People often worry and opine that scheduling sex is artificial. We’ve been made to think that sex is born out of this ravenous and innate desire, that feels like it can’t be curbed. Whether it was movies or books or one’s own experiences, we’ve been told that sex is supposed to feel natural, needed, spontaneous, and exciting for it to be good. That’s pretty much how it is supposed to work, right? Well, not necessarily.
Even though the passion in sex that comes from attraction and sexual tension is fantastic and will really get you going with those hormones, there’s not a thing wrong with scheduling sex if things seem to be going wrong in your relationship. It is easy to become so occupied with work commitments and our crazy schedules, that sex takes a backseat and our sex drives also take a complete dip. This is why, sometimes, you have to actively try to get that spark back.
Still confused? Well, you won’t be once you’ve read this whole thing. And to help you understand better, we have an expert who brought us a real-life story today that she encountered. Minnu R Bhonsle, Ph.D., is a consulting psychotherapist and counselor, while her husband Rajan Bhonsle, MD, is a consultant in sexual medicine and counselor. Together, they run a unique therapy center, Heart-to-Heart, and wrote a book, The Ultimate Sex Education Guide.
The Story Of A Couple Who Had To Start Scheduling Sex In Marriage
(Names changed to protect identities)
A marketing executive and mother of two, 32-year-old Abigail came to consult us three months ago. She is a perfectionist and takes pride in managing her home and workplace efficiently. So, while she was brilliant at managing things on the home front, she had an issue that she needed our help with.
All that she felt with regard to sex was lethargy. The long commute, the daily grind of work and home, looking after the needs of her young children, as well as dealing with her mother-in-law, and not enough breathing (physical and emotional) space was ruining it for the couple, and that’s what she told us.
Additionally, now that she is over 30 years old, her slower metabolism and the constricted lifestyle are also making her pile up the pounds around her waist, and to her mind, worsening what she and her husband do between the sheets.
“How to make sex better for both of us?” was her concern
While she knows that her body image should not be affected by the addition of a few kilos, she had begun to feel unhealthy. A friend advised her to meet a dietician who helped clients on their fitness journey. Abigail also started following an exercise routine, by getting up early and going for a jog.
Instead of making her feel better, her dietician did just the opposite. Abigail was to have a very light dinner every day – only a chicken soup and salad. So, she was left with a tired, sleepy body, achy limbs, bad-smelling mouth, and a grumbling stomach. All it took for her to be happy was to sleep. Instead of her favorite sexual position, all she could fantasize about was a plate of crispy fried chicken!
It was clear to us that first of all, she needed to declutter her life and her thoughts. For sure, she had put on weight. But her husband truly loved her and she was a confident person. There was absolutely no need to mix her metabolic issues with her sexual problems. In any case, she was trying to take care of her health and was working on her fitness.
We did tell her that a diet and fitness regime is supposed to make one feel lighter, fitter, agile, and energetic, and not tired and hungry with bad breath! Therefore, if this was happening, Abigail would need to discuss it with the nutritionist and make the necessary changes in her regime so that she gets fitter without losing vitality. We advised a medical check-up to see if she needed some supplements to up her energy levels and to assess her general health.
Related Reading: No Sex, Please, We’re Married
But then, we also told her the importance of scheduling sex in marriage
As children, we were taught in school to work according to a timetable, and we were all able to study a number of subjects every day by strictly following this schedule at school. Similarly, today, it is imperative that various responsibilities, chores, ‘me’ time, family time, etc. be scheduled along with ‘we’ time so that a doable work-life balance is achieved.
It is not necessary to have sex only at night. In fact, after a whole day’s work, one may want to just want an episode of Friends and then sleep. Much energy is used during the daytime for work, travel, and so on. It’s not feasible to expect one to have sex at the end of the day, every day. There may not be enough energy left by the time one goes to bed.
That’s where the idea of scheduling sex comes in. Sex needs a lot of energy, enthusiasm, and interest. So what is happening with modern-day working couples is natural and physiological. The best time in such cases would be to have sex early in the morning. After a good night’s sleep, when your body and mind have rested well and you are rejuvenated, you will find far more vigor and passion. Even Vatsyayana in the Kamasutra has recommended early morning as the best time for intimacy. Physiologically speaking too, the hormone testosterone, responsible for sexual desire/drive/libido in people, is the highest during morning hours. Isn’t that just perfect?
