May 222013 31 Responses

Three Types of Sex Every Married Couple Should Have

Sex can’t make a marriage, but it can reveal many things about the state of one’s marriage.

A fulfilling sexual relationship can be the fuel which drives a healthy marriage. An inability to grow together sexually can destroy a relationship no matter how healthy other aspects may be.

When I think about sex in marriage, I’m reminded of the three different types of sex which many marriage counselors encourage for a healthy sex life—spontaneous, scheduled, and maintenance.

1. Spontaneous. When most people think of sex, they think about spontaneous sex. This is the type of sex which just happens. A couple is attracted to one another both physically and emotionally. The energy builds and leads to an experience of unplanned passion. It’s fun, natural, and an important part of any marriage. This type of sex is easy in the early years, but as kids come along and the stresses of life increase, spontaneity can decrease. While lives change, we should never lose our ability to express our love for one another in a spontaneous way.

One of the best ways to reinvigorate a marriage is to add more spontaneous sex to the mix. When you feel as though you are in a sexual rut, change the place or time of the encounter and the passion can quickly return. (See: When You Are Too Tired for Sex)

2. Scheduled. Planning sex sounds like a turnoff to many people. On the rare occasion in which I do pre-marital counseling, it is not unusual for a couple to hear about planned sex and have a difficult time imaging it. I ask them, “Do you plan on having sex on your honeymoon?” Of course they do, so they are already working on this step. We often think that planning something ruins the fun. We think spontaneous is better than planned, but it simply isn’t true. Half the fun of vacation is the planning and anticipation of it. The same is true with scheduled sex. Most important things in life are scheduled so it only makes sense for sex to be one of them.

Scheduled sex becomes more important with kids. As hectic as life can become, planning on time to be alone is vital for the relationship. If you’ve never tried to schedule sex with your spouse, try it and see if it as boring as people think. I’m yet to meet a couple who practices scheduled sex say that it is boring. (See: The Greatest Aspect of Sex)

3. Maintenance. This is the most overlooked type of sex in marriage, yet it is equally important. In nearly every relationship, one partner has a higher sex drive than the other. Most people think of men having a higher drive than women, but in many relationships the women have the higher drive. No matter who has the higher drive, some compromise will have to take place regarding the frequency of sex. Generally speaking, a couple should have sex more than the lower drive spouse desires and less than the higher drive spouse desires. For this to happen, some sex will have to be maintenance sex. This is sex simply for the higher drive partner. This might take some effort from the lower drive partner, but it is worth it.

One mistake many couples make is to think the higher drive partner is wrong for wanting more sex. This isn’t true. Many times I will see couples in which one partner claims the other partner “wants too much sex” and when I ask how much is “too much” the amount stated is a very normal amount. A high sex drive is not sinful. Our drives are different and compromise should determine how much sex we have. (See: How to Jump Start Your Sex Life)

All three types of sex are important to a healthy sexual relationship.

Take time (not while in bed) to discuss all three types with your partner and find out which area could use some improvement.

Is there a fourth type of regular sex which I have missed?

31 Responses to Three Types of Sex Every Married Couple Should Have
  1. dennyneff Reply

    Your piece was excellent, but I’m probably not going t share it. If sexual addictions are real, even reading a scholarly piece can bring on visual images which might trigger a weaker brother or sister into dangerous fantasies. Although with the proliferation off sexual content in your face everywhere, my excuse becomes mute…. Maybe I will share it though I’m not sure how my senior citizen cohorts will receive it. :p

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  4. Saul parker Reply

    I’m gonna share with my wife now !
    thanks
    she shared ( the important a of touch the other day) with me . so I’ve been doing some reading . touché

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  6. Ltisha Reply

    I wish we had rules for implementing lovemaking on a regular basis. Being a wife with a much, much higher sex drive than my husband is very hard. After years of being told no, or not now, (but now never seemed to come soon enough), I turned into a woman who felt ugly, undesirable, unloved, and unworthy. Because my drive was much higher, he never even to tried to keep me happy or even maintained with touching, kissing, hugging or spooning…instead he chose to hurl accusations of infidelity my way. His idea of lovemaking was to tell me randomly every 60 days or so that he ” wanted some” that evening and I was expected to be ready. Being so desperate for touch, Kissing and sex I always gave him what he wanted and needed. He was fulfilled. I was a dry barren well emotionally, mentally and physically with him. After 25 years of this, I am finally leaving…and yes, I finally fulfilled his accusation. I have never been more satisfied in my life in every area except spiritually…pray for me…

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Ltisha, I’m so sorry for what you have been through. I will be happy to pray for you.

  7. Ron Reply

    “Is there a fourth type of regular sex which I have missed?”

    Yes. “Special Request” sex. This would include having a special date with deliberate plans to send the kids to a sitter or Grandma’s for the weekend. An intentional way of being adventurous, extravagant, doing something truly memorable, one to put in your “mental rolodex.” It could be a picnic getaway to a safe and secluded place to make love outdoors (Song of Solomon 7:12), or having the objective to try something new, or a weekend at a nice hotel with the stated purpose being to enrich your sex life together. Some people call this a “Sexcation.” The attitude would be “How may I please you? Your wish is my command.” At least once or twice a year a couple should pull out all the stops and lavish love on each other in an extravagant way.

  8. deelmo Reply

    And also in the maintainence sex should be NO sex with the respect for lower drive spouse. Sometimes just cuddling and holding IS the sex.

