Do or Don’t: Scheduling Sex

So. Alex and I have started a new thing…

Once we had a child, we found we had more random tasks than we’d had before. Instead of reading magazines, we’d be bouncing Toby on the bed; instead of sipping cocktails, we’d be preparing his bedtime bottle. On lazy afternoons when we’d cuddle up on the sofa, a chubby baby was smack in between us. And, at the end of a long day, after putting Toby to bed, we were beat. Suffice it to say, sex was taking a backseat to…everything.

But then…

(forehead slap!)…

We had an idea.

We could simply create time for make-out sessions. It was exciting to look at our weekly routine and choose some times where we could have a roll in the hay—say, Wednesday evenings and/or weekends during Toby’s afternoon naps. (Of course, we doesn’t mean we rule out spontaneity when the moment arises.)

Women’s magazines have said that scheduling sex is the death of your sex life (aka “it’s come to this?”), but I think the opposite. Planning can be a great thing. You plan a date. You plan a vacation. You plan a marriage proposal. You plan a wedding. You plan a surprise party. They’re all more romantic for the preparation. So why not plan time for sex, one of the most important and cherished parts of a marriage?

Anyway, we’re totally sold. (Just don’t come knockin’ this Saturday afternoon:)

So, I’m curious to hear: Would you schedule sex? Or definitely not? I’d love to hear your thoughts… xoxo

(P.S. GQ is into it! And three more romantic ideas…)

(Illustration by Gemma Correll for Cup of Jo)

  1. DM says...

    Hi Jo-
    I was just curious….3 years later, do you still do this? We just started “Friday Fun Nights” since we fell into a rut post-baby and i think I recalled reading this post awhile back. Would you mind sharing a follow up as to how long this worked and/or if you tweaked your pattern over time? I always thought it was a great idea, so I’d love a follow up to see how it works long term!! Thanks for sharing something so personal- and helpful to others!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thanks for your question! we schedule sex now whenever we feel like we’re extra busy or just not thinking about it as much — then we schedule sex for a while to kind of get back on track!

  2. Kris says...

    I am a BIG believer…especially after you have babies. It occurred to me one day when my hubby said to me…”you just don’t understand…everyday I wake up thinking…maybe tonight?? I get my hopes up…then crushed multiple times a week.” I knew that I had to do something about it. Don’t get me wrong…sometimes the last thing I wanted to do was be romantic after 3 kids under the age of 2 had been on my lap all day!! My dad is a firefighter…and I get his shift calendar from the credit union every year. We scheduled it that way…one day on…one day off…3 times…then three days off! Funny I know…but it was what worked for us. My hubby had something to look forward to…and I could prepare myself by putting the kids to be earlier, etc. After the kids got older…we no longer needed this…but it was a great way to ease our way back into our own schedule!!

    • Victoria says...

      I’m just n a fairly new relationship after 5 years of being single and celibate. My love is on anti-depressants which decreases his libido immensely.
      I get hurt and offended when he doesn’t think of initiating or even think about being intimate.
      I have decided to try and make a schedule of having date nights at least every 2 weeks to make that our special time to make love. I hope it works. ?

  3. penny says...

    Well my husband says that I always want to have sex at the wrong times. So he wanted to set a sex day for us to be together. I really didn’t agree to this arrangement. I just went along with it cause he is my husband. I will say from my point of view it kills your sex life. Planned sex becomes boring and repetitious. I really just do it because of my husband and I love him very much. I an’t gone lie sometimes it becomes the most amazing sex sometimes. On the other hand it’s boring at times to many. So let me know what you think.

  4. Ruth Thorpe says...

    I travel a lot for my job, and I always schedule time for sex – with or without someone!

  5. I believe, to my very core, that had my now ex-husband and I scheduled time for sex after our baby was born that we’d still be married. By the time baby was toddler, we were having sex maybe once every six weeks.

    When I met met my to-be second husband we made a commitment to never, ever, EVER go a week without sex (for the first four year we didn’t go a day without getting ‘jiggy’). Eight years in and we’ve not broken our commitment – still as madly in love as when we met.

    If it’s not just happening – SCHEDULE IT!

  6. After reading this post a few months ago, and reading it to The Janitor, I suggested we do just this. It lasted a week. Ive just re read it and think i will give it another go! wish me luck ;)

  7. Been married for 33 years. We started scheduling sex about 2 years ago and its the best thing every.
    Before it was once a month maybe. Now its once a week. Scheduling helps get your mind into it. If you know your going to have sex that night its the anticipation thats great. My wife loves it as well.
    It works for us.

  8. I think it is a great idea!…My boyfriend and I have a 9 month old and it seems we spend more time with him together or taking turns to give the other a break and quite honestly we just forget about each other! This will definitely be a topic I bring up once the little guy hits the hay…if he ever does! :).


