Nearly all couples will have less sex as their relationship continues compared to when they started dating. You may have less time, not feel the same desire, and the sex could be less exciting. Sound familiar? In fact, if you’re like most couples you may have even wondered if you should schedule sex just to make sure it happens.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 the beginning. 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 sees it as such.
Should You Schedule Sex?
When either of you does see 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 your relationship has these characteristics, 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 both are 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.
- You both want to include 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. There’s a collaborative approach both of you are coming from, instead of just trying to convince the other person to have sex with you more.
- You both view external factors or the difference in 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.
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.
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” a disagreement, 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 collaborating, 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 scheduled sex exciting.
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 (ex: work) instead of a difference in desire (high vs. low libido) 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.
If your relationship seems like it includes the main points above and you both think it’s a good idea, test out scheduling sex. Collaboration is key and if either of you don’t want to schedule sex, it will most likely be very ineffective. It shouldn’t be used to try to get your partner to have sex more if they don’t want to. In that case there’s usually one or more underlying issues, in which couples therapy could be the best next step.
About the Author
Ben King is a Marriage and Family Therapist Candidate at The Marriage and Family Clinic who focuses on working with couples experiencing sexual difficulties. In his spare time Ben loves to cook and is secretly aspiring to be the next Iron Chef