Want more romance? Want more sex? There seems to be some kind of LINK between the two. IME. Ahmmm, cough. Just sayin'.

I think I’ve got sex on the brain.  My husband – the other half of our couple who makes you want to puke – is in India for two weeks.  So I certainly don’t have sex on the bed or the sofa or the kitchen counter right now.  None at all.

Maybe that’s why this week of all weeks I issued a challenge to my friend Nan at Little Black Dress Diaries: a 30-day couples intimacy challenge.  Now, I understand this subject is somewhat taboo.  Fear not.  I’m not about to start sharing anything more intimate than I normally do on this blog.  I believe in the “closed bedroom door” approach to writing about sex.  But I do want to share with you all the concept and opportunity of our 30-day challenge.

First, let me tell you about Nan.  She’s one half of a couple that makes you want to puke, too.  On her blog, you’ll hear a lot about her fabulous Alpha Hubby.  She and I have a half-serious chick fight going on about whose relationship is more awesome.  Somehow, our debate led to (yep) sex, and its importance in a truly Hallmark-card connected sort of relationship.  Neither of us is a spring chicken, mind you.  We met in an “Over 40” writers’ group.  That just means we’ve had more years than the flat-bellied tight-assed twenty-somethings to get smart about this whole relationship thing.

So I shared with her the idea I had seen last January about a 30-day commitment to sexual intimacy.  A journalist and her husband took the plunge and reported back the surprising physical health benefits they experienced.  The journalist said it even helped her PMS.  OK, sign me the hell up for this program.  I’m PMS’ing right now, which means I’m fantasizing about killing with my bare hands the AT&T Uverse rep who just patronized me on the phone about their crappy service, eating my way through a dozen Cinnabons I bought “for the kids” as a “surprise” (yeah, right), and runny-snot sobbing about all of it.

Oops.  I digress.

Yeah, yeah, health benefits.  Lower stress, sleep better, and much more.  Read the article: hint hint => click.

What I want is the so-good-it-should-be-illegal thrill that only a sizzling hawt relationship can give you.  I crave to press noses together while we talk for hours in the afterglow.  I yearn for that “I just can’t tear my eyes away from you” feeling.

And I’ve already got that.  But it doesn’t stay that way by accident.  We work at it. It’s fun work, sure, but it is a conscious effort to make time for each other and honor each other’s needs.

That’s where the challenge comes in.  And I’m issuing that challenge to YOU (don’t look behind you like I’m talking to some stalker in your office, Y-O-U, the one who just complained — loudly — about your partner over lunch at Corner Bakery yesterday, yeah, you).

The Deets:  For the next 30 days, every single day, make time for and engage in some kind of physical intimacy with your sweetie.  You may not jump under the sheets every day, but there’s a whole world of fun you can engage in.  Hold hands, Eskimo kiss, gaze into each other’s eyes, etcetera.  And you can’t keep this plan a secret.  You have to ask your partner to participate and commit with you.  You’re going to see more posts from me on this, sharing feedback from others that are participating, feedback on how this impacts their relationships.  I’d appreciate your comments, or you could email me (pamelafhutchins@aim.com) and we could keep your input anonymous.

Eric and I started yesterday.  Did I mention he’s in India?  So our sexual intimacy required more…imagination…and technology.  I started off by texting him.

“I love you.  You’ll be home in four days.  Woo hoo!”

Except my iPhone decided that what I really meant to say to my husband, who has kinda been freaking out about not exercising for two weeks, was “woo HIPPO.”  Oops.  Not a great start.

I followed up with pictures via email.  Note: be extra careful typing in that email address when sending your love over email.  I got some great responses back; Thank God they were from him.

*If you think I’m going to share any of these pictures on this blog, you are on CRACK, by the way*

{OK, just one}

I tried to take a picture of my heart, but I lacked an x-ray machine. I think he got the message, though.

I entitled the series, “Parts of me that miss you”.  Ahhhh, isn’t that sweet?  Anything more here would be T.M.I., so suffice it to say this went better than “woo HIPPO,” and let’s move on.  [I’m now picturing dirty old men all over the world trying to hack our email accounts.  Knock yourself out.  They ain’t THAT sexy.]

I had prepared for my long distance seduction carefully before he left.  I knew he would work 15-hour days in 105-degree heat, so he would not have much left in his tank when he returned to his room at night.  I stashed cards for each day of his absence into his suitcase, into which I wrote intimate messages and tucked gifts of varying degrees of suggestiveness and sensuality: a cologne sample tube, a SKOR candy bar, cheap silky boxers .  And I bought them at the dollar store, because that’s the kind of girl I am.

I showered, lotioned, perfumed, did my hair and makeup and donned his favorite outfit/nightie.  *Rawr*  I was ready.  We initiated a skype connection.  He opened his card.  He appreciated my efforts and attire.  A lot.

And then he fell asleep in front of the computer.

But not until we had connected, truly felt the zing of the golden thread that shot out from Houston across the shortest possible distance to Jamnagar and tied our hearts together.

“Show me your hand,” Eric said.

I lifted it in front of the camera.

“Now, put your palm on the screen.”

I did.

He then lifted his hand in front of his camera and placed his own palm on the screen in India.  We couldn’t see each other’s hands anymore because they were outside of the camera lens, but I swear I could feel his.  And my tears?  He could see those.

Distance – not an excuse.  Inability to “consummate?”  Doesn’t matter.  Connecting on a personal level in a way that shows the other in no uncertain terms how much you want them?  Score.

So, 30 days to laugh, talk, cry, and, yes, have “sex” .  Are you in on the challenge?  Comment with a yes or no, if you dare.

Put me down as “yes”.

Here are links to other sites with their (rated PG) blogs on Day 1 — If you blog on the 30-Day Challenge, link to my post (this one), and when I see your linkback, I’ll add your blog post’s link to this list:

http://mrsplussizebarbie.blogspot.com/2010/10/30-days-of-intamacy-challenge-no-this.html

http://charissej.blogspot.com/2010/10/30-days-of-intimacy.html

http://amotheragain.blogspot.com/2010/10/30-day-couples-intimacy-challenge.html

To submit your story for publication on Road to Joy’s weekly wrap-up of the 30-day challenge: SUBMISSIONS.

Pamelot

p.s.  Go check out Nan’s blog where she issues the 30 day couples intimacy challenge to her readers.  I’d be happy to link to any of your blogs as well, if you post on the 30-day challenge.  Just send me the links.

p.p.s.  Remember, small people sometimes wander onto this site.  I accept all comments except those with overly explicit content.  And I don’t want to know the details of your beloved’s equipment, anyway, by comment or email.  I’m focusing on relationship impacts.

p.p.p.s. If you tweet about this, use #30days.

p.p.p.p.s.   I know you’re just dying to read more about how we keep it hot around our house.  Mostly it’s in the little gestures – think of it as continuous foreplay.  Here’s a few posts on the topic:

Couples that make you want to puke.

Love Don’t Cost a Thing

Happiness is Love of Eric in My Rearview Mirror

Getting Our Groove On

Captain Underpants

http://lbddiaries.com/blog/2010/10/14/30-days-of-intimacy-yowzers/

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