Ahhh. Valentine’s Day. The day of love, right?
For some married couples, it’s one of the few times of the year they will have sex. Do you see that dynamic playing itself out with your husband?
Sure, you have sex every now and then, but you definitely make love on special occasions.
Valentine’s Day. His birthday. Your anniversary.
Maybe you are even one of the couples who makes love only on those special occasions.
Before you think I’m beating you up a bit, hang with me awhile, okay?
I want to encourage, uplift and be your biggest cheerleader when it comes to initiating healthy new patterns in your lovemaking.
Special occasion sex is all fine and dandy (in fact, it usually is over-the-top because it may involve a lot of “extras” that don’t usually accompany your lovemaking… a nice dinner out, dressing up, flowers and candy, presents, the kiddos staying at grandma’s for the night, etc.)
I’ll be the first to admit that special occasion sex has it’s perks.
Hey, we’re making the most of it tonight in celebration of Valentine’s Day.
We’re farming out the kids, eating at a nice restaurant, going to see Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith in concert at a phenomenal venue, and then coming home to break in our new bed that is being delivered in just a few hours.
To say we both are looking forward to the evening is an understatement.
But special occasion sex is not enough — even if your “special occasions” include all holidays, regardless of how obscure or grand they are.
Arbor Day. Presidents’ Day. Mother’s Day. Father’s Day. Flag Day. Eastern Orthodox Lent. St. Patrick’s Day. Passover. Easter. Memorial Day. Grandparents Day. First Day of Summer. Independence Day. Labor Day. National Boss’ Day. Secretary’s Day. Columbus Day. Yom Kippur. All Saints Day. Veterans Day. Pearl Harbor Day. Daylight Savings. Armed Forces Day.
(Is it just me or are the greeting card companies in bed with whatever branch of the government is charged with declaring official holidays? Looks a wee bit suspicious to me, but I digress).
Even if you were to make love on all those special occasions, I question if it is really the ticket to tremendous sexual oneness.
Having sex only on special occasions…
1. Sets up unrealistic expectations about what is necessary for phenomenal sex.
If having amazing sexual connectedness is dependent upon roses, presents, fancy dinners and the kids staying at grandma’s, then we miss out on finding extraordinary oneness in the midst of ordinary life.
You spend more time in ordinary life. Find a way to have sex there too. And not just sex, but the kind of nurtured tenderness that makes the ordinary life bearable and even enjoyable.
2. Sounds a lot more like obligation and “have to” than privilege and “get to.”
Anything that we are motivated to do purely from a “have to” standpoint is going to be a very pale reflection of what God desires for sexual intimacy in our marriages.
If you don’t like sex with your husband, don’t get stuck in that frame of mind. Take the courageous steps to figure out why and do all you can to move toward a place where it is something to which you look forward.
3. Robs us of the rewards of nurtured intimacy.
Let’s face it… anyone can fall into bed once or twice a year after a nice dinner, a glass of wine and overpriced cheesecake.
But regularly nurtured intimacy — that’s where the benefits start to show up. And I’m not just talking about orgasm and feeling close to the person we married. I’m talking about the way nurtured sexual intimacy strengthens your marriage well beyond the bedroom.
It softens us to each other. Helps us journey better together, parent better together, and basically do life together.
My heartfelt encouragement to you if you plan to have special occasion “Valentine’s Day” sex tonight is GO FOR IT! But then don’t stop there. Take even baby steps in the direction of nurturing sexual intimacy amidst the ordinary aspects of life.
Maybe you can start writing additional “holidays” on your calendar.
“Hey honey, on Wednesday we are going to have sex to celebrate the fact we just got a new dishwasher.”
“And then on Saturday, we are going to have ‘Thanks for Tiling the Bathroom’ sex.”
“Just to keep things interesting, on Sunday we’re going to have ‘Gee, Wasn’t the Sermon Good at Church Today’ sex.”
“While we’re at it, I just remembered that I didn’t go completely insane last Thursday when I tried to take the kids with me to the grocery store. If that isn’t a reason to have sex, I don’t know what is.”
Anyway, I think you get the point. Happy Valentine’s Day.
Copyright 2011, Julie Sibert, Intimacy in Marriage blog.
7 thoughts on “Why Special Occasion Sex Isn’t Enough”
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Great post! I’m really making an effort to stay away from “special occasion sex” only and incorporating it at all times in our life. 😉 It really does take nurturing and being Deliberate!
Julie, you write very good articles and I hope it not only gets read but internalized.
My marriage was like this only the special occasions were so busy that with parties and family events, etc., that she was too exhausted even then. Heck, I was exhausted also. One XMAS, I insisted we have at least one date night during the holiday season. After the nice dinner we arrived home, said thank you to the grandparents and went to the bedroom. The quote I remember most was, “I guess you want to have sex now.” This loses a little without the sarcastic and biting tone that came with the words.
Anyway – my point is really more of a warning. At some point, if there is no intimacy in a marriage, one of the parties will make a decision. I stayed and tried for the sake of the marriage commitment, for the sake of the children, for the sake of the grandparents, etc., etc. I was convinced that I must be the reason for the lack of intimacy. Afterall – aren’t men just the ones who want sex all the time. Men are the emotionally unavailable ones who don’t care or understand intimacy by all standard conventional wisdom.
So keep trying and posting. I hope your articles are understood and internalized.
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Another sexless Valentine’s Day come and gone. I hate this holiday more than any other. I feel like I’m playing a game with only a vague understanding of the rules and the rules can change with no warning or notice. Also, there are severe consequences for losing but even if I manage to guess my way to getting all the points I can, there’s no real benefit to winning. Just to be clear, this year, I did very well. My wife was very happy and bragged to her friends about how well I did. That’s all I got though: recognition to her friends and co-workers. No affection or intimacy. Not even a half hearted offer of obligation sex (or the opportunity to turn it down). Holidays like this just make me angry. A cruel reminder shoved in my face that OTHER people get to have love, intimacy, affection, and yes, sex too. For the same reason, baby announcements, baby showers, and the sight of pregnant women also make me angry.
If we took just 1/4 the amount of focus & energy that everybody puts on sex stuff and put that towards something constructive, just imagine what could be accomplished and what you could do/see.
You may laugh, but I’m totally serious. These are all things on my bucket list that I likely will never get to do, but I sure want to more than obsess about sex.
-Build a tiny house cabin
-Build a wood boat
-Get my pilot’s license
-Attend every home game of my favorite MLB baseball team (that’s around 80 games in 1 summer!
-Attend every home & away game for a season of my favorite college football team
– Sleep for 3 days. Just get up to eat & use restroom.
World is full of really cool things to do. Spending a day doing that and then crawling into a nice warm bed with the only intention of deep wonderful sleep. That my friends is heaven on earth.
Mike: nobody is ever obsessed with the things that they have enough of. Thirsty people think about water. Starving people think about food. Do you know who doesn’t think about food? People with full stomachs.