  9. This is such a laughing post because when you are make a pleasant sex and suddenly a boy came there it’s just a coincident so thanks for share this post with us and for know more just click here

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. my siggy and I used to try and force it, and it just killed the mood entirely-and now we just usually make time to snuggle (between classes, after homework, in the morning on weekends…) and if it turns into something else, great! If not, well, snuggling is the next best thing ;)

  12. I know I’ve read this a bit late, but I just wanted to say how awesome this post was. My boyfriend and I are incredibly busy in our last year of school and it makes it really hard to find time for sex. And a lot of the time I end up feeling really guilty, and wondering if it’s some ‘sign’ that we’re not as attracted to each other as we used to be. It’s so nice to read all these comment and realize I’m not quite alone. And we will definitely be scheduling sex in the future ;)

  13. hahaha, this rocks.

    My hubby and I have two little boys (infant and toddler) and we try pretty hard to focus our evenings (after the kids go to bed) on eachother.

    So having sex isn’t an issue. Our boys have bedtimes that are pretty early, around seven and then we’re free!

    We make a point to have sex every day or every other day at least. If we’ve gone two nights without sex then we’re REALLY feeling it. Obviously for a few weeks after giving birth I’m out of commission but we still did sexy things…..

  14. What I have trouble wrapping my head around is if we hire a baby sitter for a date night, then feel in the mood when we get home, can we just disappear to the bedroom for a bit? That would be really embarrassing. I guess we could revert to being teenagers in the car, haha.

  15. Saska says...

    Well, if I had someone to turn up the heat with, I would do it!

  16. Anonymous says...

    M boyfriend and I are both in our early twenties with no children and no huge work responsibilities yet, but I thought I’d weigh in: I really enjoy spontaneous scheduled sex. Back when we were in college together we would always plan things like, “Sex when I get back from class?” or “Sex now and then library or library then sex?” We also liked to joke that our three S’s of college were: Sleep, Sex, Study. Clearly we made it a priority. Now, sometimes we wake up and one of us suggests., “Sex as soon as we’re both home?” It’s so fun and it gives me something to look forward to through the work day. (even though we’d probably be having sex anyway!) So while we aren’t busy enough now, I don’t think I’d mind scheduling sex later in life. Plus, I love anticipation :)

  17. Anonymous says...

    Yes, after having 4 kids we have to plan, even if it’s later in the day we put the idea out and start planning towards it, you have to plan so you will make it happen

  18. Yes, yes, yes! As a mom of 4 kids it is almost impossible to find the time to wash my hair never mind trying to get busy with my hubby..but, scheduling a little get busy sesh is such a good idea!

  19. I AM a professional counselor and I “prescribe” this to clients all.the.time. I haven’t had one couple complain about it yet!

  20. LOVE that you always tackle the interesting stuff!! Like many other commenter’s I am torn between planned and unplanned – I think we try and keep a mental note of how many times a week we have done the deed and compensate accordingly

    on the other hand we as a family know not to call mum and dad on a Sunday morning lest we disturb their routine and they have been happily married for 28 years – last time I visited they even kicked me out of the house for a few hours

  21. V says...

    I used to see someone casually and we would schedule to meet every Wednesday after his football sessions. Although it was planned, it was still fun and it definitely made the day sexier with anticipation. The funniest thing about it was a friend commenting that it sounds like a French movie where people have scheduled sex with their lovers – so think of your planned sessions as a clip from a French movie! :P

  22. We have a boy who is 3 now, The first year was very hard bc he did not sleep well, but even then we did not have to plan sex. Now he is a little man so things are easier.
    But if planning is good for you i think it is a good idea!
    And this is not a raison for not having kids, my son is the best thing i have done in my life!

  23. I really like this idea because it is something that should be made time for and it’s so easy to overlook. Life does get pretty busy and hectic (and we don’t even have a baby!) and sex definitely pays for it more so than anything else. Thanks for the suggestion and looking forward to planning next week! -JB.

  24. Anonymous says...

    I’m one of the people who tried this out and it didn’t really work out in the way that I hoped.

    My husband and I have set aside date night for two years now, and Wednesday night really is something we’ve come to look forward to. We typically plan our at home meals for the week, leaving Wednesday night as a wildcard to see how we feel, most of the time opting for a nice meal out and sometimes mixing it up by going to a bar, or trying something new. I never schedule anything on Wednesdays – my friends have come to know that I’m not available, and they love the idea. And so did I.

    Until recently.

    We found that a lot of our fights and disagreements unfortunately happened on those date nights. 40% of the time we end up disappointed that the night didn’t turn out the way we hoped, and I realized that we were putting pressure on ourselves to make it perfect. Amidst a busy schedule, putting this time aside was a great idea for a while, and it helped us focus, but, when things aren’t all that great, date night isn’t going to be great, and it’s supposed to be.

    So we canceled date night last week, and it was the best change we’ve made in a while. We went to dinner with some friends, and ended up getting into an argument about something else, anyway, on the date night that was canceled. But, I didn’t feel like the night or the week was ruined, like we missed our chance to have a good time. Instead of feeling obligated to have fun at a scheduled time, we started to have fun all the time. We might have even missed the idea of date night, and just made it happen on Thursday, and Friday, and right now as he sits next to me.

    In short, my opinion is, definitely, set aside time for each other especially if you can’t find the time otherwise – it is so important to focus on the relationship with total attention, and it really does become something to look forward to. But, on the other hand, if after trying it, it doesn’t end up working out, just change it up again. Even if it means taking something away. Too much of one thing is never good.

