So here are five reasons that advice struck out with me. Five reasons I can't have sex with my husband every night.
- He doesn't want to every night. And, honestly, I don't know very many people who do. In her piece, Ms. Conley describes not having sex every night as "like turning down a zero calorie but as delicious-as-creme-brulee dessert". Creme brulee is freaking delicious. Eating it is very enjoyable. Eating it every single night may, for some people, become more of a chore than an enjoyable experience. I love creme brulee, but sometimes I want to watch The Office and fall asleep in peace.
- Pressuring someone who doesn't want sex every night, or having sex every night out of some sense of duty, can result in someone (or everyone) feeling like nothing more than a piece of meat. Sex is work. It's not like running a marathon, but it takes emotional vulnerability, putting another person's needs first, mental effort... It's awesome, I think we can all agree, but if something is worth doing, it's worth doing right, and unless you're just naturally inclined to daily sex, it could end up being an empty experience.
- Sex is so much more gratifying when the moment convalesces organically. If you're feeling like you need more sex with your partner to make positive changes in your relationship, by all means, go for it. If you don't feel like you need to have sex every night to be fulfilled, why try to force it?
- Being tired, feeling unattractive, or needing a different kind of connection are all valid reasons not to engage in sex with your partner. I felt a little like Ms. Conley was dismissing these as "not good enough". I respectfully disagree. I do not think the onus is on the partner with a lower libido (which Ms. Conley falsely assumed is almost always the woman), I think a happy medium needs to be reached so that everyone is having their needs met. If your partner doesn't want sex as often as you, do something to change their minds. If you want sex much less than your partner, figure out how to meet them halfway. Talk about it, be honest, figure out ways to make each other happy.
- Having sex every night as a way to make your partner feel loved, appreciated and valuable puts a lot of pressure on your sex life. You should have a whole arsenal of ways to make your partner feel loved. And you should feel loved all the time, not only when you're having lots of sex.
The whole article seemed a little sexist to me. I've written before about how relationship advice articles are disproportionately aimed at women, and this was no exception, and was bothersome to me. There is no normal as far as frequency of sexual encounters in long term relationships. If you're an every day kind of person, have sex every day. But please, don't force it, and please don't think that just because your partner is a man and you're a woman that you need to bump up the number of times you copulate in a week. Instead, talk to your partner. Are they happy? Do they feel appreciated? If not, what can you do to help change that?