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Sex and a Salad

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You are probably wondering what sex and salads have to do with each other? A salad certainly doesn't sound like something anyone would want to eat during sex, nor incorporate into sex in any way. But I assure you that they have much more in common than one would think. Let me walk you through this, beginning with a little story about a conversation that I once had with a friend of mine. It was she who actually made me realize how similar sex and salads are....

A few years ago my husband and I hit a wall when the "can't keep your hands off of each other" phase ended and our relationship simmered down into a very happy, but not quite as active romance. We had been together for about four years, had one child, and were getting more and more comfortable with lounging around the apartment in our pajamas. I was also breastfeeding and waking up twice a night, leaving me with NO desire to have any other human being make physical contact with me.

My poor husband, being the considerate fellow that he is, never pushed the issue. However, I could tell from him tension that our long stretches between intimate interactions were growing way too far apart in frequency. It got to a point when I began scheduling our sex into my calendar, so I knew that we did it enough to pass as a healthy-married-couple. I was also motivated to do this so that my husband wouldn't have a breakdown or spend time peering at adult films in the middle of the night. It wasn't ideal, and it didn't feel very natural, but it kept our relationship going and made us both happier people all around.

While this "scheduling" phase was in effect, I had lunch with a close friend of mine who was on a diet at the time. She requested that we meet at an organic, all natural joint that served plenty of low-calorie smoothies and salads for her to graze on. Lucky for me they still served fries and a burger. I was breastfeeding after all and couldn't get enough calories at that point. We were sitting there in the restaurant just catching up, me with my burger and she with her salad, when I started to tell her about my current situation in the bedroom. I explained that the marriage was still great, and that we were still crazy about each other, but that things had died down between us a little after the baby was born. I explained that I had made it a point to schedule "the deed" into my weekly calendars, and that even when I was at my most exhausted, would follow through at some point during the week to keep the flame alive. She was impressed with my resilience and admitted that her marriage could use some scheduling as well.

We talked and talked, and went off in several different directions with our conversation before we had a few moments of silence to really dig into our food. While eating she looked up at me and asked "So, how's that burger?" "Delicious" I replied. "How about your salad?" I then asked. She giggled and answered, "It's not bad. But, I imagine I feel the same way about eating this salad as you do about choosing to have sex with your husband." And, right there, in that moment, it hit me like a ton of bricks! Choosing to continue to have sex in your relationship is like choosing the salad over the burger when you are on a diet!!! No one reaally wants to eat a salad all of the time. Sometimes we the burger, or a turkey burger, or the steak, or some ice cream, or a slice of cheesecake! But, we don't always do that. We choose what is healthiest for our bodies, what will assist us in weight loss when necessary, and what will make us feel best at the end of the day.

That kind of choice is just like choosing to have sex in your long-term relationship or marriage even if you aren't in the mood as much anymore. Because at the end of the day, it is what is going to make you and your partner feel best and keep the relationship healthy and strong.

It isn't always easy to make that choice. It sure as hell isn't easy to commit to it even after you have chosen to do it at times. But, think about how you feel when you order a salad even when you don't want one, and then begin to eat it? The first few bites feel like a chore. You yearn for something more comforting and soothing. Quite like your pajamas, your couch and a late night television show, but the more and more you eat, you realize, "This isn't so bad. Not bad at all!" That is often how it goes with sex in a long-term relationship or marriage. You don't always feel like doing it all of the time anymore, but once you get started it is not half bad, and it is definitely the healthier choice for you and your partner.

Being in a relationship is a wonderful thing. Finding that special someone who accepts your good, even though it comes with an extra-large suitcase of bad is priceless. Having that person who knows you better than people who have known you your entire life. The comfort, the laughter, the romantic gazes, the hero that is always on your side, and that passion! There is nothing like it. But, fast-forward five years; add in-laws, work, financial strains, children, older age, sharing space, sharing a bathroom, and just too much time together, and the passion can rapidly die down. Most couples go from having sex two times a day, to having sex one time a week or less, and arguments over the subject are frequent, verses few and far between like they were in the good ole days of new love.

So I leave you all with this. Choose sex like you would choose a salad over a burger if you were on a diet. Do what is best for yourself, for your partner, and for your relationship. This won't override any serious or deep routed issues, so seek a therapist if you are struggling with anything that sounds like that. But, if things are pretty good and you are both just tired or getting a little lazy; remember how great you are going to feel after you have that "salad." Even if the first few bites aren't exactly what you are in the mood for. You will find that it will be much more enjoyable than you expected, and it will always be the healthier choice for your relationship.

And, that my friends, is what sex has to do with a salad.

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