Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Sex is a Physiological Need
Sex is a physiological need - like breathing, food, water, sleep and excretion.
When someone withholds food, air or water from their partner, and prevents the partner from getting these essentials from anyone else, it is considered abusive.
When someone withholds sleep or bathroom access from their partner, and prevents the partner from getting these essentials anywhere else, it is considered abusive.
When someone withholds sex from a partner, that, too must be considered abuse.
It Doesn't Matter
It doesn't matter if you are in a marriage or a long term relationship.
It doesn't matter if you are male or female, gay or straight,
If you are in a marriage or a long term relationship and your partner is withholding sex - you are in an abusive relationship.
Sexless Marriage is Not
I am not talking about a relationship that, from it's outset, is mutually agreed to be Platonic.
I am not talking about a physical condition which prevents a one partner from providing satisfaction to the other. Though it is hard to imagine not being able to give at least some passive participation.
I am not talking about a temporary, involuntary separation that prevents consummation, Of course, if this drags on, and needs are not being met, some sort of arrangement should be worked out.
How to Cure a Frigid Wife
How to cure a frigid wife is a much different question.
Withholding sex is about power and control - and the only way to deal with it is to assert yourself and your rights as a partner and a person.
To cure a frigid wife it is necessary to find the root cause of her lack of interest in sex.
There are a variety of things that could affect her libido - from depression and other psychological factors to physiological reasons like medications, hormonal imbalances, post partum loss of interest or just plain boredom.
The key to dealing with it is to determine whether the frigid wife (or man for that matter) is interested in finding out what is wrong and actually doing something to regain a normal, healthy interest in sex.
If the frigid partner is not interested in getting better, they may actually be witholding sex to control you, and just using a low libido as an excuse.
Therapists and Counselors Support Abuse
I recently read a book by a professional counselor and therapist - a PhD, specializing in relationships.
He described a case study where a woman was withholding sex from her long term partner because he had not painted the bathroom.
Although the guy had committed to doing this several times, he always had a reason that he couldn't get it done and had to put it off.
And, chances are, there were other areas in which the woman felt like he wasn't doing what he said he would do.
The counselor determined that it wasn't fair to expect the woman to have sex with the guy - she just wasn't in the mood because of her anger and disappointment.
He worked with the couple and bragged about finally getting them to a turning point in the counseling.
That was when the guy broke down, had tears in his eyes, and turned to the woman and said, "I'm sorry, I don't want to lose you."
Then the counselor worked with the guy to teach him how to be more in tune with the woman's feelings and emotions.
That Counselor Should Be Arrested
In other words, the man was completely emasculated, forced to endure a continuation of the woman's abusive behavior, and then he was taught some new tricks for begging for sex.
There was no mention of the guy's unmet physical needs - only the woman's unmet emotional needs.
...and the counselor was proud of achieving this "breakthrough".
I say the counselor is full of crap and has enabled ongoing abuse in the relationship.
And, I believe that the long term result is that this woman will eventually go looking elsewhere for sex and satisfaction, because she will lose respect for the man and any interest she once had in pleasing him.
In her mind, whether she realizes it or not, he is no longer a capable man who is strong, desirable, and worthy of her affection and passion.
The counselor should have told the guy to man-up, follow through on his commitments.
And the guy who was being abused should tell the woman the following:
"Look, I am going to paint the *^%$^% bathroom. because I said I would do it. But get this straight: if you continue to withold sex, I am going to put your things on the street, then go find it somewhere else."
"I love you and want you to be happy, but there are plenty of women around who would appreciate the things I do and bring to this relationship."
"I am not going to beg, bully or buy, but I will get what I want and need, and if it is not from you, it will be from someone I may end up liking better."
Do Your Part
Let me be clear, you have to do your part.
You should at least meet some minimum standards of hygeine so that you don't pose a health risk to your sexual partner.
You have to tell them what you need, you have to tell them what you want. You have to tell them when you want it.
You have to be willing to confront your partner when your needs are not being met.
You have to be willing to negotiate a workable solution without giving up your right to have your physiological needs satisfied.
You have to be willing to walk away - if that what it takes to end the abuse.