the study of marriage

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Every day sex

Having good sex on a regular basis (yes, with your spouse) is an important part of maintaining a happy marriage. (I sort of sound like a breakfast cereal commercial, don't I?) Sex is a legitimate and important emotional need between spouses, and it just sort of acts like a glue that keeps you together. Plus it's a great stress reliever and sleep aid.

The hard part is no, wait difficulty arises not that either, now I sound like an erectile-dysfunction-product commercial!

What I'm trying to say is, doing the sex thing with enough quality and quantity to keep marriage alive is a challenge. Raising kids, working, paying the bills, maintaining relationships with friends and family, all that serves to suck up all available time. And then there's not much time or energy at the end of the day for making that good sex happen.

My husband and I ran into this issue somewhere after our second child was born. We got to a point where we were argumentative with each other about it; I'd say, "It's been a couple of days since we had sex," and his response was always along the lines of, "No, it's been weeks since we had sex!" Thus we'd launch into an argument about the frequency of sex, when all I had wanted to begin with was just to say, "Hey let's do it soon." It was pretty counterproductive, since nit-picking arguments are not the aphrodisiac, passion-producing kind of arguments.

I also found that at bed time, which is the time that sex usually happens, there was a lack of clarity about which of us might want to have sex, whether the other person wanted sex, and so on. We'd lie next to each other, and were probably both thinking about sex, but not wanting to be the one who initiates, because that's such a setup for rejection, you know?

So at that point, we hit upon a new plan, a Grand Idea, which I'm sure was my Grand Idea since I'm the one who has those in our family. The Grand Idea was this: Since we can never keep track of when we last had sex, and one or both of us is always feeling deprived, and one or both of us is often feeling rejected, let's have sex every day instead of keeping track!

Thus began our season of having sex every day, as long as physical issues did not interfere. And it was a great innovation: there was no rejection, since we were both committed to every day sex; sex was frequent enough for both of us (well honestly, it was almost frequent enough for my husband at that point); and there was no keeping track of or being argumentative about how often sex was happening. Personally, I also found that every day sex increased my desire for sex, rather than reducing it. It was also something nice to look forward to at the end of the day, a special time that I knew would happen between us. And it was a good reason for both of us to get to bed on time, and at the same time!

Unfortunately we've gotten a bit away from every day sex over the past six months or so. I'm thinking we maybe need to get back to it, because it really was a good solution for us.

Do you think every day sex would work for you and your spouse?


  • At January 14, 2006 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Every day would be my dream.

    Once a week is barely a realistic goal.

    Once or twice a month is our reality - and even then, it's not all that good.

    She has a problem with allowing sexual touching and wants intercourse only.

    We've been working on the problem for 2 years - seeing a counselor and all that.

    I try not to view it as rejection since she shows me she loves me in many other ways. But it's still painful.

  • At January 14, 2006 11:35 AM, Blogger Sarah Leon said…

    Hi anonymous--Does she acknowledge that sexual fulfillment is a legitimate emotional need? Have the two of you done any work on determining your top emotional needs, and discussing how you can meet them for each other? I highly recommend going to read about emotional needs at the website if you haven't done this work already:

  • At January 16, 2006 7:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Sarah,

    We have done a lot of work on the needs issues. Progress has been made, but somehow in her past she was injured, making anything sexual very difficult for her.

    However, I really wanted to let you know about this positive development.

    My wife mentioned that she saw that I had been to your blog - turns out that I had not fully closed the browser and she saw the "Every Day Sex" post.

    Last night, we had the best sex that we've had in 4+ years. I don't think this is a coincidence.

  • At January 16, 2006 12:08 PM, Blogger Sarah Leon said…

    Hi again Anonymous - I'm very, very glad to hear about your positive development with your wife. In my experience, it's very beneficial to marriage to keep the "conversation" going and keep our awareness of the issues up; we work on it when we're thinking about it. Perhaps that's what happened with your wife.

    I have a couple of book suggestions for you, if you haven't already read them: "Passionate Marriage" by David Schnarch, and "The Sex-Starved Marriage" by Michele Weiner-Davis. Passionate Marriage is a really excellent look the dynamics of sexual desire in marriage, and it's one of my favorite marriage books. I haven't yet read The Sex-Starved Marriage, but I've heard that it's excellent as well.


Post a Comment

<< Home