Related Reading: Some women crave sex and not lemons during pregnancy
Manage your time better for a better sex life
Similarly, some chores should be delegated to others (family members and hired help), and some not-so-necessary chores will need to be rescheduled fortnightly or monthly rather than daily. Shop online, use the commute time to catch up with family so that couple time is not intruded on by phone calls from family members, say no to sudden demands, and above all, have a mutual understanding with your partner about the need to recreate this balance so that you are not stuck in a sexless marriage anymore.
Spontaneity in sex is overrated and often, couples slip into sexless marriages because they are hung up on spontaneity. Scheduled sex can be as beautiful and fulfilling, sometimes more than spontaneous sex. Therefore breaking this myth that sex must be spontaneous is also necessary to bring back the intimacy.
It’s time to plan sex!
Build up intimacy with your partner using messaging apps, schedule some ‘we’ time with a morning cup of tea in the bedroom, or through a 15-minute stroll after dinner without the kids or the smartphones. This can keep the ‘we’ space intact and make scheduling intimacy an extremely fulfilling endeavor.
A date night once a week or once a fortnight, a weekend getaway once in 2 months is completely doable, if scheduled. But do remember one thing very carefully. It’s all good if you want to plan sex and plan dates and make a focused effort at spending time together. But it’s important to know that it is the ‘quality’ of intimacy and not the ‘quantity’ that matters. Your sex calendar for marriage will do you no good if you are not working toward making the sex good and fulfilling for both.
We explained these things to Abigail. She went back home wanting to make her marriage work, and try out these tips to get the spark back. Abigail rang us up recently and thanked us for bringing back the sex for her in a way that intimacy seemed far yummier than all her food fantasies! We were so glad we were of help to her, and that we could put away all these myths about scheduling sex.
(As told to Roshni Mitra)
5 Ways To Make Scheduling Sex Work, And Not Weird
We hope the story told to us by the therapists made you realize how beneficial it can be to plan sex in your marriage or in your relationship. But at times, when the mutual attraction signs are nowhere to be found and you two are often tired and too busy for each other, having a sex schedule can make things feel weird and even more like a chore than before. To avoid that from happening, it is important that you schedule sex in the right way.
To get you started on doing this well and doing it right, take note of the following.
1. Indulge in a lot of foreplay
Trust us when we tell you that if you’re skipping the foreplay or making it too short, you are doing it all wrong. Sometimes, foreplay is the goal of intimacy, not necessarily penetration. Titillating your partner, and really making sure that they are turned on and into it, is necessary to have good sex in a relationship. If you skip the best part and move straight to where the action is, you’re going to feel more tired and will want to be done with it sooner. That completely defeats the point of your sex calendar. And speaking of that, yes you do need a sex calendar.
2. Make a sex calendar to schedule sex
If you’ve read the post so far and still don’t think having a sex calendar is essential, we will tell you all over again that it is. When your wife is scheduling sex to have a better sex life with you, go one step ahead and show her that you are equally enthusiastic by drawing up a calendar. Without this, you won’t be accountable for achieving the goal and will keep finding reasons to avoid it.
3. Keep up the excitement around your sex schedule
Texting your husband “Don’t bring any takeout home today, you know how it makes me gassy and we have to have sex tonight” is no way to schedule sex. Instead, send him an eggplant emoji and sent a flirty and dirty text like, “Can’t wait to have you for dinner tonight.” That will work like magic!
4. Try to pleasure one another
Don’t be selfish in bed. The whole point of this exercise is to release those endorphins, make each other happy, and feel closer to each other than before. To really do that, you need to make an effort to understand what your partner likes and enjoys in bed. Scheduling love-making is not about you, it’s about the two of you in this relationship.
Related Reading: 13 Reasons Why Women Can’t Orgasm (and Steps to Achieve One)
5. Communicate your needs openly
Your sex schedule will only run well if you stop treating it like something you need to do and start seeing it as something that you want to do. To be able to look forward to it and have really good sex, you need to communicate what you like and what you want to experiment with. Whether it’s sex toys, doing it on the kitchen counter, or even trying something super kinky – take a deep dive into what makes you happy and what you want to try. Then, convey the same to your partner to spice up your sex life.
“How to make sex better for both of us?” – we hope this step-by-step guide has helped you understand the answer to that. So now, what are you waiting for? Go make that calendar and get going!
At least twice a week if you really want your relationship to get back on track.
It’s normal and also extremely beneficial to a relationship that is suffering a dry spell or lack of interest.
When you start scheduling sex, not only do you feel more accountable to fixing this part of the relationship, but you also have more fun with it as you dedicate more energy and interest into making things warm and intimate between you two again.