Or: the benefits of scheduling sex.
Many people think that sex is supposed to be spontaneous.
This is the way we are exposed to sex in unrealistic depictions around us. And it probably worked for us personally during some phases of our relationship.
Thing is, if we leave sex to happen by itself, it can easily become somewhat unsatisfying. Maybe too infrequent, maybe too quick, perhaps a bit repetitive. Whatever the case might be, we are left wondering if that’s all there is to it.
One of the ways to make sure that sex in long term-relationships is deliciously alive is to book it in. Schedule it in your calendars. In other words, do not leave it for chance.
For starters, it helps couples that might have a “frequency mismatch”. It is very natural for one person to want sex more often than the other. When you schedule sex dates, you can decide on a frequency that makes you both feel happy. I usually recommend once a week, although it’s totally up to you to find what works for you.
On top of that, when you schedule it in, it allows you to make it a special experience.
One of the things that I hear people complain about is that sex in a long-term relationship is boring. It’s predictable and uninspiring.
Sex with a familiar person is not as exciting as sex with a new person (The Coolidge effect explains this phenomenon). But that doesn’t mean you have to succumb to mediocracy.
Instead, you can take your time to plan, prepare, and make the Intimacy Date something special and precious.
This is one of the reasons I stopped calling it “Sex Date” and started calling it “Intimacy Date”: sex date implies sex in the same way you usually do it. On the other hand, intimacy date suggests there’s much more to it.
What to do on your Intimacy Date?
Some couples like to plan it together, others prefer taking turns. Whatever you do, make the effort to plan something to show your partner that you care for them. That you appreciate them being in your life. Investing time in preparing and planning communicates to your partner that the relationship is a priority for you.
I highly recommend starting the practice by dedicating 10–15 minutes to being by yourself. You can use this time for a little grooming, or a short meditation. Whatever you do, make sure you ground yourself. Bring yourself to a state of gentleness and kindness. This will enhance your ability to simply be there with your partner without wanting anything but sharing your joy with them.
Some couples love to start with a ritual. Some couples enjoy different bonding exercises, such as —
- Gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes for 5–10 minutes;
- Taking turns telling each other 3 things that you like about the other;
- Hugging each other in stillness for 5 minutes;
- Giving each other a relaxing massage.
Choose anything that makes you both feel connected and calm.
It also helps if you invest in creating an atmosphere that separates this Intimacy Date from any ‘ol quickie. Music, candles, flowers in the room. I know it sounds a bit superficial, but the atmosphere can really set the tone of the entire experience.
If both of you feel like moving into more erotic or sexual realms, do that, but keep your focus on appreciating and caring for your partner. Don’t rush into some high crescendo too quickly. Take your time to explore. Even the same areas in the body, the same touches, can be done with a fresh attitude when you approach them from the state of mind of curiosity and wonder.
How to make sure the Intimacy Date doesn’t become boring and repetetive:
The secret lies within making sure you come to the Intimacy Date with fresh eyes every single time. This is an attitude that is easier to take on when you are prepared.
Even if you decide to practice the exact same ritual again and again, as long as you are able to find your gratitude toward the other, that awe and admiration will keep you away from feeling bored.
Moreover, planning the Intimacy Date means you don’t need to leave the creativity to the heat of the moment. There’s no pressure to perform — on the contrary. When you plan, you can fully relax and be your authentic self, which, funnily enough, can be truly spontaneous and unpredictable… Ain’t that funny to notice?
If you still think that sex is supposed to be spontaneous, let me ask you this.
How many times in your life did sex happen after you fantasized about it?
How many times did it happen and you pretty much predicted it would, or at least hoped it would?
If you think about it closely, I am pretty sure you’ll realize that much of your so-called spontaneous sex was, at least to some degree, planned.
The Intimacy Date simply brings more conscious intention into that process, that’s all. And that’s generally a good thing, won’t you agree?