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Posts Tagged ‘sex’

To say I’m not a creature of habit is an understatement. I get easily bored when I follow the same schedule day after day,  rarely walk the same route to the grocery store,  and don’t even like to eat the same thing for breakfast two days in a row.

You can imagine the shock that hit my system when the monkeys arrived. Suddenly, I was responsible not just for one baby who wanted routine and consistency, but two. I was outnumbered. And truth be told, it didn’t take long before I learned a thing or two from them, and began to crave the predictability of a schedule and routine not just for their benefit but for my own. We became a highly routinized baby care machine for the first year of the monkeys lives. And even now, at 2.5 years old, we’re still pretty entrenced in our routines. Although we do mix it up with a variety of choices at breakfast, we always walk the same route to school, always nap at the same time every day, and have a very specific bedtime routine.

I’ve learned from them that a little predictability goes a long way towards keeping the chaos that comes with living with multiple small people if not at bay, then at least at a manageable level. And it helps ensure that everything that needs to happen does, so that the household runs sort of smoothly.

Which brings me to my post from last week about trading off sex for work. I think one of the reasons that its such an easy thing to do, and to keep up once you’ve established the habit, is that work tends to follow routines and schedules, and sex does not.

Whether we prefer to play it loose or are creatures of habit and structure, most of us have routines for the things that have to get done. But we don’t always have routines for the things that we like to do, like sex, reading, exercising, or spending 15 minutes a day just breathing. At least I don’t – do you? (Ok, I have heard of people that routinely have sex every night, but I don’t believe they exist.)

A team that I’m on at work has started building time into thier daily schedule for team inversions. Yes, they get together at the same time every day and practice being upside down together. How great is that? Another team at work has built in a highly ritualized group snacking time. These scheduled pleasures go a long way towards building a sense of team and help the teams keep their brains engaged over long days of mind-numbingly hard thinking.

While the anti-structure part of me wants to be able to fit in the fun stuff spontaneously, the realist know that it’s a recipe for letting it not happen. Ask any mother of a toddler who doesn’t have a specific exercise schedule how often she works out and you’ll see what I mean. I’ve already started a routine around yoga. I’m going to start creating them around other things: reading, sex and movies. Hopefully, that will be enough to keep me from taking on too much extra responsibility at work.

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Another bonus of visiting our family in Orlando is that my sister-in-law always has lots of great magazines. The March 2008 issue of Redbook quoted a study by the University of Gottingen in Germany about the relationship between sex and work.

According to the study, 35% of women who have sex once a week and 46% of those who have no sex at all take on extra work. Those numbers are remarkable only compared to this one: only 5% of women who have sex two or more times a week report seeking more responsibilities at work.

I was surprised to find out that people are not just having less sex because they’re working so much. Instead, they are taking on more work as a distraction from their sex lives – or lack thereof. Which sort of makes sense, but doesn’t seem very sensible.

Instead of going after what we want — sex — we’re keeping ourselves busy with what’s available –work. And what’s worse, once we’ve taken on more responsibilities out of sexual frustration, it’s harder to make time to have sex.

As I read this, part of me is thinking, those silly Germans, don’t they know that if they take on more work it’ll only make their sex life worse. The other part of me knows that I make decisions like this all of the time, and that I sometimes do so knowing full well the consequences of my actions.

So what gives? Any one have other examples of those times when you get in your own way of getting what you really want?

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