Why It’s Okay to Schedule Sex

Why It’s Okay to Schedule Sex

I’ve always thought that “scheduling sex” was the death-knell of a relationship—like something those couples that also use the Squatty Potty in front of each other do. I mean, did Carrie and Big ever schedule sex? Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele?

Isn’t scheduling sex an overly "logical" solution to something that defies logic—that heady mix of chemistry and desire? (Not to mention about the least romantic way to ensure that you have it.)

Evidently not. To give us all a little kick for Valentine’s Day, I reached out to sex therapist Ian Kerner, PhD. According to Kerner, scheduling sex isn’t being type A or taking a business approach. Instead, he says, it’s simply one of the best ways to prioritize intimacy and put it at the top of the list.

Waiting to have sex until you “feel the desire” goes against our biology.
How often do you shutdown your partner because you aren’t “in the mood”? According to Kerner, “the idea that desire is spontaneous (and that it switches on like a light switch) goes against science, which shows that desire is responsive and requires arousal to get the process rolling. This means you have to put your body through the motions and trust your mind will follow.” It turns out that the actual physical act can be enough to trigger the mental state, as well.

Start by scheduling once a week.
“Studies show that sex once a week improves overall relationship satisfaction,” Kerner says. So open your calendars and slot it in. You may find that putting it on your schedule gives you both something to look forward to—and that anticipation may even spark a little extra flirting and chemistry.

Now that you have a WHEN, spice up the HOW with a little variety.
Kerner likened sex to food, comparing it to (ok this is genius) the Food Pyramid. You need a balanced diet to get all of your nutrients (and not be bored), right? “Just like the Food Pyramid, there are different categories of sex that you should be consuming regularly,” he says. “Sex that's loving and tender and enhances emotional intimacy. Sex for the sake of sex: because it feels good and relieves stress. Sex that taps the power of fantasy, and sex that plays to all of our various senses: sight, sound, smell, touch and taste.”

The bottom line? Waiting until you’re “in the mood” can lead to one very long dry spell. As Kerner says, “sex begets sex.” So grab your partner—and your planner—and find some time not just on Valentine’s Day, but every week.

It gives a whole new meaning to getting your calendars “in sync,” doesn’t it?

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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