A new British study finds that more and more of the island residents are scheduling sex. Due to busy lives the British are finding a weekend day to pencil in a little nookie. They say that the demands of their job, children and home life often push sex to the back of the line, or take it off the agenda altogether. The report states, “Britons in relationships have sex, on average, six times a month, and many think they are stuck in a rut when it comes to sex, with 17 percent of all respondents admitting to scheduling sex, with routine times and days of the week appointed to ‘keep the spark alive.’” A third of the island’s inhabitants say they aren’t satisfied with their sex lives. 53% said they were satisfied, 32% weren’t and 15% were unsure. Although it sounds at least initially unromantic, experts say that scheduling sex can help increase physical and emotional intimacy and stave off divorce. Dean of the Institute for Advanced Studies of Human Sexuality in San Francisco Janice Epp, Ph.D. thinks that scheduling sex is the best way for busy couples to maintain intimacy, a human need.
In an interview with The Huffington Post’s 50 blog Epp said, “I frequently see a lot of very young couples who are working 14- and 15-hour days and they’re wondering why they’re not having sex. And the couples in their 50s, 60s, and 70s are not used to looking at sex as valuable. They’ve had all these years of putting sex behind everything else. You have to be willing to make it a priority.” A surprising 22% of women ages 50 to 59 last year didn’t have sex at all according to a Kinsey Institute report. 20.6% of men reported being in a sexless marriage. But a sexless marriage doesn’t often last. To save your marriage and your sex life, pencil it in says Epp. Instead of looking at it as a romance killer, think of it as something to look forward to, like reservations for a play or an exciting event. Epp says, “Some people say, ‘Sex should be spontaneous!’ to which I say ‘B*ll…You plan other things in your life and you don’t complain about it. You can do the same with sex.” The date should land on a day when you are both relaxed, when you both have a lot of energy. Whether it’s in the morning on Saturday when the kids are at extracurricular activities or Sunday night after a long, relaxing weekend together keep that appointment, but find ways to make it exciting and interesting. Lavish in the idea and think about what new territory or position you’d like to explore.
Sex dates aren’t the only thing couples can do to keep the spark alive, “connecting dates” are also important according to Epp. She went on to explain, “Whether it involves sex or not, it involves connecting on some intimate level. What I want [couples] to do is to have some alone time together without any interruptions. They’re not to talk about work, or children or how the stock market is doing. It can be cuddling, it can be touching, it could be massaging. It could just be holding each other.” This allows couples to relax, reconnect and deepen their relationship. Soon the stresses of the day and domesticity melt away and you and your lover are reveling in time spent loving one another. Once you start reconnecting again on a deeper level, you can expand these out to further develop the marriage. “[Now that the couple has] motivation to carve out that time, I send them on weekend dates. Get away for a weekend once a month if you can.” Having sex dates can really be fun. What’s more it can give you a time to be husband and wife without all the other things that crowd it out. Remember that even if it’s scheduled, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Don’t apply pressure. Instead, relax and have fun. Remember as Epp says, “Sex is perfectly natural but it’s not always naturally perfect.” For more on this topic, pick up a copy of Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships by David Schnarch.