Why don’t we schedule sex more often?

You’re probably thinking, That’s so passionless. Can’t we just wait until we’re both horny at the same time and take it from there? The reality is no. As you’re probably very familiar, we’re all busy now. It’s just the way life is. Each night we fall into bed next to our beloveds, exhausted and distracted, and then wake up to do it all again. Hoping you’ll both miraculously find the time and energy for spontaneous sexing is near impossible.

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Instead of waiting 364 days, why not schedule sex more regularly? For those couples out there who want balance in their lives that includes sex, this approach is your best bet. Because you want more sex, right? What’s not to love about more sex? You just need to do it right.

Here are 6 tips for scheduling sex:

1. Make a rational schedule

Sit down with your partner during a calm moment, talk about how you’d both like to be having more sex, and then negotiate how often you’d (realistically) like to get it on. Once a week? Twice a week? Jeopardy-style (weekdays at 7:30 P.M. Eastern)? Set a goal, and then literally add it to your calendar. Another option: Make a countdown list for each week. If your goal is to have sex twice, rather than worrying about specific days, you have a bit more freedom. Or, just like with a college paper, you may find yourself doing it all Sunday night. That’s cool, too!

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2. Don’t get fancy with it

At least not at first. You know how you once tried to be vegan but the amount of discipline and pre-planning meant that you started eating meat again a week later? Same situation here. You need to on-ramp your way to freaky Fifty Shades–style scheduled sex. At the start, skip the crazy porn-level erotic stuff. That will come. For now, baby steps. Baby steps of sex.

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3. Use technology to your advantage

Once you’ve got the recurring “Sex, 9 p.m. - 11 p.m.” in your shared Google calendar, sending your partner an implicit message any time of day has to be the easiest thing you can do. This could be something sweet, like “I want to bury my face in your hair and never let you go,” or something scandalous, like “I want to look in your eyes while going down on you.” It’s not about what you get from him or her in return (although hopefully you will get something sexy back)—it’s about reminding them that you miss them, and about giving the caveman-lizard part of your brain a nice little jolt of dopamine until it’s time to actually get down to business.

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4. Look at your old e-mails for inspiration

Nothing makes me feel more mushy and full of love for my husband than going back and looking at our flirtation unfolding online. I love reading our old e-mails, texts, and Gchats. I wish I could read our MySpace messages, but I can’t remember my login. It takes me back to the time when I studied every text he sent me like I was getting a graduate degree in it, and agonized over how to respond. When you first start dating, hanging out together isn’t a guarantee. Sex isn’t a guarantee. It’s all a big, mysterious delight. Scheduling sex is just that same feeling but for couples who have been together awhile.

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5. Reserve intimacy to time with your partner

I think I already lost half of you, but hear me out: Masturbation is there to relieve sexual feelings when you’ve got no other outlet for them. If you scratch the itch yourself, there’s less left for your partner. Take a couple of days off. If you’re the kind of person who feels exhausted at the end of the day, you might find you’re suddenly more energetic when finally presented with the opportunity to have sex with another human being.

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6. Tired is not an excuse

The time has come and, yes, you’re tired. I’m tired, too. We’re all tired. But you made the commitment, now stick to it. Remember, this is for you just as much as it is for your partner. Get nasty, even if it’s a quiet, sleepy kind of nasty. If you do everything right, you might even enjoy it!

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