If you’ve ever read a sex article on this site, you’ll be familiar with one concept I talk about quite frequently: scheduling sex. Every time I talk about scheduling sex, I make a note to say “it’s not weird!” I’ll be honest: I’m still trying to convince myself that this is the case.
Putting “sex” on your calendar isn’t a new concept. We’ve seen it in movies and recommended to us in every women’s sex magazine to spice things up in the bedroom and keep your relationship and sex life thriving. But how does it actually work in practice? Do you set a date and time at the beginning of the week? Month? Do you and your partner talk about it, or do you just add a little heart next to Feb. 28 without asking them if they have a fitness class or something planned that night (with my luck, it’ll be the one night in a whole month my partner is “busy”)? Do you go to dinner first and wear lingerie under your clothes? I was so perplexed by how this all worked, so I did what any good sex writer does, and I put it into action.
After scheduling sex with a partner for a few months, I figured out what works, what doesn’t, and how to actually use it to build a better sex life for both of you.
And just an idea: you don’t have to be in a relationship to schedule sex. Scheduling in a little me-time with your vibrator (or your hands — whatever gets you excited) is equally as fulfilling and fun as being with another person. You also can schedule in times you want to go on dates or meet new people. While you might not always meet someone exactly as you schedule it, you’ll be motivated to try something (or someone) new.
1. Talk about it
You can’t just randomly start putting sex on your calendar and expecting your partner to get it. Especially if we’re dealing with a male partner, they’re just not quick to learn (sorry, not sorry). It’s important to address with your partner why you want to schedule sex in the first place. Are you both busy and struggle to find time during the week? Do you just want to have more sex this year? Are you trying to slowly add in new things to your sex life (group sex, BDSM, etc.)? Make sure you have something clear in mind for why you think scheduling sex will work. If you just try to schedule it without any reason behind it, you’re much more likely to bail on the plans and for the problem to persist.
2. Actually put it on your calendar
Whether you swear by the perfect planner you take to and from the office or you’re more of a “Cats in Buckets” wall calendar kinda gal, make sure to actually put a note on the date you set somewhere. Whatever method you use to plan your days, weeks, or months works here. If you’re more digital, adding an emoji to the date in your Google Calendar or iCal suffices. This will not only hold you accountable to that day, but it helps you build excitement. Seeing your sex emoji on your iCal for Thursday night might be just what you need to get through the week.
3. Schedule foreplay
“Having sex” doesn’t always have to include penetrative sex—even if you’re not a same-sex couple. Scheduling sex can be about scheduling foreplay too. For many people, foreplay is the best part of sex. It’s multi-sensory, meaning it’s not just about a penis entering a vagina; it involves touch, sound, sight, taste, and smell, and it incorporates your mind in a way penetrative sex doesn’t always. For women, foreplay also can have a lot to do with the clitoris, meaning orgasms are much, much easier. Instead of scheduling to have sex, schedule oral sex, taking a shower together, going to the gym together (watching your partner get all sweaty is truly an underrated kink, #justsaying), playing with hot and cold temperatures, or making your own sex bucket list to follow in all of your planned sex adventures. Scheduling foreplay—dare I say it—might actually be more fun.
4. You actually get to prep
Spontaneous sex is cool and all. Trust me: I’m all here for a “We’re cooking dinner, and you just look super hot; let’s turn off the burners and go at it right here.” (Did I just reveal a potential fantasy of mine on the Internet for my entire company to read? Yes, I did.) Scheduled sex is a little different, but I’d argue it doesn’t have to be any less passionate or intense. One of the best parts about scheduling sex is the prep (which is really just a whole form of foreplay on its own!). Getting ready for sex before you know it’s going to happen is honestly half the fun, and it’s a whole different way to express the passion and intensity of your sex life. Shaving (if you choose to do that), putting on your makeup, wearing your favorite pieces of lingerie, lighting the candles, telling yourself sexy affirmations (I couldn’t recommend more)—these are all ways to get your mind and body ready to have the hottest sex of your life.
If you’re single or only planning to have sex with yourself, the prep is just as important. Think of masturbating like you’re going on a date with yourself. Take a bath, use your favorite sheet mask (this is my favorite sheet mask before a big date—talk about #glowgoals), do your hair and makeup, and put on that cute lingerie you’ve pushed to the back of your drawers. Masturbating can be as passionate and loving as sex with another person.
5. Text them a reminder
Once you’ve scheduled the sex, you have to remind your partner. Don’t make it a nagging reminder in the same way you tell them every Tuesday to take out the trash; instead, make it a little sexy. You could say, “I’m really excited about tonight!” or tell them something you want them to do when you get in the bedroom later. Half of the fun of scheduling sex is the build-up of excitement as the days go on. People in long-distance relationships get this; the days before you and your partner see each other again after a little time apart, you’re pretty frickin’ horny.
A lot of people are afraid to schedule sex because they’re worried the build-up won’t match the excitement of the actual event. This was a concern I had before I ever tried it, and it held me back a lot. However, if you’re with someone you trust and someone you already feel a strong sexual connection to, there’s no such thing as failed expectations. And if things aren’t as hot and heavy as you pictured them, you’re able to talk to your partner about it and figure out what went wrong and how you can fix it.
6. If things come up, don’t beat yourself up
Scheduling sex is just like scheduling any other social commitment: things might come up. You might not always be able to make your scheduled date and time, and that’s OK. Choose a different day and try again. No stress!
This article originally appeared on The Everygirl on January 25, 2020.