Forget spontaneity and passion. Scheduled sex is the way to go for busy couples, say Singapore experts. SUNITA SHAHDADPURI gets some Singapore couples to test out this theory.
Experts explain why scheduling sex appointments can improve your sex life. Image: Getty Images
Why you should try it:
Very much like scheduling a mammogram, experts say busy couples should make sex appointments with their spouse. Once sex is made a priority, domestic chores or social obligations can be scaled back, so things can get steamy in the bedroom again.
Clinical sexologist Martha Lee of Eros Coaching says: “We make reservations for everything from dining, accommodation to entertainment needs. Why not sex? You want to keep that intimate connection, yet life gets in the way. Having a healthy and positive sex life takes effort, and scheduling sex is a part of it. It does not necessarily take the fun out of the experience; you just need to prepare yourself for it as you would a date.”
Dr Calvin Fones, consultant psychiatrist at Gleneagles Medical Centre, who helps couples with fertility issues, says the popular assumption that good sex is always spontaneous is elusive. In stable, long-term relationships, there is a need to be practical and realistic. “Just as we schedule meals, we need to do the same for this important
and significant act.”
And the reason why couples don’t schedule their sex life? Dr Fones has heard all the arguments about planned sex being too contrived and lacking in spontaneity but believes there is another reason. “People disregard scheduled sex because they find it difficult to talk about it. It’s a cop-out defence mechanism, and the spontaneity issue is just an excuse not to discuss their sex life,” he elaborates.
“If couples feel awkward talking about sex, use codes. ‘Let’s have a drink together,’ or ‘Let’s go out tonight,’ are examples of codes for ‘Let’s have sex!’ It’s important to be coordinated about it. If you’re waiting around and hoping for magical moments, it’s even less likely to happen. Planning for sex is a sign of respecting your partner because you are making it a priority.”
They tried it!
These women fixed a date to have sex with their husbands and share their experience.
1. HIS REACTION: He whipped out his iPhone enthusiastically and asked: “When?” And then the negotiations started. Friday, I said. Wednesday, he countered. Friday, I insisted. Thursday? He pleaded. I arm-twisted him into agreeing to Friday.
THE RUN-UP: I didn’t think much about it. My hubby, however, kept trying to bring forward our date. We found ourselves sending each other teasing smiles and caressing a lot more. And we even shared a few hot kisses when the kids were distracted.
DID IT WORK? Sort of. All that anticipation wound us up so much we ended up making love a day earlier. We missed our scheduled day, but had sex the next day to make up for it. Sex twice in a week – that’s saying a lot for exhausted parents like us.
WOULD WE DO IT AGAIN? Definitely. From the moment we planned the date, it was all systems go, and the run-up to it was as exciting as the sex itself. Hubby’s take: “I like sex with you, whether it’s scheduled or not.”
– Christine*, 38, mother of three, married for 10 years
2. HIS REACTION: He looked pleased. I didn’t have to remind him – he was ready and willing at the appointed time.
THE RUN-UP: It actually weighed on my mind because we had chosen a day during a very busy week for me. But he seemed to enjoy the anticipation – he kept giving me cheeky grins.
DID IT WORK? Yes. Scheduling it takes away all the very real excuses I would otherwise have used.
WOULD WE DO IT AGAIN? I think so – planning it in advance means you will end up having sex more often than if you just leave it to chance.
– Nicole*, 38, mother of two, married for 12 years
3. HIS REACTION: My husband and I work long hours so our sex life has been in the doldrums for quite a while. So when I penned in “Sex Tonight” into his phone’s calendar without him knowing it, he was pleasantly surprised and excited.
THE RUN-UP: The thrill of waiting for the night to arrive made me feel young again, like we had just got married and were discovering each other for the first time. In fact, he
kept texting me the whole day to confirm that our date was definitely on for later that night.
DID IT WORK? Absolutely! Sex was explosive and wonderful, something that we both hadn’t felt in a long time. And I thought scheduling sex seemed so organised and trite!
WOULD WE DO IT AGAIN? Seeing how this has spiced up our sex life, I may consider penning it in my hubby’s organiser again!
– Lisa*, 35, mother of two, married for 10 years
4. HIS REACTION: My husband was as pleased as punch when I told him. But after I rattled off a date and time, I fumbled with my organiser because I wasn’t sure if I could stick to it. His reaction: “I knew it! You can’t make it!” In the end, we came up with two dates over a period of two weeks.
THE RUN-UP: I almost forgot the date until the day itself; when I remembered, I told myself to try and leave work early.
DID IT WORK? We didn’t make the first date because we both ended up working late and by the time we got home, we were just too tired. We kept our date for the second try!
WOULD WE DO IT AGAIN? Yes, I think so, if only to remind myself that sometimes I need to slow down and make time for sex, like how I would for a date night with my husband.
– Claire*, 35, mother of one, married for three years
* Names have been changed
This article was originally published in Simply Her Dec 2011.