Good things come to those who wait.
New research from York University published in the Journal of Sex Research found that planning ahead can be just as sexy and satisfying as spontaneous sex — despite popular beliefs otherwise.
“When we suggest that couples or other romantic configurations carve out that time, we’re not necessarily saying you put it into a calendar — like 7 p.m. on a Tuesday, after putting dinner in the oven and before folding the socks,” Katarina Kovacevic, a registered psychotherapist specializing in romantic relationships and sexual issues, said.
“But the intentionality behind it can be transformative in the sense that we don’t wait around for the right moment, because sometimes the mood just never strikes, really, for some people, and that might deter them.”
Researchers conducted two studies: the first looking at 300 participants in romantic relationships who answered questions in an online survey and the second with more than 100 couples responding to daily surveys about their romantic and sex lives for three weeks.
Researchers wanted to determine if people’s beliefs around planned sex and spontaneous sex correlated with their satisfaction afterward.
“There can be a lot of resistance to asking clients to talk about and plan sex more, to work as a sexual team. I think it’s because of what we see in the media, but the funny thing about that is there’s so much planning that goes into those scenes — a whole production team is there, actors memorize their line,” said Kovacevic.
The first study showed that acknowledging the idea that spontaneous sex is better translated into satisfaction.
But the second study found no difference in satisfaction based on whether or not the sex was planned — regardless of beliefs.
“What our new study found was that while many people do endorse the ideal of spontaneous sex, there was no difference in their reported satisfaction of their last actual sexual encounter – whether it was planned or unplanned,” Kovacevic revealed.
“Generally, we did find that people endorsed the spontaneous sex ideal,” York University psychology professor Amy Muise said. “But, despite these beliefs, across our two studies, we did not find strong support that people actually experience spontaneous sex as more satisfying than planned sex.”
The researchers also noted that many important and enjoyable parts of life are actually planned — such as vacations or pursuing a career — and sex can be approached in the same way.
Kovacevic said that the key to planning sex ahead of time is “intention, versus expectation” and to plan to regularly spend quality time together with no distractions to keep hold of the spark and alleviate any pressure.
And if you’re planning your Valentine’s Day sex, Muise suggests to “try to have it before the big meal and glasses of wine.”
This article was originally posted by The New York Post.