  25. Anonymous says...

    No thanks
    No scheduling for us
    It just seems so stiff and uptight… Like weekly meal plans and his hers list of chores… Yuck

    I just think people love to think they have super busy lives but really, most dont. Otherwise people would not watch
    so much crap on tv. I will watch Bachelor shows and American Idol of I have time left after sex, priorities people!

  26. Anonymous says...

    Put a little more effort into romance…schedule…Really? NO

  27. The Gentleman and I have to do this or we’ll just move into “roommate” territory. We’re just too busy and exhausted to rely on spontaneity.

  28. I actually think that this is a great idea! We have a 4y/o who has always been a great sleeper so having a child hasn’t really got in the way of sex but with a house move and another child scheduled to arrive in 9 weeks I can see how sex may take a back seat. It’s so frustratign when you realise it’s been a while since you did it and one or both of you are too tired. Sometimes i’ll text my husband in the morning and tell him my plans for that evening!

  29. Anonymous says...

    I think this is great. Mainly because I felt the same way, you should never plan it. Unfortunately with school, working and interning, there is very little alone time. I don’t have a child yet, but I’m tired from everything else. Scheduling works for my husband and I. It’s the only way we can have our intimate moments right now. I think planning sex is better than no sex (my husband would agree too). :)

  30. Tuesday nights, Saturday mid-day and Sunday morning (but this is pretty much a bonus round)….we are childless but it’s so hard, probably a poor or perfect choice of word, because of our careers.

    I schedule everything. It works for us.

  31. I think, as long as it turns you on, it’s good.

  32. I don’t have children yet, but I vote nay for scheduling sex. Personally, I think that with how structured life has to be with work and everything else. Sex is the one thing that should be instinctive. We are all animals and sex reminds us of this. Think about the primal sounds we make. I’d rather have spontaneous, passionate sex infrequently,then scheduled sex regularly. I’m all for structure, but sex is an act I’d like to leave unstructured.

  33. We don’t go so far as to schedule it (yet!), but I’ve been known to put it on the to-do list of weekend chores. That notepad sits on the counter and it always makes us laugh to see “hot sex” between “take recycling to the dump” and “replace lightbulbs in kitchen light.” And it always gets checked off!

    A friend told me recently that her and her husband have instituted a weekly naked night. They commit that that night they will each go to bed naked instead of wearing PJs or even just underwear. Sex is not required, but as you might guess, it often happens!

  34. absolutely! you schedule things that are a priority. AND the anticipation makes it exciting. knowing you have THAT planned for the afternoon is a thrill!

  35. I think ANONYMOUS might be missing the point of what you are trying to say. Of course if a NON-planned moment arises that is just a bonus. But if you don’t look closely at the routines of your kids and try to squeeze alone time in when they are at school or sleeping, then it may never materialize on its own.

    I think with small children in the house, if you don’t try to schedule quiet time alone – you’ll never have it! Gone are the days of it being just about the two of us! With other peeps in the house with different sleep schedules – you better take advantage of an opportunity! Something I never would have thought of before kids!

  36. Anonymous says...

    I live with my boyfriend and we do not have children (nor do we plan on ever having them), so I may not understand where everyone is coming from… but I definitely think that it’s a “DON’T” for us! The thought of planned sex bores me to death. I would rather take things into my own hands once in a while than make him feel like it’s on the same level as taking out the trash or a doctor’s appointment.

  37. The first time I thought about scheduling sex, I thought it was weird too. then I realized, like you, that its kind of sexy and the anticipation makes it even more sexy. With our crazy schedules, sometimes we have to “pencil us in”. thanks for posting this.

  38. I have no problem with this idea! In fact I had a good friend who started doing this with her husband a couple years ago. It’s not always about the sex, it’s about alone time. Every couple needs to make time for it! Great post!

  39. By the way, I can’t wait for the new site design!

  40. It sounds totally unromantic, but the way my bf and I do it, it’s just scheduling a date! I like to be romanced a little, and he has a hard time getting into that mindset after a hard week at work, so we schedule a date night when we both focus on being really romantic. With all that thinking about it beforehand, knowing what’s coming and anticipating it by being on our best, flirtatious behavior, we usually can’t wait to cut the date short and get home!

  41. I think my favorite thing is that you’re ballsy enough to even bring it up! It is hard to find the time with little people around and 2 careers! We have tried scheduling it, but it’s never worked out for us. Though, that said, I can’t say we gave it an honest go! Perhaps we’ll try again!

  42. Sometimes I feel like that’s what you do in a new relationship anyway – when you’re planning when you’re going to see each other again, and you know what’s going to happen when you do…it’s basically scheduling sex, and nobody minds that :D

  43. Laura says...

    As someone who loves planning and knowing what to expect throughout my day, I love the idea.

    However, as a couples/marriage counselor, I have seen it backfire and, for that reason, would be wary to recommend it to any of my clients. For distressed couples who have different levels of desire for sex and typically aren’t having much of it, a sex schedule can become an additional source of tension and scorekeeping in the relationship. It can also cause sex to lose its flavor of sensuality, dwindle down to intercourse only, and become nothing but another chore to check off the list.

