How “Maintenance Sex” Can Bless Your Marriage

The article below is an Oldie but Goodie. First published on January 24, 2011, it’s intended for marriages with good-willed spouses and has been edited for formatting, grammar, and clarity.

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.

What is “maintenance sex”?

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.

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

Why maintenance matters…

If you neglect that God-given longing for each other, eventually it will affect your relationship. You’ll feel less desired, less connected, and even less patient with one another. I’ve known a few couples who were testy with another for several days and then realized, “It’s been a while!” So, they made love, and voilá! a measure of patience and perspective returned.

Look, I’m all about the music-in-the-background, candles-in-the-bedroom, silky-lingerie, sweet-talking, slow-going lovemaking. 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 sate your spouse’s longing. 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.

Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.

1 Corinthians 7:3 (NKJV)

1 thought on “How “Maintenance Sex” Can Bless Your Marriage”

  1. I can’t agree with you more. Yes, I love to give my wife as long of a intimate session as I can, but even with adult kids it is hard to find the time. We still have two at home (one is getting married early next year, so we will just have one home soon), and my wife is very cautious about having the kids hear us even when we are super quiet. Those little quickies tell me that I am still important to her and that she loves me enough to connect, even if it is not as satisfying as when we can take our time.

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