After finding us on a reality TV casting website, the producers of Shed Media and Lifetime came knocking at our door and made us an offer we couldn't refuse: Be a part of their new series, "7 Days of Sex," and get a daily dose of sex for seven straight days! Wow, what married couple would say "no" to that? We fantasized that it would be just like it was when we first met 10 years earlier; sexy, spontaneous, carefree, fun and passionate.
But then I began to wonder: How did they know that our seven-year marriage needed a reboot to put the spark back in our love life? Was it that obvious that our flame had dulled or had we become another statistic? Was this something we as a married couple wanted to admit to? Did we want to become another reality show couple and have our marriage scrutinized under a lens?
Happy endings in those relationships are far and few between. Our initial excitement of being on the show turned hesitant out of fear of not knowing how this would all play out in front of the cameras and in the editing room. Our most intimate moments would be captured on video diaries left in our bedroom after the crew went home. Were we going to have to use sex toys and play dress up? The seven days of sex we committed to now seemed like they were going to be hard work. Cleaning the house looked easier. Did we have the stamina a decade later to really "DO" this? I wished we had more time before filming to lose the 10 pounds that make you look heavier on TV. The idea of bad camera angles and having to be picture perfect 24 hours a day for seven days seemed daunting and unreal. We are both very private people, so it was not something we would normally agree to do. To make it easier, the only thing we could do was be who we truly were with each other in our everyday lives and have fun with the opportunity we had been given.
We had to throw all our insecurities and thoughts of how we should be out the window.
The reality was, we knew we had a strong marriage and that we were still in love, but we had hit some bumps along the way which took us off track. "7 Days of Sex" gave us the chance to go back to a magical time without dealing with any outside stresses. No phones, emails or texting. Day one was a little awkward, knowing that cameras were following our every move. We went for sushi and sake -- what the producers called an "aphrodisiac" -- which helped take the edge off, although I couldn't help thinking that we were there to talk to the world about our ailing sex life. This was nerve-wracking to say the least. I was obviously a married adult woman, but I was uncomfortable talking about sex. So this was a huge challenge for me. My husband, on the other hand, had no problem encouraging the conversation. This was going to be his dream sexathon for seven straight days.
For me, the pressure increased as the night came to an end because I knew I had committed to the experiment and didn't want to go back on my word. It wasn't that I didn't want to have sex with my husband, I just felt strange with a diary cam in the corner of our bedroom. I can't imagine that Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian actually turned it on and enjoyed it. After holding out until very late at night on day one, I figured it would be a good idea to not focus on how many days we had left. As day two arrived, there was no turning back. All our personal issues were out there for the world to see and comment on. To my surprise, Anthony decided to raise the bar on the "7 Days of Sex" experiment by trying to convince me that having an orgasm every night would be the only way to make the process complete. I personally thought he was getting carried away with himself, but if it was going to happen, it needed to happen organically. I needed more romance and less pressure. I thought after being married to me for so many years he would have known what turned me on.
As the days progressed, we were more at ease and didn't even notice the crew was there. At this point, we didn't care what anyone said or thought. We just wanted to enjoy the process. On day three, Anthony decided we needed to bond with nature and planned a surprise camping trip. Getting warm and romantic by a campfire was not something we have ever done in the past, but it was fun and unexpected. Although it wasn't my ultimate idea of romance, I didn't want to seem ungrateful for his efforts and I knew he was trying his best to make me happy, so I finally relaxed and went along with it. I'm not sure being intimate in a luxury-style teepee was the highlight of my week, but I'm sure one of us enjoyed it more than the other.
On day four, I took the reigns and laid some ground rules and explained to Anthony a sure-fire way to get lucky was to "be nice to me" and "don't say anything to piss me off". He happily agreed. If only it were always that easy. There were times when I wanted to stop filming because I felt we were exposing too much and that frightened me; but if we were going to help ourselves and anyone else through this experiment we couldn't quit. On day five we did have to regroup and have make-up sex after a few arguments. Honestly, when you are married, make-up sex can be the best sex. Day six, I made an executive decision and rented a Porsche, like I had when we first met. We drove down the coast and the ocean air set the mood for a romantic evening, which was the best night of all. Anthony and I are both independent and headstrong people, so it is always difficult for one of us to give up control. By the time day seven came, we had reconnected. "7 Days of Sex" forced us to realize that we needed to give up control once in awhile and trust the person we married. Doing this makes your relationship stronger, healthier and happier.
Being married and in love is awesome. Having a partner to share your life with makes all the important milestones more special.
Sometimes you just need to get away for a while and allow yourself to try something new. Marriage evolves and it's up to us to make the choices to help it move in a positive direction. We are not saying that all of our issues have been resolved because we committed to "7 Days of Sex," however sex is an integral part of marriage and it definitely helped us remember how much fun we had when we first met and why we fell in love. It's the love that is stronger than anything else in our lives and as we move forward in our relationship we know that as long as we are both willing to be open and communicate with one another we can beat the odds.
Below, photos of Anna and her husband, Anthony Sinopoli: