MORE SEX LESS STRESS
When writer Sara Faye Green moved sex to the top of her to-do list, life got a whole lot more interesting
It’s date night, and the mood is right for overdue intimacy. You book that cosy restaurant, pull out your silkiest undies, get all dressed up. But after three courses and a bottle of wine (so filling!), you’re home scrolling through Instagram (so distracting!) and feeling your eyelids close after that epic work week (so exhausting!).
How are you supposed to rip each other’s clothes off when you can barely floss before falling into bed?
My husband, Jesse, and I know this scenario all too well. After a decade together, sex is still satisfying. But we’ve both taken on bigger roles at work, and the time between our romantic connections has stretched.
The rest of the country are getting it on less than they’d like to as well, with only 42 per cent of Victorians having sex once a week and 89.7 per cent of Nswers giving their sex lives the thumbs down, according to the Durex Great Aussie Sex Survey.
But making time to be intimate on the reg “has a cumulative effect in a relationship”, says sex researcher Kristen Mark. “Sex leads to more sex. It may not sound sexy, but pre-planning is key.” So I devised an experiment: for two weeks, I decided to prioritise sex the way I usually prioritise everything and everyone else. And let’s just say the results surprised me.
THURSDAY 7:30PM GAME NIGHT WITH THE NEIGHBOURS
I love hosting. When we have friends over, I spend hours creating the perfect spread: Manhattans with sour Luxardo cherries, the rarest international cheeses. Three out of four women say they crave “amazing food” more than “amazing sex”, according to a survey of 3000 peeps by Everyday Health in the US. Tonight, I wasn’t going to be one of them. As I pulled Jesse onto the couch, hors d’oeuvres be damned, I realised that I’d been letting my obsession with entertaining take precedence over a ripe opportunity for sex in heels. Jesse and I finished just before our doorbell rang. No time to prep anything, so we ordered Thai and our mates brought wine. Ample sustenance to keep us giggling through (and secretly relating to) Cards Against Humanity.
SATURDAY 9PM DATE NIGHT
Jesse and I had such a romantic date after our early evening shower sex that we ended up going for round two when we got back into bed post-movie. Important lesson learnt: there are infinite reasons to do the deed before going out. You can get a late reservation at the cool, new eatery, instead of settling for a mediocre spot with available prime-time seating. And the warm, happy afterglow leads to extra flirtiness during the meal. “Once we have our eyes open to all of the
‘off times’ sex can occur, we start to see opportunities for intimacy everywhere, and be more excited by them,” says sex coach Jill Mcdevitt.
WEDNESDAY 7PM DINNER WITH HIS FAMILY
This one was hilarious. Jesse’s parents showed up half an hour early, as parents do, while we were right in the middle of it! Luckily, our apartment has a buzzer, so they weren’t able to walk in on us. And Jesse found it extra hot to make them wait until we both finished. We texted them that we’d just gotten back from the gym and were getting ready. It’s a great excuse if people arrive while you are all loved up: you’ve just been doing vigorous activity, and if you need to meet them freshly showered or a little mussed, it’s believable. Dinner went especially well. No one got on a single nerve, as all of ours had been thoroughly re-circuited in advance.
SATURDAY 10AM BRUNCH WITH THE GIRLS
We usually have sex on Saturday mornings anyway. That said, any early plans with friends or family have always taken precedence over our time together, so, on a morning like this when I’m meeting my ladies, I’d usually slip out while Jesse was still sleeping. But, in the interest of experimentation, we set an alarm to give ourselves enough time to do it before I jetted. I didn’t lose that much sleep, and by the time I left at 10am, Jesse and I had already enjoyed the romantic morning we would usually wait for all week.
SUNDAY 10PM ALMOST BACK TO WORK
Sundays in our house are usually rough, and not in a sexy way. We do our chores, pay our bills and are generally grouchy. The final romp of our experiment was good, not mind-blowing (we were both distracted), but the main thing I noticed after two weeks of almostdaily sex was how sweet Jesse was to me all day. And how I was more patient with him. He was so blissed out from our putting each other first that he was kissing the length of my arm in bed as we drifted off to sleep – a departure from our usual Sunday-night stress-fest.
Multiple studies show the frequency of sex is as important as quality for long-term relationship satisfaction, because the closeness in bed spills over to non-sexual aspects of your relationship, and after this test run, I wholeheartedly agree. Not only did this make our relationship spicier but the mutual feeling of prioritising each other led to more affection in unexpected moments too. I can’t promise I’ll continue to put sex before every event, but I definitely won’t allow it to be last on my list either.
HUMAN HOT WATER BOTTLE