Olympic buzz is building as we countdown to July 27, the day of opening ceremonies in London. Visions of watching synchronized swimming creep out of my memory. I always think that TV broadcasters covering this competition have to restrain themselves from giggling. The sport is frequently the butte of jokes by late-night comedians.
Often, people confide their relationship and marriage problems in me since I’ve absorbed knowledge through interviews with hundreds of couples married 50-plus years, 75 of whom are featured in Everlasting Matrimony: Pearls Of Wisdom From Couples Married 50 Years Or More. A common theme among these confidants is “synchronized sex.”
I’ve been told…..
“My partner wants sex in the early morning to start the day off with a bang but I want it at night to help soothe me so I can fall asleep.”
“My husband puts in a hard day’s work at the office and says he needs a stress reliever. I want sleep after a full day’s work with the kids. I can’t even fathom a romantic impulse. I moan ‘Move over’ and pull the covers over my head. He has another type of moaning in mind.”
“My partner always wants to do it on Sunday mornings. I say ‘I’ll be late for church.’”
“I suggest ‘Let’s have a quickie during lunch time.’ He says ‘I’ve got a lunch appointment.’”
“The door is locked. The bedroom is dark. The radio plays soft music. Then there’s a knock on the door and a small voice squeals, ‘Mommy, I don’t feel good.’”
“In the middle of the night I hear a whisper, ‘Honey, I can’t sleep.’ I can.”
“Synchronized sex” is not defined as people simultaneously doing the same thing like synchronized swimming but rather a challenge that on the surface sounds much simpler — two people just getting together to do the “sport.”
There are some predictable schedule times for synchronized sex success. Such as when a hurricane hits. Stuck indoors, what can we do? Or when a soldier returns home from his/her tour of duty. Nine months later, there’s a baby. Ironically though, the problem becomes worse than ever.
I asked some mental health counselors for their advice to couples dealing with the problem of finding time for sex. Their advice ranged from scheduling appointments with each other just as you schedule everything else in your life to “planned spontaneity,” such as going on a schedule-free vacation. One emphasized, “Men don’t realize that picking up their own socks, remembering to put the toilet seat down, and helping clean around the house are aphrodisiacs. These efforts encourage their female partner to feel thought of, considered, and loved. In return, she is delighted to be intertwined with her man as a way of conveying ‘thank-you for thinking of me.’”
I had the honor of interviewing world-renowned psychosexual therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer a few years ago. I asked her the $6 million question every couple wants to know, “What’s normal?” Dr. Ruth said, “It doesn’t matter whether what two people do is ‘normal,’ it only matters that the couple is pleased with the results.’”
(Dr. Ruth also shared her thoughts about sex versus affection. To this she said, “Sex and affection are not mutually exclusive. People need to be hugged, to feel the emotion of affection, and they also need to find sexual satisfaction. They’re both components of a sexual relationship, but they’re also separate needs. They’re both important, though to a different degree to each partner in a relationship.”)
During the Olympics, TV commentators give immense attention to explaining what athletes do to master their sport. Synchronized swimming takes relentless dedication and focus as well as physical and mental agility to achieve harmony with each other. Couples need to borrow these skills to master “synchronized sex”!
Get Along Better provides you relationship tips with a twist of humor. Want more? 4,000+ years’ worth of advice are documented in Everlasting Matrimony: Pearls Of Wisdom From Couples Married 50 Years Or More, a coffee-table book by Sheryl Kurland. Makes an excellent gift for weddings, anniversaries, engagements…or just because!
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