Daily Archives: January 24, 2011

The Maintenance Plan for Marital Intimacy

My husband approached me in the bathroom with the corners of his mouth slightly upturned and asked, “Do you want to copulate this morning or wait until this evening?”

Really?  Is this what we’ve come to?

After telling him it might be time to consult the Romance 101 manual again, I informed him that I didn’t have time that morning.  Sex would have to get penciled into the calendar for that evening–somewhere between cleaning the kitchen, putting the kids to bed, folding a load of laundry, donning pajamas, removing make-up, and passing out on my mattress.  So much for romance.

As much as I wish that our every sexual encounter was a long and soulful experience, sometimes we’re relegated to what my husband once termed Maintenance Sex.  Perhaps you can only fit in a 10-minute quickie before breakfast.  Maybe you have to schedule a half-hour into the calendar because otherwise it won’t happen. 

But that maintenance can be very important.  Think about it this way:  It’s fun to make home improvements.  New carpet, fresh paint, kitchen or bathroom renovations are exciting and satisfying.  But we can’t ignore the minor repairs that the keep the house going–steaming the carpet, painting touch-ups, cleaning those kitchens and bathrooms.  Both are good for your home.

The same with sex.  We married couples might wish that our sexual encounters were as spectacular as the community fireworks display, but shorter encounters can be fun too, like playing with sparklers.  They’re all firecrackers, baby.

If you neglect simply meeting that God-given need for each other, eventually it will affect your relationship.  In case you haven’t noticed, men often get cranky when they haven’t had a sexual release in a while.  Women often feel neglected when they haven’t been sexually pursued and appreciated.  I’ve known a few couples who were at each other’s throats for several days when they suddenly realized in the middle of an argument, “Oh yeah, we’re sexually tense!”  They made love, and voilá! a bit of sanity and perspective returned.

I’m all about the music-in-the-background, candles-in-the-bedroom, silky-lingerie, sweet-talking, slow-going love-making.  But sometimes, you don’t have an hour or so to devote to sex.  Don’t feel like those scheduled sessions or spur-of-the-moment quickies aren’t valid in increasing physical intimacy.

Sometimes, it is the most selfless love to shove all the folded laundry off the bed, lock out the demanding children, resolve to be five minutes late to work, and make time to meet your spouse’s needs.  Sometimes, it is the most selfless love to throw off the robe, grab the KY, and get tangled up for a few minutes on the unmade bed.  Sometimes, it is the most selfless love to engage in Maintenance Sex until you can get your real groove on–like at an overnight hotel stay or a fortuitous night when the kids all fall asleep a little early.

“The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs,

and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs.”

1 Corinthians 7:3 (NLT)