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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 dissatisfaction.

"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 for success:

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.

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