Ideas about how to make scheduling time for sex actually fun and inspiring for your sex life.
Why do we resist scheduling time for sex? It is as though we believe that if we are truly sexually inspired, time will stop, children, clutter and work commitments will disappear and we will magically fall into bed with our lover. Similarly, I personally have tried the fitness plan in which I just wait for the moments when I get home from work and spontaneously decide to take a run around the block. Let’s just say I didn’t get very fit. Our fast paced, full of distractions lifestyle does not lend itself to letting something just happen when it happens. For better or worse, if we care about something, we need to plan to make it a priority.
So how do we make scheduling time for sex something that is actually sexy? Here are some ideas.
Remember why sex is a priority for you. First step is to connect with the reasons you want to be having sex with your partner. There are lots of reasons why sex is good for your relationship and your health. (Look for my future article on the benefits being sexual.) But what is more important is for you to envision the kind of relationship you want to have and how sexuality fits into it. How do you want to feel when you are with your partner? Beautiful, strong, vital, desirable? How do you want to connect with your partner? Can you see how sex is a part of building that connection for you? Remember why you are motivated about this important element of your relationship and it will help you to be more excited about making time for it. Write down three good things sex brings to your life and keep those in your calendar or somewhere you see them regularly.
Schedule time to schedule time. Okay, so maybe you are sold on the idea that sex is a priority and that you want to make time for it, but now you have to actually take the action step of looking at your calendars and selecting a time that works for your lives. This may seem obvious, but with the same magical thinking that goes into hoping sex will just happen, we often hope that a time will just appear in our schedules. Or people ambush their partner in the middle of the evening routine by saying, “We need to pick a time to have sex next week! When can you do it?” Their partner in the moment, possibly up to their elbows in dirty dish water, now feels pressured and not in the mood to even think about sex. You actually have to make time to talk together about your schedules and what feels manageable in a comfortable, relaxed way.
Try this approach. “Being sexual with you is really important and special to me and lately it feels like it is really hard to find the time. Let’s each look at our calendars and see if we can carve out time to be together sexually. Can you think about what might work for you and then we will sit down after the kids are in bed next Tuesday and find a solution together?” Then follow through.
Think ahead about your schedule and priorities. As busy people the truth is you may need to do some maneuvering to make time in your schedule. We have already established the time won’t magically appear, right? What often happens in therapy when we talk about this is people make suggestions about times and their partner feels put on the spot and stressed and then the conversation becomes this pressured negotiation about who will give up what. No one wants to hear that their partner would rather be watching Glee than having sex with them. This is just painful. So to avoid your conversation going down that road, it is important that you both think ahead about what you can give up in your busy week so that you can build time for sexual connection with your partner. Remember the reasons why you want to have a sexual relationship. And be honest with yourself, you will have to prioritize and change something in your week. Maybe this means one night you can live with dirty dishes sitting overnight or you can skip one yoga class or maybe you can take a long lunch from work one day a week. But have something in mind before you sit down with your partner so that they can feel you care about making time for them.
Once you have a time, look forward to it, think about it, get excited. When we are dating, we look forward to the date all week. We might pick out a new fun outfit or underwear or think about something really fun you want to do or show this person. You can apply this creativity to time with your long term partner too if you make the choice to. Show them that they deserve some effort on your part and start your sexual excitement going early by thinking about sex throughout the week. What do you need to do to feel sexy and desirable? It is not only for your partner that you may want to get out of your sweats and make yourself smell good. You need to stoke your own sexual fire by feeling attractive and sensually aware. Take responsibility for your own desire level by actively doing things to keep it alive.
Think of some ways you can treat yourself to sensual pleasure this week. What are three things you can do that help you feel sexually charged? Do at least one of them.
Use the time flexibly. It seems to be human nature that if we feel we have to do something, it seems less fun. And certainly no one likes to feel that they have to perform sexually. So think of the time you have scheduled with your partner as time to be sexual people together, which may or may not include your routine sexual interactions or sexual acts. This may mean one day you decide you are just not up for intercourse or being naked or whatever. That is ok. You can still take the time to be with your partner without the outside distractions of your lives. You can shower together or give each other massages, watch some porn and talk about what you liked or didn’t, or even read an article or erotic story to each other and talk about that. Use the time to be together and to build on your shared sexual life.
Seek help if you are struggling. For many people the idea of making time for sex brings up feelings of time pressure and stress, but once they find the time, they are really glad they did. However for some sex feels like something they would like to avoid or even something they dread. If you feel this way or if scheduling time to be sexual with your partner is causing more conflict, working with a Sex Therapist can really help. Give yourself a safe place to talk about what you are feeling. You can find a way for sexuality to play a positive role in your life and it is okay to seek out support.