Recently, I read that somewhere around 15 percent of couples haven't had sex in six months. Unlike actor Terry Crews, who went on a 90-day sex fast a few years ago in order to heal from a porn addiction and reestablish emotional intimacy with his wife (clearly it worked because they recently celebrated 30 years of marriage; kudos!), these husbands and wives aren't going without in order to make their relationship better. Between hectic schedules, kids, fatigue, not going to bed at the same time (which isn't a good thing, by the way), boredom and simply not wanting to connect in that way, sexless marriages continue to be on the rise. Unfortunately.
And boy does it seem to creep on a couple. I can't tell you how many married folks I know who have gone months, if not years, without gettin' it in (I can't even imagine!). When I asked one couple—who's been married for well over a decade but hasn't had sex in at least three years—what the deal was, their responses were interesting. The husband said that he was tired of always having to initiate while feeling like he was forcing his wife since all she would do is lay there ("Celie Sex" is what I call that because it reminds me of when Celie in The Color Purple was all stoic when her wack ass husband Albert was humping on her).
Meanwhile, the wife said that her husband might as well play Beyoncé's song "Ego" in the background every time they do it because apparently he thinks that since he's packin' that he's actually accomplishing something. According to her, he's not and hasn't been for a few years now. What changed? She admits she did. The kind of bang-bang-bang sex that she didn't mind in her late 20s is the last thing she is interested in some 20 years later. And so, to a certain extent, glorified roommates is what these two individuals are.
And why would a couple stay in a marriage like this? They love each other. They like each other. But still, major strains have occurred. The husband has been mad tempted to cheat (folks who don't get how he could get to that point might want to check out I Corinthians 7:5 in the Good Book), and the wife is becoming more resentful and distant by the day. Although I do agree with someone who shared that there are sometimes physical barriers that can hinder a healthy married sex life (she stated it underneath the article "10 Wonderful Reasons Why Consistent Sex in Marriage Is So Important"), it really is irrefutable that sex is to be a part of a marital union. Not just birthday and anniversary sex either. But if you're already caught up in a cycle of not making sex a top priority, how do you break out of it?
Having Sex Can Break the No-Sex Cycle
First, if it's a pattern, I think that you should treat a lack of consistent sex like a bad habit. And, as we all know, bad habits don't change overnight. Although most of us have heard that it takes 21 days to break one, I agree with an article on habit breaking that said "habits are an automatic response to your surroundings from repeating the same actions daily".
Translation—if you want something different, you've got to do things differently.
As it relates to what we've been discussing, different like what? So glad that you asked, my dear.
If you're someone who frequents the site Reddit, you might recall the 30-Day Sex Challenge for Couples that was all the rage a couple of years back. It didn't just consist of folks having sex every day for a month. No, it also came with a list of rules (like you could take a break on your period if you wanted to, although there are perks to period sex if you've never tried it before), and a daily set of different criteria (like on Day 3, you should have sex twice a day and on Day 30, you should attempt to stay up all night and do it, just like men claim to do on the regular in R&B songs…LOL).
Anyway, when I first heard about the challenge, it actually reminded me of something extremely similar that—brace yourselves now—a church did several years before Reddit. A pastor by the name of Paul Wirth of Relevant Church in Ybor City, FL gained national recognition back in 2008 for encouraging the married members of his church to have sex for 30 days straight, in the hopes of decreasing the sexless marriage statistics (reportedly about 15 percent of married couples only engage 10 or so times a year) and ultimately divorce rates too. According to him, while he did get a significant amount of eye rolls from his congregants (especially the wives) at first, by the time the 30 days were up, just about everyone said that they felt so much closer to their partner. Why is that? I'd venture to say that there are literally dozens of reasons, but here are seven.
Having Sex Every Day for a Month Straight Can:
- Reignite the Passion in Your Relationship
- Make You More Sexually Creative
- Bring You Closer to Your Partner
- Instill the Habit of Making Sex a Top Priority (Again)
- Improve the Quality of Your Health
- Put You in a Better Mood
- Get You Both Excited About One Another (Again)
There's another reason why participating in sex for 30 days straight is worth seriously considering. A pretty consistent—yet not talked about nearly enough—cause of brokenness in a marriage is grudge-holding. No joke. By definition, a grudge is "a feeling of ill will or resentment"; holding one can lead to heart issues, an increase of stress and anxiety, sleeplessness and even the development of type-2 diabetes. Not only that, but there are studies which indicate that children are unsettled in an environment where their parents are resentful towards one another. That instability can stifle their own emotional development.
Grudge-holding typically boils down to unforgivingness. Something that I tell engaged couples often is if you know that you suck at forgiveness, don't get married because that kind of relationship is the Olympics of forgiveness. If you are married, because you are human and your spouse is too, I'm pretty certain you can vouch for the fact that you're going to probably have to forgive each other, for something, at least once a day.
And what better way to celebrate that stretching of your character than a romp or two? And if you're not used to seeing sex as a reward for grown folks behavior, what better way to start getting used to doing so than having sex every day for a month? Straight.
Now, for the skeptics, am I saying that sex "solves" everything? No (check out "Make-Up Sex Might Be Doing Your Relationship More Harm Than Good"). If you and your spouse just can't seem to get it together, I'm a huge fan of therapy too. But what I am saying is between the oftentimes selfish mentality that comes with having sex as a single person (check out "What 5 Men Had to Say About Married Sex" when you get a chance), the toxic messages that are promoted in the media about sex, and how sex is oftentimes treated like a luxury rather than a necessity in marital unions, I do think that just like a vacation 1-2 times a year can breathe new life into a marriage, so can having sex for 30-days twice a year too (some articles that totally agree include "I Had Sex Every Day For A Month And It Saved My Marriage" and "Having Sex Every Day for a Month Saved My Marriage").
How to Make the 30-Day Sex Challenge Work for You
If this is something that you're willing to give a shot (chile, I don't even have to ask your hubby; I know what he's on!), you might wonder how to get started. I did hyperlink the Reddit challenge up top if you want to duplicate that. A woman by the name of Grace Rose provided her own twist to the instructions here. Something else that could be a lot of fun is you and your girlfriends can decide to do the challenge together—not together together but together—and each of you can offer up five days of suggestions. Or, you and yours can use this as an opportunity to bring some fantasies to life by you coming up with that y'all should do for 15 days and him coming up with the other 15. To bring in even more of an incentive, create a sex jar so that you can even save a little cash in the process.
When I'm in a session, I can oftentimes tell who is sexually fulfilled vs. who isn't when one of the spouses—especially if it's the wife—says, "Why would I withhold sex?! That's only punishing me in the process." The desire is that after 30 days of consistent sex with your own spouse, you will feel very similarly. Sex won't be avoided or obligatory. Be wanted, cherished and oh so welcome. A hell of a lot more than once every six months or 10 times a year.
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