Why you should put sex in your diary

One of the most common reasons for a married couple's sex life to collapse is that 'we just don't have time.'

Particularly when bringing up children or trying to sustain two careers, couples often find that sex comes a distant third to those two. Having children in the house, even on the other side of a locked bedroom door, can kill libido while the stress of work often means one or both of you are too tired or stressed for sex.

My wife and I found this when we were both working. Get home at 6.30pm, cook and eat the evening meal, wash up, collapse in front of the TV, go to bed (facing away from each other), fall asleep, wake up at 6am, get up, work, repeat ad infinitum. It doesn't take long for sex to become 'one of those things we used to do years ago, before life got in the way.'

And then it becomes a case of 'use it or lose it.' The less sex you have, the less interested you are in having sex. At which point, too many couples give up completely. Their urge to have sex disappears, their ability to perform follows it and if their sex drives weren't compatible anyway, neither of them has the urge to do anything about it.

Over the last few weeks, my wife and I have decided to tackle this in a way that too many couples won't. We've started putting sex in our diary. Yes, alongside the medical appointments and the hairdressing appointments and the shopping trips, there is '4pm-6pm - sex session.'

You might think it would be robotic and artificial and forced, but it's not. In fact, it's a conscious effort to make sure we do something. In fact, it's made us slow down and enjoy things more. By setting aside a decent amount of time which is purely for sex, we're not rushing. I'm not thinking: 'I must get an erection and cum in the next ten minutes because we've got things to do.' She isn't thinking: 'I wish he'd got on with it; I want to watch EastEnders.' And because we are giving ourselves more time, we are trying out more things.

We got the inspiration for this from a friend who told me that she and her partner have 'Sexy Sunday' where they set aside the whole day for sex, whether in bed or in various places around the house. We're not at that stage yet, but we have found that the two or three hours we are setting aside on one day each week have improved things immeasurably. Our interest in sex has increased, our willingness to explore has increased, my enhanced sex-drive post-stroke is being satisfied.

Putting sex in your timetable is not mechanical; it's a positive effort which we would recommend to all couples.

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