Spontaneous sex is viewed as the gold standard in love-making. We see this all the time in movies where couples come together with equal passions at exactly the same time, move onto equal unbelievable pleasure, and which end with cuddling sighs, cigarettes, talk of giving it all up and running away to Paris.
The reality is that the logistics are usually more difficult to navigate, the end-result less balanced and blissful. The frisky partner at 11 p.m. is met with the snoring partner who went to bed at 9 p.m. because he has to get up at 5 a.m. Or the mutual desire is there, but the kids haven’t still settled down and can be heard roaming somewhere in the house, keeping both partners on alert. Or early morning seems to be a good time, but someone oversleeps, there’s the train to catch to work, it's a rush. This doesn’t mean that things don’t ever happen. The snoring partner can be enticed to wake up and can get into it, albeit knowing there’s maybe a price to pay in the morning; the kids eventually do settle down and adult entertainment does commence; the morning turns out to be a bit of a one-sided, or OK, quickie.
These moments are not bad—you feel connected, the oxytocin gets kicked up for a while—but is it like the movies, or those real-life-top-ten memorial nights? Nah. You hit a 5/6 on the 10-point scale. Good enough.
And then there’s scheduled sex. For some people the word scheduled and sex should never go together in the same sentence; sex, in their minds, isn’t really sex unless it is spontaneous. But wait, there are some advantages to getting out your calendars:
Logistics are easier
You can pencil in your sex-date when the kids are off the grandma’s or have that sleep-over on December 17. And you can split the difference between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. partners, and not have to worry about catching that train.
There’s more time
While the quickies can be fun and even exciting, now you can make this an event. There’s time to try something new, there’s time for extended foreplay, time for pulling out the cigarettes and talking about Paris.
It can be a jump-start after a drought
For couples who had not had sex for a long time, for whatever reason, the starting up again can create high expectations and performance pressure, and/or an awkwardness that comes from the simple long stretch of minimal physical contact. Anticipating these emotional reactions can cause some couples to put off having sex even longer, quickly creating a downward spiral.
Scheduling a sex-date can help in two ways: It’s a clear mutual agreement and commitment to break the drought, giving willpower an edge over anxiety, and rather than getting emotionally caught up in the anxiety of the moment, it gives each partner time to mentally prepare, further ensuring success.
It provides time for physical preparation
Here we’re talking about having time for personal hygiene, making the event more enjoyable, but about folks who medically need to prepare—the guy who needs to take Viagra, the woman who needs to use a vaginal cream a couple of days in advance. The planning keeps these issues from becoming an obstacle.
OK, so you want to give this scheduling business a try. Here are some suggestions for success:
Pick a day/time that works for both you
Build around the bedtime
Because you are hopefully building in more time means that you no longer need to approach this like the 30-minute, 9 a.m. staff meeting at work. Here you can add in and plan a romantic dinner, break out that good bottle of wine, or make a bigger day of it with a fun, couple activities during the day—a bicycle ride, a trip to the museum or to the farmer’s market, all the things you did when you were dating. Foreplay can now start at 9 a.m., or if not, start in the dining or living room at 6 p.m., rather than five minutes before intercourse.
Think about what you’d like
Again, without the rush, you can fantasize about what you really enjoy, what you’d maybe like to try. You can talk about it in advance, ramping up the anticipation and excitement.
Lower your expectations
With all that said, don’t think of all the above as part of a forced march to intercourse, the staging of an opera. This only increases the performance pressure that can undermine enjoyment. Instead, think of the time together as …intimate time together as a couple, and then see what happens. What you are ideally setting the stage for is … spontaneity.
Spontaneity vs. scheduling sex needn’t be an either/or, but a both, a way of increasing your sexual experiences and options.
Want to give it a try?