    That being said, there is undoubtedly great value in setting aside time to have conflict-free fun, conversation, and sensuality with your partner, whether it involves sex or not. If you and your partner both like the idea of negotiating a sex schedule, with the mutual understanding that, if need be, either of you is allowed to turn it down in the moment, it can be a great source of enjoyment and anticipation and help ensure that your sex life stays active and fun!

  44. I think I would schedule in a “sex appointment” or two (or possibly three) in a week.
    I’m newly married (Three months) and we’re 8 weeks pregnant with our first baby, and i’m starting to realise that once baby comes, we may not get so many of those “I think we’re alone now” moments.
    So I think this is a GREAT way to ensure that you not missing out on fun, romance, connection and just good ol’ rolling in the hay (as you so aptly put it!).

    What a fabulous idea!

  45. Could I ask a question of the ladies who are doing the “secret” planning – do you feel that you are deliberately taking the initiative or does it just happen that way? And is the initiative shared?

    I feel that I often have to take the initiative and I’m really struggling with resentment around that.

  46. Anonymous says...

    I’ve been married for 23 years!! Yikes! and we have three children between the ages of 23 and 15, with busy lives it’s hard to be spontaneous about anything… but my hubby and I have a tongue in cheek sort of way of approaching this subject…he’ll start by texting me a message that he’s bought me a box of smarties, tell me he loves me and needs me! Smarties are one of my favourite childhood sweets, so it always makes me chuckle! We have a good old flirt via text messages and by the time he gets home from work, we’re both in the mood! So to answer your question, yes, somtimes you have to schedule these intimate moments or they just pass you by…

  47. I actually really like this ideas as well! Planning a time gives me the opportunity to build excitement in my mind, making him absolutely irresistible once the time comes. Sometimes my husband doesn’t like the idea of planning, so I pick a time in my mind when I’m going to seduce him and then take him by surprise!

  48. Anonymous says...

    It’s called family purity …. Jewish wisdom ;) take a gander

  49. Mindy says...

    I totally understand why you guys would want to do this! In fact it might not be a bad idea for my husband and I. We are newlyweds (less than a year, so I can still say that right?) and our sex life is pretty minimal. He works 90+ hours a week and so unless I want to wake up at 2 or 3 in the morning when he is coming home – it’s just not happening. I appreciate that you brought this up; sex is important in a marriage and we should make time for it just like everything else.

  50. People should be trying this. Before our schedule I’d send really silly messages. If I have time I’ll write a note and leave it in his wallet. The kids are in bed early and the night is ours. It can spark up your relationship in more ways than just good sex. Regular sex boosts your mood, physical appearance and of course your relationship. So much better than medication and counselling.

  51. Anonymous says...

    OK, so we had kid #2 last summer, and our sex life went off the rails. We were way too tired, mainly. And I have a very supportive, compassionate husband in this regard, but I finally decided something had to be done… the sex we were having was hurried, tired, occasional, vanilla sex that you worry about when you think about having kids. I concluded that maybe quality and quantity are positively related (?) and embarked on an experiment to test the hypothesis… sex every night. After 3 consecutive nights my husband thought I had lost my mind, and I fessed up to the experiment. (Which (inevitably) got dubbed the Sexperiment.)
    And, it turned out to be true: having sex is a little like going to the gym. Maybe you’re not in the mood, but once you’re there you are so glad you went. And the more you go, the happier you become, the better you feel. Scheduling it, and mainly just doing it regularly, is key.

  52. dw says...

    Ok..20 years later and I need to get on this program. Or should I saw that I need to get sync our calendars;-)

  53. I love planned sex! Even if it’s just waking up in the morning and saying “Hey let’s have sex tonight.” Then ALL DAY you’re thinking about what you’re going to do/say/feel and the build up really adds to the excitement if you ask me!

  54. My boyfriend and I used to live together, and after two or so years, sex became… an afterthought. Now, we’re living apart for the next four months while I finish school, and whenever we see each other, we know the first few days are going to be fun ;) It’s not exactly scheduled, but expected, I suppose. Either way, I like knowing and love how that morning before we get to see each other, I get excited and a a little giddy.

  55. Yup, me and my husband do. Mostly because we are living with mny parents at the moment which means we kinda have to – we find out when everyone else is out for the evening and make sure its a day when im not teaching (leaves me exhausted!) Its a grand idea! *s*

  56. Anonymous says...

    Get used to it if you’re going to be going out of your way to try for a baby! If you’re fortunate, this won’t take so long that it becomes a chore, but if you’re having problems, you’ll truly get sick of it!

  57. Great idea! makes total sense as by the end of the dAy we are both SO tired to feel sexy…

  58. Anonymous says...

    I think it’s a great idea. When my boyfriend and I first got together, it seemed like we had sex most days of the week. Since moving to LA and becoming even busier with our jobs, I’ve found that we have sex a lot less frequently.

    There are mornings when I’m kissing him before I leave for work and I say something like, “I can’t wait to get home to you tonight” or, “I wish I didn’t have to stop kissing you” or something along those lines, and we both know that we’ll make more time for intimacy that night. It’s not as formal as writing it down on the calendar but when we set that expectation, it keeps us from falling asleep on the couch.

    And sometimes if it’s been a few days, he’ll take some of my lingerie and hang it in the bedroom or bathroom for me to find when I get home from work as a not-so-subtle hint ;)

  59. Anonymous says...

    I like it only because I know that I can feel totally out of it at the beginning and then by the time we’re done I’m happy. So scheduling helps me have that kick in the butt to actually head toward the bedroom. Not that we have a standing scheduled night, but we do sort of agree in advance.

  60. I think I should schedule it more often. My husband thinks about sex far more often than I do (I’ve got a toddler and a baby on the way), so it’ll completely skip my mind while we’re watching TV that evening and then we’ll go to bed and he’ll want to turn on the charm. By that point I’m way past being seduce-able. If I know it’s coming, I can gear up for it mentally so I’m in the right frame of mind and make sure we go to bed early! And, the more you do it the more you do it!

  61. The couples we know who we assume don’t have sex too often (for various reasons) are always the grouchiest. Any way you can make it happen is the way to go. Planned or unplanned. If more people were had sex regularly the world would be a more relaxed place.

  62. my boss and his beautiful wife do this, they have three children under 7 so trying to find time is a nightmare. i am always aware when these times are because they are the evenings i work when he tells me “don’t knock on the door until after 10pm unless there is a fire!”

  63. Ha, Jane — great minds (that are in the gutter, apparently!) and all. :)

  64. I think that anything that shows that the people involved are committed to each other and to making time for one another is a good thing. My husband and I have been together for a while now, and the sexiest thing for us is knowing that he still really wants to have sex with me (and me with him!). So if scheduling it is how a couple best shows each other that enthusiasm, then that works for them!

    I mostly wanted to say though that this reminds me of one of my favorite Flight of the Conchords songs, Business Time, specifically these verses:

    Girl tonight we’re gonna make love
    You know how I know?
    Because it’s Wednesday
    And Wednesday night is the night that we usually make love
    Monday night is my night to cook
    Tuesday night we go and visit your mother
    But Wednesday we make sweet little love
    When everything is just right
    There’s nothing good on tv
    You haven’t had your after work social sport team practice
    So you are not too tired
    Oh, boy, it’s all love

  65. I have to laugh/groan. I apologize. I do see this helping some couples and respect that.

    Looks like that couple in the drawing is on an every-other-week schedule. They must be so busy and tired! ;)

  66. Yup! I think it actually will help to encourage spontaneous rolls in the hay.

  67. I am blushing! It is hard to remember to wash my hair let alone sex up my husband. Full time jobs and being a parent makes for a very busy schedule! I can’t wait to run this past my husband tonight.

  68. Jane says...

    Being fans of Flight of the Conchords, my husband likes to refer to it as ‘business time’!

    Romantic and forward-thinking!

  69. I’m awful at scheduling anything, plus life with a toddler is unpredictable, having the birds and the bees talk at 2 just seems…a little early :)

  70. Umm, yes? My husband and I definitely need to schedule time because of our mortifying schedules. I’m sure a lot of people think its not spontaneous enough but maybe some sex is better than no sex at all. lol :)

  71. Umm, yes? My husband and I definitely need to schedule time because of our mortifying schedules. I’m sure a lot of people think its not spontaneous enough but maybe some sex is better than no sex at all. lol :)

  72. nope. It turned sex into a kind of obligation that I couldn’t always keep and then I felt bad and that just made it harder to get in the mood even when there was time, because I felt (he didn’t, and he never puts pressure on me because he is a wonderful, thoughtful man) like I “owed” him from before, etc.

  73. That’s so cute.

    I’m a flight attendant, so I am away working constantly, but when I know I’m going to be able to come home to my lover I sometimes send a saucy text message or make an (ahem) thought provoking suggestion. Even thought we both knew we were going to have sex that night, it still feels spontaneous and fun!

  74. This post is SO funny/awesome to me because i’m a big fan of scheduling time for just about everything I do, including having sex with my boyfriend. Last night, we had scheduled sex before a mini golf date and he was quiet/seemed upset for the rest of the night. Right before bed, he told me he had a confession and that he doesn’t like scheduled sex and needs for his to be spontaneous. He says it feels too forced, which I understand, but my argument is that it’s better to schedule it than have one of us try to seduce the other when they’re too tired, etc and be disappointed. Anyway, thanks for a wonderful post that is very timely in my life right now!

  75. I wouldn’t have before our baby..but you’re right, at the end of the day you just want to sleep. I haven’t planned it per se, but I will personally decide and say Today it will happen! So I try to keep my energy levels high, and try to keep the baby happy and then greet him with a hello there smile. He’s always ready to go so it works out.

  76. Total do. My husband and I would never have a chance if we didn’t plan ahead a little bit… It doesn’t take away at all from the excitement when we get to be spontaneous, and meanwhile, on days when we have a “date,” we’re both all flirty and excited all day long. Win!

  77. I don’t even have a kid and I completely agree with this! Life can get busy, and even busier when a kid comes into the mix, but weather some people want to admit it or not sex IS important in a relationship. Scheduling to have sex at least one day a week (no matter what!) can really help keep a healthy and happy relationship.

