Sex at the beginning of a relationship is no chore for most couples. They eagerly find their way into each other’s arms and into bed or any other mode they might be comfortable with at any opportunity. Usually, their libido’s seem perfectly matched. It’s amazing, he wants it when she wants and she wants it when he wants it.
It must be love. And so it was for my love and me.
Fast forward 6 months to 2 years and things start to look a little different. Negotiation around the FREQUENCY OF SEX may start to occur: she doesn’t want it when he wants it and he doesn’t want it when she wants it. Couples may start to disagree about what amount of sex is reasonable to expect from each other. Uh-oh. Maybe we’re not in love.
Add a few more years and throw in some kids and you’re most often looking at a major reduction in sex between couples. Often one partner in a relationship is not wanting sex very often or at all.
And so it was for my love and me. The tiredness and round the clock nature of RAISING KIDS definitely put a dampener on the sexual electricity between us. A two year period where my husband, due to intense work stress, also experienced a drop in his libido, seemed to signal a death of sex in our relationship.
We kind of got back to it for a while after my husband took a new job, but that two-year drought killed what was left of my ageing female libido.
I just stopped being interested in sex.
Several months could roll by without either of us initiating sex. On the rare occasions, we had sex, I enjoyed it but I never felt like sex, ever. We became like housemates raising kids and neither of us liked where our relationship was heading.
There are so many good reasons for the waning of a woman’s libido. I’m definitely not alone there. The most common one is EXHAUSTION and not having anything left to give.
When you’re whole day is full of needy and dependent beings pushing and pulling at you, your partner approaching you physically generally happens at the same time you are thinking “At last they’re asleep now I can have some time to myself”. If there are other issues such as feelings of resentment towards a partner you can pretty much guarantee sex will not be a regular occurrence in a relationship. Women’s changing bodies and hormones also play a role.
A common solution suggested by couples therapists is to schedule sex.
Knowing that a gust of lust is not going to blow through women in this life stage’s bodies’ anytime soon, scheduling sex is often a good option for couples in our situation. As the couples therapists say, if we left it up to a woman after kids to feel intense desire, sex may never happen again.
And so, despite my reservations and really not wanting this to be our solution, I suggested we try scheduling sex once a week. Even though I thought it was lame and shouldn’t be that way. Even though I’d love for us to be that couple who SPONTANEOUSLY BANGED EACH OTHER based on a look.
Once a week might not seem like much, but let’s not get crazy here. Despite what all internet studies say about married people doing it three times a week, I’m calling bull shit on that.
My husband was dubious about it working, but in the absence of anything else, he wasn’t about to say an outright no. And so we commenced our once a week schedule on a trial period to see if it would work. We’re kind of sciencey, like that.
A lot of people scoff at the idea of scheduling sex. I get it. It doesn’t fit with our fairytale notions of undying passion and easy compatibility. Questions like “Where’s the romance in that? But I want her to really be into it and want to do it? Surely if we loved each other/ he cares about me/ she cared about me we would find the time to have sex without putting it on the roster?”, are pretty typical when you bring up scheduled sex.
Some friends have sniggered at our arrangement, but I also know that I’m HAVING MORE SEX than they are.
Another worry can be that people think scheduled sex will feel like pressure. They fear they won’t be able to say no if sex is scheduled or they are sick or have had a fight with their partner. It’s always important to remember that scheduled sex is still consensual. No one is forced to have sex when they have a full-blown cold or injury or are really angry with their partner. It should be totally possible to negotiate a different night or postpone.
Scheduling sex brought my relationship back from the edge.
The sex we have, even though it’s scheduled, brings us closer together. We’ve lost that resentful roommates feel. Sometimes but not often, we might even give it another go the night after because the memory of the night before still lingers and tugs us back into passion. This would previously have been unimaginable.
Scheduling sex works for us because just knowing that it’s waiting, on whatever night you choose, is fun – delicious even. It can even lead to a SENSE OF ANTICIPATION, almost like back when you didn’t see each other every day and there was less opportunity for sex.
But the best thing about it is, it brought the intimacy back and we’re having sex again. So if you’re struggling to get the intimacy back, I say try it, it’s definitely worth a shot to see if it will work for you.
Editor’s note: The author of this piece has chosen to remain anonymous