Some people might think that scheduling sex is, well, un-sexy. But if you’re in a long-term relationship in which you and your partner want to have more sex — and particularly if small children or busy schedules are keeping you and your partner from getting it on — scheduling sex can be a life-changer. You just have to do it right.
“I am a big fan of scheduling sex, and a lot of couples will at first be resistant to the idea because it doesn’t feel spontaneous,” explains Rachel A. Sussman, LCSW, a relationship therapist in New York City. That’s because spontaneous sex can be really difficult, she says. “We all live really busy lives, and — especially if you’re married with small children — having a spontaneous sex life is nearly impossible.” The solution? Get out your planners and schedule it.
To schedule sex, Sussman suggests a couple look for "windows of opportunity" in their calendars. “You have to look at your schedule and see what’s going on: What time do you get home from work? Are your kids in your bed all the time? Do you ever have any private time? You've got to look for at what your window is,” she advises. For example, if you have opposite work schedules but both have Sunday off, plan to have sex then.
Along with those “windows of opportunity,” Sussman says to consider when you and your partner’s sex drives are highest. For example, if you both enjoy morning sex, plan to wake up early for sex once a week, or to make sure the kids are busy on a weekend morning. Sussman also suggests scheduling sex as part of an evening date night, upping the romance factor.
Of course, even if you put sex on the schedule, sometimes one person might not be feeling well enough for it. In that case, “I always suggest to promise a rain check,” Sussman says. “The person who doesn’t want to do it can’t pull a, ‘Not tonight, I have a headache,’ but they can say, ‘Not tonight, but how about next Wednesday?’”
If you feel like scheduling sex should be a last resort, consider that scheduling sex is more common than you might think. One Consumer Reports poll found that 45% of sexually active people scheduled sex. That's just under half of all couples, including newlyweds. (And by the way, according to a Zola survey, 36% newlyweds also schedule sex.)
So you have nothing to lose by giving scheduling sex a try, Sussman says — after all, if it doesn't work for you, you can always stop. “At the end of the day, try it for a month, and then evaluate it to see if it’s working or not, or see what needs to be fine-tuned," she says. "Why not make an experiment?”