Eye rolls. Scoffs. Sighs. Nervous glances. Annoyance. The list goes on…. These are the responses I get from my clients when I suggest the idea of scheduling sex. Why so much resistance? Because we believe that sex is supposed to happen spontaneously, consistently and both individuals are going to want the same amount of sex within the same timeframe. Unfortunately, all of these beliefs are bullshit.
Sex rarely happens spontaneously once couples grow out of the “honeymoon stage”. In the beginning stages of a relationship, we prioritize the other person above everything else. We make dates. We text/talk constantly. We are anticipating the next time we get to see them. Its exciting, but not sustainable. Eventually, life catches up with us and our relationship becomes more comfortable, stable and reliable (I know, those aren’t the sexiest words). We are busy people. We have a lot going on. Having a stable, safe home life is important. It just doesn’t automatically foster hot, spontaneous sex. We wouldn’t just assume that a really important meeting will spontaneously occur, right? We don’t expect working out to happen on a whim. We schedule, prepare and plan for these important things in our professional and personal lives. Why is sex any different?
When I work with my couples to identify goals to improve their sex lives most people give me a number. I am quick to challenge the notion that people want more sex. I think they want better sex. Doesn’t great sex on a regular basis sound better than mediocre sex every single day. Shifting our goals to higher quality sex will leave you feeling more connected and satisfied. Because our schedules can be nonstop and draining it is even more important to schedule good quality sex. I recommend that my couples schedule sex right after you just had sex, when the oxytocin is flowing!
The vast majority of the couples that I see are presenting in counseling because they are experiencing desire discrepancy, i.e., one partner wants more sex than the other. This happens in almost every relationship at one time or another. For some couples this doesn’t cause any problems, for others it can lead to divorce. What if you schedule sex and you aren’t in the mood? I recommend that my clients have a list of “consolation prizes”. Pick options that may be available to you in those moments; a massage, oral, mutual masturbation, showering together, snuggling. You and your partner have every right to decline sex, the important thing is to do something that maintains connection.
Many couples struggle to begin the process of scheduling sex. So here are a few tips on how to prioritize sex in order to make it feel fun and exciting:
· Figure out how scheduling works best for you. If you have an unreliable schedule it might be that you pick specific dates a month at a time. Or maybe you feel comfortable saying Friday night is sex date night.
· Make it special. Remind yourself (and each other) that the date is coming up so that you can build some anticipation. Get dressed up, shave, take a bath, whatever it takes to feel fresh and relaxed.
· Use your sex dates to try new things. You can select themes for each of your dates. Try out toys, products or new positions.
· Switch up your routine. It can be exciting to challenge yourselves to take certain sexual choreography, that you always do, off of the table. This forces you to spice up your sexual script.