Back when I was in the process of writing my first book, one of the titles that one of my editors suggested was Single Sex. Although Inside of Me: Lessons of Lust, Love & Redemption (the first part is what my brother came up with) has a lot of sex in it, no doubt, I didn't find their title pitch to be the most exact. However, over the years, I have indeed kept that lil' phrase in mind, as I've written other articles about sex among singles. And, whenever I compare that kind of coitus to the kind that married couples engage in, two things that I say often is—so long as the marriage is healthy—there is a holistic beauty in marital sex that is truly incomparable and single sex can be very selfish. And by "selfish", I mean self-consumed to the billionth degree (more on that in a bit).
All of this came flooding back to my mind, all over again, as I listened to portions of a podcast called What to Expect. The host is Heidi Murkoff who also happens to the co-author of the best-selling book series, What to Expect When You're Expecting. Anyway, a guest who she recently had on was actor and host of the really helpful home hacks YouTube channel, Tia Mowry's Quick Fix, Tia Mowry-Hardrict. Heidi and Tia touched on a lot, including how Tia's journey with endometriosis led her to become a "self-advocate" for her health and well-being, along with how to balance marriage, motherhood and a career (you can check the episode out for yourself here).
And speaking of marriage. Since that and sex are something that I write about, A LOT, on this platform, it should come as no surprise that it was her hot take on how to maintain her sex life with her hubby (who also is a good actor in his own right), Cory Hardrict, that stood out to me the most.
And just what does Tia think is the key to keeping things going in the bedroom and avoiding the pitfall of ending up in a sexless marriage? I'm so glad that you asked.
How Does Tia Keep Sex a Priority in Her Marriage?
You know how some of y'all do. Unless a celebrity recommends something, you think the idea is crazy. Well, in walks Heidi and Tia to cosign on something that I'm actually a pretty big fan on—scheduling sex. As they were discussing marriage and kids, in general, Heidi revealed that she and her husband basically have a rule in their home that sex, once a week, is an absolute must; she referred to the rule as "sex dates" (check out "When's The Last Time You And Your Man Had A 'Sex Date'?"). And to that, Tia said this:
"Heidi, this is the first time where I'm admitting it, we do too. And, when I was younger and when I would hear that, I'd be like, 'Why do you have to do that?' But like you said, you do — especially with kids and with work and all that, you have to make sure that it's not neglected in any kind of way."
OK, so here's where "single sex" comes in. When it comes to a lot of the single people who I talk about sex with or the engaged couples who I counsel, if there's one thing that they think is borderline ridiculous, it's scheduling sex. To them, that takes away the romance, spontaneity and excitement of it all. I get it. Yet here's the thing—what a lot of unmarried sexually active people don't realize is, for the most part, they're still scheduling sex. If you're not living with your partner, most of the time when you discuss meeting up, if there's not over-the-top flirting or a straight-up discussion about it, doesn't the energy let you know that, 8 times outta 10, sex is gonna be on the menu?
I know back in my (le sigh) sexually active days, if I was planning on spending time with the person I was "engaging" at the time, I made sure I was shaved, smelled amazing and my underwear was sexy AF. Besides, if it was already decided that one of us was spending the night with the other, it was kind of a given that some sort of sexual activity was going to transpire. My friends, to a large degree, that is scheduling sex. That's why it shouldn't be an off-putting trigger, when married folks talk about doing the same.
So, why is it off-putting for so many of us single people? I think it's because, whenever we hear married people talk about paying bills, cleaning the house and raising children, there's some visual in our minds that if they make, say Tuesday, "sex day", both of them are looking a hot mess, the sex is subpar and they would probably rather be doing anything else but having sex—because, after all, if you've gotta put it on your calendar, how great can the sex actually be?
This brings me back to Tia and Cory and a feature of them that I watched on her YouTube channel, this time last year (I believe it was filmed at the end of 2017, though). As they were sharing how their first kiss consisted of Cory asking Tia if he could kiss her; how Cory knew Tia was the one because him being broke (in the beginning) didn't phase her; how Tia knew Cory was the one because he had so much patience with her after she was coming out of an unhealthy relationship and that he taught her how to believe in herself; that they pray together; how, in their eyes, the secret to a successful marriage is forgiveness (Tia), as well as communication and never going to sleep angry (which is what Cory…oh, and the Bible says—Ephesians 4:26-27), and how being intentional about wooing each other (among a host of other things) all plays a role in their marriage being able to thrive—it brought me back to something that I'm a firm believer in:
Sex doesn't "make love"; in a marriage, what sex does is celebrate the love that already exists.
And what does what I just said have to do with why I have no problem with scheduling sex and, to a certain extent, I actually encourage that long-term couples do so? Well, when you're single, oftentimes the focus on sex is the physical pleasure that it brings. However, when you're married, while sex—and not just "any" sex…good sex—should be a very top priority (it really should, married folks), all of the things in life that you and your spouse do together, outside of the bedroom, is actually what matures love and helps you to appreciate the power of commitment more and better.
And because, sometimes, walking through life together can be so all-consuming and full, scheduling sex means that you are making a point to get off of the life-roller-coaster ride so that you and your partner can CELEBRATE all that you are building together. And to plan to celebrate on a weekly basis? That's beautiful and really, who should ever have a problem with that?
It really is kinda crazy that the saying "fail to plan, plan to fail" seems to make sense to the masses, except when it comes to bedroom action. Yet again, when life is full (and sometimes crazy), all scheduling sex means is you are making sure that coming together with your partner continues to be a priority. It doesn't mean it's only a quickie or a half-hearted effort. It just means, "Babe, the world is trying to keep us from 'us' time. Let's make sure to schedule it so that doesn't happen."
So kudos to Tia, Heidi and all of the other married folks who, while they may not be gettin' it in 3-4 times a week, they for damn sure ain't letting their sex life fall by the wayside (by the way, scheduling sex doesn't mean it doesn't happen more; it just means it doesn't happen less than when it's on the schedule for). Oh, and to the single folks who read all of this and thought, "Hmph. My marriage will never be like that", all I can say is "wait and see"; it's easy to think that way until you've got more on your plate than just you. Feel me? I hope so.
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Featured image via Tia Mowry/Instagram