I'll going to comment on a couple of related articles:
I think there's a problem with the way the issue is typically framed. No doubt a wife should welcome her husband's sexual advances, even if she's not in the mood. There's lots of things we should do even when–or especially when–we don't feel like it. That's the difference between "should" and "want." Duty and desire are often two different things.
However, that way of framing the issue is slanted, as if a wife is doing her husband a favor by consenting to have conjugal relations. The implication is that women are far less interested in sex than men. As if it's just an onerous duty. I really don't find that plausible. Maybe a woman's sex drive lacks the constancy of a man's. It has more ups and downs. But women are sexual beings, too.
Too often, the discussion depicts men as sexual animals, while women are angelic beings. Sex is beneath them, but they condescend when necessary. Yet that's very misleading.
For instance, a fair percentage of women have extramarital affairs. The percentage is lower than men, but even so, surely an extramarital affair reflects an interest in sex. It may be more than sexual, but it's hardly less than sexual.
Occasionally, you also have women who land in marriages where the husband has no interest in sex. This was more common in the past when homosexual men led double lives to keep up appearances.
For instance, I once read an interview with Elsa Lanchester, wife of Charles Laughton. It was only after she married him that she discovered he was a closet homosexual. As a result, she had affairs with other men. She said those liaisons were "purely physical."
On a related, French diva Regine Crespin, in her memoirs (On Stage, Off Stage), mentions falling in love with a man who couldn't fall in love with her, because–as it turns out–he was a "repressed homosexual." So she moved onto men like conductor Henry Lewis who were more than happy to reciprocate.
Likewise, in Conversations with Pauline Kael, the famous film critic said:
"Look at Mr. Goodbar," she continues to her intent audience. "The reviews almost never dealt with the sex drive that might lead people to go to bars at night. Instead, the terms of the film were accepted: that because she's lame and has a father with repressive ideas she's doing this terrible thing–going to bars. they never seem to assume that maybe women go to bars for casual sex. People don't want to acknowledge that sex without love can be terrific. You don't always want an emotional involvement. Sometimes you just want sex."
Or take the whole Sandra Fluke fiasco. My point is not to commend their promiscuous outlook. These are worldly women. Wanton women. But on that account they are more candid about the female libido than you often find in Christian discussions, which tiptoe around the subject.
I think there's a lack of honesty about the fact that women can be sexually driven, too. Many non-Christian women have no more sexual self-control that non-Christian men. I suspect the notion that a wife is doing her husband a favor by consenting to sex comes from the experience that husbands rarely turn down a sexual overture if the wife takes the initiative, whereas (some) women are far more likely to turn down a sexual overture if the husband takes the initiative. If husbands turned their wives down as often, or more often, than vice versa, then it would seem like the husband is doing the wife of favor by consenting to conjugal relations. But because that's so unusual, we don't think the husband is doing his wife a favor. Rather, he's doing himself a favor! And she's doing her "duty" by consenting to conjugal relations. When was the last time you read it said that a husband was doing his duty by consenting to conjugal relations?
There's this constant asymmetry in the discussion. And to some extent I think that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It makes sex within marriage sound like an act of dutiful submission. A necessary, but joyless chore–like indentured service.