Q: Our summer holidays were great; my husband and I camped, played golf, and had lots of sex. Now that we are once again in the daily grind of work responsibilities, I’m afraid we will return to our habit of making love only every couple of weeks. How can we stay connected?
A: It sounds like you experienced the vacation fling phenomenon: couples needing to get away in order to get it on. The ingredients are simple. Take away work demands, interrupt daily routines, create time and space, and have fun exploring new things. Mix these all together and, voilà, you get two relaxed, happy people who want to play. And making love should be play, not work.
But now it’s back to the workweek and all the hustle and bustle that comes with living in the “real” world. Many couples store their summer sex life alongside their tent, fishing poles and golf clubs, where lovin’ takes a back seat until the next road trip. Don’t let that happen. You need a new fall hobby, one that doesn’t involve hiking boots or scrapbooks. And that hobby is your love life.
Think about it. What are the features of a hobby? Well, it’s something we prioritize, study and enjoy. If you love sculpting, you look forward to sculpting, you learn about sculpting, you make time for sculpting, and you sculpt! Psychologically, couples need to switch their mindset in order to improve the state of their sex life. If the idea of making love feels like a burden, sex becomes just one more thing on the to-do list. Sadly, this is a common problem.
Let me guess: Now that the summer is over, you and your sweetie tend to make love infrequently, quickly and late at night (after you’ve had an exhausting day). Are you creative? Nope. The pattern is nipple-nipple-crotch-goodnight, right? No, I’m not psychic. But I have worked with thousands of couples, and the majority of them neglect their love life. Now contrast this with how you approach your hobbies. I’ll bet loonies to Timbits that you save time in your week for that golf game or book club or dance class. It is hubby—not hobby—that hears, “Not tonight, dear, I’m too tired.” But sex as a hobby means sex is fun. And we all make time for fun. Here’s how to make love a hobby:
1. Schedule sex
Yup! In a long-term relationship, spontaneous sex is as common as a sasquatch sighting. I often hear couples complain, “Making a date for sex isn’t romantic.” To which I reply, “You know what’s not romantic? Never having sex.”
2. Don’t leave love until last
Grab an afternoon delight on the weekend or a quickie in the shower in the morning. If you have time to fit in your morning jog, you also have time for cardio of a more naked variety.
3. Study, learn, and make plans to improve at your hobby
Read a sex book, consult an expert, buy some love toys. Experiment. Try new things. They won’t always work out the first time, so try again. Practice and play make for great sex, both on the road and at home.
Psychologist Cheryl Fraser, PhD, is a sex and relationships therapist. Cheryl teachers how to improve relationships on her CD Become Passion.
September 2013 issue of Best Health magazine