My husband and I are having trouble finding the time to have sex. We are either too busy or too tired. We have three kids, a live-in au pair and we both work full-time, so it is hectic at home. My husband wants us to try out a “sex schedule” but I am really reluctant because I think turning sex into an arrangement means that it loses all the spontaneity. Does it
It is true that scheduling sex is nowhere near as romantic as coming home from work to find the hallway unexpectedly strewn with roses and a naked husband with a bottle of chilled champagne in your bed, but this is the real world. Three kids, two jobs and one live-in au pair equals a tonne of responsibility and zero privacy, so you have to be realistic about what is, and isn’t, possible.
Let’s face it, the spontaneous approach isn’t working out too well for you guys. And why would it? It is not exactly a strategy you would apply to any other aspect of your life. You and your husband do not spontaneously decide that you are in the mood for dinner out. You have to check your diaries first, ask the au pair to baby-sit and then make a reservation. You don’t spontaneously decide to go to work or pay the mortgage. And the sound of three kids who haven’t seen you all day, whining outside the bedroom door, rules out spontaneous after-work sex.
We are conditioned to believe that sex is an instinct or a biological drive, so it feels counter-intuitive to have to put any effort into it. We expect sex to be a lightning bolt, not a scheduled arrangement, but at a time in life when sexual desire and physical opportunity so rarely present themselves simultaneously, our yearning for spontaneous sex is unrealistic. When you are 25 you can do whatever, whenever, wherever — and if all goes well, you’ll regain those liberties when you are 65. However, in the three decades sandwiched in between, you have to rewrite the sexual script.
When my husband and I found ourselves in a similar boat to you, we worked out that Tuesday and Thursday lunchtimes were the only times in the week when our house was empty. I work from home and his office was only 10 minutes away so we were able to steal an hour alone together, twice a week, until the holidays came. The arrangement was not set in stone and we did not manage it every week but it helped us to get through a difficult period and the anticipation was as enjoyable as the interaction.
Our arrangement only worked because my husband was working nearby and it probably wouldn’t work for you because you have a toddler at home, however, you could get the au pair to work for a couple of hours every Sunday morning. Or get her to babysit in the evenings and instead of going out for dinner, why not book a room at a hotel and hang out undisturbed until midnight.
Turning sex into that kind of an arrangement is anything but dull. In fact, knowing that you have a sex-date booked gives you the warmies every time you look in your diary. And of course any kind of advanced planning will force you and your husband to discuss what you want, and when and where you want it. This alone will improve your sexual relationship.
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