“So, honey, can I get on your calendar later?” my husband requests while zipping up his flight suite as I search for a blouse to wear for my virtual meeting.
I pause my search and respond, “Sure! What time do you think you’ll get out of your debrief?” Quickly picking up my phone, I scan today and the following day’s activities on my app. I ask him if I’d need to stay up later than usual to make the appointment happen. “No later than nine o’clock,” he assures. “Okay, that works.” I drop a heart on my calendar for 9:30 p.m. and just like that we have scheduled time for sex.
I know, I know. You may be thinking that sex is supposed to be exciting and spontaneous. Why use a calendar at all? That’s not sexy. Honestly, I thought the same thing. Early in my relationship my partner and I would have sex multiple times a day regularly without much thought at all. The spontaneity was exciting, and our day-to-day lives supported it. As our family and work responsibilities grew however, we found it harder and harder to “make it happen.” There were moments when we got it really right and others where we had to have tough conversations. I’d like to offer you the perspective that although those impromptu, steamy, movie-like scenarios are great, the typical couple may not be able to sustain living up to that theatrical bar. Putting unnecessary pressure on you or your spouse can make it harder to connect or leave one person feeling like something is wrong with them for not being ready to go on cue.
What if I told you that your calendar should be the sexiest thing you own? What if I told you scheduling sex is not as uncommon as it may seem? What if I told you, you could start scheduling sex now and immediately feel relief?
Here are three reasons you should schedule sex:
If you schedule PT you should schedule sex. The health benefits of a regular sex life are not a secret. Studies show that sex boosts your immune system with higher levels of a certain antibody that defends your body against germs, viruses, and other intruders. There is also a link between sex and lower blood pressure, which is great for your heart and lowers the risk of heart attack or heart disease. Sex can also help improve sleep and ease stress. Put simply, sex counts as exercise and its benefits are not only pleasurable but impact your overall wellness. The Armed Forces prioritizes wellness for active duty service members through organized physical training, challenges, and facilities on each installation. Units have scheduled times where they work out or do some type of physical activity together. This dedicated time improves morale and accountability. I’m all for a morale boost in the bedroom and I know that I often need the help of my partner to ensure that I prioritize “grownup time” as opposed to the endless list of to-do items. Just as you schedule your gym time, you should definitely schedule your sex time.
So how do you schedule sex? Smartphones have a calendar app. You can simply use your existing phone app to create appointments and invite your spouse or partner to those appointments. An alternative is using a paper or dry erase calendar that is in a visible location within your home. You can use emojis, code words, or pictures when scheduling sex to keep it spicy or to keep children or others in your home from knowing what that scheduled time means.
We need to prioritize pleasure. As an entrepreneur and podcast lover, I am all ears when business owners I admire talk about how they were able to reach their levels of success. One in particular that I follow offered a truth that hit home for me. Rachel Rogers, author of the book We Should All Be Millionaires and host of the Hello Seven Podcast, started an episode introducing her guest Susan Hyatt by saying “So, we’re going to talk about how pleasure led one woman to lose eighty pounds, and create millions of dollars of income for herself.” I immediately turned up the volume as I didn’t want to miss this conversation. In the episode Hyatt uncovered her secret to a more fulfilled life. Hyatt said, “It’s interesting that what I discovered was that the best business plan a woman can have is self-care. So, self-care as a business plan is what will take you from decent money to amazing money.” I started, thinking, what if this is a formula for not just business, but for marriage and life in general?
If you want to be a millionaire or not, I think there is still huge value in this point for each of us to glean. Prioritizing pleasure is a way to achieve that harmony of give and take when it comes to life and relationships. The military lifestyle tends to feel like there is a great deal of take. It takes your spouse or partner away with deployments, TDYs, and mission requirements. It takes your time as you maneuver around no-notice changes or solo parenting. It takes your energy as you cope with stresses or let downs. It takes your normalcies and has you starting over again PCS after PCS. This concept of prioritizing pleasure tells you to give to your experience. Give yourself permission to have intimate moments with your spouse or partner. Give yourself time to set the mood with a bubble bath. Give yourself that appointment to get that fun haircut that makes you feel sexy and empowered. Give yourself the calendar appointment for “go time!”
You might think that pleasure should be an afterthought or reward for a job well done. This new approach suggests that going for pleasure, like sex, first can better position you to maximize other areas of your life. Scheduling sex at the top of your priority list is a great way to live out this concept. Talking with a coach about your priorities and sex goals can be a huge support. Reaching out to a therapist like Courtney Boyer, M.Ed, M.S., who is a clinically trained mental health and sex therapist can be a great place to start. As a Certified Relationship Coach, Courtney helps high achievers become as successful in their relationships as they are in their careers.
Take the guess work out of it. If it’s not on the calendar, then it’s probably not happening. As you can guess, I’m a planner by nature. I acknowledge that everyone is not like this and that is completely fine. The final benefit of scheduling sex is that it gets rid of the constant guessing game. In my marriage, my husband has shared that he started to get frustrated wondering when it was the time for intimacy. Imagine your spouse or partner trying to read your mind, body language, and any other hints to determine if the day will conclude with a happy ending. That’s a lot of work! Their energy is better spent by speaking your love language throughout the day to set the tone, with the confidence that the buildup is not in vain.
Another podcast that I really enjoy is the ONE Extraordinary Marriage podcast. Their intro is absolutely spot on and opens with, “From San Diego, California this is the ONE Extraordinary Marriage show, where being busy is overdone, romancing is fun, and scheduling sex is taking the guess work out of wondering when you’re going to get some…” Why didn’t I think of this before? Scheduling sex puts my spouse and I out of our misery of trying to guess or avoid inconvenient intimacy times. This practice also taught me that having sex makes sex better. Studies show more frequently engaging in sex will improve the libido, vaginal lubrication, blood flow, and elasticity for women.
Try scheduling sex. It might just become the most important appointment on your calendar!
Bree Carroll, Military Marriage Coach, Event Specialist and Speaker, transforms spaces and hearts through authentic design and purposeful planning. With a background in civil engineering, Bree brings her brilliance of problem-solving and eye for design to couples, so they can design a marriage even more beautiful than their wedding day. Using her CARE method, she guides couples through designing a marriage that celebrates their core values. As a voice in the milspouse community and the 2020-2021 AFI Air Force Spouse of the Year, she celebrates strong military marriages. In 2020 she founded Military Marriage Day, an annual holiday celebrated on August 14 as well as a resource for service couples. On her internationally broadcasted podcast, Hearts & Stripes, she speaks on the power of relationships.