  78. Sarah says...

    I don’t particularly like the idea of actually “scheduling” it, but I do try to do this sometimes in my own head. What I mean is, if its been a bit too long, I schedule it in my own head, tell myself its a good idea, even if I’m not in the mood. B’c really, most of the time, even if you’re not feeling it before hand, once you get going, you’ll find you are in fact in the mood! But, I don’t discuss it with my husband. No need- if I iniate it, 9 times out of 10, he’ll say yes! :)

  79. I am very much in the “it’s always on the books” camp! For one it works wonderfully with our birth control method (Fertility Awareness Method) and secondly, I have found that it keeps (mostly me) from feeling pressure at other times thinking, “Does he want to do it tonight? I’m so tired, have to get up early, etc.” But now… since it’s on the books, I get to plan out my day/evening/morning and like you said, anticipation can be quite exciting.

    Thanks for sharing this. I kinda thought it was our little secret to a very happy sex life! :)

  80. scheduling now!

    I guess I usually have a plan on my end but why not share the excitement!

  81. Anonymous says...

    My husband and I are in our 60’s – this is not our first marriage! Unfortunately, we have to plan…since we need pharmaceutical assistance! ‘Nuff said…but if we didn’t schedule, we wouldn’t have sex at all, which, unfortunately, seems to be the situation with many couples our age. Do I miss spontaneity? Sometimes…but spontaneity can be found in many other ways of expressing affection too. And…there’s definitely something to be said for anticipation… ;-}

  82. Anonymous says...

    My husband and I JUST had this conversation on the weekend to try to get out of our (my?) slump. We have a son Toby’s age and I find I’m always exhausted and “touched” out. But when I have time to plan and think about it and get in the mood I have a lot more fun. We even picked the same times – Wed night and weekend afternoons!

  83. We do the same thing to a degree, my DH gets to come home for lunch everyday so that time, is always open for FUN time and we add in whenever we get a chance. We had to as we both found ourselves super tired at the end of the day after work and spending time with our daughter, at 9pm I am exhausted

  84. How funny – I was talking about this with a friend just a few days ago. It actually sounds like fun to me. When you’re dating or living in separate homes, you don’t (and often aren’t able) to have sex all of the time. And it’s exciting and romantic! I imagine scheduling sex, like scheduling a date, would instantly make it a priority and something look forward to. Let us know how it goes. :)

  85. Joanna, hilarious and insightful post, as usual. One of the reasons why I love your blog is because it feels like a virtual version of a chat with my girlfriends.

    That being said – posts like this make me wonder how Alex feels about sharing the details of your life. Do you discuss your topics with him beforehand? Is he cool with letting the world get a peek into your lives?


  86. When I was pregnant with #3 we had scheduled days. It worked well and cut out any ambiguity. We were on, or not.

    Now that #3 is three years old and we got our groove back, no schedule is necessary! ;) I think the schedule is a great tool and doesn’t have to be permanent.

  87. Anonymous says...

    sometimes we really are both too tired to have sex, so to take the pressure off we schedule in “snuggle time.” a lot of times we end up snuggling and falling asleep, but that’s a great way to connect also :)

  88. B says...

    I think this is a great idea, especially with a busy schedule. I think it would be better to schedule and do it (no pun intended) than not schedule and have it not happen ever. Thanks for this post!


  89. J. Lewis says...

    My husband and I have scheduled a “sex date” during especially busy times, and I think it is great. I am so very tired at the end of the day and it often feels hard to rally for spontaneous sex, even though I want to. I think planning it in advance helps me get into the right frame of mind, and the anticipation is an added bonus!

  90. Anonymous says...

    I love you for bringing this up! How brave of you!

  91. Totally! We do it too because I tend to get really bogged down with my job. – But if I know in the morning that we will be gettin it on in the evening, then I make space for it in my day, and don’t even get to the point where I have to switch quickly from work to sex. That makes it a lot easier to get into the “mood”!

  92. My husband and I do the same thing!! We dont have a baby, but it just works better for us. And this way, we get to dream about it all day long without the possibility of the other not being in the mood/too tired/etc and having your daydreams slashed. You both are on board on that day! :-)

  93. I hadn’t really thought of it but you make a great case for it. I think it’s a DO. Plus, I’m a fan of anticipation. I never thought “it would come to this” but sometimes my honey and I are just plain tired. We don’t even have kids yet and I’m worried what will happen when we do. I say, better to be proactive. I make time to do all sorts of things that I enjoy, that are important to me and that are good for me/us. Why not this?

    And Joanna–I love how you are candid without ever being crass. You have such a great way of communicating.

  94. Anonymous says...

    Hi Joana, great post! My husband and I have started scheduling sex, now that we are trying to get pregnant with our second child (we did it when we were trying to conceive for our first child as well). This way we hope to have more luck at getting it right when it comes to fertile days. Also with both of us working and a small baby to care for, it is harder to be spontaneous. I think its kind of fun (we have even had lunchtime “dates” at a hotel) and there’s a much better chance we will actually do it (as opposed to leaving it to be the last thing that happens in your day, when you are tired, sleepy, too full with dinner).

  95. I don’t verbally plan it and talk it out with my husband, but I definitely know when I’m on my way home from work if I’m going to spring it on him…I guess I plan it mentally. I am very intentional about making time for sex especially before we’re both tired and it’s late.

