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Scheduling Sex and Other Such Tales

People write me about one topic more than other: Sex. It seems that many of us aren’t having the kind of sex life we imagined we would once we were married. It seems that more of us are having a lot less sex than we ever expected.

I’ve had husbands write me confessing that they haven’t slept with their wives in a year, after having only been married for 3. I’ve had wives email me, explaining that they simply don’t feel sexual and have therefore just “let sex go.”

But where is the outcry? Where are the calls for healthier, better, and more realistic expectations for sex in marriage? I, for one, am grieved when I think of how many married couples aren’t, well, getting any.

Instead of people writing about and talking about sex in marriage from a practical standpoint, what we find more of is unhelpful banter on the subject. I recently read a post over at Stephanie Druy’s blog Stuff Christian Culture Likes (a blog I happen to thoroughly enjoy, by the way) that says scheduling sex, for instance, is a bad thing that far too many Evangelicals have latched onto in marriage.

I have to say…I couldn’t disagree more.

I’d argue that scheduling sex is one way of ensuring a great sex life. Intrigued? I bet you are. Read on, my friend, read on…

You see, opponents of scheduling sex claim that it somehow takes the romance, spontaneity, and fun out of doing the deed. Miss Drury explains it like this, in a funny little anecdote:

The husband waits for the appointment panting and wagging. The wife is grateful for each day that isn’t the designated Sex Day and when it arrives she wonders what’s wrong with her. He’s just so eager and unable to connect unless it involves their junk. But the sex date is as good as it gets. At least they’re doing it.

I Schedule. Do You?

Now, I’m gonna let you all in on a little secret– My husband and I schedule sex. There, I said it. We have a calendar and on it we actually write “Mandatory Tuesday,” and “Optional Friday.” We aim for at least 2 times a week, but 3 is ideal. Am I sharing too much? Too bad. There’s more…

You see, I’ll be the first to admit that scheduling sex does not automatically make me swoon and fall into bed all a-flutter. I’d love to have spontaneous, rousing, foreplay-filled sessions of lovemaking, but oh yeah, I have three kids age 5 and under. I’m freakin’ tired.

And oh yeah, guess what else? Life is busy. My husband is an entrepreneur with unpredictable work hours from time to time. And yeah, we’re in ministry and we have a social life and everything else that takes up our time and energy.

Dare I say, that if it were not for scheduling sex, I doubt it would happen nearly as regularly as it should. Maybe when my kids are older, scheduling will become less of a necessity, but as of right now, it works for us.

To the Naysayers

Now, allow me to address the naysayers who call scheduled sex boring and unromantic. You know what is really boring and unromantic (not to mention sad)? Christian marriages that have fallen victim to the lie that good sex in marriage isn’t possible.

I would rather set a date on a calendar than allow my marriage bed to dry up. I want a lover, not a roommate. More than that, I refuse to hold sex captive like so many women do. I will not withhold sex from my husband if every single one of my prerequisites aren’t met.

Women tend to think that unless they are in the mood, sex is a no go. Well, I ask you: Is your husband always in the mood to serve you? Take out the trash? Pay the bills? Go to work?

We hate thinking of sex in these terms because we so desperately want to exclude it from being a “task” or a “chore.” And it’s not. It shouldn’t be, but it is an obligation. Yes, an obligation in marriage. Newsflash: people get married and expect to have sex. It is also required in order to ensure a healthy marriage. A good marriage with little or no sex is not a healthy marriage. Don’t be fooled.

Important Enough?

We prioritize everything else in life. We make time and make room for all kinds of things. We DVR our favorite shows so we don’t miss them (anyone else dyyyyying for Breaking Bad to come back?). Heck, we schedule appointments for our teeth, our dogs, our cars, but not our sex life?

We expect for good sex and frequent sex to just somehow magically happen in marriage without the effort or care we place on so many less important things. We think wrongly that marriage is the guarantee of a good sex life, when in fact, we are the guarantee of a good sex life…or not.

Either it’s important or it’s not. Either we find creative and practical ways to make sex a reality or we don’t. We can’t have it both ways. And I’ve found that one way to show how important sex in my marriage really is, is to circle the date on the calendar. I look forward to those days and wouldn’t you know, so does my husband. Go figure.

Scheduling sex? Good? No good? Undecided or unsure? What do you do in your own marriage to keep things spicy? No need to be explicit, just explain.

image props here