A few nights ago, after my kids were asleep, I was sitting on my couch blissfully indulging in some mindless reality TV. Lumberjack was at a work dinner and I had the luxury of an evening of pure nothingness: no kids, no work, no husband. Ahhhhh. It lasted exactly 23 minutes; Lumberjack got home early and made it clear that he was available for a little “nighttime exercise” (unfortunately, the man has a euphemism for everything).
It hit me right then, as my butt was cozily nestled amid throw pillows and as the TV was just about to introduce the latest catfight, that this, THIS, is the moment all my clients, friends and followers want help with. THIS moment. When you’re so tired you just want to zone out. When you’re so touched out by mothering all day that you can’t stand another person to put their hand anywhere on your body. When you’re just so uninterested in your partner that the idea of having sex versus staying on the couch is about as appealing as a stomach virus. THIS is the moment. Right here.
A few weeks ago, I gave a talk to a group of women about how to unlock their sexiest selves and why it matters. At the end of the talk, I took questions from the audience and sure enough, someone asked, “How do you get yourself in the mood or motivated to have sex when you just don’t want to?”. She was talking about the moment I experienced a few days ago. She asked the same question you all do: how do we move off the couch and into the bedroom willingly and without resentment?
The answer might piss you off. Because the answer requires work and a mind shift, both of which take effort. I wish it didn’t. I don’t want to “work” at this any more than you do. And trust me, I WISH there was an instant libido pill we could take for moments like this…one pop of something small and round to make us bolt upstairs and joyously start ripping our clothes off. But we all know that doesn’t exist. And despite pharmaceutical companies’ attempts to produce it, we aren’t going to have that magic pill for a long, long time.
So what is the answer? Simply put, we have to figure out what turns us on and then DO IT. The actual act of sex is not often the problem. Most of us actually enjoy it once we get going at it. It’s the GETTING to the sex that we find so difficult. It’s the getting off the couch that’s hard, not the actual penetration itself. And the only way to get off that couch willingly and without a grudge is to participate in the things that turn you on.
What are the most common ways to stimulate arousal in women? For lots of us, it’s watching porn or reading erotica. Women get turned on in our minds first, in our bodies second. Both porn and erotica are fast and readily available ways to turn yourself on quickly and easily (for ideas on what to watch, click here to revisit the porn post from a few months ago).
Here’s an example. This is what using porn in my scenario from a few days ago looked like:
Me: on the couch watching TV
Lumberjack: “hey babe…feel like having some nighttime exercise…wink wink”
Me (in my head): ugh really? crap, ugh, ok, how can I make this work….porn, I can quickly watch some porn
Me (to Lumberjack): “um, sure, why don’t you stay down here and i’ll call you up in about 5 minutes”
Me: go upstairs, load up some porn on my phone and spend the next 5 minutes getting turned on
Lumberjack: comes upstairs and you know the rest
By the time the 5 minutes are over, I’m riled up and ready to go. I’ve conquered the GETTING to the sex part by making the effort to turn myself on first. See what I mean by the answer requiring some work? It’s not like I left the couch clicking my heels together and jumping for joy. I definitely didn’t. But I found a way to make the U-turn in my night work for me. I turned myself on and enjoyed the rest of my night.
Why did I choose to walk upstairs instead of watching TV? I chose to go upstairs because of something we all know deep down: our relationship with our partner is served much deeper and much more meaningfully by choosing sex over TV. We all know that’s true. But the reason we don’t always choose to get off the couch is because we don’t know how to make that difficult “getting to sex” part easier on ourselves. Well, here’s a way: TURN YOURSELF ON. Watch porn. Run upstairs and read that chapter in 50 Shades of Grey that got you panting and curious about a horse crop. He can wait 5 minutes, especially if it means you’re turned on and desiring him.
So yes, getting off the couch took effort on my part. And yes, it sucks that I have to “work” to get turned on. But we’re also talking about an uneventful weeknight. Most of us have no problem going straight to the bedroom after date night or a fun day out with our man. Those are times when it’s easy to get to the sex. It’s the random night that’s a problem. The night when you have nothing going on except normal life and suddenly you realize your partner wants you. It’s that kind of night the woman in the audience wanted to know about.
But there is a silver lining: it’s the regular, nothing special nights that have the power to take our lives to another level. It’s the nights where we actively choose to make sex a regular part of our relationship, and not just an act reserved for special occasions, that creates the change for your relationship. It brings you and your partner closer. It makes your relationship stronger and less stressful. It creates a more loving and peaceful home life. When you hear me talk about how having weekly, fulfilling sex with your guy improves other areas of your life, that’s what I mean.
So the next time your husband tries to interrupt your couch time, let him. Just tell him you need 5 minutes 😉