Pinterest is loaded with different health and fitness challenges. Whether your goal is to be more hydrated or have a tighter butt, there are schedules out there urging you to drink more water or do more squats. So why not add a sex challenge to your Google calendar? It is health-related, after all.
Say you’ve been feeling a little tired, stressed, disconnected, or otherwise unsexy. Or maybe you just miss the constant, passionate sex of those first few months of your romantic relationship. Setting a sex challenge—in which you and your partner commit to sex every day for a week, a month, or a year—may help you get back on track, at least according to some experts.
“It might be a way to spring life back into your relationship, into your connection,” says Neil Rosenthal, a marriage and family therapist and author of the book Love, Sex, and Staying Warm: Keeping the Flame Alive. “You can be relatively moderate and try it for a week or 10 days, then see how you both feel.”
If the idea of penciling in sex seems anything but sexy, Rosenthal says to remember that it’s about the big picture: “What’s important is that you’re both agreeing to do something that makes you feel close and connected,” he says. “You’re agreeing to make sex more of a priority, as opposed to all the other priorities in life.”
Granted, some experts believe that the forced nature of the concept does a disservice to couples. “Calling it a challenge is bothersome in and of itself,” says Nancy Irwin, Psy.D. “It becomes something you have to do, like there is a goalpost involved. Sex should be a fun, cooperative thing. You shouldn’t be pushing it.” It’s also worth noting that a recent study found that couples who were forced to double the amount of sex they were having actually experienced a slight decrease in happiness.
So what if you want to reap the positive benefits of something like a challenge (more orgasms!) and avoid the potential negatives (another item on the to-do list)? Like any other issue in a romantic relationship, the best policy is to address it openly and honestly.
“Straightforward is better than subtle,” says Rosenthal. “Ask, ‘Would you be willing to try an experiment where we agree to have sex every day? Why don’t we try it for a week? Would it bother you?’” Irwin agrees: “You can’t make the other person feel guilty because that isn’t the best way to inspire someone. It’s more like, ‘I find you hot, I find you sexy, I just want to have more sex with you.’” Tough to argue with that.
And remember that a sex challenge is not going to fix deeper issues. “This is not for every couple and every circumstance,” says Rosenthal. “If you’re feeling disconnected because of infidelity or disrespect or lack of attention and energy, then more sex won’t make you feel suddenly warm and fuzzy.” So don’t take a sex challenge as a relationship cure-all, but as a fun way to reconnect. It’s just sex, after all.