Tuesday, June 10, 2008

They're Getting Some, How About You?

One of the first things you hear about marriage is that it is the antidote to a frisky sex life.

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.


Kevin said...

Speak, brotha, speak. I've been married once and now have a significant other with one child (my only kiddo) and all I can say is, "Sex? What is that?" The sex everyday thing is a radical idea.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

I read that Times article as well. Thought it was fascinating.

I'm single but I agree with your two last sentences. :)

Big Man said...

Thanks for the comments.

WNG said...

I think it's a great idea - it's another form of committment between you and a way of having time together no matter how crazy life gets. It also takes away the power dynamic because you have both agreed to do this.
I'm single, but a student of marriages good and bad, so this was very interesting.

shon said...

With as many marriages that seem to fall apart as a result of cheating, it is pretty mind boggling to me that we can all at times downplay how important sex is to a healthy relationship.

But sex as a goal is one conversation I am actually eager to have with my wife.

Big Man said...

My wife and I discussed it right before I posted the blog. I had to let her get a preview just so I wouldn't be in too much trouble.

Deacon Blue said...

Heh he, I wondered if this was something you passed by your wife first...I probably would have done the same thing were I in your shoes.

Oddly enough, my wife declared today that we are going to engage in 5 minutes of intimacy each day, no matter what (in addition to whatever more vigorous activity we might get around to periodically)...and she hadn't even read your post yet. Must be something in the air today...

It is all too easy to fall into habits of just saying "I love you" or giving a peck on the cheek and forgetting that sometimes, you have to work a little to re-apply the glue that holds you together emotionally and spiritually. I look forward to all of us doing a better job of getting (and giving) some.

Truthiz said...

"It is all too easy to fall into habits of just saying "I love you" or giving a peck on the cheek and forgetting that sometimes, you have to work a little to re-apply the glue that holds you together emotionally and spiritually."

Well said Deacon!

Gye Greene said...

"Now those comments are not going to endear me to my wife or my in-laws, (all of whom read this blog), "

Big Man,

You are **so** trying to earn your title of "Raving Black Lunatic..." :)

Good post, though.


OG, The Original Glamazon said...

I saw the 100 days couple on the Today show. I thinki its a great idea. When my marriage was having problems I suggested that my ex and I committed to having it a few times a week no matter what. He WAS NOT HAVING IT!! I said that was scheduling sex, needless to say that we didn't make it, not because of the sex, but you can see his unwillingness to try things could have been part of it.

I think its a great idea. I would love to be like girl you know we can't hang out Saturday morning is my get me some day, maybe we can do brunch on Sunday! *lol*

Not to mention what a good mood you would be in on the days you KNEW you were going home to have some REAL FUN!!


Gye Greene said...


Your [male!] ex turned down the sex?


(Inconceivable -- on so many levels...)


Raving Black Lunatic