When couples find that they just aren’t having sex quite as often as they used to— whether it’s out of familiarity, busy schedules, or stress— one of the most common advice from sex therapists is to start putting sex dates on the books. 

This is where lots of couples make a face: the idea of adding sex to the same calendar app where you put your dentist appointment and the repair technician window seems like the most decidedly unsexy option. But there’s a reason couples swear by it. (And yes, I am a scheduled sex devotee!)

If you don’t have a shared couple’s calendar, create one

Obviously, your sex dates aren’t going in your work calendar! (Definitely, not one that your colleagues and boss can see… what a nightmare!) Create a couple’s calendar for the two of you, even if you already maintain a household calendar. The couple’s calendar is only for setting aside time for the two of you romantically and sexually. It’s where you put your date night dinner reservations, tickets to a movie you’re seeing, and yes, your sex dates. Having this separation gives priority to the sex and romance between you, the way you likely did naturally when you first started dating.

By knowing when a sex date is coming up you can put yourself in the right headspace

I love this part of it! My partner really responds well to visual cues like lingerie, painted nails, jewelry, and even wigs or hair pieces. By knowing when our sex dates are coming up, I have time to plan and get gussied up for the occasion. Just changing out of my everyday clothes into my sex kitten get-up instantly changes my mood and headspace. I’m feeling cute, showered and shaved, and ready to see my partner’s excited reaction.

Kinky sex takes planning

Unless you’ve got a home dungeon space you can just slip into when the mood strikes, having a kinky sex life takes a little planning. By knowing when you’ll both be ready to go, you’ll have time to clean and set out any BDSM gear, attach any under-the-bed restraints, lay down the sex towels, and charge the batteries of your favorite sex toys. 

You have time to build the anticipation together

Since my partner and I know when we have our scheduled sex time, the day before becomes a sexting marathon of talking about what we want to do with each other, what kind of mood we’re in, and how we can’t wait to tear each other’s clothes off. 

You can relax into non-sexy times with your partner

While you may very well find that your interest in spontaneous sex together increases (awesome!), by releasing some of the anxieties around whether or not you’ll have sex at all, you can enjoy and initiate touch with each other without feeling like it needs to lead to sex every time. Trading foot massages on the couch and cuddling in bed makes for an excellent physical connection that will keep the spark alive in the days in between.