It's 3:45 p.m. on a Wednesday when your cell phone alarm goes off.
"Fuck Sarah," it says.
"Splendid!" you think out loud, somewhat British-ly. You have 15 minutes until your 4 p.m. sex appointment.
You freshen up; throw on some music. You pick your clothes up off the floor, maybe light some candles. The anticipation builds as the minutes wind down.
Just then, Sarah walks in. She's very prompt.
You proceed to have the sex you both scheduled two weeks ago. "Fuck Greg," her iCalendar read.
There's a lot of negative stigma towards this kind of sex — scheduled sex, that is. Some people find the lack of spontaneity off-putting. Others think the scheduling aspect makes it feel forced, and a fun thing less fun. People in long-term relationships fear it means the spark is gone; that their sex lives have gotten so routine and unimportant that this — this planning — is their only extreme option left.
It can make young people feel old, and old people feel … older.
However, what many people are missing here is that planned sex can be the best sex in the whole universe-galaxy-dojo. Despite its unnecessarily negative connotation, legitimate sex dates actually a sign that sex is important to a couple; that they're willing to put in actual work to keep the flame alive. Shit — you don't even have to be a couple to have planned sex. What do you think a dick appointment is? Or a fuck buddy situation?
It's planned sex, baby.
"It's simply one of the best ways to prioritize intimacy and put it at the top of the list," psychotherapist and nationally recognized sexuality counselor Ian Kerner told the Huffington Post. "The idea that desire is spontaneous and that it switches on like a light switch goes against science." In other words, you can't just wait for desire to strike … if you're hellbent on waiting until you’re all randy in the genitals, it can lead to one very long dry spell.
"Sex begets sex," Kerner said. "So open your calendars and slot it in." … Pun intended?
Sex expert Mare Simone has some more convincing arguments for you. As a certified and long-practicing sex surrogate who schedules sex sessions with clients, she knows a thing or ten about what it's like to plan and execute insanely great sex.
"While it's fun to be spontaneous and lead with passion," she says,"scheduling sex dates with your partner has many benefits. From the practical side, scheduling gives you an opportunity to be prepared inside and out. Unlike spontaneous sex, you can show up ravishing! Clean and freshly shaved."
Nothing wrong with spending the time to look and feel your best before you screw, is there?
In addition to that little pro, planned sex also helps you prepare mentally.
"When you plan, you can set aside enough time and make sure you're not exhausted by previous activities so you can show up 100 percent," Simone explains. That perfect hundred is hard to achieve when a fuck appears out of nowhere — how many times have found yourself having morning sex, and instead of focusing on the pleasure and intimacy of it, you're thinking about what you're going to wear to work and how much time you'll be able to spend in the shower? Or, if you bring someone home from the bar, how many of you have switched off the "This feels fucking great" button in favor of "What is this person's fucking name?"
With planned sex, you don't need to be confronted by these types of trivial, invasive thoughts. Rather, you've set aside a time to do something you love, that you know is fun and and healthy, and you can take that time to both focus on it and get the maximum benefit out of it by doing so.
What's more, is that scheduled sex also gives you the opportunity to fuel your fantasies — the planning aspect of it allows you to prepare for kinkier, less routine types of sex that you can't always just jump right into when you have spontaneous sex. For example, if you're into anal, planning sex gives you time to regulate your meals and clean out your butt. If you're into bondage or domination, it can give you enough time to set up ropes, handcuffs or whatever you use for binding. If you're into role-play, it gives you time to get an outfit and get into character. We could go on and on …
"This feeds relationships and keeps them juicy," Simone continues. "Long and luscious sex dates can rejuvenate you for the entire week ahead."
No wonder a 2009 survey from Consumer Reports found that 45 percent of couples plan times to fuck each other.
Because of all these benefits, experts like Kerner and Simone generally recommend that couples schedule sex at least once a week. It's not like that's the only type of sex you should be having — Simone says quickies are great, but that scheduled sex generally counts as more "gourmet time — but it's definitely a type that's particularly fulfilling.
Two other fucking fantastic things about planned sex we have to mention, lest we explode:
The first is that it builds tension like a motherfucker. If you don't have time to have sex with each other, or one of you will be away for a while, looking forward to that one, not-so-distant date where you can finally do what you've been wanting to do is beyond bonerizing. Delayed gratification builds arousal and intrigue — the more you imagine having something, the more you want it.
The second, and most beautiful thing, is that it doesn't have to be non-spontaneous at all. The only thing you're required to schedule is a time and place to bone … there's no telling how you'll do it or what'll happen when you get there. No one's stopping you from pulling some surprises out of your sleeve for your partner, or from switching things up from your regular routine. In fact, the planned date feeling of it in itself might be a far enough cry from your regular style of sex that it's enough to make excitement shoot right out of your dick on its own.
We know you're sitting there right now all like, "But what if I'm not horny when the time comes to do the deed?" Calm yourself. Since desire requires arousal to initiate the process, you might just need to kickstart it by jumping into sex (or foreplay, or whatever you do) before you actually feel aroused. Sometimes, if you get the ball rolling and put your body in motion, your brain is likely to get board as well. According to Kerner, in a safe, consensual space, the actual physical act can be enough to trigger the mental state … you're probably just not used to that order of operations.
Last point before we leave you to your planners: intimacy doesn't have to mean penetrative sex. A scheduled sex date can mean anything from simply spending time together and reconnecting, to giving each other head and eating spaghetti, to hanging out while wearing butt plugs, to holding hands and listening to "Fireman" by Lil' Wayne 23 times in a row … whatever "sex" is to you, all that matters is that you're setting aside a time to focus on it and make it count.
With all that in mind, here's to hoping you're booked solid for the rest of the month.