By Jan Mack and Tom Demerly for tomdemerly.com
My girlfriend and I are in our 50’s. We’re not teenagers. Our combined age is over 100.
A little over a month ago we read about a couple that had sex every day for a year and wrote a book about it. We decided to try it for a month.
Background: She’s an exec in a national non-profit, I’m a writer/content editor/retailer in a recreation industry. Like everyone, our lives are crazy. There is very little real time off. Days start at 5:00 AM and end after 9:00 PM. We’ve been together a year.
We decided to see what might change, what might improve- what might happen if we had sex every night for 30 days without fail. We were just curious. And horny.
According to Dr. Phil, “Married couples say they have sex an average of 68.5 times a year. That’s slightly more than once a week.” Psychology Today says, “25 percent of Americans (a third of women and a fifth of men) suffer from hypo-active sexual desire (HSD), a deficiency of sexual thoughts and lack of interest in sex.”
If we had sex every night for a month it would be seven times the national average of sexual frequency.
Firstly, when you have sex every day you actually have to talk to each other, at least briefly. Sometimes about embarrassing things. Between five minutes (for a quickie) and an hour (for an epic) every day you are the center of each other’s attention. If you like the person at the beginning, you’ll appreciate them even more as time and frequency accumulate. Frequent sex is an amplifier.
Some nights it was a task on a to-do list, something that had to be completed before day’s end: Answer e-mails, check schedules, clean cat litter boxes, do laundry, fuck. Were those nights a deep emotional connection? Nope. They were a check in a box- a quickie. But a good box. Like the saying goes, “Good pizza is really good, and even bad pizza is still pretty good.”
Other nights were different. Sex became a focus. We bought a rather impressive sex chair, put it in the living room, had sex with the moonlight pouring through the windows reflected off the snow. She never looked better. It was self-feeding; the more we had sex, the more we wanted it. In the final 15 days of our experiment our sexual frequency actually increased to occasionally more than once a day, and at different times of the day.
While the popular view of sex is centered on physical pleasure, eroticism and sensation we discovered increases in emotional intimacy, communication, fun, friendship, appreciation, teamwork and reverence for each other. These things were already there for us, but increased sexual frequency improved them- mostly because it forced us to communicate more.
I noticed the texture of my girlfriend’s skin, her freckles, her toes, her cheeks. The familiar smell of her skin became alluring. If I was doing the laundry and took her underwear out of the dryer I got unbelievably turned on. We were becoming horndogs.
When we weren’t having sex she looked even better to me than before. We held hands more. We were better friends, a better couple, because we had to communicate honestly and openly in the exchanges that accompany sex. Sex puts you in a position where you have to cooperate. And communicate. Then you begin to appreciate.
Because we ended every day with communication, communication became easier and more frequent, even when we were apart during the day. Spending time together was even easier than before and our relationship seemed to resonate on a wider frequency band.
More was more- in every aspect of our interaction- and it emanated from more frequent sex, a medium of interaction couples use to communicate with each other.
We also learned about other peoples’ sexual attitudes. Because our friends are adults and we have a progressive perspective about consensual adult sex we heard interesting feedback from other individuals and couples. Not everyone has come a long way, baby.
There are a lot of relationships that are effectively sexless, and they are also- in most cases- without candid and open communication. They “work”. They continue. But if a couples’ relationship has the capability to resonate across a hypothetical “100%” of communicational bandwidth, theirs only resonates between 10-50% of that level of communication. Sex isn’t the single reason, but it is a partial indicator.
To have decent sex you have to talk. Once the talking is gone, the sex probably disappears too. Trust, friendship, respect and love usually aren’t far behind.
When the 30 day finish line came something unusual happened. Unlike the finish line in a marathon, where you stop when you hit the line, we just kept going. Sex became our goodnight kiss, a ritual, an affirmation of all the things we love about each other.
Does more sex fix relationship problems? Doubtful. But it does foster communication that is the beginning of avoiding and resolving disconnects in couples. That’s overwhelmingly healthy and constructive.