  1. Mark S

    This article isn’t quite right. Leo’s quote should read: If you can enjoy a person with AND without sex, then that’s a special connection.

  2. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    First article I’ve seen and read on ” pity sex ” since the blog first started…..well done, Alina !!!!

  3. Alan Woo

    S E X, is Sexual Energy Exchanged, be careful with your soul, because it is given away in any sexual encouner; without meaningfulness lies danger of injury.

  4. elian

    In prayer books, there used to be a section of sins to consider before going to confession. One of them was: “have I done my wifely duty.” What kind of sex is duty sex? isn’t it akin to pity sex or worse?

  5. Barbara Robinson

    I’m ashamed to admit to pity sex a week ago. We’d been chatting online for a while and the previous day some sexy texting. I live about 20 miles away and rushed round so we could meet that evening. He had agreed I could stay over without obligation…that I could have a bedroom to myself. The pub and the meal were very nice and there was some chemistry between us but as soon as we got back to his, I knew what was coming. I told him I wasnt ready to have sex yet but he went all dejected and sorry for himself. I knew I’d given him the wrong impression and I slept with him because it was the easy option and for his self esteem. It’s taught me a lesson though. Make it crystal clear you’re not promising sex on the first date, however long you’ve been chatting online, texting or speaking on the phone. Also I was on the rebound. He was very kind and thoughtful but I’m not sure I’ll meet him again.


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