A few years ago after her wedding, my friend sheepishly admitted that she and her husband didn’t even hook up on their wedding night because they were too tired. Another friend piped in, “Me neither! My husband was drunk and hanging over the toilet once we got back to our hotel suite. It wasn’t too sexy…”
In fact, research shows that most American couples that have consummated their union before marriage skip sex on their wedding night. This discovery led me to explore more things that a number of us may not readily admit about our sex lives. (No judgment here. The average couple may not feel like divulging their sexual insecurities, questions and secrets over a coffee catch up.)
They Schedule Sex
With busy different schedules and the inevitable fatigue that goes along with it, many couples have realized that it’s better to schedule sex than to wait for inspiration to strike.
I spoke with Eve, who said that booking time to “mess around” has improved her marriage. She explains, “Before, we kind of just expected sex would happen like it used to happen, but sometimes weeks would go by and I realized we were avoiding sex or hardly having it, and not on purpose. We decided that one to two times a week was important to us, and we calendar it now. Literally, it’s on an invite we send to each other with a wink. It’s actually fun.”
Whether you choose a regular romp time every week (i.e., Saturday afternoons) or look at your schedules week-to-week, scheduling together time can be very effective for busy couples that don’t want to lose their intimate connection.
They Barter for Sex
Over the years, I’ve interviewed and have worked with couples that sometimes barter for sex. For instance, one partner would say, “I’ll go down on you if you clean up the kitchen” or a couple may make a bet with sex or sexual favors as the reward.
Sex coach Amy Levine, of IgniteYourPleasure.com, says that bartering for sex is a way for couples to give in to their partner’s sexual needs, wants, and desires so they can get what they want. She explains, “In other words, (bartering for sex) is a means to an end. Here’s why: A lot of couples experience mismatched libidos—meaning that one usually wants more sex than the other. I find too that a good percentage of people can go without sex and be completely content, whether it’s related to low or no desire, stress, performance anxiety, etc.”
These “trade-offs” can be fun and effective, permitting both people in the relationship want to play along.
Masturbating is a normal and healthy sexual expression, but it becomes an issue for couples when it replaces sex.
Levine says that some people think they shouldn’t masturbate if they are in a fulfilling relationship, but it’s not mutually exclusive from enjoying sex with your partner. She says, “Solo sex is another form of sexual expression, it’s not something to be ashamed of and it’s perfectly healthy to do when you’re in a relationship. Ultimately, as a form of sexual expression, solo sex can be a way to nurture yourself—especially for women.”
Another thing that some couples may not admit is that they masturbate in front of each other. Levine encourages this since, “It’s a great way for (these couples) to learn what feels good for their partner. It’s sexy and adventurous for those that have never done it before…”
They Compare Themselves With Other Couples
It’s okay to be curious if your sexual habits with your S.O. are “normal” or if you should be concerned (or proud!) of your sex life. Because sex is such a personal act, a number of people don’t discuss their situation and have no real way to gauge if they are doing okay in that department.
While it would be great if we didn’t compare ourselves with others, it’s common for people to do this—especially when they encounter issues in the bedroom or feel insecure.
“I find some couples compare themselves to others for a few reasons,” Levine says. “Here are two common ones: They hold themselves to the standard of what others are doing, rather than what is best for them. Or, they are insecure and unsatisfied with the amount of sex they are getting and use it as means to get more action from their partner.”
If you find you’re doing this, just remember that you never really know what’s happening in the lives of couples behind closed doors. Someone may project an image that her sex life or relationship is fantastic, and the picture may look very different when nobody is watching.
Ultimately, it’s OK to have intimate secrets about your sex life. Try not to judge or compare yourself to others in this department. Trust me, if everyone aired their dirty sexy laundry, many of us would realize our habits are not as strange as we may have imagined.
Andrea Syrtash is a sex & relationship expert and the Author of Cheat On Your Husband (With Your Husband). For more, visit www.andreasyrtash.com