4 Things No One Ever Told Me About Married Sex

But I wish they had.

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There tend to be certain assumptions about having sex once you're married—it's less frequent, less heated, etc.—but there can also be some very interesting (and pleasant) surprises. To wit, I never expected that happily married sex would be...

...creative

One of the great gifts of married sex is a partner you're comfortable enough with to try something new. You can push the boundaries, toe the line, and if something doesn't work, know you can try again next time. Plus, your lingerie game goes to a whole new level. As my fashionista friends like to say, "You want to make the package fun to unwrap!"

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...on the calendar

It has to be just to ensure it doesn't end up in limbo somewhere between "Clean out closets" and "Check on Roth IRA" on your to-do list. An Irish priest once advised a friend of mine: "Always shag before Mass on a Sunday morning." The good father got that one right: Scheduling sex before breakfast, before dessert, or before Saturday Night Live keeps it from disappearing from your lives for weeks at a time. When you know it's Saturday at 4 p.m. and the next destination is bed, even a journey down the aisles of a big-box store can feel like foreplay. 

...good for you

A regular roll in the hay has been shown to lower stress (thereby decreasing heart disease risk), contribute to weight loss, relieve pain, reduce frequency of colds and flu, and improve bladder control. OK, so unmarried sex comes with all the same salutary effects. But here's the bonus for marrieds who feel they don't have time: Doing the deed can be a multitasking miracle that combines

In hard times, sex should be the last thing to go, not the first.

emotional connection with a light workout and a boost to the immune system. You're not going to get all that from a personal trainer.

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...a game-changer

A wise divorced friend told me that in hard times, "sex should be the last thing to go, not the first." When you hit the inevitable bumps in the road, don't buckle yourself into chilly isolation. I particularly admire one friend's way of reaching out when things are stressful—she exchanges grooming chores with her husband: She scrubs his back, he shaves her legs, she massages his feet, he brushes her hair. They always end up in bed.

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