    I find right before dinner is best. Sex and then food? Yes, please.

    We didn’t start sleeping together until we got married and that was 8 months ago. I definitely find it difficult to find times that work for both of us, but when he walks in the door from work if I let him know I need him upstairs…or on the couch, it works. :)

  96. This is funny.

    My boyfriend and I do this in a routine or once in a while. We both have different work schedules. When I am either going to work or to school, my boyfriend is coming home from work. Therefore, we barely have time to sleep together at night.

    Usually we have quickies before he goes to work, but that doesn’t kill the cravings :).

    So we started to schedule time for us to have sex. We call it “The Mister Nasty Time!” Like Next Friday :) Anyways basically we either schedule it in the afternoons or when he has his weekends.

    Hope this gives you an insight.

  97. But what if you’re just not in the mood when it comes that time??

  98. LeHen says...

    my husband and i do this when we are extra busy. but the best thing we ever tried is when we are in a slump we make a rule: sex every day. it doesn’t have to go on for an extended period of time, but its always enough to get us out of our slump.

  99. As a mother of 3 now grown but not out of house 100% young adults. As a wife of 22 years we have been scheduling sex since my youngest was born (now 19 and sophomore in college. At first we tried the writing it in in the calendar but over the years its become more of a natural pre-sex conversation. for example ; where and who will be home? Clearing a certain day to be together,or as my kids affectionately refer to it as wine and music nights. We make sure we always make time for each other. We will be celebrating our 22 anniversary this month so, I think scheduling sex works for us.

  100. We don’t have kids, but we do have awkward schedules — he works a regular 9-5 while I work weekends, which means we don’t often get a lot of time to let things just happen naturally! We don’t intentionally schedule in sex days in advance, but we do check in with eachother a lot… I have no problem with texting and asking for some lovin later if he’s not too tired, and he’ll do the same with me! It’s absolutely not “unromantic”… what could be unromantic about the anticipation of knowing for sure you’re getting some later?! It’s awesome!

  101. Anonymous says...

    Either my husband or I will waggle our eyebrows at each other and say can I make an appointment for later tonight(or tomorrow or whatever) and the other will generally respond I think that can be arranged.I asked my husband if he thought it was depressing that we had been reduced to making an appointment with each other and he responded “making an appointment for a root canal is depressing.making plans for sex is awesome”.

  102. My husband and I are business owners with two kids in the midst of a historic home restoration. Suffice it to say, scheduling sex is pretty essential to, you know, actually having it. It might sound boring, sad or depressing but nothing is as sad as no sex at all. And it many ways, it’s kind of nice. We have two days every week that we plan to spend time together. We both look forward to it all day, manage our workloads and family needs around carving out that time and can do little things in anticipation like wash up fresh sheets in peppermint laundry soap or pick up candles or a nice bottle of wine on our lunch break. Certainly the mood strikes other times but the consistency is important. We celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary this November so I think we’re doing something right.

  103. between the baby and our school schedules, if we don’t plan around here, it doesn’t happen. I’m all for it!

  104. Anonymous says...

    TMI! LOL. I’ve heard this works…happy humping :)

  105. I think this is a brilliant idea! My fiance and I are working opposite schedules right now so we have to plan our 2-hours-a-day together very thoughtfully.

  106. My husband and I are young with no kids (24 years old here), I like to secretly schedule sex or making out etc and put my plans in our synced iphone calendar.
    So say on Wednesday at 3pm he will get a reminder alert that we have plans when he gets home at 6pm.
    we dont *need* to plan per-say, but it sure makes things interesting and fun.

  107. Anna Cippolini says...

    Me and my partner also decided scheduling sex after our son’s was born. It did not take the romance/passion out of it… in fact, the idea that we will have sex that day starts working as preliminaries even before we arrive home.
    And, as a side effect, it increased our sex drives and we started having more spontaneous sex now than before (besides the scheduled one).

  108. I suggested this to my husband & he shot it down. think I’ll show him your article as proof I’m not crazy ;)

  109. Anonymous says...

    my husband and i tried this, i loved it he didnt

  110. I’m with Anonymous 12:09pm RE: secretly set time aside to turn things up. Also, my husband & I don’t schedule it in the traditional sense, but rather make it a point to make mental notes of how often we had it recently and to turn things up if our numbers are low ;) And we also give ourselves a high five if our numbers are high for a given week because I think it’s important to recognize when things are going well as much as when things aren’t going so well.

  111. When life gets busy it is easy to let important things slip. Scheduling the romance is a great idea.

  112. Anonymous says...

    For us, it didn’t work. We both felt too much pressure. However, to each his own :)

  113. As a mother to a one year old, i can totally relate. It’s like a workout; its hard to motivate, but you never regret it when you’re done!

  114. Definitely yes! Even for couples without babes in the middle, I think it’s a must do. I think maybe in the beginning it felt a bit less romantic, but you’re absolutely right, the idea of defining romance and love and desire by its spontaneity is flawed to begin with. When you’re young everything is spontaneous, hanging out with friends, eating, being with your lover, going out… there’s just less responsibilities in general and so you don’t have to plan everything. But as adults we actually plan pretty much everything so it only makes sense that if sex is a priority it should get some scheduled time too. I’m a big proponent of consciously making time for the important stuff.

