21 Days to a Better Sex Life {Getting into the Habit of Saying “Yes!”}

By Sheila Wray Gregoire on Friday, September 6, 2013

21 Days to a Better Sex Life

I hope you never get tired of me gushing over HWC contributor, Sheila Wray Gregoire, but I can’t help it.  I absolutely adore her!

Maybe it’s because she spends her days and nights talking about something many still consider taboo.  Or maybe it’s because she’s tackling an issue that can be a challenge even in the best of marriages.

Either way, I adore her and am appreciative she’s -again- helping us create better sex lives. (Disclosure: I’ve done this and it works!!)

Until Monday…make it a great weekend! 

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When kids come into the kitchen and say, “Mom, can I have…” we default to “No.”

We assume the words “ice cream” or “chocolate” or “Cheetos” will finish that sentence, and so the No is oftentimes out of our mouths before they even stop talking. It’s habit.

The same thing can happen with sex.

When you get in the habit of not making love for weeks, that becomes your default.

But while it’s good to refuse your kids Cheetos, refusing sex makes marriage kinda blah. And distant. And boring.

Why not work at developing a habit of saying “yes”? After all, sex isn’t just for him – there are plenty sex benefits for you, too! It feels great (and if it doesn’t, I’ve got lots here that can help). It helps you sleep. And it bonds you together.

Now researchers say it takes 21 days to develop a new habit. It has to naturally flow into your schedule. And many of us have evening schedules where sex doesn’t naturally flow.

Maybe after dinner you both scatter on your different computers, and then you go to bed at different times. Maybe he plays video games and you check Facebook, until one of you turns in. But if you’re going to make sex a “good” habit, it has to fit in naturally. So here are some thoughts to make that a reality:

1. Connect Early in the Evening

Sometime after dinner, connect by sharing your hearts and concerns. Go for a walk or a hike. Do dishes together. Do some activity during which you can unload some of the burden of today, so that it’s not impeding your ability to enjoy making love later.

2. Take “Me” Time During the Day

We all need time just for “me”–time when we don’t have to work, when we can relax without the kids, when we can do our hobbies. Try to find that during the day, maybe over the lunch hour at work, or during naptime with the kids. You can even tell the kids that they need a quiet time from 4-5, for instance–when they play in their rooms so that you can relax, too. That way you won’t need to take that “me” time at night.

3. Decide What Time You’ll Switch off Technology

Instead of spending your time on screens all night, decide together that you’ll switch off at 9:30 or 10, for instance.  Having this “cut off” rule, no matter what, will spur conversation (or better yet, cuddling) between the two of you.

4. Head to Bed Together

Go to bed together, at least eight hours before you have to be up the next morning. That way you have time to cuddle, to talk in bed, and to reach for each other.

Instead of always asking yourself, “do I want to tonight?”–because the answer will likely be no–ask yourself, “Do I have a really good reason to say no?” Make the expectation that you will say yes, not no. Then set up your schedule so that you’ll be together at night.

And presto!  21 Days to a Better Sex Life isn’t about following rules, it’s about creating a new habit.  And a fun one at that!

And if you need help on making sex a habit, why not work on my 31 Days to Great Sex with your hubby? Work on it for 31 days, and after that 31 Days you’ll be more used to spending time together at night!


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  • Kelli

    I had read this same thing years ago and has most certainly made a huge difference! Thanks for sharing

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      I think, as women, sometimes our ‘to do’ lists get so long and it’s hard to shut that valve off so we can just enjoy this intimacy. Putting these things in place, I’ve found, are incredibly helpful.

  • Josie

    What if it’s the husband that is saying No most of the time?

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      Low libido in men is not uncommon at all. Unfortunately for them, it’s quite taboo, so they’re not able to freely talk about it like we do. Sheila Wray Gregoire has some great articles on this on her site and I’ll ask her to respond to this one with a few that might address this. Thanks, Josie!

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      Josie, see my comment to Sue above regarding a post Sheila is going to do on this topic. Help is on the way… <3

  • Marjorie Eklund Lyon

    Any suggestions for a couple where the husband’s works swing and the wife has to go to bed before he gets home?

    • Jennifer Lynn Solomon

      my husband and I have been together for 18 years and we are only in our mid thirties, He often has had a job that keeps him on different shifts. If you can, take a nap for a few hours early, have a midnight candlelight dinner in the dark and quiet of the house, my husband has always apprieciated those

      • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

        What a great idea! Love that you and your husband have been intentional about setting aside that time no matter how busy life has gotten. Beautiful.

  • Naneth Ang Arcilla

    glad we already got routines #2,3,4. we have to coz hubsluvs is only around 1 month each year so we make the most out of it. guess we just need to work on #1 then :)

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      It’s all about timing. Think back to a time when he was open to sharing something; maybe even excited to share something with you. Then try to remember what happened right before that (his mood, the time, what was going on, etc) and see if you can retrace that. Let me know if that doesn’t work, Naneth, and we’ll see if some of the ladies of this club can add to this and give a better suggestion.

  • Sue

    Is it just me, or do other women find that their husband defaults to “no” when it comes to the question of having sex? I know that the norm is women refusing their husbands, but…

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      Hi Sue! It’s definitely not just you. See my note to Josie below. The good news for you is this is far more common than you might think (low libido in men) and although it’s a taboo subject, I’ve just asked Sheila Wray Gregoire to write a post for all of us on this topic because it’s real and men shouldn’t have to feel bad about it. And there are things they can also do to boost their libido (just like us). That most will be coming soon and I’ll let you know as soon as that is live on the site.

      • Sue

        Thank you! Part of my guy’s problem is antidepressant medication which unfortunately affects libido. SSRIs seem to be a real culprit where that’s concerned. I can certainly sympathize with him because whenever I’ve taken an SSRI for my depression, it’s as if someone hits a switch and there is literally zero desire for sex. Since I’ve switched to a tricyclic, that side effect is GONE!!! :) Another group of medications that create problems are the statin drugs (for high cholesterol). He tossed those, too, because he was borderline high and there has already been an improvement. Looking forward to Sheila’s post on the male aspect of this issue.

        • M.S

          Good to know I’m not alone! My husband doesn’t see it as a problem but I would love to read an article giving me ideas to help in this area :)