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"How Does Tuesday Night Around 10 Sound?": 3 Reasons Why Scheduling Sex with Your Partner Might Not Be Such a Bad Idea

With all of the writing (like for scholarly conferences and publications, a book I've been working on for about a year now, and this website), teaching (I teach 3-4 courses in the School of Communication Studies at JMU each semester), meeting with students (sometimes, I think that this is all I do!), child-rearing (remember, we have FOUR young children), and cleaning (okay, you got me- I don't do a whole lot of that) that I do on a daily basis, all I really want to do at the end of the day is veg-out watching some clever television (you know, like a good Netflix dramedie), eat a tub of ice cream (preferably one of the Edy's Slow Churned Yogurt Blends), and go the hell to sleep- for the entire night; without being woken up by one of those small people who live in the room next to ours. The pure exhaustion that I experience sometimes causes sex to be one of the last things on my mind. I know, how could this happen to me when a large amount of my research focuses on how to enhance sexual satisfaction in romantic relationships? Well, shit happens. And, I'm human.

Fortunately, one of the things that my husband and I have learned over the last several years is that there is absolutely NO SHAME in scheduling sex with one another. And here are THREE reasons why you and your partner should follow suite.

Reason #1: You will always be busy.
Many times, couples will try and justify the fact that they are not having enough sex. And, one of the most common reasons is that one or both partners do not have enough time for sex. Life is hectic. Believe me, I get it. But I think it's important to realize that you will always be busy. Life is not going to magically slow down for you to have sex with your partner. And it sure as hell is not going to slow down a few times a week. The take-home message: you can't wait until you have more time because that day may never happen. You have to consciously set time aside for sex. 

Reason #2: Sex drives are not always in sync.
It is believed by many that both partners have to be completely "in the mood" to have sex, and especially to have good sex. Unfortunately, if you decide to wait until both you and your partner are sexually aroused and ready to get it on, you might just have to wait forever. People are different. You and your partner may not be on the same sexual clock as one another. I know, you probably feel like you used to share the same sexual wavelength, but another interesting thing about people is that they change. In particular, you and your partner's sex drives may change over time, which could allow you to get out of sync more often than you're used to. It's important to note that this discrepancy is not a sign of your relationship's imminent demise. Quite the contrary. It's actually your response to these changes that can help predict your future together. Having sex on a regular basis, regardless of how hot-and-heavy you're feeling at that scheduled moment, is a great response to this potential problem in the bedroom.

Reason #3: Sex is important!
I've written about this extensively in my Love Guru ebook and I'll write it again here: having sex, actually enjoying it, and especially orgasming multiple times a week (!) is related to numerous physical, mental, and relationship benefits (see Whipple, Knowles, & Davis, 2007 for a review). Specifically, researchers have discovered that engaging in these activities has associated with a longer lifespan (Palmore, 1982; Smith, Frankel, & Yarnell, 1997), lower level of depression (Gallup, Burch, & Platek, 2002), increased self-esteem (Hulbert & Whittaker, 1991), and enhanced feelings of affection and closeness with a sexual partner (Odent, 1999; Weeks, 2002) to name a few. Now that you understand how important sex is, I hope you'll consider taking action.

So, how should you go about creating a schedule?
Scheduling sex around your busy schedule probably won't work. If you already feel like you're too busy, then you will likely also feel like you're unable to find the time and you just won't schedule it. Similarly, trying to schedule based on the days when you think you might be turned on probably won't work either. If you haven't been able to sync up your sex drives yet, it will likely be very difficult to find an agreement for the future. Instead, begin by choosing a general time of day (i.e. morning before work, on your lunch break, before dinner, right after your kids go to sleep, or right before you and your partner go to sleep) that you both can agree on. Then, you can start choosing the days. Some couples like to pick specific days of the week, like Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. While other couples may feel more comfortable picking a pattern of "sex days." For example, I know a couple who has sex every other day and then another couple who has sex every three days. However you decide to work it out is up to you and your mate. Just be sure to stick to it! Once you have chosen your days, plan to definitely have sex with your partner- no matter what. I know what you're thinking: what if you're sick on your sex day or what if something terrible happens on that day and you just can't concentrate? It's completely find to skip a day here and there. It only becomes a problem when you and/or your partner begin to habitually skip days.

Interestingly, scheduling sex has helped a lot of couples light a spark in their relationships. Although it doesn't sound logical, there's something to say about knowing when it's going to happen. The pressures of figuring out who is going to initiate and whether the initiator is going to be rejected are things of the past. For many people, getting started is the hardest part. And, thinking about it all day could be a good thing! Fantasizing about what will happen before it happens could enhance the experience for both people.

Make time in your life for this important activity. And remember, scheduling sex is not such a bad idea!

  • Gallup, G. et al. (2002). Does semen have antidepressant properties? Archives of Sexual Behavior, 31, 289- 293.
  • Hurlbert, D. F., & Whittaker, K. E. (1991). The role of masturbation in marital and sexual satisfaction: A comparative study of female masturbators and nonmasturbators. Journal of Sex Education & Therapy, 17, 272- 282.
  • Odent, M. (1999). The scientification of love. London, UK: Free Association Books Limited.
  • Palmore, E. (1982). Predictors of the longevity difference: A twenty-five year follow-up. The Gerontologist, 22, 513- 518.
  • Smith, D. A. et al. (2005). Abdominal diameter index: A more powerful anthropometric measure of prevalent coronary heart disease risk in adult males. Diabetes Obesity Metabolism, 7, 370-380.
  • Weeks, D. J. (2002). Sex for the amture adult: Health, self-esteem and countering ageist stereotypes. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 17, 231- 240.

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