My Bad Knees Taught Me About Good Sex

I have crappy knees.

When I walk up or down stairs, it sounds like concrete is being mixed. In my knees.

I also have pain when going up or down from a seated position (or like if I want to get on the floor to play with my baby nephew. Getting down is hard. Getting back up is harder).

I can blame some of it on heredity (mom and big bro have bad knees too).

But in the past year, my knees got really bad.

So I finally went to a doctor, who after ruling out arthritis, promptly sent me to a physical therapist.

While I think the concrete dynamic is still at play a little, I must give the physical therapist props for figuring out what was causing so much pain in the up-and-down movement.

Seems my lateral band of fascia (part of surface muscles that run along the outer thigh) is like one big knotted rope.  It’s supposed to be smooth and flat. Mine were like knotted ropes.

So after weeks of therapists digging their thumbs into my thigh to “loosen” up the rope, they sent me home with daily exercises. They also recommended I get a foam roller to roll my thigh across. Excruciating, I might add.  But it works.

If I don’t pay close attention to doing those exercises regularly — included the dreaded foam roller — I almost immediately notice the “rope” getting tangled back up again.  More pain in the knees.  On the other hand, if I do heed the physical therapist’s orders, the negative impact on my life lessens significantly.

I think there’s a lesson in all that when it comes to sexual intimacy. Actually two lessons.

1. If you don’t address existing problems in your sexual intimacy, problems and pain will likely get worse.

2. If you don’t regularly have sex, problems and pain will likely emerge.

Long story short, maintenance sex matters.

I’m not really enthralled with the term “maintenance sex,” but it’s probably the best to convey the significance of not only addressing sexual problems, but also having sex regularly.

(Just for the record, I’m talking about marriages where there’s no reasonable excuse they couldn’t be having frequent sex, like injury or illness or long-term military deployment, etc).

Maintenance sex matters.

Making love to your spouse often, preferably with an eye on the benefits of such activity, is one of the most thorough ways to tend your one-flesh union.

Think I’m exaggerating?

Well, don’t take my word for it. Run your own little covert operation in your marriage.

Authentically make an effort to have sex more often. Every marriage is different on frequency, but for the sake of example, let’s say right now you are having sex 2 times a month.  Increase that by 100% and have sex 4 times a month.

I would be shocked if such effort didn’t result in at least a few benefits to you, your husband and your marriage.

Less stress?  More grace?  Feeling closer?  More  willingness to be supportive?  Greater tendency to be affectionate?

You really have nothing to lose and all to gain by giving “maintenance” sex a try.  Who knows… You might even ditch the word “maintenance” and replace it with something more alluring.

Like “Wow” sex.

Or “I-Never-Knew-What-I-Was-Missing” sex.

Or “We-Really-Should-Do-This-More-Often” sex.

Anyway, there you have it… the lesson my bad knees taught me about sex.  (And here you were probably thinking my bad knees were really slowing me down in the bedroom. Not likely.)

Copyright 2013, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

13 thoughts on “My Bad Knees Taught Me About Good Sex

  1. workinprogress says:

    I agree… regular sex is important. My husband and I are much more patient and playful with each other when we are being intimate regularly. And, the sex is better when it is regular.
    I”m trying to think of a better term than “maintenance” sex. Hmmm… checking some synonyms..
    How about sustenance sex? Relationship nurturing sex? Not exactly the same picture as “maintenance” but perhaps the picture “maintenance” conjures isn’t the picture we want anyway. Maintenance makes me think of taking the car for an oil change (a necessary evil). Sustenance gives me a picture of a healthy, appealing meal. Much more enjoyable than sitting in the waiting room at Jiffy Lube. Just thinking out loud.

  2. Greg says:

    @workinprogress: Judging by the dictionary’s first two definitions, “nurturing” sounds like a great replacement for “maintenance”:

    1. to feed and protect
    2. to support and encourage

    Great post Julie! (And as an aside, a well-respected local orthopedic doctor/surgeon I know highly recommends the herbal supplement “Glucosamine” for overall joint health. Just in case that helps your knees!)

  3. Michael Jay says:

    That thing with your knees sounds awful, Julie! Sorry you have to deal with that.

    One thing my wife and I realized was that we have a sweetspot of about 2-3 days. If we go too much, she will be sore and have to break for a few days (we had an amazing five hour session a couple months back after finally fixing a loylt of our intercourse issues that was a real problem after the fact!). And if we go too little, she will experience pain at penetration. As a result we have great excuses to go at it at least every two days!

    Also, on off days, we have brought back cuddling and making out and such. Maybe that sounds juvenile, but it’s easy to slip out of doing those things in favor of doing your own thing when you’ve been together a while.

  4. workinprogress says:

    @Michael- I agree that making out and cuddling is still important. It is too easy to by-pass this after you’re married.
    But I have to ask..and perhaps this would be a great blog topic, but what on earth do you do for five hours of sex play? I get that it would involve lots of foreplay and massage, and he could keep me going for a while, but the fact is that once he has “finished” there’s not much else I can do for him. Not that he rolls over and falls asleep once he’s been “satisfied” but I can’t exactly expect him to keep bringing me to climaxes knowing that I’m the only one still “in the game” so to speak. Does that make sense? Perhaps we’re just too old, but he can’t get erect again once he has reached his climax (or atleast keep an erection), so I’m not sure how I would entertain him.
    I’d love some insight into how to extend love play beyond an hour or so.

