Intentionally carving out time for lovemaking is not a new concept.
We all nod our heads to the logical argument; appointments are made for an oil change, teeth cleaning, and colonoscopy. But, we set aside no time for marital sexual intimacy. Does our marriage not have the same priority as our car or colon because of this neglect? Why not slate your own nuptial lube and rotation on the docket?
How to make time for sex. Schedule it!
The biggest argument against sex scheduling is that it takes all the romance out of the dance.
Romance doesn’t always lead to sex. But, I’m willing to wager there is a good chance that sex scheduling can lead to romance, especially if the spouses’ have unequal libidos.
You ask, “Isn’t that a little backwards? Puttin’ the fire before the spark? Entering without a key?”
For the lower drive spouse, sometimes it’s hard to wrap your mind around the physical urgency our partners feel for the intimate and loving touch, the sexual release. That’s why it seems counter intuitive to schedule something we don’t urgently crave on a physical level.
But, have you craved connecting with your spouse on the spiritual level?
There are huge spiritual and emotional benefits of sexual intimacy, not just physical.*
When the higher drive spouse’s anxiety level for sexual intimacy has decreased, he/she will have more head room (a.k.a. room in the brain) to think about ways of pursuing you that are more subtle.
When you are hungry and you try to cook a meal, what’s your focus? Isn’t it slaking that gnawing as fast as possible? You pick the fastest thing you can fix and forget presentation.
If you aren’t quite as hungry when you enter the kitchen, isn’t it easier to enjoy the process? There is time to marinate a crimson steak in bourbon and brown sugar. You may steam the veggies in a double boiler instead of the microwave and also whip up a beautiful golden cheese sauce to garnish.
If sex isn’t consistent, the higher drive spouse is walking around in a constantly hungry state. It’s hard to enjoy the gourmet meal when you are ravenous. The gourmet meal is romance. It’s the time and emotional vulnerability.
Sex scheduling helps relieve anxiety for the higher drive spouse of when their next meal will be. It relieves the lower drive spouse by allowing them to know when it’s time to cook. It is not manipulation or to be used to selfish ends. Sex scheduling is for the benefit of you BOTH.
Anticipating an upcoming rendezvous for the low libido spouse, helps them get ‘pumped’ mentally for the lovemaking celebration. Anticipation actually releases some feel good chemicals. See this Generous Husband post on Anticipation. Plus, some personality types don’t enjoy surprises.
Romance is from within
Is romance a candlelit dinner with champagne and escargot? Or is romance the burst of combustion in your heart when your spouse winks at you from across a crowded business gathering? Romance can be as simple as holding hands in the car.
Could romance be tag teaming as you clean up the kid who was sick at both ends?
Could romance be an overwhelming gratitude that wells up as you watch your spouse unselfishly serve through the mundane work of housekeeping or home maintenance?
Witnessing true romance is watching your 82 year old father, who is in excruciating back pain, insist that only he can guide your mother down the hall to bed. Because sometimes she forgets the mechanics of walking, he has to coach her along. She can’t speak anymore from the dementia. But, she sighs contentment as he puts lotion on her feet and legs and then tucks her into bed saying, “You will always be my sweetheart.”
Romance of longevity is doing life together and cherishing the moments where you meld into one spirit. Romantic gestures show we are treasured by our spouse. But, romance evolves into so much more from enduring the difficulties of life in an ambiance of warmth and cohesiveness.
I am not saying that scheduling lovemaking is ‘enduring a difficulty of life,’ far from it. I am saying romance is an atmosphere which includes flirtation and the weightier issues of life. Both become just as sweet because of who you are ‘doing life with.’
When we take the needs of the higher drive spouse seriously, we step up to the plate and part of that is calling ahead for reservations at your local boudoir.
“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased,” Hebrews 13:16.
1) Decide if this is a season in your marriage that requires lovemaking appointments.
2) Decide if the lower drive spouse would benefit from sex scheduling, even if life is not too busy.
3) Discuss your schedule and actually INK (not pencil) your rendezvous in. Part of the success of sex scheduling, especially for spouses with unequal libidos, has to do with the follow through, absolute commitment. It WILL happen, unless someone is sick or an unforeseen, genuine emergency. Mr. Muscle and I are at a stage where we moderately ink it in on a couple of options. If not this day then that….but it will happen.
4) If sexual intimacy is a rather large bone of contention, there may be other issues within your marriage relationship to iron out.
*See WebMD’s “10 Surprising Benefits of Sex.”
*See Julie Sibert’s post at intimacyinmarriage.com, “Worship the Lord, Make Love to your Spouse.”