I wouldn't call the sex I have with my boyfriend, Fred, "toxic": We've had a healthy amount with lots of texture (from start-the-week-off-right sex to the Wednesday-night reconnectors to a few all-day Saturday sessions). But after a year-and-a-half, even a good thing can feel routine. Why not try something that promises to make sex better — even if it means not having it at all?
In his nearly 10 years of counseling bedroom-challenged couples, Kerner has found that taking sex off the table helps couples focus on aspects of the relationship they never paid attention to before. "Most things that happen — or don't happen — during sex have nothing to do with sex," he says.
I mention the detox to Fred. He wipes the tear from his right eye after 90 seconds of hooting laughter and says there's no way I can go a month without sex. I guess I always have been the randier of the two of us, partly because I use sex as a security blanket — to confirm that I'm attractive and loved. Secretly, I wonder, too, if I can go without.
Along with saying no to sex, the detox requires you to do homework every day: Quizzes that get at how affectionate your family was and writing exercises that force you to think back on your first sexual experiences.
I take a multiple-choice test designed to diagnose the toxicity of your sexual relationship, including questions about what you suspect your partner would think about your fantasies. Fred knows mine — intimately — so I assume we'll ace this. The healthiest couples score 60 to 75. I tally mine — 59. Huh. We have decent sex. We communicate about it. How is that a 59?
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