The ironic thing was, I’d begun to believe he could be "The One."
Dr. Keith Ablow wants to make the lust last in my married sex life. In fact, he laid out “5 Ways to Put the X Back in Married Sex” in Good Housekeeping. To nobody’s surprise, I find the sex articles, even in Good Housekeeping.
So put the “X” back, eh? As in the MPAA rating indicating extreme violence or explicit sex? Does Dr. Keith want to put the extreme violence back in my married sex life?? Not that there’s anything wrong with that between two or more consenting adults.
Anyway, let’s assume he means the explicit sex. Ablow seems like an explicitly sexy name. My marriage is more of a Fritz-The-Cat-X than a Last-Tango-In-Paris-X, by choice and nature, but I’m all for adult education.
Make of this what you will, but my husband had the Glen Beck and Dr. Keith Ablow book “Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life” on the back of our toilet for quite a while. My decision to follow the doc’s good-housekept tips for ball-and-chain balling may have been based on affection for the back cover alone:
Compelling, no? Let’s move on to those 5 ways (…to put the X back in married sex by Dr. Keith Ablow) and my execution of them on an unsuspecting, then very suspicious, husband:
1. Assume you don’t know everything about each other sexually.
When you marry in your late 30s, much of the history of “each other sexually” just strips the power from knowledge. I need "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" treatment for some of that stuff as it is. So yes, SAFE ASSUMPTION.
2. Offer up an emotionally safe way to explore each other’s fantasies.
I recommend my patients say something relatively nonthreatening, like, "I had the craziest thought. Why don't you tell me something you think would really surprise me about what you wish we could do in bed? Then I promise to tell you something I think would surprise you."
Naturally, I quoted the doc directly on this one.
Me: I had the craziest thought. Why don’t you tell me something you think would really surprise me about what you wish we could do in bed? Then I promise to tell you something I think would surprise you.
Mike: That doesn’t work. There are only so many things you can do. It’s like in "Annie Hall" when Woody Allen says, “You, I and that girl from your acting class should sleep together in a threesome” and she tells him it’s sick and not what she meant by trying new things.
Me: No, you can say that, and then mine is that I want to masturbate while watching you simulate suicide for suggesting it.
(fit of giggles from us both)
Ablow has a plan B:
If saying anything out loud is just too embarrassing for you, try putting a block of Post-its in an envelope for him with a note that says, Leave a fantasy under my pillow, and I'll wake you up in the middle of the night.
3. To make sex less intimidating, turn it into a game.
Ask your partner to tell you three of his fantasies, and you get to choose one to act out. Then it's his turn, you tell him three of yours, and he selects one. If he wants to pick two from your list, and you take him up on that offer, he also gets one of the two remaining fantasies on his list. Bargaining builds romantic tension.
The gig was up by this point.
Mike: What are you doing, Kookoo?
Me: It’s for xoJane.
Mike: Thank GAWD.
Full Dr. Ablow disclosure followed. We read through the rest of the “ways” together, poked a lot of fun and ended up in a semi-serious discussion.
4. Provide examples
“You know, whatever really excites you -- being tied up, pretending I’m somebody else, you name it.”
Mike: It’s so STUPID, costumes and “fantasies.” They’re like drinking games where the object is NOT to drink. When I drank, my goal was to get drunk. NOW. And all night and forever, until I blacked out. That applies to other pleasures of the flesh. Including pizza. Go get us some.
Me: We’ve married well.
5. Give real-life routine a rest
Tell him to meet you at a restaurant for a date. Dress to impress each other. Then surprise him with a key to a motel room or a secluded beach cottage — no packing allowed.
A different style of clothing or different hairstyle or even a tiny tattoo on your ankle might trigger new feelings in him.
Feel free to suggest that a beard or more closely cropped hair might look cool on him for a while.
Mike already sports a beard and closely cropped hair and they do look cool on him. I liked this suggestion the best because in our case, I was saying “Be yourself.”
As for giving the real-life routine a rest, I finally planned our belated honeymoon for the end of August. Five days of Milwaukee and The Dells that I’m affectionately calling our Wiscomoon. I may be assuming the clothing and hairstyle of Loretta Lynn and singing this the whole drive up:
We’ll see what new feelings THAT stirs up. GET lucky? I AM lucky!