People in Long-Term Relationships Still Need to Get Laid

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Couple Kissing in Bed

Remember back in your salad days when you'd spend hours getting ready to see that special someone, applying perfume to your pressure points and humming "Tonight's the Night"? Remember those early weekends away? You know what that was? Scheduled sex, otherwise known as "dating."

According to a recent study by the AARP, Americans over the age of 45 are having less sex in general -- especially the married ones. Sociologist Pepper Schwartz commented on the AARP study. CBS News reported:

One intriguing finding: Respondents who had a partner but weren't married had sex more frequently and with more satisfaction than respondents who were married.

"These long-term married couples may get a little less interested," Schwartz said. "Older people in nonmarried relations work harder at it and enjoy it more."

My friends, it's time to take back the night. Sex is important for so many reasons: health, pychological, romantic ... the list goes on and on. But good Lord, I'm already pissing myself off with this lecture.

I personally hate being told to have more sex. FEEL LIKE A LOSER BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT ORGASMING! Yes, you're right ... that helped.

I hate any article that uses the word "spice" in relation to my lady bits. I don't like being told to schedule sex, nor do I like being encouraged to have "date night." "Date night" sounds like "sandwich night" or "laundry night" or "twofer night." None of the popular nomenclature for married sex sounds at all appealing to me. But I wanted to write this post on married sex, so I called in the big guns: Kristen Chase, the Mominatrix, who wrote the book on sex after kids.

Kristen divides women who can't seem to enjoy sex into two categories: the "dreaders," who talk themselves out of sex altogether; and the "planners," who can't shut their brains off long enough to get off.

For the dreaders -- those who think it's going to take way too much energy to do the horizontal mambo and would rather just watch Wife Swap -- Kristen recommends positive self-talk and living in the moment instead of anticipating the act being difficult.

She also recommends lube.

(I promised this would be different.) I agree with her on the lube point. First off, it's difficult to feel "fat" when instead you feel "slippery." Secondly, you don't have the pressure of generating the lubrication yourself in 30 seconds, because that's exactly what everyone is afraid of: The other person isn't really turned on and is just humoring you or faking it. Who needs that kind of pressure after a long day in the trenches? Sex is supposed to be fun, not stressful.

For the planners (okay fine, for people like me), Kristen recommends scheduling sex. Which brings me back to the opening of this article. When she said "scheduling sex," I went "ew." Then she said, "Well, you don't have to tell the other person!" And I realized this is what I do already -- in my head I decide I will make my move somewhere between Modern Family and bedtime, and once I have that in my head, it's much easier to get in the mood. I don't know why. I luv to plan. I also realized that I used to schedule sex back in the day, and I did it because I didn't see my main squeeze all the time. I knew when I did see him, there would be a little bom chicka bom bom. See? Not matronly! Just like the young people.

Kristen says -- and I agree -- that we really can't stress enough the importance of sex in a long-term relationship. For anyone, but especially for two people who are also co-parents. It's particularly hard to see yourself or your partner as a sexual being when you spend so much time being so damn responsible. Regardless of your parental status, it's also hard to feel sexy when you're not as lithe as you were in your fickle youth. Kristen said:

I realized when I was writing the book that it's so much bigger than about how to give a good blow job -- it's about self-esteem and body image. It's hard to feel sexy when you're in gym pants and a pony tail and a sports bra you've worn three days in a row. When I started the whole shredheads thing, I didn't feel sexy. For me it was a turning point. Your sexuality is very strongly attached to your body image. If you don't feel great about your body, figure out how to address the issue -- and don't wait to look great to have sex."

I personally think fatigue and body image issues are the two greatest enemies of married sex. Kristen pointed out some women do also experience dryness, hormone issues (checked out life without birth control pills yet? they really impact some women's libidos, not that I would know) and pain for a variety of reasons, and those should be checked out by a doctor. But fatigue and body image issues? Take it from this Type A planner: Do what you need to do to get yourself turned on, and your partner will take it from there. Keep your bra on, wrap yourself in black mesh, leave the lights off, turn the lights on, coat yourself in whipped cream, use sex toys, do it on the back porch, do it on the bathroom floor, but don't have any expectations other than feeling good.

Hey, it's a long life. You deserve to get laid, and that partner of yours is perfect for the job.

How do you turn up the heat in your kitchen?

This is the third post in our How to Get a Happier Marriage Series. If you've missed one, check out the archive.

Rita Arens authors Surrender Dorothy and is the editor of Sleep is for the Weak. She is BlogHer's assignment and syndication editor.

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