Having Sex Every Day. For A Month. Straight. Can Transform Your Marriage.

If you've never participated in a 30-day sex challenge before, maybe reading this will change your mind.


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 Every Day 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.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

Maintenance Sex Could Be The Key To A Successful Marriage

10 Sex Resolutions Every Married Couple Should Make

7 Things Married Couples Do To Damage Their Sex Lives & Don't Even Know It

6 Tips For Dealing With A Sexually Incompatible Spouse

Feature image by Getty Images

You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

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