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Lessons Learned from 365 days of love

Charla Muller decided to give her husband Brad a very unusual 40th birthday present. Was it a set of gold plated golf clubs or part ownership of a Ferrari? Neither of those things - It was the promise of sex every day for a year.

What happened next offers us an insight into their relationship and the nature of sex and intimacy in long term relationships.

Sex as a gift or reward?

Charla thought Brad would be really pleased with her birthday gift suggestion but instead Brad turned her down because he "didn't want her to feel that she had to have sex with him". It seemed ironic to Charla that she had to talk him into something she was convinced he would really like.

Lesson Learned : Has your relationship deteriorated to the point that one or both of you think of sex as a chore? Does one of you control the sexual relationship, always deciding when it's okay to make love? Has sex become something that is traded as a reward?
Finding time for intimacy

There are 24 hours each day but finding time for intimacy can sometimes seem difficult. Charla and Brad had to juggle their young family and business trips. Making love every day requires planning which can seem the opposite of the spontaneous joyful union we sometimes expect lovemaking to be.

Charla and Brad discovered that there was actually time to schedule their lovemaking but that hadn't made it a priority before. As Charla says "Sometimes it was as simple as turning off the TV."

Lessons Learned: Not making love like you used to? Have you made it one of your priorities?
Sex every day isn't...sexy

Making love every day was a commitment that meant Brad and Charla had to give up on notions of candlelit and perfume scented sex. The reality was days when neither of them wanted to have sex but Charla was determined to see her promise through.

Lessons Learned: Sex doesn't always have to be perfume-scented and perfectly staged.
How did this experience change lives?

A year of sex was a pretty ambitious goal and though Charla and Brad didn't get a perfect scorecard they say that they managed an average of 28 days a month over the year. So how did it affect their relationship?

For one thing they learned things about each other. Some time into the year Brad admitted that her rejections of his advances had hurt him deeply in the past. Charla thought she was turning down sex but Brad felt it as a rejection. In time Brad had come to feel that he was pestering her for sex. Charla also learned some things about herself. Her self confidence received a boost as she came to understand that Brad really desired her the way she was. As a couple they became closer, enjoying better communication and helping each other out with errands and chores.

Lessons Learned: Usually intimacy in life spills over into the bedroom but Brad and Charla's experience shows that if you're really dedicated to it the reverse can also happen - sexual intimacy leading to greater closeness outside the bedroom. Many couples consciously or unconsciously believe in "sex points" where good behavior is rewarded with sexual favors. By taking away the need to earn approval Brad and Charla were able to see the good things they did for each other without seeing them as self-serving point-scoring.
Can this work for my relationship?

A year of sex is probably too extreme for most people but if you are both up for the challenge, why not? If you're not ready for that kind of commitment (and who can blame you) then perhaps a week or two weeks might be a worthy challenge? At the very least you might re-evaluate your attitudes to sexual intimacy and build a better understanding of your partner and relationship.


intimacy   love   sex  

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