  5. Michael Jay says:

    Hi Workinprogress

    I wouldn’t say the “five hour” session is a common occurrence. In fact, it left my poor wife in a lot of physical pain the following day (and in fact left me sore as well) although at the time neither of us was in pain. We had suffered physical sexual incompatibility for some time and after solving a lot of it, we rapidly became more enthusiastic about sex as a couple, leading to that particularly enthusiastic night about a month after our first real pain-free intercourse.

    Im not going to beat around the bush: I totally get what you mean about him being “out of the game” after he cums. It does happen to me and most men. That particular night, in between my own orgasms, we would break and chat in bed together and yes, massage and caressing and making out and such kept it going. After maybe twenty minutes post-coitus, I was able to get hard again and we could continue with lovemaking. We tried various positions (some successful, some not), oral play, dirty talk, et cetera.

    We don’t do that as a usual thing, though. It was more of a “special occasion”. We actually planned that evening in advance, as funny as that sounds. “Crazy sex night”, if you will. Started it with an early date, got home, relaxed and kissed and massaged and so forth as foreplay, then kept it going until we were too exhausted to get up. I don’t think it could really happen on a random night–would be too tired to physically accomplish it.

    I guess it was almost like having sex with her for the first time. It was the first time we really got to explore beyond oral sex and missionary position because it was one of the first times we could have pain-free sex for her.

    Not sure if that helps. Maybe the key is treating it like it’s new. And being ready for it without completely killing the mood by over planning it.

    If he really can’t get hard again or stay interested after cumming even after 20 or 30 minutes, perhaps simply starting with handplay and oral on you, having him hold out on cumming by slowing down, switching to massage while he cools off, et cetera, would be a solution. It probably is a bit much to go for five hours like that, but it could probably lengthen your lovemaking. Alternatively, you could do multiple sessions, no? That’s basically what we do sometimes. Two or three sessions with a half hour or hour in between. We had one last week with an episode of Downton Abbey between two sessions!

  6. workinprogress says:

    Michael- thanks for the input and suggestions. Unfortunately, even after 30 minutes, he can’t keep an erection again. I’m not complaining…he is more than generous with me. I’d just love to return the wonderful attention. We have one night each week when the kids are all gone for a few hours, so it’s nice to find ways to fill the time 🙂 I guess I should ask him what he’d like! And, yes, I want to work on extending things by taking breaks from penetration and letting him cool down.
    I figure in the end though, it’s all good. We have regular and frequent play times and I don’t need to worry that they aren’t 5 hours long. I was just intrigued and had to inquire 🙂

  7. Ivan says:

    Just a note on the foam roller. My wife also just started using one for the same muscle/ligament. And found that rolling on top of the foam with her body weight was too much pressure. But having me roll her with the foam at less pressure that I could control would have the right effect with much less pain. 🙂

  8. Esther says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience and the reduction you have achieved in your knee pain fllowing this regular gentle excersise. The additional benefit of improving you married togetherness and long term relationship is a real plus – focus on the legs Physio and the other benefits follow. This sounds like a win win situation for both partners, thank you

  9. Will says:

    It’s interesting that for decades, women attacked their husbands for being ‘sex fiends.’ Now that these current generations of young men have less than half the testosterone levels my generation had at their age, wives are wanting more sex?? It is widely known that when a man submits to a woman his testosterone levels drop precipituously. Why not you women return to the ways of the older generations: let the man’s sex drive guide your marriage and be thankful that he wants you instead of telling him what to do even in sex as this article instructs women. Why not follow 1 Peter 3:1-6? Or is it too difficult to be quiet and submit to your husband because you think you know better?

  10. Jon from Milwaukee says:

    Wow, unresolved issues Will???

    While you’re quoting scripture, make sure you don’t forget verses like 1 Peter 3:7 and Ephesians 5:25 (what did Christ ultimately do for the church?). I’ve witnessed way too many men who do. According to the bible husbands are supposed to lead, but they are supposed to do so lovingly and selflessly. On a basic level, both partners must give to the relationship. When I was newly married I didn’t really understand (or follow) those wise scriptures very well, and it led to a LOT of problems. Fortunately I’ve gotten wiser and more humble over the last almost two decades (I’m not claiming I know anywhere near everything, don’t get me wrong). I’m still married to the same woman, and we’ve grown quite a bit together. I also have come to find that my wife frequently (not always but often) has very wise advice on many subjects. With reference to Proverbs 15:22, she is often the first person I go to for advice or an alternate viewpoint and has saved me countless headaches (and admittedly causing a few) because she often sees things from a different perspective.

    While this line of thought may not appear to correlate to sex, think about two things. First, how interested you are in intimacy with someone you’re not getting along with? Second, how does stress affect your intimacy, even if the source of the stress isn’t your partner?


  11. Rob says:

    I’m 59 my wife is 59.after menopause she changed.she let’s me do it when I want foreplay hugging or kissing.stick it in do it get out.she has arthritis and I do to.early in the morning she wakes me up rubbing herself.I can’t say a word.she want let me touch her cliotis hardly at all.we only have sex doggystyle.she want let me talk about sex hardly no touching no sucking no licking
    .hardly no looking.every now and then.she doesn’t play with me very little oral for play I feel like I’m living with a fence post.I love her I want to hug her and every thing else.we don’t do hardlyany thing to keep it going.I’ve tried everything.I’ve give up and looked at women on the web.but I stopped that because it wrong.but I long for foreplay I can’t hard it stand it.

  12. John Clark says:

    Julie, thank you! Shout out to my precious wife of 30 years this week: she has always put this kind of “maintenance sex” as important. We now have an empty nest and want to bless her for all ( with two blown acl ligaments and arthritis) she has sacrificed for intimacy!

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