Not in the Mood-- Signs You're Having Mercy Sex

Sometimes, having no sex is better than having mercy sex

By Fred S.
Not in the Mood-- Signs You're Having Mercy Sex

Mercy sex is a phenomenon that occurs more often than we would expect in marriages. Many people who have done it are either unaware of it or can not admit it.

Mercy sex can be perceived either as highly noble, or incredibly cruel, depending on how you choose to look at it. You could see it as one person being selfless and taking care of their partner’s needs unconditionally. Though, it's also questionable in the sense that there are dishonesty and fairness manifesting into the relationship through it. In this article, we'll discuss the phenomenon of mercy sex (or 'pity sex') in deeper detail.

What Is Mercy Sex?

In mercy sex, two people engage in intercourse, but one of them has no interest in the activity and generally experiences a lack of enjoyment and satisfaction. It usually occurs when your partner is strongly in the mood, and you’re not, but you simply do not want to let them down by saying no. 

Generally, pity sex does not include a whole lot of erotic touching or foreplay. People just do it to get their partner off, and the pitying partner hardly experiences any joy or fulfillment out of it.

Common Features Of Mercy Sex

Mercy sex can be differentiated from regular sex with many clear indicators. Here are some of its features;

  • There’s little to no foreplay
  • The person who has sex out of pity for their partner doesn’t normally get aroused or sexually pleased
  • The person having mercy sex feels emotionally detached throughout the entire experience
  • The person pitying on their partner will not be mindful about sex
  • The whole act becomes genitally focused with an obvious feeling of emptiness behind it
  • It may start to feel more like a routine ‘chore’ for the pitying person, and they may stop liking it altogether

Can People Have Sex With Someone Without Being Attracted To Them?

With sex, the common belief is that it’s an activity that only takes place between two people who really want each other. It’s not the case for everyone, though. People can sometimes have sex with a person without even feeling an inkling of attraction, just like in the case of mercy sex.

Some other reasons can be;

  • They might engage in sexual intercourse just to explore how it feels for the first time, or to develop a desire for it.
  • They may have sex with the other person out of pressure or fear that the relationship will not last if they deny sex.
  • Having sex only to satisfy the other person and make them pleased.
  • Engaging in sex without even being attracted to them, only to have bragging rights about getting laid.

Remember, any situation where you have sex without genuinely wanting it is unsatisfactory and unhealthy. It’s unfair for both parties involved in pity sex because it also reaffirms false expectations of the person being pitied.

Why Do Women Have Mercy Sex?

A lot of people have been taught the wrong perspective on sex naturally through society. We tend to look at it as something that’s given and received among two people, while in reality, it’s a shared experience between two loving partners. Due to this slightly incorrect perspective on sex, partners may feel obliged to ‘give’ sex to their sadder counterparts to make them feel better. Pity sex is more likely to occur in relationships where one partner is generally more interested in sex than the other, while the other does it only to satisfy them, without a shared desire.

How Does Mercy Sex Ruin A Relationship?

Having mercy sex might be the best thing you can do in some given scenarios. It really depends on how frequently it happens though. It’s definitely unhealthy if sex just becomes a tool in the marriage to slide the underlying problems you have under the rug. You could just be having pity sex to divert the attention from the real issues your relationship is facing, and that’s never a good thing. It may be the easy way out for now, but it’ll lead to your relationship slowly being ruined.

Instead, communicate exactly how you feel with your partner when the time is right. Make them more aware of your preferences in bed so that the experience can once again be mutually enjoyed by both parties alike. If your sexual displeasure is stemming from other reasons, talk those out as well. You both need to work as a team to come out of the dark pity zone and propel your sex life towards success once again.

What Do People Do When They Have Mercy Sex?

In many cases, even the people who are actively having pity sex may not know they are doing it. You may be more mindful about it now that you’re reading this article, but for many of the people engaged in routine mercy sex, it has become normal.

Remember that if you feel any kind of pressure to have sex with your partner, be it social, physical, or mental, and you do it without wanting it, it’s no less than sexual abuse. Unless, of course, you choose to have mercy sex because you feel like it’s the best thing you can do at the moment. Anyhow, here’s what you do and experience if have mercy sex;

1. You’re never the initiator

If it’s always your spouse who initiates sexual advances, and you never do it, then it’s a pretty strong sign of mercy sex. It simply means you’re not too keen on sleeping with him, but you end up doing it as they initiate it.

2. You want to get it over with asap

Once it begins, you simply want it to be over. You might have even faked orgasms just to get out of the situation smoothly. It happens because, in mercy sex, the pitying partner never feels invested in the act at all, and there’s no satisfaction in it for them.

3. You’re beginning to dislike sex itself

If you’ve had pity sex enough times, to the point that it’s never something you want but your spouse does, you’ll begin to develop a distaste towards it. Even the idea of getting intimate with your partner in the most romantic setting might not be attractive to you if pity sex becomes routine.

4. You’re often totally distracted during sex

Since pity sex doesn’t come with any sexual pleasure or satisfaction for the pitier, they may be busy with other thoughts while it happens. Feeling loved or sexually aroused are the farthest things that go on in your mind during the act.

5. You’re not into experimenting new positions or techniques

If you’re having mercy sex, you’re not interested enough to try new techniques or positions with your partner during sex. All you care about is getting your spouse off as soon as possible, and get on with your life, as sad as that sounds.

6. You’re open to your partner’s intimate advances out of guilt

As his/her spouse, you may feel obligated to give him what he needs in bed, as you’re his only permissible source of sexual satisfaction. Even if you’re not in the mood, you wouldn’t refuse the advances they make on you, and that’s a sign of pity sex.

7. You’re not interested in kissing or feeling all that much

Usual sex is a lot more enjoyable with some foreplay behind it, where the couple slowly builds the sexual tension towards intercourse. In pity sex, though, you’ll generally avoid and kissing or touching because you’re just not interested in making it fun. There’s no point in prolonging the act if all you want is to get it over with.

How Do People Act After Mercy Sex?

After mercy sex, you would generally try to get out of the situation as soon as you can. You may even feel like you’re trying to avoid your spouse after the act, or simply go to sleep right away. There’s an awkward feeling where you’re guilty of being dishonest with your partner by faking your reactions, while also being frustrated about your own sex life going nowhere.

While healthy couples would generally cuddle and wrap each other with love after sex, that’s definitely not the case with mercy sex. Cuddling is the last thing you’d want to do after having sex without wanting it. You’ll feel the entire relationship weakening every time you have pity sex with your partner, as you begin to feel more and more distant. The only solution is communication, and working together towards healthier practices as a couple.

Related Article: The Causes and Solutions for a Sexless Relationship
The Causes and Solutions for a Sexless Relationship

What is a sexless relationship and how to save the love


Sex is perceived as a byproduct of passion and love between two people. It’s a regular activity mutually experienced by partners who genuinely share a romantic and sexual desire for each other. However, not always is sex needed by both parties with the same intensity. Sometimes one of them might not even want it at all, while the other one seriously craves it. In such situations, relationships can we can fall prey to mercy sex.  In this article, we’ve described all you need to know about it.