365 Nights of Sex: Can It Strengthen a Marriage?
When their marriages fell into the doldrums, two long-married couples decided to find out if having sex every day could boost their relationships.
Scheduled Sex: Good for Your Relationship? continued...
Cadell's six-week course called "Passion Power" includes a
commitment form, a questionnaire, and daily sensual exercises to help couples
deepen their bond. "When a couple makes a commitment to explore and expand
their sexuality together, they become 100% fluent in the art of love, intimacy,
and sexuality. They can stay in lust forever."
But some experts think scheduled sex can backfire.
Pepper Schwartz, PhD, a professor of sociology at the University of
Washington in Seattle, says, "Whether or not it works, most couples can't
do it. Those who do maintain that kind of schedule have either a sexual
appetite of Olympian proportions or have at least one partner who finds that as
their most important way of staying connected and the other partner has
tremendous grace and goodwill. There are no couples I have ever met that are in
that good a mood, or have that kind of energy every day. So this is a model
that will appeal to few and be practiced by even fewer."
But, she concedes, staying sexually and emotionally connected on a frequent
basis has merit.
"Sexual attraction and sexual arousal
bring to bear two very important hormones, dopamine and oxytocin, both of which
create bliss and bonding. Even if the lovemaking session started out with only
a modest amount of interest, once arousal starts, these hormones create
attachment, pleasure, and intimacy. So while everyday sex isn't necessary,
frequent sex is a great bonus and even an essential part of most couple's
commitment and happiness with one another."
Stress management expert Debbie
Mandel, MA, thinks such sex might be a bit "gimmicky" and could lead to
"In many cases, abstinence makes the heart grow fonder. You don't have
to abstain for a long period of time -- a few days off creates anticipation and
eagerness. You might love steak, but having it every night diminishes the
gustatory pleasure. Habituate yourself to regular sex, but don't ever let love
become a routine, a robotic obligatory habit."
Doug Brown disagrees. He says setting up a period of time -- be it a long
weekend, a week, or a month -- is a way to jump-start a sagging sexual
relationship. "It should be possible for any couple to do it for a week and
for it not to be a chore. It's free and it's fun. Why not plan it and take
advantage of it? Anticipation is a big part of sex."
Having sex every day may be unrealistic for most couples, but if you and
your partner want to ramp up your sex life, experts offer the following tips
Increase in increments. Muller recommends couples start by doubling
their frequency. Then doubling it again in six months.
Re-examine your sex life -- often. Though they now average sex three
times a week, Doug Brown says his wife recently told him they need a
"tune-up," or a mini-marathon of sex.