THREE TYPES OF SEX EVERY MARRIED COUPLE SHOULD HAVE
Sex can’t make a marriage, but it can reveal many things about the state of one’s marriage.
A fulfilling sexual relationship can be the fuel which drives a healthy marriage. An inability to grow together sexually can destroy a relationship no matter how healthy other aspects may be.
When I think about sex in marriage, I’m reminded of the three different types of sex which many marriage counselors encourage for a healthy sex life—spontaneous, scheduled, and maintenance.
1. Spontaneous. When most people think of sex, they think about spontaneous sex. This is the type of sex which just happens. A couple is attracted to one another both physically and emotionally. The energy builds and leads to an experience of unplanned passion. It’s fun, natural, and an important part of any marriage. This type of sex is easy in the early years, but as kids come along and the stresses of life increase, spontaneity can decrease. While lives change, we should never lose our ability to express our love for one another in a spontaneous way.
One of the best ways to reinvigorate a marriage is to add more spontaneous sex to the mix.1When you feel as though you are in a sexual rut, change the place or time of the encounter and the passion can quickly return.
2. Scheduled. Planning sex sounds like a turnoff to many people. On the rare occasion in which I do pre-marital counseling, it is not unusual for a couple to hear about planned sex and have a difficult time imaging it. I ask them, “Do you plan on having sex on your honeymoon?” Of course they do, so they are already working on this step. We often think that planning something ruins the fun. We think spontaneous is better than planned, but it simply isn’t true. Half the fun of vacation is the planning and anticipation of it. The same is true with scheduled sex. Most important things in life are scheduled so it only makes sense for sex to be one of them.
Scheduled sex becomes more important with kids. As hectic as life can become, planning on time to be alone is vital for the relationship. If you’ve never tried to schedule sex with your spouse, try it and see if it as boring as people think. I’m yet to meet a couple who practices scheduled sex say that it is boring.
3. Maintenance. This is the most overlooked type of sex in marriage, yet it is equally important. In nearly every relationship, one partner has a higher sex drive than the other. Most people think of men having a higher drive than women, but in many relationships the women have the higher drive. No matter who has the higher drive, some compromise will have to take place regarding the frequency of sex. Generally speaking, a couple should have sex more than the lower drive spouse desires and less than the higher drive spouse desires. For this to happen, some sex will have to be maintenance sex. This is sex simply for the higher drive partner. This might take some effort from the lower drive partner, but it is worth it.
One mistake many couples make is to think the higher drive partner is wrong for wanting more sex. This isn’t true. Many times I will see couples in which one partner claims the other partner “wants too much sex” and when I ask how much is “too much” the amount stated is a very normal amount. A high sex drive is not sinful.1 Our drives are different and compromise should determine how much sex we have.
All three types of sex are important to a healthy sexual relationship.
Take time (not while in bed) to discuss all three types with your partner and find out which area could use some improvement.
Is there a fourth type of regular sex which I have missed?