Regular and consistent sex is extremely important for a healthy marriage. But life gets busy, disconnection happens, and sometimes sex is burdensome. All of these things can lead to a lack of intimacy and a decrease in sexual satisfaction. If unchecked, it can create deeper issues like pornography addiction and bitterness. So how do we keep sex consistent and meaningful?
Selena and I have discovered that being utterly honest with each other about expectations, types, and frequency of sex is the best way to go. Feeling sexually frustrated, we sat down and discussed a few possible sex scenarios that evolved into a scale of sorts…
Note: this idea and blog post happened a few years ago, but we recorded this podcast just recently!
The “Spectrum of Sex”
Not all sex is created equal. Sometimes it’s quick, other times it’s… more involved. Selena and I established a “Spectrum of Sex” if you will (sounds epic right?). We don’t actually call it that, but since I have to write something that name will do. Basically, it is a range that we refer to when discussing sex. The range goes from “coupe” to “freight train” or, for foodies, from “snack” to “feast”.
It’s meant to provide clarity for communicating each others expectation when approaching sexy time (cue Barry White).
At one end of the spectrum you have sex that is quick. It’s usually to fulfill a physiological need and little else. Think of it like a sports car. It’s quick, flashy, and gets you from A to B. This type of sex is totally fine as long it is clearly communicated.
Most guys begin feeling sexual urges every 2-3 days. This means they (we) need sex about 3 times a week. This is where this end of the spectrum is very useful: busy people don’t always have time for long drawn out experiences and sometimes you just need to check it off your list so you can go about your day. It’s a great focus enhancer!
For you foodies, think of it as “snack sex”. It’s a quick fix to curb your hunger until it’s time for a 7 course meal.
At the other end of the spectrum, you have sex that is deep, emotionally intimate, and intense. I like to compare it to a freight train: it may take a while to gain momentum, but once it’s full speed, good luck stopping it! It still gets from A to B, but it’s much more drawn out and carries a much heavier payload.
Freight train sex is the kind you experience on purpose as a part of your relationship deepening activities – like a romantic Friday night date. Both of you are fully present and fully invested in the journey.
To continue the foodie example, this is “feast sex”. It takes lots of preparation and time to enjoy, but the bounty is plentiful and the experience is rich.
How we deal
Selena and I have a basic rule: sex happens every 2-3 days. She expects it, I expect it. Sometimes it’s sporty, sometimes it’s heavy.
Around day 2 I start giving Selena my “sexy stare” with eyebrows raised and sheepish grin. She knows what I’m thinking and will often ask, “snack sex?”. She knows what’s up and we’re off to the races!
Other times, we set aside an evening where we can light some candles and bust out the Barry White.
Either way, having a set spectrum of expectation helps us play from the same sheet music (nice pun right?). The key is unity of expectation.
How you deal
It’s important that you talk together and establish your “Spectrum of Sex”. It will be unique to you and your spouse’s needs. Set the ground rules for how to communicate and what to expect.
Talk about frequency, types, and expectations. Make a commitment to each other to be selfless in sex and explain to your spouse (and listen to them explain) your needs. By setting aside time in our minds for the various types of sex helps us stay close and connected, even when life gets busy and romance isn’t practical.
Question: Just for fun, what analogies can you think of for your “Spectrum of Sex”? (keep it classy!)
NOTE: The comments below come from years ago because this post was originally written back then. We’ve re-posted it here because of our recent podcast episode! Please feel free to comment with your current analogies :)
We’d love your help!
If our ministry has helped you, we’d be honored if you’d pray about partnering with us. Those who do can expect unique interactions, behind-the-scenes access, and random benefits like freebies, discount codes, and exclusive content. More than anything, you become a tangible part of our mission of pointing couples to Christ and commissioning marriages for the gospel. Become a partner today.