Two months ago, my friend and I were at Founding Farmers when she asked me for some sex advice. Her dilemma:
I come home from a long day at work and don't have the energy to pretend that I'm a porn star. I'm tired. I have to take care of dinner, clean the house, feed and play with our baby girl, and then get her ready for bed. I want to spice our relationship up, but most times, I'm just having sex so my husband is satisfied. Even then, I spend a lot of the act thinking about how much I have to do around the house afterward. And, just once I would love to come home and have him put our child to bed and have a bath ready for me!
I've heard this from quite a few of my friends in their 30s and 40s. Everyone's schedules are so hectic that it leaves little time and energy for sexy time. Some of that is to be expected. Marriage changes the relationship dynamic. Working in more senior positions or trying to keep a job in a bad economy compounds the stresses. Having children places huge time constraints on a relationship. What's a couple to do?*
I gave my friend a few suggestions and thought I would share those with you all. From my perspective as an outsider and friend, the goal here is to make both parties happy, while respecting the fact that time is at a premium. My friend wants romance and intimacy. Her husband wants to get laid. I think that both of them can get what they want!
I recommended that they find one hour a week to reconnect. Just one! Even if a week is especially hectic, family is visiting, or one person is sick, one hour is doable (pun intended).
For the first week, I mentioned that my friend should let her husband set the itinerary. A few days before the "Rendezvous," he should send her an e-mail, text or note with what he would like to happen. (Keep in mind, though, that there should be some ground rules about what would be an acceptable way to spend the hour. If you've never introduced anal, porn or another girl into the mix, now is not the time to do so. Work within realistic and comfortable realms.)
The purpose of the e-mail/text/note is to get communication going about sex and romance…to get both parties excited about their upcoming time together…to make the guy think more about what the woman wants and vice-versa. The ultimate goal is to bring the couple closer!
For the second week, the woman sets the agenda with the same rules. I told my friend that if what she wants is to have a bubble bath and a bottle of wine, then that could be her hour right there! There's a time and place for sex that's down and dirty, but there's also a place for romance.
I suggested alternating that mode for several weeks. If it helps to book a babysitter in advance, do so. Also, try not to pick the last possible hour in the week to reconnect. That way if there's an emergency, you will be able to reschedule. Remember that it's just one hour and that you deserve (if not, need) the quality time as a couple!
If that's worked for a month, then try planning how to spend an hour together. That involves communication, which is one of the keys to any healthy relationship. Maybe make a plan to try something new as a couple? You don't need to go buck wild, but get out of your comfort zone or your routine a bit. A new position, a new place, a toy, a sex book or a porno flick…anything will do.
Or, write a few of your ideas for how to spend the hour down and ask your partner to do the same. Put those pieces of paper in a box/bowl and then pick one piece of paper out and focus on that activity for your hour.
If one hour works with your hectic schedules, then add a second hour. You don't need to reinvent the wheel of your default relationship mode or try to spend five hours a week in bed together (unless you want to, that is). But, it's worth it for you both to find ways to reconnect on a romantic and sexual level.
Think of this like an exercise program or diet plan for your relationship. If you lose 10 pounds in a week, such rapid weight loss is tough to maintain. Likewise, most of the couples that I know don't have the time or energy to spend hours upon hours in the bedroom. Pick a realistic way to spice things up a bit! And, remember that small changes will have long-term benefits!
*I realize that this post caters to breeders or power couples, but I wanted to answer my friend's question first.
Next Post: Tips for any couple to spice things up (regardless of time, age, stage, marital status or whether there's a kid in the next room). I'll also throw in a few ideas for those women who don't particularly enjoy sex and some reminders for my female readers to embrace their bodies — whatever size and shape they are.