Forethought as Foreplay

by Deirdre Kelly

photography by Mike Ford

Spontaneous sex is often considered the most thrilling. But planned sex can be just as passionate. This is the conclusion drawn by York University researchers who did a daily survey of more than 100 couples over three weeks and found that there was no difference in gratification. A parallel study involved 300 couples who answered questions online. The results, published in the Journal of Sex Research, showed that while spur-of-the-moment sex is pleasurable, planning for it in no way diminishes the experience.

“What our new study found was that while many people do endorse the ideal of spontaneous sex, there was no difference in the reported satisfaction of their last actual sexual encounter – whether it was planned or unplanned,” says Katarina Kovacevic (BA ’12), a PhD student who co-authored the study with psychology professor Amy Muise and their colleagues at York’s Sexual Health and Relationship Laboratory. “It’s just as hot.”

Katarina Kovacevic standing hands in pockets

While it makes sense for people to prioritize sex and approach it in much the same way as something else important in their lives, many balk at the suggestion. The ideal of spontaneous sex is a belief deeply entrenched in the popular Western imagination, making some couples reluctant to explore other ways to achieve intimacy.

“There can be a lot of resistance to asking patients to talk about and plan sex more, to work as a sexual team,” notes Kovacevic, a registered psychotherapist who specializes in sex and relationship therapy. “I think it’s because of what we see in movies, but the funny thing is that there is heavy planning in those scenes involving actors who’ve memorized their lines and large crews directing choices that are convenient and logical from a production standpoint. It’s not real.”

Despite what some might think, planning for sex doesn’t need to be a chore. On the contrary, creating anticipation can spike desire. “We’re not necessarily saying to put it on the calendar, such as 7 p.m. on a Tuesday, after putting dinner in the oven, and before folding socks,” Kovacevic says.

“But the intentionality behind it can be transformative in the sense that we don’t wait around for the right moment, because sometimes the mood just never comes for some people, and that might deter them from getting it on.” ■

Visit Link

Up Next

Bad Trip

Air travel in Canada is experiencing a nosedive

Read More