Give it a rest, already.
I enjoy s*x, a lot — the act alone, encompasses so many options and opportunities for pleasure, connection and even exercise. I also talk about s*x in marriage a lot, usually with people who aren’t getting it right or simply aren’t getting it.
Most of the time, I work with couples to move them toward “daily intimacy.”
But I find that most people assume that daily intimacy means s*xual intercourse daily. It doesn’t!
I define “intimacy” as loving experiences that bring you closer together (mentally, emotionally, and physically) — experiences that you couldn’t have in front of others without making them uncomfortable, nor would you brag about paying someone to do them for you. (For example: If you get regular massages from a professional and might consider Grandma accompanying you to a session, then that massage is not an act of intimacy for you.)
Having s*x every day certainly fits well within this description of intimacy, and it’s a great way to kick start a new or a floundering s*x life. However, having s*x every day in marriage (or other long term relationships) can easily start to feel expected, mechanical, monotonous, … even lifeless.
s*x then begins to rank right up there with brushing our teeth or taking a shower; it feels good, but we don’t do it for enjoyment or deeper connection with each other, we do it out of routine or need.
Some couples get stuck in this monotony, while others go overboard trying to avoid boring, mechanical s*x. They turn s*x into a contact sport with assigned positions and sometimes even a team of players, all in a desperate attempt to keep things exciting.
As a woman, using s*x as a means to an end leaves you feeling as though YOU were the one used as a means to an end.
If the focus becomes checking off items on a checklist or successfully implementing the plays in a “how to have hot s*x” playbook, you’d feel like the ball in a soccer game being kicked around, until you reach the goal.
I don’t know about you but I need to feel like we’re the goal — like loving and building a stronger bond is the goal.
If intimacy is contingent on daily s*x acts (and resulting goal-oriented orgasmic explosions), a potentially beautiful experience then turns into an Olympic event. And I must say, there is a reason the summer games only happen once every four years!
s*x is NOT sport, it’s not even an outlet. No five-point spread, no pat on the bottom for a “good game.”
When we associate extreme s*x, or s*x in general, as the way to have a meaningful experience with one another, all other forms of connecting pale by comparison. As a result, we stop seeking the simpler moments … radiant appreciation and quiet presence fall away. We need endless drama and thrills. If we’re not having Olympic style s*x, we’re having stadium-sized arguments, which only disconnect us further.
Remember, I did say earlier that I love s*x (a lot).
My husband and I share a long-standing, star-spangled-banner s*x life, you know, with the rocket’s red glare and bombs bursting in air.
We also practice daily intimacy … but not always daily intercourse.
It feels good to reconnect with ourselves and each other in new ways as whole people, not just the sum of our s*xual parts. We come back together stronger, even more aware of each other and our needs. Our love grows ever more resilient and unbreakable. Win-win!
There are rules and recommendations across many religious and spiritual traditions, such as Judaism, Catholicism, and Hinduism that encourage abstinence periodically in marriage, either based on the woman’s menstrual cycle or the phases of the moon.
Here are five powerful, intimacy-building reasons you should not have s*x daily in your marriage:
1. You remove the pressure to perform and reduce the focus on quantity (vs. quality)
2. You create space for more quality experiences with each other, across the full spectrum of intimacy
3. You find opportunities to re-discover and re-awaken YOU, as an individual.
4. Your partner gets to notice and be reminded why they love YOU, not just s*x with you.
5. You cement your bond in more than one way.
Even in baseball, we can’t win the game based on the bat connecting with the ball alone. The players need to run, catch, be aware of the other players’ positions, communicate, and support one another. Not having s*x every day, doesn’t mean you disconnect from each other.
On those no-s*x days here are some suggestions on how to still “play a good game” as partners:
Flirt with your spouse
Tease each other sensually and get comfortable with uncomfortable arousal
Talk about what’s important to you while lovingly stroking each other
Sleep unclad together
Really look at each other, see into each other
Be playful and have fun
s*x is most enjoyable when it’s approached with a sense of discovery, exploration and appreciating every moment. After taking a timeout from having s*x, come back to it and let s*x be about what feels truly good and right to both of you and build on that; uncovering the buried pleasure.
Turn “the game” into a loving, sensual adventure.