Should You and Your Partner be Scheduling Sex?
Former Staff Therapist Ben King, MFT specializes in helping couples experiencing difficulties with communication, emotional/physical intimacy, and sexual difficulties. This blog was originally posted on his website and is re-published here with his permission.
Many couples will have less sex later in their relationship compared to the beginning. You may have less time, not feel the same desire, and the sex could be less exciting. Sound familiar? This alone doesn’t mean that there’s a problem; you could very well have a great and satisfying sex life despite it being different from how it used to be. Actually, you and your partner could have sex only twice a month and still feel satisfied. It only becomes a problem when you and/or you partner are no longer satisfied with your sex life.
Should You Schedule Sex?
When either of you sees your sex life as an issue, there is no surefire way, no magic solution, that will instantly make your sex life great again. For certain couples, however, I have seen scheduling sex work quite well. If any of the following apply to your relationship, scheduling sex could be helpful for you, too:
You both are limited in your free time
It makes sense that you aren’t having sex as often as you would like. You are both working long hours, have children to take care of, and what seems like 100 other responsibilities. You’re most likely feeling too tired or simply drained and lack a desire to have sex.
➤ Why Scheduling Sex Can Work When Time is Limited
If you are strapped for time together, scheduling sex can have two functions. 1) Scheduling it can force you to prioritize it over one of the other 100 responsibilities that would usually take its place. And 2) it can also add in a much-needed break from your stressful day or week; something to look forward to in your busy day.
You both want to have sex more often
The two of you are on the same page with your sex life: you’re not satisfied and want to work with each other to make it better. You already agree on this part, (as opposed to an issue of miss-matched sex drives), so now you’re looking for a practical solution.
➤ Why Scheduling Sex Can Work When You Both Want Sex More Often
If you’re a couple that tends to collaborate instead of try to “win” an argument, this can be very useful. Couples who rarely collaborate will feel like they’re simply giving into their partner to have sex more, or resent their partner for not having sex enough. Scheduled sex will often not work in these cases. However, if you and your partner frequently try to collaborate in other areas, try to do the same with sex. In working together, you and your partner are more open-minded and are looking for a solution that will benefit both. It can also be fun to talk about what you like during sex, and how to make sure scheduled sex is still exciting and fun.
You both view external factors or the decreased desire as the issue
These external factors (not having enough time, being physically drained, having a headache) are legitimate in how they lessen desire, and decrease the opportunity for you to have sex. They are not used as convenient excuses to cover up the underlying dissatisfaction or resentment in the relationship.
➤ Why Scheduling Sex Can Work When External Factors Get in the Way
This is the most important factor in scheduling sex. There’s a much greater chance that it will work if external factors are the main hindrances of your sex life. Scheduling sex will most likely not work if you have low desire because you’re unhappy, you think your partner is unattractive, you both fight frequently, or there are significant resentments between you two.