Tired of multiple sessions of marathon sex? Put a ring on a woman's finger. Just plain fed up with doing the horizontal mambo wherever y'all can find a non-stick surface? Well take that long walk down the aisle and your problems will be solved.
Now those comments are not going to endear me to my wife or my in-laws, (all of whom read this blog), but y'all know that a Lunatic has to keep things honest. Marriage doesn't completely cut-off the sex spigot, but when it's combined with children things can slow down to a proverbial crawl.
I'm bringing up this topic not to put my family on blast, but because I've read several articles recently about several couples who have used sexual goals to stimulate their flagging marriages. My marriage isn't flagging, but like all relationships it has its good days and its bad days.
The first of these articles I saw was in the St. Petersburg Times, the most recent article ran here.
Basically, these couples committed to having sex everyday for a set amount of time. In the St. Petersburg article it was an entire church commiting to sex everyday for a month, for one of the Times couples it was 100 days and for the other couple it was 365 days. That husband in that couple, Brad Mueller, had this to say about the state of his sex life after the year-long challenge ended.
“It made it much easier to be open to the idea, more spontaneous,” he said, “So you don’t go back to that always gaming for it and always trying to get out of it.”
I thought that was a powerful sentiment.
From what I remember about my single life, (it seems so long ago), the mating dance between men and women was a lot like a game of chess. Both sexes were constantly skirmishing, looking for a way to engage in intercourse without sacrificing too much power. Consequently, every sexual interaction was a contest and rarely did you get to fully relax and reveal your true self for fear of sacrificing some well-earned advantage.
One of the things I loved about finally getting married was that it seemed like those battles were over. If you're going to be with someone forever, it makes sense to put all your cards on the table, including the sexual cards. Consequently, I assumed that meant I wouldn't have to plot on how I was going to entice my wife to bed.
It doesn't actually work like that.
Marriage is the most intimate partnership anybody can engage in outside of a relationship with God. There is something special about binding yourself to another fully-formed and totally different human that can't be replicated. Even the bond between parent and child does not require the same level of intimacy as marriage.
However, far too often it's easy to get sidetracked in marriage in a way that damages the closeness couples should share. It could be work, or children or just that vagaries of life, but without fail every marriage will be tested and strained. Since sex is just one component of the marital melding, it can also be affected.
That's why I found the Times article so interesting. It's easy to forget when you're involved in a marriage just how much of a role sex plays in the bonding between human beings. My mother used to say that when you have sex with someone you share a piece of your soul, and I imagine that sharing is only amplified when you commit to sharing souls for the rest of your life.
The idea of making sex a goal in marriage, not just a duty, opens up a whole new way of thinking I believe. I'm sure it can get tedious having to make a sexual appointment everyday, but I wonder if the routine, the scheduling of intimacy, does not force individuals to think about their partners on a more regular basis. As many of us know, the hardest part of any relationship is sacrificing your desires to meet the desires of your partner, and I think regular healthy intercourse helps get in that habit.
I don't think every couple, married or otherwise, has to commit to having sex every night for a set amount of time, but I think it's important to acknowledge that sex isn't just some random act to pass the time, but that it's an integral part of what makes marriage and relationships special. The Bible encourages married couples to copulate for procreation and recreation and their is a reason for that. Very few acts bring couples as close together as intercourse, and I tend to believe that God understands that.
It might be time for everybody, particularly the married folks, to commit to getting some on a regular basis.
The world would be a better place.