Could maintenance sex help your relationship?
It’s a word which implies fixing a broken shelf or oiling the hinges of a door. It’s not a word which says ‘vibrant and flourishing sex life.’
But, could embracing this very unsexy word be the key to a stellar sex life?
I’ve written previously about the idea of having sex when you’re not really in the mood, but in that instance we were discussing having sex when you’re not really feeling it, but your partner is in the mood.
Maintenance sex is sex that you have on a schedule, like a date night, only without paying £3.50 for a Diet Coke.
It’s a commitment that you and your partner make to each other, to have sex whether or not you’re feeling super horny, because you’re in a relationship and you love each other.
We all make similar commitments to other aspects of our life.
Whether it’s booking in gym classes that you can’t cancel, or agreeing to have one night a week where you eat dinner at the table rather than with the TV on, all of the conventional advice about relationships follows the same pattern: make things which help you to feel close to your other half part of your routine.
The tricky part is the question of whether you should ever push yourself towards having sex if you’re not in the mood.
We all agree that active and affirmative consent is a vital part of having sex, and that being pushed into it by anyone else is not acceptable.
But what if the person doing the pushing is you?
Is sex a bit like going for a run – something that you might not feel like before hand, but enjoy during and feel pleased about after?
An argument for maintenance sex is that the more sex you have, the more sex you tend to want.
Sexpert Annabelle Knight told Metro.co.uk: ‘One thing that couples fail to realise is that the act of sex itself increases your libido so the trick to having more sex is to have more sex.
Climaxing releases feel good chemicals such as serotonin and oxytocin which help to make you feel sexy, so regular orgasms help to naturally increase your sex drive.’
Annabelle goes on to explain: ‘There are lots of things you can do to help increase your libido such as taking care of your diet, exercising regularly and making time for romantic date nights.’
So perhaps the idea of deciding that Tuesday night between seven and seven forty-five is sex time is a bit too broad, but there is no harm in setting a regular slot in your week which is intended for intimate time, whether that’s a chat, a cuddle or sex.
You could try thinking of it as maintenance time rather than maintenance sex, where you can talk about anything that’s bothering you, get some skin on skin contact or, yes, knock the headboard against the wall like sailors on leave.