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Maintenance Sex Could Be The Key To A Successful Marriage

Sex

If you're a sexually active single person who desires to get married someday, I want to provide you a quick word of caution — single sex can be really misleading. Good, sure, but still misleading.


What I mean by that is, although I personally know a few married couples where both partners were virgins on their wedding night, as life would have it, the common thread of every couple I've personally worked with is, they had sex prior to saying "I do". About 80 percent of those who did say that sex after marriage isn't quite what they expected it to be, mostly when it comes to frequency and creativity.

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Apparently, my clients are not alone. I say that because, a couple of years ago, Cosmo conducted a survey on how the sex lives of women ages 20-29 changed once they were married. As single women, many of them were having sex no less than 2-3 times a week. After marriage, they were lucky if they got it in once a week. That isn't bad, but 42 percent of women (and shocking, I know, 62 percent of men) still wish they were having sex more often.

So, why is there such a difference between sex before marriage and coitus after it?

That's a podcast series all on its own, but one of the main things is, single sex sets you up to have a pretty idealistic view of sex. You plan entire nights around it. You make sure you're looking, feeling, and (hopefully) smelling your best at all times. You don't want you or your partner to get bored, so you're always looking for ways to make sex fun and exciting.

Then you get married and assume that you'll be getting the 2.0 version of this kind of action. But then life gets in the way — bills, hectic schedules, arguments, fatigue, kids. Although Saturday nights used to be about finding the most affordable hotel room to try the latest sex position one of your girlfriends read about on Ask Men, now you're lucky if you and yours can get through an entire movie without falling asleep on the couch.

It's not that you don't love your spouse anymore. Sex just isn't as much of a priority as it used to be.

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The problem with that is, it's supposed to be. Sex is supposed to be one of the main things that makes marriage different from all other types of relationships. If it's missing, think about it — in many ways, what makes your relationship with your spouse any different than the one you have with your bestie or roommate?

So, what's the remedy to gettin' it in more consistently? Some say it's maintenance sex. What the heck is that? In a nutshell, it's the kind of sex that you plan to have; not just plan but execute. Even if it has to be a quickie or neither of you are exactly in the sexiest kind of mood at the time, you put it on your schedule.

Already that doesn't sound the most erotic or appealing, does it? I get that but here's the thing. Out of all of the couples I've worked with, no matter why they initially came to see me, something that was lacking was the amount of sex they were having. The bedroom issues ranged from their partner being selfish in bed to one of them being too pissed with their spouse to even want to have sex. And the less they had it, the further apart they became.

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While single sex makes you treat sex as a fun activity, some married people see sex as some sort of reward. That way of thinking only damages their relationship and sex life over time because, in many ways, sex is a type of glue that helps to keep a couple together.

That's because there is bonafide scientific evidence to support that sex brings two people closer. And you know what? Their bodies and the oxytocin that their bodies produce couldn't care less who didn't pay the cable bill on time or who argued with their mother-in-law.

When kisses, cuddling, foreplay, and intercourse happen, it establishes (or reaffirms) the bond that two people share.

This is why maintenance sex is currently so popular (just Google it and see how many links you find). It's not so much about trying to create the best sex experience ever (although going into the act with that frame of mind never hurts) so much as it's about making sure that you and yours make a sexual connection in order to keep your mental and emotional ones intact.

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If after reading all of this, you're still like, "If I can't have an hour of mind-blowing sex every time I do it, I'd rather not have it at all", in the wise words of Dr. Phil, "How is that working for ya?" Beyond just you, how is that frame of mind working for your partner and your marriage overall?

Look, no one is saying (or even encouraging) that you have to engage in maintenance sex all of the time. I'm just saying that just like you might not be totally in love with every meal that you eat or you don't always want to go to the gym, you do these things because you know that eating well and working out are necessary for your overall health and longevity. The same thing goes for sex and how it benefits your marriage.

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When you were single, having sex was optional. Now that you're married, it's a staple in your relationship. Even when it's not the kind that has you climbing the walls, trust that the time and effort you're making, along with the oxytocin that's being produced, is doing wonders for your marriage.

A good marriage consists of consistent maintenance — both in and out of the bedroom. Love yourself, your spouse, and your relationship enough to fit in a little maintenance sex every once in a while. It's better than no sex at all. Believe that.

Featured Image by Getty Images.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

Lawd, lawd. I'm assuming that I'm not being too presumptuous when I start this all out by saying, I'm pretty sure that more than just a few of us can relate to this title and topic. I know that personally, there are several men from my sexual past who would've been out of my space a lot sooner had the sex not been…shoot, so damn good. And it's because of that very thing that you'll never ever convince me that sex can't mess with your head. The oxytocin highs (that happen when we kiss, cuddle and orgasm) alone can easily explain why a lot of us will make a sexual connection with someone and stay involved with them for weeks, months, years even, even if the mental and emotional dynamic is subpar, at best.

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