“It’s so long since I’ve had sex, I’ve forgotten who ties up whom.”
—Joan Rivers

I had a memorable conversation the other day with a friend who recently became a stay-at-home father. Here, I will call him Despondent Dad. Our conversation made me re-think an age-old problem for men: the sexual power of women.

No matter how much society tries to blur/blend the lines between men and women and our roles at home or work, one line is never reclassified: The Sex Line.

You can’t see this line from space, like the Great Wall of China; however, if you ask any man, it is far larger and far stronger, and often totally impenetrable. (Technically, given the Great Wall comparison, I should have said “impregnable” — but that’s another topic!) No matter what roles women play at home, at work or in life, we still hold ULTIMATE POWER in the bedroom.

But, as I say, talking to Despondent Dad made me see the situation from a different point of view.

My perspective
I have four children, 2 of whom are under the age of five, and I work mostly from home. By the end of an average day, I am worn out — a wee bit crusty, both in spirit and from being covered in food, snot and general kid goo. I am sure I don’t smell sexy and I certainly don’t feel sexy so, naturally, I am not into having SEX. Now, since the ULTIMATE POWER of having SEX lies solely in my hands, it’s my choice on whether or not my hubby gets some lovin’. In this scenario, my husband is truly and utterly powerless.

Despondent Dad’s perspective
Remember: this guy’s a stay-at-home dad. And I think this quote from him sums it all up quite well:

“I change all the diapers, do the dishes, clean the floors, take out the trash, play with the kids and keep them learning all day, tend to the yard, and do countless other things. You would think I was asking for the world when I ask for a little something something at the end of the day.” He went on to say, “If I even mention the idea of ‘taking care of it’ myself, she gets all snitty/insulted. I can’t win!”

Seriously, women, why is it that, after so many years and changes in our culture’s gender roles, we still hold ULTIMATE POWER? After all the marches, speeches and fights for equality, how did The Sex Line get overlooked? It just goes to show: no matter how many little blue pills are invented or prescriptions you take, there is nothing more depowering in the world of sex than a woman uttering these three little words: “Not tonight, honey.”

I have to thank Despondent Dad: he truly made me look at this aspect of my life differently.

Dee BrunDee Brun is the award-winning author of Libations of Life: A Girl’s Guide to Life One Cocktail at a Time, a cocktail chef and stylist, TV personality, home entertaining guru, writer, humorist, wife, mother of 4, TV Junkie, shoe-aholic, and borderline George Clooney stalker. Read her column, Isn’t it Deelightful, every Friday on Slice.ca.