  9. kjbrown39 Reply

    This may fall under “spontaneous”, but there is nothing like a “quickie” in circumstances that are a bit ‘dangerous’ like kids playing in a nearby room, or only 15 minutes left to get ready to go somewhere but being willing to mess up your hair and makeup before leaving, or watching a sensual scene in a movie and racing each other up the stairs to play it out yourselves. It adds fun and adventure, shows willingness to please, and certainly proves to your spouse who is priority in your life when you set aside the non-essentials and enjoy each other.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      very true.

    • Dave Reply

      I was very disappointed to find that dirty scenes in movies are recommended.
      Please do not recommend that!

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  12. Kate Reply

    A lower sex drive (either spouse) is also not sinful – nor is it a ‘manipulation’ ploy. It just IS.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      No doubt it is not manipulation. It is part of life and the couple should deal with it properly. Sadly, I’ve seen it poorly handled in many situations. Instead of seeking medical help or finding a common ground, some spouses pretend the desire for sex is ungodly or immature.

  13. Julie S Reply

    As for the Maintaince Sex. I agree. But the person with the lower sex drive should not be manipulated & controlled by her verbally & emotionally husband & the sex should be mutually fulfilling for “both” people! The wife should not be used, threatened, degrated & left unfulfilled & only he gets satisfaction as he’s totally selfish for the better part of 20+ of our 33+ yr marriage! He refuses still to take accountability for his words & actions, yet claims (falsly) to be a Christian Catholic but sins many times over & stands like a hypocrite in church 60 min a week & gripes when he has to go on extra days of Holy Obligation. Yet if I dare not “submit” to him he loves to use only the very 1st part of the bible verse: Wives submit to your husbands. He refuses to hear the rest of that chapter & the meaning as I read it to him! He knows NOTHING of intimacy in Marriage & of marital bonds that start outside the bedroom & work into the bed! That you have to win and KEEP a women’s heart to win her body. But you must keep her FULFILLED!! It’s called LOVEMAKING in Marriage!! Why don’t men get it!! I’ve been the only 1 working on this marriage, confused & my ego beaten down & shattered, silenced, repressed until I finally exploded & said ENOUGH! I WON’T TAKE THIS ANYMORE! And he twists it around & blames it all on me! Makes ME the Scapegoat! He makes himself out the poor Innocent victim & I’m the psycho, delusional, whacko, nut job! He’s a Mamma’s Boy that will never grow up! I’m tired of being hurt & used. I just want it to end. Why are men this way.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      I don’t disagree, except for one point. Men do get it. Not all men, but many men. I can’t think of an example where a man should ever tell his wife to submit. I’m sorry for your experience Julie.

  14. razorbacksandbratwurst Reply

    Wow. Thank you so much for this. I have a higher sex drive than my husband and always felt a bit guilty for it. It’s not like I need it 3 times a day, but 3-4 times a week is enough to keep me satisfied. He has a stressful job with long hours so he’s often just too tired. Without even discussing it, we sort of came to the same unspoken solution you outlined; we sometimes have sex when he’s not really in the mood, and sometimes I go without. It works well for us, but since we never really had a heart-to-heart about it, I always felt guilty knowing he was occasionally having sex strictly for my benefit. This helps me recognize that our unspoken agreement is healthy and not something I should be ashamed of. Thanks again!

  15. Mary Reply

    I’m the female and have a higher drive. If I don’t ask for it, I don’t get it. It feels like it’s always maintenance sex. If I waited for him it would be once every two months. But I can’t wait that long! So it’s me asking about once a week. Sometimes I can’t help missing the feeling of a man desiring me.

  16. Unfulfilled Dan Reply

    I’m a 75 year old male who loves his wife dearly. I know she loves me, too. I still have a HIGH sex drive; my wife has absolutely none (as far as I can tell, since she won’t even discuss the matter). Early on, we had an excellent relationship, though I was never sure i completely satisfied her (she always dad difficulty discussing sex, even during our courtship). Since 1992 there has been no physical sex, and very little love-play or foreplay. Women have posted here about feeling ignored, unloved, unappreciated, etc., but at lest they were still have sex even if only every few months. But 24 years without? I overstepped the boundaries one time and have paid the price with my own guilt. It has taken years to forgive myself, and think that at times I am still punishing myself. But again, any attempt to discuss our lack of sexual interaction is dealt with a very non-verbal “NO” as she turns a walks away. What kind of advice helps? None. So I continue to love her, keep suggesting that I love her and need her, and accept the fact that we will probably never ever have any kind of sexual fun together, even on “special days.”

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  19. Genevieve Reply

    Please help. We have been married 27 years. I feel empty and hurt. I used to want alot of sex but as the verbal abuse increased my sex drive has diminished. I have not felt loved or cherished for years. After he puts me down and says all our problems are because of me I don’t want to be around him. I keep praying to God, and “a kind answer turns away anger”,But no matter what I say he twists things around. It is “The Verbally Abusive Relationship” exactly. I have found out that even though his biggest complaint is lack of time together and sex, that he still complains even after we have made love!!! I keep stumbling along in a Christian manner praying to God to make a miracle on our marriage. Please pray.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      I would go to a good counselor with or without him. This behavior from him cannot continue.

  20. Genevieve Reply

    This article was amazing. My husband had just been telling me that I have a problem because I’m not spontaneous and I talked to him about this but he kept telling me that our relationship was all my fault so when he sent me this article I thought the three kinds of sex would be carnal and I’m sure he did too. So it was amazing that it was more spiritually minded and exactly how I feel I had been running our relationship in trying to be a good wife and fulfill his needs.

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