Once upon a time, my husband and I were cute, young co-eds who were totally hot for each other. We’re both emotional, dramatic, and passionate people and that passion filtered into our relationship. Sure, it led to some epic fights, but it also led to pretty amazing sex too.
With a flexible college-student schedule, there was plenty of time for some afternoon delight — and then a late-night snack, too, if we were feeling particularly frisky. Which we often were. We basically just couldn’t keep our hands off each other. Sex was a staple in our lives, and maintaining a healthy sex life required little (if any) effort.
Fast-forward a few years (okay, a couple decades) and things look a little different. Over the years, we’ve added busy careers, a couple of kids, volunteer commitments, family obligations, and countless other responsibilities that fall squarely in the “adulting” category.
Our wild and spontaneous ways have been replaced with to-do lists and massive Google calendars to keep track of all the moving parts. Our passion has been tempered with common sense and exhaustion. But the funny thing is, our sex life is just as good — nay, better — than it was when we were uninhibited, young 20-somethings.
The reason? Scheduled sex.
I know it sounds unromantic, boring, and so very middle-aged to schedule sex, but I promise you that it is anything but boring and unromantic. In fact, our sex life is steamier, hotter, and more (ahem) satisfying now. Here’s why:
It keeps us from falling into the roommate trap.
Any long-term relationship can feel a little stale after a while. Throw in a couple of kids and a mortgage, and things can turn from steamy to tepid pretty damn quickly. We’re exhausted, busy, and sometimes it can feel like we’re two ships passing in the night. My husband works late one night, I have a meeting another night, we both fall asleep on the couch the next night. Finding time for sex can get a little…um, hard sometimes (badum-chh). Our solution to fending off the sex droughts and falling into the roommate trap — Sunday Night Sexy Time.
No matter how ridiculous life gets or how busy we are, we know that we have an upcoming romp on Sunday night. That one night on the calendar makes sure we don’t go too long without stoking the fire and remembering that there is more to our relationship than conversations about tax audits and whose turn it is to take out the garbage.
It keeps you from wanting to stab each other with a fork.
I know this might come as a shock to newlyweds out there or those who like to post things like #weddedbliss and #myhubbyismybestfriend and #soblessed, but if you cohabitate and share space with someone long enough, there will be times when you will annoy the shit out of each other. Different parenting styles, spending habits, and in-laws can all increase the potential for snippiness, side-eye, and passive-aggressive sighs from time to time.
The antidote for a case of the OMG-I-Want-To-Stab-My-Spouse-With-A-Fork? S-E-X.
Seriously, whenever my husband and I are getting a little too snippy or flipping each other off behind their back (more than usual), it usually coincides with a sex drought. Because for some reason, it’s hard to be mad at someone who made your skin tingle and gave you the big O (twice) the night before. Go figure.
“The assumption is sex is always supposed to be spontaneous or easy,” said Shirley Baron, a psychologist and certified sex therapist, told the Chicago Tribune. “That really is a myth, a fantasy in the reality of our busy world. […] It’s more like having a date. Think about it as a good thing.”
You can experiment and be adventurous.
We’re all adults here. The body is a beautiful thing, and there is no shame in trying something new or getting a little kinky now and then. Some things work; others don’t. Look, missionary is great and all, but doing something a little out of the ordinary (and dare I say, taboo) can be a great bonding experience for a couple. Knowing that sex will happen at a regular day/time can give couples the freedom to experiment a little and get a little adventurous without worrying about missing a good opportunity for the tried-and-true.
It gives you something to look forward to.
Whether it’s looking forward to Sunday Night Sexy Time, or getting a mid-afternoon text that says “tonight? wink-wink,” scheduling sex gives you something to look forward to. And believe me, thinking about a little post-bedtime shag can sure make an afternoon conference call a lot more tolerable.
Whether you schedule sex once a week, once a month, or every damn day is completely up to you. “Experts” say once a week is enough to reap benefits for most people, but you do you. There’s no shame in getting busy as often as possible. Whether you schedule it days in advance or while you’re sitting in traffic during your evening commute doesn’t matter either. As long as you’re making your partner and your relationship a priority, that’s all that matters.
Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s Sunday night, and well…you know what that means.