The other day, my editor asked me to investigate a new book called: Stop Calling Him Honey and Start Having Sex!
My first thought was, Do people really call their boyfriends honey in this day and age? (I'm more likely to call Mr. Cup-of-Tea "sweet pants" — it's an endearment, but kooky enough that I don't feel like a sentimental sap.)
The book is about how changing your everyday habits will help revive your sex life, if you and your long-term boyfriend or husband haven't been having much of one lately. So I contacted the authors, Julienne Davis and Maggie Arana, to ask them for tips on how couples can get back some of the passion they used to have.
1. Calling each other a pet name or term of endearment like "pookie" or "sweetie" — or "honey" — is not good for your sex life.
"Those words are gender-neutral and take away the male/femaleness in your relationship," the authors said.
I found that explanation a bit perplexing. I've never felt any less female when someone (like Mr. Cup-of-Tea) has called me sweetheart. "Also," say the authors, "when you give up your name, you are also giving up part of your individuality right along with it." Again, I thought this was strange. When we call our mothers "Mom," it is in part because they are so unique to us. And if anything, an endearment makes me feel more unique, at least to the person who is calling me that.
So ... what do you guys think about the pet name thing? Has it killed the sexiness for you? In my experience, pet names don't come into play at all during sex — but when they are used at other moments (while saying good-bye over the phone, for instance), they help to increase the affection.
However, if a particular endearment bothers you (I would probably laugh if anyone ever called me "pookie"), it's worth asking your partner to come up with something new.
2. Having an open bathroom door policy is another definite no-no!
They said: "You don't need to see each other on the toilet — or flossing your teeth, picking your zits, or cutting your toenails — no matter how close you may be!
I agree. Sure, I tend to think it's silly to be squeamish about using someone's toothbrush after you've spent the last few hours swapping spit. And if I need to take a very quick leak, nothing gets in my way — not even Mr. Cup-of-Tea's morning ablutions. But I will say that there are plenty of things that a man does in the bathroom that I'd rather not be witness to — and I'm sure a lot of people, both male and female, feel the same way.
3. Spending too much time with your mate is another bad habit.
My guess is that every couple benefits from time apart. That helps to reduce the chances you'll get on each other's nerves and also makes you look forward to seeing each other a little more. Doing things separately also means never forcing your partner to do an activity he or she may understandably have no interest in. (There are things I like to do — like going to art museums — that Mr. Cup-of-Tea doesn't get especially excited about. Similarly, I often skip out when he goes to some bar to hang out with his dude friends. I appreciate that he is confident enough that we don't have to spend every free moment together.)
What's more, when the two people in a couple spend time apart, doing different things, there's more to discuss when they come back together. There's less chance of becoming bored or feeling in a rut. As the authors put it: "A little separation is necessary for a relationship to stay healthy and exciting."