For a couple of 40-something parents with two little kids, I'd say my husband and I have a pretty good sex life. As in, we still have sex and sometimes it's even good! Of course, it's nothing like at the beginning of our relationship when we were all over each other all the time and unable to keep our hands to ourselves (yes, even in public). These days, our sex is definitely much more familiar—very loving, but not super hot. And as for the frequency, well, this is something we disagree on. In my mind, we have sex three times a week. According to my husband, it's more like once or twice.
Since Rob* is a big scheduler (he's never without his appointment book), he jokingly floated the idea that we should try scheduling sex. This went against everything that I think about sex and relationships. Isn't sex supposed to be passionate, spontaneous and urgent? But Rob made a good point; scheduling sex would ensure that we prioritise our sex life, and I was definitely down with that. Here's what happened when we scheduled sex for an entire month:
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Rob and I agreed we would have sex on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week. I liked this for a few reasons. It would give us something to be excited about after the weekend, we would literally have a hump day (come on, that's funny!) and since Friday is sometimes our date night, we'd theoretically already be a little boozed up and in the mood.
The week started with me setting reminders to our calendars, which was actually kind of fun. It was a little naughty to look at my phone and see it written there. In fact, I was feeling so inspired I even sent Rob a selfie with my shirt open as a little preview of that night's activities. When we had sex that evening, I was more turned on than usual!
On Wednesday, we missed one of our sex sessions because our son got sick. (Hey, it comes with the parenting territory.) But our third attempt was successful. I realised that even though I was initially opposed to the idea, I liked knowing that we were going to do it, because it gave me a chance to prepare. Not only mentally, but also by doing stuff like shaving my legs.
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This was the week before Easter, so we had family in town, which meant lots of extra people staying at our house. Still, I wanted to try and stick to our sex schedule, even if it meant lots of quickies. I'm proud to say, even though it was an incredibly hectic couple of days, we stuck to our schedule. Yes, there was a feeling like we "had to get it done," which was a little too close to it being like a chore. But then Rob pointed out that without the schedule, we probably wouldn't have been intimate at all that week and I agreed. The scheduled sex helped us stay connected, and it was also a stress relief from all the in-laws and holiday gatherings.
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Rob and I often complain that we do nothing with our evenings, but with sex on the books, it kept us from zoning out in front of the TV. On the nights we were scheduled to get down, we knew exactly what was on the agenda. And on the other nights (Tuesday and Thursday, especially) we were actually productive. One night I organised my closet, the other night we both got some work stuff done.
Rob gave me an "I told you so" look when I admitted how I liked compartmentalising our activities this way. But then on Friday night, we found that neither of us was exactly in the mood. Still, we stuck to the schedule and did it anyway, figuring that sometimes you just need to get things going for it to feel good. Wrong. Sometimes the mood just isn't there, and although the sex was OK, it left me questioning whether we should be intimate just because the calendar said so. I worried that our sex life would become automatic if we kept things up this way.
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By this point, I was mostly enjoying having regular sex, but also questioning how much room our schedule left for spontaneity. Rob must have read my mind because that Sunday he surprised me with flowers when he got home and pulled me in for a seriously sexy kiss that later led to a makeout session and sex on the living room couch. I was grateful that he was able to remind me that sex could—and should—happen in the moment and not just when my phone buzzed to remind me.
For the rest of the week, we kind of threw the schedule out the window. In fact, there was no weekday sex at all, but by the time Saturday morning rolled around, we were both so horny, we managed to fit in a very quiet but very sexy pajamas-half-on sex session. To me, that's how sex should be: quality over quantity. Sure the sex was quick, but it was intense! And the buildup of not having it all week made me want it more.
But I had to agree with Rob's point that scheduling sex did put sex on the forefront of both our minds. In a weird way, I looked forward to our "on" nights because of the anticipation, but also to our "off" nights because I knew that it was time just for me. Going forward, I don't think we'll be scheduling sex. Even though Rob would love to create an Excel sheet for our love life, that's just not me. But one thing we do agree on is keeping Wednesday as our official hump day (that's still funny, people). I like that it means that no matter what's going on, we know that there will be at least one night that's just for us. And hey, it's not a bad way to break up the week.
*Names have been changed
First published: 11 May 2017