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6 Ways to schedule sex that aren’t depressing

We’re a culture obsessed with passionate spontaneity and too many of us are quick to think our long-term relationships have fizzled, even when most things are going swimmingly.

One of the great divides between our “hot” old relationship and “stale” current relationship is sex — how often we’re having it and, maybe more importantly, whether we’re having I-want-to-rip-your-clothes-off-right-now sex or we’re-totally-getting-divorced-soon-aren’t-we scheduled sex.

But the only real problem with scheduled sex is our attitude toward it.

“I still get surprised at how many people are resistant to scheduling intimacy. They still think it should be spontaneous and ‘just happen,'” said licensed marriage and family therapist Anita A. Chlipala, owner of Relationship Reality 312, Inc. “I remind couples of the time when they first started dating. They had to plan dates in advance. Even though they didn’t see each other for a couple or few days, they both expected or hoped they would be intimate. It was fine then, why can’t it be fine now?”

More: 7 Awesome things about sex in your 30s

Chlipala reminds us that, even though most people have sex because they want to, sometimes your relationship is simply in need of the deed and, given our hectic schedules, making a plan (and making the effort) to have sex is often the best solution.

“Couples have to make it a regular occurrence in their relationships,” Chlipala said. “All it takes is for one person to say ‘I don’t feel like it’ often enough for the frequency of sex to decrease, which will negatively impact feeling connected to one another.”

With all that said, there are ways to schedule sex that aren’t completely depressing. Here are six tips to scheduling hot sex:

1. Keep it a secret from your partner

“A woman can buy lingerie and wear it for her man [or woman] on the day she wants to have sex — she doesn’t have to tell him, thus it’ll still be a surprise for him, but it was still scheduled in her mind and she is prepared,” Chlipala suggests.

2. It doesn’t always have to be intercourse

“Couples can make the scheduled time whatever they want,” Chlipala said. “It could be ‘his’ or ‘her’ night and alternate. It could be a set time to try a new position or an intimate activity (like a bubble bath or massage) with no expectation of sex (but if it happens, great!).”

3. Send foreplay texts and notes in advance

There’s nothing like building up what’s about to happen with a little written reminder of all of the mind-blowing things you plan on doing to each other. Try leaving post-it notes in places only he will look or send one sexy text on the hour, every hour, until you see each other.

More: Critical conversations couples should have at 10 years of marriage

4. Make a plan that you’re actually excited about

Tantra experts Patricia Johnson and Mark Michaels, who wrote Partners in Passion: A Guide to Great Sex, Emotional Intimacy, and Long-Term Love, suggest scheduling at least two erotic encounters a week for the next month. They say it’s up to you whether these encounters include orgasms for one or both of you. Take note of how this affects your general level of desire. Two of their clients make a point of taking extra-long lunch breaks every Thursday so they can meet at home for an early afternoon tryst. “They delight in anticipating this weekly ritual and tell us that it keeps them feeling hot for each other,” Johnson said.

5. Be creative and strategic with timing

Trying to knock one out on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m., knowing your daughter has dance class at 4 p.m., is not going to work, according to the experts at After Nine Tonight. But agreeing on Tuesday night that cell phones and computers will be off limits once the kids are in bed, can be an ideal solution. If you have access to a sitter, have her take the kids to a movie. Having enough time to relax greatly improves your chances of having good sex.

6. Have the sex start before you actually hit the bedroom

On the day that you’ve scheduled sex, spend a few more minutes in the morning shaving and primping, suggests After Nine Tonight’s experts. Put on sexy underwear and an outfit that makes you feel attractive. Enjoy a few mental fantasies during the day to get you ready for a hot night.

More: 9 Sex facts that could enlighten your love life

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