  115. Anonymous says...

    Absolutely, a must. It sounds forced, but works out so well. I think it actually keeps sex alive! When the initial buzz has worn off, you need to make time for yourselves to do it or force yourself to make a move and it is just as fun and meaningful. Awesome.

  116. Anonymous says...

    Absolutely, a must. It sounds forced, but works out so well. I think it actually keeps sex alive! When the initial buzz has worn off, you need to make time for yourselves to do it or force yourself to make a move and it is just as fun and meaningful. Awesome.

  117. Absolutely a great idea! :) A good relationship would overcome the initial “planned” feeling, and go with the flow. We’ve found this to be fun, and look forward to it. So, it’s always worked for us ;]

  118. We have baby #4 on the way, and although it’s hard to find the energy and time for sex, scheduling it would really take the romance out of it for me. We’re either in the mood or we’re not.

  119. Anonymous says...

    My husband and I enjoy scheduling it in advance. We talk about it, tease one another, and before we know it the spontaneity has gotten the best of us and new plans unfold before our “date”

  120. Anonymous says...

    My husband and I have been married for 15 years.We married very young(at 17 and 23).It seems like at a certain point either you’re scheduling it or you’re not having it at all.If it’s unromantic to schedule it call me unromantic.We know too many couples who don’t bother to make time alone and it shows.Above all else I think it’s sexy knowing we have plans for later that gives you something to think about all day.

  121. I think that a lot of healthy relationships might even been doing this unintentionally. I know that there are certain days that we both kind of count on due to our schedules. Odds are, we’re going to be having a good time on those nights. We definitely have spontaneous times too, but it’s definitely a trend. In fact, this past weekend both of our schedules were totally off and things where crazy, and somehow the weekend just slipped by. Monday night we looked at each other and were like “wait, what happened?!”
    I think we plan every other important thing, so why would we not make time (if needed) to do something we ALL know is great for our relationships?

  122. I haven’t done this yet but wouldn’t completely rule it out. I agree – planning can be advantageous.

  123. I see your point (and definitely applaud you two for recognizing its importance), but I think this kind of sounds horrifying and yet another reason not to have kids…

  124. Everything is allowed as long a “No” is respected.

    The problem, and advantage, of plans is that they can be adjusted, modified, canceled and if there’s love and understanding the world won’t stop.

    I’ve been married 24 years and never felt the need for schedules but if it works for you… go! well, I don’t mean now… but you get my point ahahahah

    Take Care!

  125. Courtney says...

    With a 21 month old we totally do the same thing, and honestly when we know we are gonna “get it on” that night we kind of have it in our mind all day, it’s almost like foreplay.

  126. Anonymous says...

    My husband and I are childless, but still pretty busy with careers, launching a new business, etc.

    So we have a standing “sex date” every Sunday afternoon, but also are spontaneous throughout the week. That way, if it’s a busy week, we know we’ll at least get that time on Sunday.

  127. The other night as my boyfriend and I were getting in bed, he rattled off a few things “Let’s get a glass of water, snuggle in bed, finish the show [we were watching], and then… sexy time?” I thought it was hilarious and a little awkward but it turned out to be one of the most satisfying nights in awhile! I see no problem in scheduling times to be intimate, especially if you’re THAT busy!

  128. Before having our son, I would have laughed at this idea. But now I think it’s brilliant!

  129. Actually sounds like a good idea to me, my boyfriend and I work super stressful jobs and its so hard to find time when we both have the energy/dont have a hundred other things to do. I’ll try it!

  130. i feel like this could work but also puts too much pressure on us as we’ve tried it.

  131. Anonymous says...

    My husband would burn the calendar if I whipped it out and told him we were going to do that.

    Having said that, I have been known to [secretly] set time aside to turn up the vavavavoom and make it happen, and what he doesn’t know can’t hurt him.

    I should schedule some more of that.

    • haha loved your response.

  132. I feel like I can’t have an opinion yet, bc my fiance and I are childless at the moment so we don’t have many distractions…but I definitely dont see anything wrong with it. I like the idea of looking forward to the scheduled time. And I guarantee the ones who are against scheduling it, are not having it to begin with!

  133. Totally!
    We don’t have kids, but we have busy schedules.
    I think scheduling is much better than simply ignoring it all together, right??
    Eat Cake

  134. I am cracking up at this! Our marriage counselor (who “prepped” us for marriage) told us they do this, and love it! I don’t doubt when we have kids that this will be a great idea!

  135. Anonymous says...

    My husband and I do this to some degree. We are also trying to get pregnant right now, so its sort of not an option! I agree though, with a busy life, no sex days can sort of add up quickly, and its good to make time for it!

  136. Anonymous says...

    I love this idea.

    My fiance and I both work in the restaurant industry, which means eighteen hour days, days that start at 7am and days that don’t end until 2am or later (and opposite schedules). Suffice to say, we come home and it’s all we can do to make a meal and choose a book or movie to fall asleep to — sex? Forget it.

    We often use our free days or nights to do fun things, like dinners out or day trips or house projects, but as fun as they are they leave us no energy or time for sex! It’d be fun to take a look at the schedule and block out some time for just us…