Your schedule is likely rife with work calls and social dates (another Zoom happy hour, anyone?) but should sex be on your to-do list, too? Sure, spontaneous sex is exciting—there's no doubt about it. But according to experts, locking in dedicated sexy time can be a good move for many couples, especially those with mismatched libidos or schedules, despite how unsexy the idea may initially seem.
Simply put, “Scheduling sex ensures that you’re actually having sex on a regular basis, and regular sexual activity is important for your overall well-being,” says Brandye Wilson-Manigat, MD, a gynecologist and libido coach. Not only can it reduce stress and improve your mood (and couldn’t we all use a little bit more of that this year?), it also strengthens your connection with your partner. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of planned sex dates, plus how to bring up the topic with your S.O.
The Pros of Scheduling Sex
“We’d all love to believe that the same rip your clothes off, have sex all day, everyday passion we feel when we’re first dating someone can last forever. But if you throw in real life, work, kids, or just the familiarity of time spent together, sometimes that all adds up to way less sex than you and your partner would like,” points out love coach Nicole Moore. A set date to have sex is one way to ensure it doesn’t end up getting put on the back burner: “It’s a commitment and declaration from the couple that sex and being emotionally connected is a priority to you, even if it’s hard to make space for it sometimes,” she explains.
An agreed-upon sex date is also a good way to ensure that both partners are on the same page when the time comes and there’s no mixed messages, adds psychotherapist Tyra S. Gardner. Similarly, it can be something fun that you both have to look forward to, she points out.
And all of the experts we spoke with agree that scheduling sex can be especially beneficial in today’s crazy world. If you haven’t been feeling particularly in the mood lately, you’re not alone. “COVID has caused a total change to the day-to-day schedules of most people. That can actually contribute to a sense of uncertainty, which is no good for your overall mental health, and that hit to your mental health can also impact your sexual desire,” explains Wilson-Manigat.
Plus, all that time spent together doesn’t necessarily translate to more sex. “Many people are stressed out by what’s going on in the world and emotionally exhausted so sex is the last thing on their minds," adds Moore. "Scheduling sex during Covid times can be a great way for couples to reawaken their sexual connection." And perhaps most importantly, it’s a great stress reliever, says Gardner.
The Potential Cons
The big caveat here is that if you’re a true go-with-the-flow person that hates having anything on the calendar, scheduling sex might never feel right for you, warns Moore. That being said, the biggest potential pitfall for most is ending up feeling like sex is yet another obligation on an already-crammed calendar, void of spontaneity, romance, or passion. But that doesn’t have to be the case.
“Just because you schedule a day and approximate time doesn’t mean that you can’t have passion—scheduled sex doesn’t have to be mechanical,” says Wilson-Manigat. So while, sure, you might set a date for sex, keep it open—our experts point out it doesn’t have to necessarily mean intercourse; this can also help reduce some of the pressure to perform, another potential pitfall, notes Gardner. She adds that incorporating things like role play, themed sex dates, dirty talk, and sex toys can also help keep things fun and spicy, as can changing up the time and place of your sex dates.
Meanwhile, use the fact that it’s scheduled to amp up the anticipation: Create the vibe, set the mood, wear a cute outfit, bring the same energy you would into getting ready for a regular date, advises Wilson-Manigat.
How to Talk About It
Sound like something that you’d like to incorporate into your relationship? “Make the conversation about wanting to be closer rather than making it about something being wrong. Tell your partner that you love them and being intimate with them, and you want to experience that on a more consistent basis because you think it would feel great for both of you,” advises Moore. She adds that you can even tell them you read an article about scheduling sex (you’re welcome) and ask is if it’s something they’d be open to trying. Above all, be honest about the realities of your schedules and the importance of intimacy to improve your relationship, says Gardner.
As far as how to do it, (and by it, we mean the actual logistics of scheduling) there is no magic number or frequency to aim for. How often you put sex on the calendar truly boils down to a matter of personal preference and what works for you as a couple. However, if you’re looking for some sort of guidance, once a week is a good place to start for most people, says Wilson-Manigat.
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