couples

Should married couples sign a sex contract?

Romance, schmomance… this woman knows that the way to keep your sex life healthy after 17 years is to put it writing…

Money and sex are two of the most common trouble spots in modern marriage. If you’ve got the budget sorted in your house, it might be time to apply the same principles to sex.

After fifteen years of marriage one thing has become incredibly clear to me – sex is as important to my marriage today as it was when we first met.

My husband’s preference is to have sex every day where as I’m only in the mood twice a month at max, yet I end up trying to meet him halfway because to me, part of being married is making each other happy.

But it’s hard to do with without resentment and we quickly became sick of doing a song and dance of  ‘will we or won’t we” ahead of the deed. Because as most couples with children know, opportunities can be few and far between.

Married sex

We hit a bad patch about six years ago when we fought about sex on a weekly basis. It had reduced in frequency, when we did have sex it wasn't as satisfying as it could have been and often we both walked away feeling ripped off. The fights became unbearable and started to affect all facets of our relationship. It got to a point where we almost busted up over it and I couldn't understand why. It's just sex. We've done it thousands of times before. We made our children by having sex. Why had we let ourselves become so overwrought about it?

We decided to sit down and draft up a 'sex contract' whereby we negotiated the days on which we'd have sex, at a minimum. This didn't erase the occasional spontaneous act. We kept the schedule flexible and it would change week-by-week. We focused it more on our expectations surrounding sex, we discussed how sex made us feel and we came up with ways to keep the spark alive for the sake of our marriage, our happiness and the future of our families.

It's time all couples did this. Sex is not something couples should break up over and it is an important part of married life. There are expectations involved and why is that so bad? I didn't enjoy explaining I wasn't in the mood anymore than my husband wanted to feel as though he was having to beg.

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Knowing we were going to have sex on a particular night made us kinder to each other. We'd both agreed so the pressure was off. We could concentrate on other issues because there was no dancing around the subject to do.

It has transformed our marriage.

When drafting a sex contract here are my tips:

1. Discuss frequency. What is the minimum number of times sex should occur each week;

2. Discuss quality. What do you each need to get out of each and every sexual encounter;

3. Assign tasks. Each month take turns preparing an extra special evening;

4. Always start with kissing. Never skip the steps that create the mood and inspire the most intimacy;

5. Sign it. The act of signing it commits you both;

6. Renegotiate. Leave it open to change, depending on what else is going on in your life.

Here's the the always-honest Chrissie Swan on sex contracts with her husband...

You can find this video and more here at Show and Tell's website.

What do you think? Are sex contracts a good idea or do they kill the romance?

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