I've heard of good ideas before — Sriracha popcorn, Chanel espadrilles — but having sex every day for a year is maybe, possibly the best one yet. OK, to be fair, it's not my idea. In her book, Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love and Being Comfortable in Your Skin... Every Inch of It , blogger and body positive women's advocate (and all-around all-star) Brittany Gibbons writes about living as a fat woman who's all about owning her plus-sized body and her sexuality. (Once she taped her vagina shut: don't ask.)
Maybe you'd think someone who's encouraged thousands of women to advocate for body-acceptance would be comfortable seeing herself naked, the same way you'd maybe think someone who'd been married to a man she met in high school wouldn't have any problem feeling sexy in the sack? But you'd be wrong. In Fat Girl Walking, Gibbons writes about how she overcame her self-loathing by having sex with her husband every day for a year.
365 days straight. Surfing the crimson wave included.
Gibbons writes totally frankly about being fat and her sexuality. It's not a combination we hear — or see — much of, and I hope Gibbons' book changes that. But the other topic Gibbons explores is monogamy: for nearly half her life, Gibbons is in a relationship with her high-school-sweetheart-turned-husband, Andy. Their marriage is flawed and adorable (they jokingly refer to themselves as a "The Conners," as in Dan and Roseanne Conner of the '90s sitcom) — and affected by Brittany's relationship with her body. That's how their sex-for-a-year project comes to be, but if you've got a willing partner, I can't think of any good reasons not to initiate a daily doing practice, too.
Ready to knock boots? Here are five reasons why having sex daily is good thinking.
You'll Overcome Your Body Image Issues
Sex-every-day solves your body image issues? Score! (Sounds like a lot more fun than journaling about how awesome my thighs are.) Gibbons captures how inextricable sex and appearance are for women:
Because I wasn't able to shut off my insecurities about my body and weight, sex had become a really anxiety-inducing experience that went one of two ways.
1. I avoid it because it was hot and stressful hiding naked under two comforters and a snowsuit in the dark, and instead would run a diversion play. I have cramps. I have to work. I promised [my daughter] she could sleep in our bed. That's right; I used a four-year-old as a cockblock.
2. I tried to explain to him why I was self-conscious, and then he asked why telling him how pretty I was wasn't enough for me to get over it, and I felt like a horrible, horrible asshole.
Gibbons' comfort with her body had been altered by motherhood (read the book for some some hilarious-slash-cringeworthy-slash-I'm-guessing-spot-on descriptions of postpartum vaginas) and the 50 pounds she gained thence, but her story is helpful to anyone who's ever struggled to get in the mood because of birthday-suit nerves.
You'll Have So Much Sex That Your Awkward Sexual Encounters Will Truly Become Things of the Past
Sex isn't always pretty or graceful or even especially fun. And sometimes, the sexual identities we carried in the past are hard to come to terms with. They can be embarrassing. Gibbons recalls high school, for instance, when she lived as a "secret girlfriend." "Secret girlfriends," she writes, "were girls who had legitimate relationships with boys, even though nobody else was around to verify it was actually happening ... We'd start out watching movies on the couch, but would always end up making out."
You'll Reclaim Your Sexual Identity
OK, that may seem obvious, but hey, life happens. In Fat Girl Walking, part of life is motherhood. Gibbons is refreshingly candid when she recalls trying to become pregnant: "Sex had become less about intimacy and more of a game of how many things I could cram under my butt after my husband came inside me." The Gibbons were so intent on trying to make babies, they'd inadvertently deemphasized the sexy part of sex.
You'll Learn to Articulate Your Likes and Dislikes
By packing her calendar with sex, Gibbons came to some realizations: She needed to stop seeing her body as problematic and start seeing it as smoking hot. She needed to dress for the part. "Pretty panties make me happy," she confesses. Word. She needed to speak up about what she wanted — "being on [her] knees" — and what she didn't: "I ... hate having breath on my neck because I am extremely ticklish, and then I get goose bumps and my leg hair grows in too fast. Please stop doing that."
What you could realize through scheduling daily sex with your partner may be different. But what's universal is remembering that whatever's bothering you when you're in bed (or on the table, in the car, in the shower, etc.) isn't just about your body and it isn't just your partner: it's something bigger.
You'll Strengthen Your Bond
Even if you didn't think your bond needed strengthening. After six months of daily sex, Gibbons realizes that she and her husband have entered a new phase of their relationship. Gibbbons' husband, Andy, "flew across the country because he missed [her]. Not because [she] wasn't there to take care of the kids ... or show him how to work the Keurig, but because he profoundly missed having me beside him in bed each night. And surprisingly, I felt the same way." For Gibbons, a daily commitment to sex became a commitment to self-care and self-acceptance: "Somewhere along the line, sex had stopped being an obligation and instead became the moment of the day I was the most comfortable and relaxed, the moment I could finally, finally, take my clothes off."