THE BLOG
12/27/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

An Erotic Seven-Day Sex Marathon

For many years, I have sought to draw attention, as a marriage counselor and author, to the diminishing sex life of the American couple. CNN just a few months ago ran a story claiming that 40 million Americans live in marriages that are utterly platonic. That constitutes about one third of all married couples. But here's something much more tangible that can give you an idea of what a parched sex desert the American bedroom has become. Even so august a publication as the New York Times ran a big story about Reverend Ed Young, pastor of an evangelical Church in Texas, who issued a call for a week of sex among married couples while pacing in front of a large bed.

Amazing, a Christian pastor gives a sermon calling on his community to launch a seven-day sex marathon (or in his more religious syntax, 'congregational coupling') and it makes Section A of the most respected publication in the land. One church breaking the national married sex average of once-a-week-for-seven-minutes-at-a-time jolts the rest of the country who are struggling to keep up. And as people read the article they are wondering, how are these Christian going to pull it off? Will all the men be on a Viagra drip? Will there be a live porn feed into each room to keep the couples amorously focused? Will some of the wives hire surrogates?

Time was when a man and woman who were married, lying naked next to each other night after night, might not find it all that surprising that they end up making love. After all, who could resist? But in our culture, where sex has lost all mystery and therefore much of its magnetism, the average husband's hands are fiddling with the remote most nights instead of turning any of his wife's knobs.

Still, the question can be asked whether giving couples a divine command to go at it like sex machines seven nights running is the best advice by which to rejuvenate the shriveling American libido. In other words, is quantity a replacement for quality? And is it true that huge doses of sex artificially injected into a marriage will rejuvenate intimacy? What if the sex ends up perfunctory and passionless, with both feeling burned out and uninterested by the time the week is over. Will they not be worse off than when they started?

In truth, America does not suffer from a lack of sex, but from a loss of desire for sex. Sex is the natural and organic outcome of a deep-seated erotic longing to be one with the object of one's love. But for many couples, eroticism has been lost from their relationships and can only be restored with the eight erotic ingredients of passion and desire. Since one of the most important of those eight is delayed gratification and the thrill of the chase, here is a more focused suggestion for a week of sex, especially for those couples who have a moribund sex life: practice sex without climax.

In other words, have sex that is means-oriented rather than goal-oriented. Enjoy the journey rather than being hell-bent on the finish line. Don't go for sexual climax. That's what ensures that sex comes in at under ten minutes. Because as soon as orgasm is achieved, our bodies, especially a man's, is purged of its sexual appetite. Sexual climax diminishes rather heightens our desire for sex. That's why so many of you women are lying next to dead corpses as soon as he's had his fun.

Just think about it. Isn't that the whole problem with sex in America? We treat sex as something akin to scratching an itch. We 'get horny' and we have sex to purge the urge. So how can desire build up if sex is used as a sedative that expunges the urge?

Here, therefore, is a much better seven night routine. On the first night, give your wife a long, sensual massage that is not focused on her sexual zones. On night two, the wife should follow suit and do the same to her husband. On night three, the husband should touch all his wife's body, especially the fun parts, but not have intercourse. On night four, the wife does the same to her husband and intercourse sex is still a no-no. And no, he can't cheat by having a quickie. On the fifth night, they kiss for an hour straight with heavy petting. Whoa. Their desire is reaching a crescendo.

And on the sixth night, once all that passion has built up and they are panting and yearning for each other and dying to consummate their lust, they finally make love. But even then, they make love without climax. They control their urge to orgasm and have intercourse that lasts a long, long time. Yes, I know it takes immense discipline. But so does getting up for work in the morning. And you do that five times a week, right? And then, on the seventh night, the sacred night, the Sabbath night, they finally make love and allow their burning passion to culminate in an explosive extravaganza of sexual ecstasy.

Now, that program of passion building up on a slow burn and culminating in a giant fireworks display is a heck of a lot better than just trying to cram as much passionless sex into a week that leaves you feeling cold and unfulfilled. As it is, the ratio of husband-to-wife-orgasm in sex is something like 8 to 1. This is because so many husbands use sex for quickies. So even though a couple may be having a lot of sex, often it ends with the husband falling fast asleep and a wife masturbating herself to feel what he felt, and then going to sleep in tears.

But there is one thing about which the good Reverend is absolutely correct. Sex is the soul of marriage. When it terminates, your bedroom becomes a dorm room with two best friends sharing, perhaps, a lot of love but utterly bereft of intimacy.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach's new book, The Kosher Sutra: Eight Sacred Secrets for Reigniting Desire and Restoring Passion for Life, will be published on 6 January, 2009, by Harper One. www.shmuley.com.