By Ellen Seidman
It's 8 a.m., and I'm caught up in the get-the-kids-to-school shuffle: shoes, breakfast, knapsacks, and no, you can't bring the vacuum cleaner for show-and-tell. Suddenly, I catch my husband giving me a funny look. "What?" I say, wondering if I have toothpaste on my cheek. "Do you know what today is?" Dave says with a wistful smile.
Um. Wait. Oops. Today is our ninth wedding anniversary. I knew it was coming up, but kid stuff had taken over my brain — signing up for swimming lessons,...
Financial troubles and health woes have pulled Eileen and Barry
apart in recent years, yet they seem to still crave each other's companionship
everywhere -- but the bedroom.
Now that kids are home from camp, many adults like the three
couples mentioned above are packing their bags and heading off to their own
camp -- "booty camp," also known as couples retreats or couples
enrichment weekends. Instead of swimming, arts and crafts, and campfires, adult
campers learn the art of erotic massage, how to achieve orgasm, and how to keep
the spark alive. The locales differ too. No upstate New York or Maine for
love-weary adults. Instead, it's off to Hawaii, Bermuda, and other plush resort
And it looks like they need it. According to recent media
reports, some psychologists estimate that 15% to 20% of married American
couples have sex no more than 10 times a year, which is how the experts define
a sexless marriage.
Enter Booty Camp
"These [retreats] have been around since the 1970s, and
some are really well-developed and sought out and some are not," says Laura
Berman, PhD, LCSW, clinical assistant professor of obstetrics-gynecology and
psychiatry at the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University in
Chicago. "They fell out of favor because so many of the groups were geared
toward '60s-style free love where you find your inner soul by engaging in group
sex, but once HIV/AIDS kicked in, people really shunned these retreats,"
says Berman, director the Berman Center in Chicago and co-host of Berman and
Berman: For Women Only on the Discovery Health Channel with her sister,
Jennifer Berman, MD, a board-certified urologist.
"Now," Berman says, "they are more credible and
focused on relational work, not just technique and taking sexual risks,"
says Berman, who co-wrote For Women Only: A Revolutionary Guide to
Overcoming Sexual Dysfunction and Reclaiming Your Sex Life.