Whenever I’ve said to a married woman that I’ve been reading a book about a woman who, for her husband’s 40th birthday, gives him sex every day for a year, almost every one has said, “Don’t tell my husband about that!” Most say it lightheartedly, others with a degree of panic in their eyes, but whatever the motivation, 365 Nights has sparked their interest. (Thanks to Wendy for the recommendation.)
The first thing to say is that this is not a book about sex, really. There are no accounts of what they did, where they did it, how good it was, etc. In fact, the author prefers the term ‘intimacy’ to sex. And that’s where the emphasis of the whole book is – on the couple’s relationship, rather than on sexual technique.
In 365 Nights, Charla Muller, husband of Brad, working mother of 2, takes each month and the lessons she learns from having more sex with her husband and how that impacts on topics such as:
- sharing the housework
- their closeness
- her body image
- her self-esteem
- how they view holidays and special occasions
Despite the month-by-month lessons, the book’s not particularly well structured. Arthur took one look at it and said, “It’s too chatty. You can read it and give me the summary.” So Charla jumps off into reflections about families of origin, decorating the house for Christmas, her experiences with depression, etc. Which is why I say that the book is more about their relationship than about sex.
The thing that I found most helpful was Charla’s reflections on why she didn’t want to have sex with her husband. She realised that the only person she was saying ‘no’ to was her husband! Everyone knows when you’re not teaching Sunday school or baking or doing a thousand other things and others’ expectations can be hard to deal with. But no one knows if you’re taking the time to connect and be intimate with your spouse, so because it’s unseen by most, it goes on the back burner. Charla makes the point that many women agree that sex in a marriage is a good idea, but because they are doing so many other things, there is simply no time or energy for it. So it’s a matter of choosing to make the non-urgent, unseen relationship the priority over the pressing, public tasks.
I’d recommend this book for married women and I think that those with children will identify most with the author. But whatever your life stage, for married women there is one big take home message: have more sex! (I’m pretty sure I’ve heard that somewhere before!) Even if it has to be scheduled; even if it’s not luxuriously long and romantic. Do it for your husband and do it because it’s about intimacy in your relationship. And be surprised by the benefits!
Of course, the big question is: more sex might be OK, but is sex EVERY DAY sustainable? I’ll let you read it and find out!
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.