Do You Ever Avoid Sex?

Honey, get your cute ass home. I made turkey chili. And I’m horny.

I’ve called my husband of ten years with a version of that message too many times to count. (When I cook, I’m quite good at it. But while my husband would prefer a daily meal, I’m more of a weekly chef.)

My urgent messages are mostly in jest. My husband is usually a 40-minute drive away. And... I do want him. In that moment.

However, by the time he gets home that evening and we’ve put the kids to bed and finished all the other household chores I can think of, that moment is long gone. I’m tired and likely more than a little scared of the intimacy that lovemaking brings.


Image: Rodrigo Benavides via Flickr


My husband knows me; he knows to take my sexy messages more as postcards than invitations. When you get a postcard from a loved one on vacation, you don’t rush to Belize to join them. Or is that just me?

Bait & Switch

My husband isn’t a saint, but his patience around sex is divinely sent. You see, I am expert at thinking about sex, feeling desire, then shutting it all down and getting busy on other things instead.  Perhaps by design, my appetite for sex strikes at times inconvenient for lovemaking. My desire peaks as my husband is walking out the door to catch a flight or the kids are swarming our bedroom. (We have two young daughters, hardly enough for a swarm. Yet swarm they do, especially when we’re about to get busy).

I call this phenomenon The Distance Principle:   my sexual desire is inversely proportional to my husband’s distance from me. If he’s out of town on business, I want to jump his bones. If he’s in bed beside me, I often want nothing more than sleep.

I chuckle when I read experts advising couples to “sext” each other during the day with promises of the hot sexual escapades to follow that evening. My sexual desire doesn’t work that way. Mine typically peaks when my husband is far enough away to prevent a booty call. It’s safer that way.

Procrastination, Pressure, Pleasure

Like many women, my relationship with sex is not straightforward and clear. Sex means I have to slow down, relax, but not sleep. Often the only pleasure I want when I’m horizontal is sleep. And when I’m vertical, I want a snack. Hmmm.

Let me assure you – I am sexually attracted to my husband – his face, voice, body, spirit and humor totally turn me on. Apparently my appetite for follow through is not as strong as my appetite for tease. The tease is hot. And quick. The act, while pleasurable and fun, time consuming.

And I have important things to do!

In our home, the distractions to delay or avoid sex are tempting and endless  – kids to feed, blog posts to write, body parts to tweeze, closets to unclutter!

Out of our home, I’m a regular honeymooner.  My claim to fame among my group of friends is having sex with my husband in the stairwell of a Macy’s department store (how’s that for a teaser?!). When we’re on vacation, my sexual follow through improves exponentially. (Take me away on a romantic weekend and we’ll procreate like bunnies. Neglect cleaning the kitchen, no sex for you.)

Because it’s financially impossible for us to have vacation sex on a regular basis, over our ten years of marriage we’ve had to get creative in our approach to a mutually satisfying sex life. Here are our three top tips:

Zero Pressure Pleasure:  My husband knows the key to my participation in our sex life is massage (and him cleaning the kitchen). For me, the only thing better than a massage, is a massage without the pressure to reciprocate. Often, when my husband rubs my back, I feel that I owe him a backrub. Or sex. Pressure ≠ sexy! My husband encouraging me to enjoy the massage without reciprocation = big turn on.

Therapeutic Pleasure:  We have the best sex of our career when we are in couple’s therapy. We rant and rave at each other or the therapist for an hour, then sneak home while the kids are occupied with the babysitter and have sex before the sitter leaves. No one is the wiser. Or so we tell ourselves. Fighting = foreplay!

Incognito Pleasure:  My husband and I have fun, playful sex more often than passionate, “take me now sex,” but every now and then we surprise ourselves … For years, my husband and I talked about replaying a scene from the movie, When a Man Loves a Woman, where Andy Garcia’s character meets Meg Ryan’s at a bar. Although they are husband and wife, they pretend not to know each other and banter, flirt and make out, much to the surprise of their fellow bar patrons.  On our last anniversary, we tested our acting chops during a crowded train ride and checked into a local hotel pretending to be strangers who only just met. While we both agreed our acting skills need work, the memories of our fun charade keep us blushing to this day. Improv = sexy!

Perhaps it’s time to recreate another movie scene.  Any suggestions?

Sex is an ongoing commitment to our relationship, one I can choose to embrace and enjoy or delay and avoid. Here’s to an abundance of sexual desire and follow through for all of us, specifically when our partners are within kissing range. In the meantime, excuse me, I have a booty call to make!

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