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.