My wife and I have been married, quite happily so, for almost fifteen years. We have two kids, 13 and 11, both of whom are very active in sports and school activities. We also both have careers at which we work full-time and often more than 40 hours per week.
Both my wife and I are dedicated to fitness and as a result I believe we are still very attracted to each other. I know I am to her because she is a beautiful woman both inside and out. I love her more each day and I feel very lucky to be in such a happy marriage.
My question will probably sound petty, given all of that, but something has been bothering me lately. My wife is now scheduling sex with me. I’m honestly not joking: she makes a note on her calendar and tells me in advance so I can be home and “in the mood.” She started this about five years ago when the kids were younger and she knew they would be out of the house, but it was only sporadically that we’d have sex per the schedule. Usually it was just spontaneous.
Now she lives by the schedule and I am starting to feel like a stud horse being ordered to perform. Obviously we aren’t trying to conceive (we do NOT want more kids) so I can’t see why we have to be so regimented about our physical relationship.
How do I put the spice back in my marriage and get my wife to abandon this planning ahead?
Greg in Vancouver
Shhhhhhh…do you hear that noise? That’s what a million collective groans sounds like, as men around the country read your letter and wish they had your problem.
Before you are blessed with my esteemed advice, let’s talk about the AskDesCamp Sexual Continuum of a Long-Term Relationship(R) as broken down by length of time together.
1. The first year, also known as the “Velcro Stage” or for women, the “Urinary Tract Infection Year,” is one in which the only problem with sex is figuring out how to fit other activities besides sex into your day. This is a fun period: the regular bumping of uglies and craving the new partner’s scent when they merely leave the room.
Also, you wouldn’t dare poop at their house or let loose a fart around them. You will travel upwards of five miles on foot and in the rain to avoid the cub coming out of the cave anywhere in the vicinity of your new love, and you go outside to toot.
It’s important to relate relationship stages to excretory functions because: a) the analysis is pretty spot-on, if you asked me, and b) this is a totally original way of looking at love and the shit that goes along with it, which makes me incredibly awesome even if some of you don’t understand my method.
2. The “Settling In” period, which can last anywhere from 2-5 years. Sex is still hot and regular (I mean on a regular schedule, it doesn’t have to be vanilla) but things are starting to cool down a bit and now when your partner leaves the room, you appreciate the moment alone.
Regarding dropping the kids off at the pool, out of sheer necessity (since you now live together) you do so with caution and whenever possible in a spare bathroom. You always employ the Mercy Flush* and when it comes to gas, you make a solid effort to either leave the room or bury the fart in a blanket.
Or, you wear these: undies with built-in charcoal pad to absorb your emissions:
3. The Marked Decline: this period can last from Year 5 to 10, depending upon whether you stay together and how many kids you have. For every child, add 1-2 weeks between couplings. Sex is now catch-as-catch-can and the heat has gone down, but at least it takes your focus off the brats for 8 minutes.
You’ve stopped worrying about any smells coming from your bung hole, because frankly it’s all you can do to not kill yourself, your children or your spouse on a daily basis. What you ate the night before and how it impacts the senses of those around you is a very low priority.
4. The Rest of Your Relationship Unless You Care Enough to Change the Pattern: Sex now occurs as often as you want, but you are always alone when it happens. No, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition does not count as a partner.
When you attempt to initiate intimacy with your spouse, you are met with a stiff arm that rivals Beanie Wells’ masterpiece. Instead of doing your partner when Beefy McManstick gets excited, you are given a to-do list by your partner. Major pieces of jewelry are now required to access the equipment to which you thought you had a lifetime contractual right, and you are pretty sure if you ever get divorced you will never marry again.
Increased animosity is vehemently displayed through hostile bathroom tactics, as you will now wait until your partner comes home from work to release the chocolate hostage and you do so with the door open and a fan on your lap that faces outward.
You save your farts like a squirrel saves nuts for winter, despite the resulting pain and bloat, and you unleash their fury in a Dutch Oven of Doom or a “funny wrestling contest” in which you win if you can knock the other person unconscious with your intestinal product.
Greg, you see where I am going here, right? You are so lucky. You and your wife love each other and have a great family and steady jobs. She’s still hot and wants to fuck you, and you are complaining about her need to schedule that time together.
I can give you some advice, but I think it’s really important for you to appreciate what you have and talk to some other guys who have been married with children as long as you. I think you will find most of them would kill to be in your position (and I mean that literally, so watch your back), so you might want to keep that in mind going forward.
My advice is simple: if you want more impulsive and less predictable sex, make it happen! Nothing in your letter suggested that you are taking any initiative or that she is turning you down if you attempt to park your yacht in hair harbor during unscheduled hours. Frankly, it kind of sounds like you have abdicated your responsibilities in the romance department.
Be intuitive enough to figure out her schedule and surprise her from time to time with a hot little fantasy. Maybe you take her to a hotel at noon: suggest lunch in the restaurant and then surprise her by having the waiter giver her a room key instead of a menu. Hopefully she won’t register surprise and disappointment when you open the door, instead of the sexy waiter…
Too expensive or complicated? Get the kids out of the house and offer her a back massage. Hard-working women love a good massage, and if you do a really fine job she will be too relaxed to turn you down for sex, even if she’s not in the mood.
Greg: take the reins and make exciting and impetuous sex with your wife a priority. Celebrate that she cares enough about maintaining intimacy with you to actually keep a schedule and stick to it.
It’s not unusual for one partner to assume responsibility for an aspect of a relationship that should be carried by both, but it is dangerous. Once that person decides to shuffle off the load, especially if they think the other doesn’t appreciate their efforts, you’ve got a major gap in your relationship and some uphill work to close it.
Now go on, Greg: make something hot happen with your wife today, then email me tomorrow and tell me all about it (I’m a pervert).
*Mercy Flush: Excrete, Flush, Wipe, Flush