Let’s talk about sex. Can we? Because it’s been on my mind lately. Yes, I’m just like a teenage boy these days: All I can think about is getting laid.
Except when I’m thinking about not getting laid. Like when I’m really tired, the kids have been especially needy, and it’s just been a long day — which is most days. And then I just want to curl up in bed, pull my tablet close, and watch episodes of “The Blacklist” over and over and over. Give it to me, James Spader. Now that’s my kind of naughty.
But where’s my husband in that scenario? Maybe watching next to me, maybe away on a business trip, maybe on his laptop. But clearly not on me.
My husband’s a good guy. He’s smart, he’s great with our kids, he can laugh at himself, he remembers my olives at the grocery store even when they’re not on the list, and he gets up first to make the coffee. He even gave me the OK to put my name on this quite personal blog post (I’m the one who chickened out). So maybe “good” is an understatement. He’s pretty darn great. So that’s one of the reasons my resolution this year is to jump under the covers with him more and get it on. Cue the Marvin Gaye.
This idea was sparked a few months ago when I read a Boston.com article about marriage. It talked about how our generation is different from previous ones in that we’re so scheduled and so “f*ckin busy,” as one woman put it, that many of us are now scheduling sex. I have to admit, that’s an idea I had always scoffed at in the past (how unromantic! those couples are doomed!), but this time, as a somewhat frazzled mom who sees the Wegman’s checkout guy more than her husband, I read carefully.
At the time, the hubs and I had what I’d consider a fairly normal sex life for a busy married couple raising young children. Meaning about once a week, sometimes less, occasionally a lot less, like in times of extreme stress or extreme pregnancy. But I knew that intimacy was important for us. So maybe we could do better?
And so despite earlier reservations, I decided I’d be up for scheduling sex. I asked the hubs if he’d give it a try. He was thrilled. Turns out, guys don’t really care if it’s scheduled or not, as long as they’re getting it. So it went onto the calendar — guised as a bi-weekly “date night” — and took its place among the numerous doctor appointments and parent-teacher conferences. An in-writing commitment that should not be missed.
Except, we soon discovered, that it’s really easy to miss. In the first couple weeks, the hubs was away on business, I was sick as a dog, and then one of the kids was sick as a dog. Making “date night” near impossible.
The next couple weeks weren’t as sickness- and travel-heavy, but my heart just wasn’t in it. The holidays were looming, and I felt fried and a bit disconnected from my husband. And, to be honest, “date night” felt like yet another deadline. It was simply another activity in our over-scheduled lives.
Until we started inserting a bit of foreplay into the transaction. Remember foreplay? Yeah, we barely did, too. But we realized that there still has to be some romancing, and not exactly carnations and ear-nibbling. We’re talking foreplay of the modern marriage: one person doing the dishes, the other paying a bonus compliment, a slightly-longer-than-necessary kiss at the breakfast table. Yes, people, foreplay can happen even at breakfast, and it should happen all day long. In the form of a quick phone call at lunch. A stickie love note left on the bathroom mirror. And flirty text messages filled with emoticons. Especially those.
I’m happy to report that as soon as we started connecting throughout the day more, we found it much easier to make “date night” materialize. We’re now hitting our twice-a-week goal — and occasionally exceeding it “just because.” And I’m trying to attend our meeting even when I feel the urge to curl up with James Spader instead, and you know what? I’m never sorry when I do.
And that’s why this is one of my resolutions for 2016. To work on my marriage in a very simple, tangible way. To do the nasty. Knock boots. And generally GET. IT. ON. Sing it, Marvin.