Is Scheduling Sex Unsexy?

scheduling sex

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: modern couples are busy. Sometimes we’re even too busy to get busy, meaning we’re missing out on the relationship and health benefits of sex.

Enter one possible solution: scheduling sex. Is scheduling sex a good idea? Although it might not sound ‘sexy’, scheduling sex can work well if you keep these things in mind:

Making sex part of your routine ≠ routine sex.

Even if you’ve planned sex every Sunday evening, that doesn’t mean your sexual experience needs to be exactly the same each week. Bring some spontaneity by switching up the sexual activities you engage in, set the mood with different music and lighting, and give your partner a massage…the possibilities are endless! And incorporating some variety will boost your happiness in the bedroom and beyond[1][2]

You might get into it.

What if your scheduled time comes up and you don’t feel much desire? Some research suggests that, especially for women, you may get more into the sexual experience as you get started (a phenomenon known as responsive desire[3][4]). By having sex in the calendar, you may be giving yourself a chance to experience pleasure when you otherwise may have passed on sex. (But remember it is also okay to say no to sex, and you can do so kindly to protect your partner’s feelings[5][6]). 

You can avoid miscommunications.

A lot of sexual initiation happens non-verbally[7]. Although people are generally decent at knowing when their partner is in the mood for sex, misperceptions can happen[8][9]. When your partner said they were tired and heading to bed, was that an invitation to join them? Scheduling sex may help both partners get on the same page about when sex will happen, and avoid unintentional feelings of rejection.  

Are you still turned off by the idea of scheduling sex? Remember, your sex life is not like an episode of an HBO show. Unlike what the media often shows us, our sex lives take effort and work to stay satisfying. Ditch the belief that sexual satisfaction will naturally happen, and be intentional about putting in effort (e.g., by blocking off time for sex). Doing so will help you and your partner feel happier in your sex life and relationship.

[1] Frederick, D. A., Lever, J., Gillespie, B. J., & Garcia, J. R. (2017). What keeps passion alive? Sexual satisfaction is associated with sexual communication, mood setting, sexual variety, oral sex, orgasm, and sex frequency in a national US study. The Journal of Sex Research54(2), 186-201.

[2] Why sexual variety matters – Huff Post

[3] Basson, R. (2000). The female sexual response: A different model. Journal of Sex &Marital Therapy26(1), 51-65.

[4] Responsive desire and erotic sexuality – Psychology Today

[5] Kim, J., Muise, A., & Impett, E. A. (2018). The relationship implications of rejecting a partner for sex kindly versus having sex reluctantly. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships35(4), 485-508.

[6] How couples negotiate sexual rejection – Psychology Today

[7]  Vannier, S. A., & O’Sullivan, L. F. (2011). Communicating interest in sex: Verbal and nonverbal initiation of sexual activity in young adults’ romantic dating relationships. Archives of Sexual Behavior40(5), 961-969.

[8]  Dobson, K., Campbell, L., & Stanton, S. C. (2018). Are you coming on to me? Bias and accuracy in couples’ perceptions of sexual advances. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships35(4), 460-484.

[9] There may be a better way to initiate sex with your partner – Psychology Today

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