Marriage comes with a lot of surprises, including that much of what I believed about sex after getting married was actually a myth. We are oversaturated with images portraying married sex as being as boring as it is infrequent, but that doesn’t need to be the case.
Based on my experience, here are five myths that need to die now.
Myth 1: The Risks Are Gone.
At some point during the immersion of false images, I was told the myth that married sex was a walk in the park. Protection? Throw it out! Pull out? Who needs it! Twenty-four-hour access, here we come!
Except it's not like that. Just because you are in a monogamous relationship doesn't mean you are issue-free. Being married does not mean you are ready for a child, so protection still matters. But pregnancy isn’t all you have to look out for. Yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis and urinary tract infections don't take a hike just because you’re married. Self-care is still needed.
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Myth 2: Scheduled Sex Sucks.
Finding time to have married sex can be hard. Between kids, jobs and other life stressors it becomes easy to forgo altogether. So sometimes, you have to schedule it. As unromantic as that sounds, prescheduled sex can not only be fun but it can become the highlight of your week.
The level of anticipations that comes with prescheduled sex adds to the excitement and gives a wonderful opportunity for foreplay. Besides, there’s some pleasure in knowing you were so important that you’re guaranteed a time slot. So grab a calendar, pick your favorite coding color and shoot that flirty text.
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Myth 3: Great Sex Is A One-Partner Job.
Along with having to prioritize sex, I’ve learned the importance of effort — no one wants coma coitus. In order for sex to be mutually gratifying there has to be mutual effort. It didn't take long to realize one of the easiest ways for my husband to lose interest was for us to have sex without me being engaged.
At first, I didn't see the big deal. Society has convinced us that men don’t care what kind of sex they have as long as they get to have sex, but in my experience, that couldn't be further from the truth.
Men, like women, have a desire to have emotionally gratifying sex, and they deserve it too. That engagement shows itself in different ways. Sometimes, it's through obvious things like being on top, while other times it's small things, like eye contact, comforting words and back rubs.
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Myth 4: It’s Better To Lie And Pretend You Like It.
OK, your partner may not always have the best moves. It is important to remember that bodies are not automatically sexually compatible and from time to time you will have to give your partner constructive criticism.
An incompatible position is a great opportunity to have a discussion about what does and doesn't work for each partner during sex. It’s better to talk about what might not be working early on than hold your tongue to keep from hurting their feelings. It's a lot more hurtful to find out years down the line that sex with you is more like a chore than a pleasurable bonding experience. After opening your legs, be sure to open your mouth.
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Myth 5: They Owe It To You.
During the first year, I had two unrealistic ideas about sex. The first was that my husband would want sex all the time. The second was that when one of us wanted sex the other was required to give it to them. That’s not true.
Married does not equal indefinite consent. There will be times for both parties when one partner will feel like having sex and the other will not.
Instead of guilt-tripping your partner, take that time to further explore what you like. You would not force a person to eat when they’re not hungry (hopefully); don’t try and force people to have sex when they aren’t in the mood.
I am only two years into this married sex thing, so I don’t know everything there is to know yet. But like everything else in marriage, I see sex as a journey — find out what works for you and your partner and you’re on the right path.