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

Women's Health Australia - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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