A sexual agreement occurs when a couple intelligently and calmly discusses how often they both desire to have sexual intimacy and then fairly distributes the responsibility for initiating sex. The husband and wife decide verbally and then record how they want to structure their sexuality so both are reasonably happy.
"Reasonably" is a very important word. Life is about negotiation. This is especially true in a marriage. If a man is pestering his wife to have sex daily, or if the wife only wants sex once a month, they are both being sexually selfish and unreasonable.
In sexual agreement, we must apply the Amos 3:3 principle that says that two must agree to walk together. If you don't agree on a sexual system, you will still create one. Although unusual, some couples create a naturally evolved sexual system between them that works quite well.
Sexual systems are an issue over which many couples fight for decades. As you walk through the process of creating a sexual agreement together, you should be sure to do the following:
1. Be open-minded to each other's sexual needs.
2. Be honest about your sexuality.
3. If you can't do this together, get professional help.
The first step toward creating a sexual agreement is tackling the issue of frequency. First, both of you will need to write on a piece of paper your own personal preferences for frequency. The average couple enjoys sexual relations one, two, three or more times a week for couples up to the age of about 50. After 50, sexual intimacy usually decreases to about once a week. I'm providing this information as a reference point because I am asked this question so often.
Now you must share what you've written and begin negotiating. This is your marital sexual system, so you can be as creative as you desire. How can you handle differing desires? Here's one way: If he prefers two sexual experiences each week and she wants to be sexual three times a week, then on his week he can have his desired frequency, and on her week, she can choose hers.
Remember that this is your sexual agreement. I usually ask couples to stick to their agreements for a minimum of 90 days to see if the system works for both partners. If the system needs changing at that point, discuss it at a restaurant or in another public place. Don't discuss it in your bedroom or any other place in your house so one spouse doesn't attempt to pressure the other into more or less sexual intimacy than they agreed to.
The following are several basic sexual systems for you to choose from.
You may come up with your own version of a system, which is fine. As a couple has children, raises those children, and then goes through the stage of children leaving the home, the sexual systems will change. Nevertheless, both must continue to agree on the changes.
After you have agreed on your sexual frequency, you will now simply need to select the days you want to be sexual. If you want to be sexual twice a week, you can pick any two days of the week that work for your schedule: for example, Tuesday and Saturday or Wednesday and Sunday.
In this system, you can divide the responsibility to initiate sex by the day or by the week.
Many busy couples love this system because once it is in place, they don't have to think about it. It easily fits into a busy schedule, because they are both stress-free concerning sexuality. Other couples find this system too rigid and lacking in spontaneity.
System two is a little more flexible. In this system you would split the week up between the two of you. If you agreed on having sex twice a week, then Jason could choose either Sunday, Monday or Tuesday for the day in which he wants to initiate sex. However, he would have to initiate sex one time during this three-day period. Wednesday would be a day off for both of you in a two-times-a-week system. Some couples make Wednesday a day either can ask. If you chose to have sex two to three times a week, or simply three times a week, try keeping Wednesday as a day either can ask.
This system allows flexibility for spouses to choose when they want to be sexual. Again, some couples love this system, but for others, it would not work.
System three is a rotating system. In this system, if you decide to have sex twice a week, each person will have up to three days to initiate sex with the other spouse. You can initiate within any of your days.
Following the third day of the week, it becomes the other spouse's turn. This spouse now has up to three days to initiate sex.
In this system, Jason has three days to initiate. If he decides to wait until day two, fine. Following day two, after they have sex, it immediately becomes Dana's turn.
Now it's Dana's turn. She can initiate sex on the first day of her three-day period, or she can wait until day three. Dana decides to initiate the very next day. Now Dana's turn is over, and the next day it is Jason's turn. He just had sex two days in a row, so he may wait to initiate.
This system provides both partners the most flexibility and is especially successful for those couples seeking spontaneity. It also accommodates couples who are seeking a greater frequency of sexuality in their relationship.
In this system, you can have sex as little as twice a week (when both partners wait for the third day to initiate), daily or anywhere in between. This system is ideal for some couples, but for others, it is too fluid.
These are the three basic sexual agreement systems. Your marriage is unique, so you can choose any of these three systems or come up with a sexual system of your own. The sexual system you choose—one, two, three or your own—isn't as important as the fact that you walk in agreement sexually.
Sexual agreement is a blessing. You will be married a long, long time; and it is better to agree about sex, negotiate and change systems over time than to have an unknown sexual system neither of you wants. Implementing this chapter can give you genuine sexual harmony and peace.
As a Christian marriage and family counselor, I know where the Spirit of the Lord is, there can be peace. Too often Christian marriages do not reflect this peace in the bedroom. But it's not because of a lack of love or even a lack of sexual desire—it is often because of a lack of agreement.
What are the benefits of agreement?
- Clarity and peace in marriage
- Reduced sexual anxiety, fear of rejection and inclination to manipulate spouse
- You won't feel you are expected to be the primary sexual initiator
- Your wife won't feel her own sexuality is submerged beneath yours and will have a new sense of autonomy
- Your wife will feel free to relax not only sexually but also with physical affection such as your spontaneous hugs and kisses
- Couples as a unit will find that their intimacy will significantly increase
- Couples will experience a heightened sense of sexual esteem and sexual confidence
- No one person will have complete sexual authority
During your time of experimenting with your own sexual agreements, I trust your own experience will be positive as you and your spouse learn to walk together in sexual agreement. Even though a sexual agreement may be challenging for some who have been living irresponsibly as sexual children or sexual adolescents, the journey to maturity is well worth it.
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books including, The 5 Sex Languages; 30-Day Marriage Makeover; Sex, Men and God; Intimacy; and his latest, Worthy: Exercise and Step Book. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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