By Marie Claire published
Recently I read an article where a married couple decided to strengthen their relationship by having sex thirty days in a row. They had two children under the age of five, and had not devoted much time to their sex life as a result. I began to wonder what would happen if a new couple attempted that, one that was still forming long-term dynamics. So I asked my girlfriend if she would have sex with me for ten days in a row.
We have only been dating for a few months so I was delighted when I was met with a resounding "Yes!" This is not to say that we didn't both carry some hesitation into the experiment. We were averaging seeing each other 2-3 times a week before that, and having sex about that frequently. I noted early on that ten days in a row of essentially living together might prove intense. Plus both of us worried about the logistical angle - even though we are both in New York City it takes us an hour to get to the other person's apartment by subway. Add in work stress, as it was a very busy time for us both, and we knew that there might be complications.
We dove in though, having sex twice the first day, excited to lounge about and enjoy one another. As the days went on though, I noticed that we were having conversations more about our relationship, less about sex. I asked if she minded that I just left my clothes all over her house. She didn't, and pointed out that she does the same at my place. On Day 4 we had our first real talk about kids, whether we wanted them (yes) and whether that might be something we would want to do together down the road (also, thankfully, yes).
Halfway through though, it started to become more of a hassle. The commute was wearing us down, and fitting in the time to go see one another began to feel like an obligation. My girlfriend wrote, "An enjoyable obligation...like taking a shower, but still on the daily to do list. It became the 'event' that we had to wrap the day around." I envied the married couple, who returned to the same bed each night, and thought their task of everyday sex was almost easier as a result of that. Then my girlfriend pointed out, "I imagine that this is how couples who are trying to conceive must feel. Anything loses zest when its stripped of spontaneity and fun for fun's sake." So maybe sex for sex's sake loses its appeal regardless of the situation.
I don't want to say we didn't have a lot of fun. The highlights included a trip to a lazy beach town and a beautiful stay at Hotel Elysee in Manhattan, where we lazed in bathrobes, drank champagne, and ate chocolates. It was divine. The whole hotel set up felt like foreplay. Then, we had hotel sex, all over our suite (sorry Hotel Elysee). I remember looking over at her, sharing coffee on the balcony the next morning, and just feeling completely relaxed.
Whatever lingering insecurities on both our parts existed before this experiment seem mitigated as a result of us really sinking into each other's presence on a regular basis. On Day 10 I think we left the experiment more confident in the relationship and that the other person is really committed to making it work. We had not only suffered hours of commuting but hard talks about "us," and been exposed to every single stress the other person carries with them. It was like a test-run for living together.
Did having sex for ten days in a row strengthen our relationship? My girlfriend wrote, "I think it was a relationship immersion in that we spent time together daily and got to see different sides of one another. Whether it strengthened the relationship is a tough call. If there's strength in familiarity, then yes." For my part, I would say so. There were some tough moments during the ten days but I think we handled them in a really good way together. And we both enjoyed seeing each other that often. I might even say that while it was great to have sex ten days in a row, the day-to-day intimacy around that was the most valuable part.
Even though it seemed to be an overall positive experience for us, neither of us would necessarily recommend it for other couples who have only been dating for a few months. You have to really commit to it because it's not always easy to make the time to get together every day. In the same way that traveling with someone is a good determining factor as to how you manage things as a couple, this experiment, including balancing your schedules and work commitments, compromising on who sleeps where, and so on, all help you figure out what your particular dynamic might look like long-term. I would recommend it if you want to test the mettle of your relationship, but ten days of sex isn't for everyone.
Photo via Getty Images
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