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"Bed-time" Spice

by Dear Jon
August 19, 2008

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Readers: Keep the letters coming! Next week a young Elvis fan needs help coping with "post-contemporary" music tastes in a pop-culture driven by the artistic dilemmas of Miley Cyrus. Tune in next week as we rally around this courageous post-contemporary youth!

Meanwhile, this week's post is kind of PG-13. There are no naughty words though, unless you count the word "conjugal."


Dear Jon,

What can a happily married man and woman do to spice up their "bed-time" routine?

Kind of in a Rut

Dear Rut,

Try sprinkling some ginger on your tooth-brush.

Of course that would work for anyone, not just happily married couples.  I take it from the "quotation marks" that "bed-time routine" really means something that is not a routine at most bed-times for most married couples: permission for a conjugal visit on her side of the bed.

This letter could have been written by either a man or a woman. The problem is that the answers that are wanted are divided along the gender gap.

He has written hoping that I will suggest a variety of positions.

She has written hoping that I will suggest that baby-sitting be arranged, that a candlelight dinner be catered, that it be followed by dancing, and then a three-hour lotion massage, in the bedroom softly lit with scented candles. By the the time I get through saying all of that, He will still be asking, "now about those positions...?"

Bed-time for most happily married couples means tooth brushing, pajamas, and lights out. "Bed-time" for married couples kind of in a rut means, for him, that some time between taking off the evening clothes and putting on the pajamas, he is hoping something will happen. This hope, in a happy husband, is dashed a lot more often than it is fulfilled, but it is fulfilled often enough that he thinks of himself as happily married.

"Bed-time" for HER starts at 5:45 PM, when he is starting to put away the clean dishes without being asked so that there is room in the sink during dinner preparations. If he has failed at that, and follows that up with failures at setting the table, and at being emotionally available for the kids to find out about their day's adventures, then any hopes he has when he is standing in his boxers beside the bed at 10:30 PM just proves that he is dim and clueless (i.e. a man).

To say to a man, "to spice up your "bed-time routine" try doing the dishes when you come home," is a non sequitur. What one earth do the dishes at 5:45 have to do with "bed-time" at 10:30? The answer, as most women know, is EVERYTHING.

Do women tell us this? They do not! And here is why:

As soon as men pick up the clue that helping around the house without being asked is an aphrodisiac, then men will begin to think in these terms: "I will put dirty dishes into washer, and get "bed-time" goodies tonight!" Silly, silly man!

You, a male, are not supposed to do chores with the expectation of a reward. You are supposed to do chores to prove that you care about your home and marriage and family. Showing that you care is what makes her melt. And THEN, once that is established, which it may have already been since the description in this actual letter is that the couple is "happily" married, that is when you, the male, need to start picking up the signals that your wife is hungry for spice in her life, a little romance, a little something to help her forget about all the chores and responsibilities.

That is when a small gift of good chocolate can thaw the cold-shoulders, provided that the gift is made early enough in the evening--like at dessert. It is a mistake for a man to say, at 10:30 PM while he is standing in his boxers, "O yeah, I bought you some truffles today. Let me get them from the glove compartment. And while I'm fetching those, why don't you put on your negligee and stilettos?"

So men, to spice up the "bed-time routine" be thoughtful. For married couples thoughtful husbands equals loving, which equals security, which equals sexy. Thoughtful covers a multitude of sins, including a pot-belly that makes you look from the side like you are giving birth to a map of Australia.

Women, to spice up the "bed-time routine," be sexy. For married couples sexy wives equals sexy, which equals sexy, which equals sexy. Sexy covers a multitude of sins, including random purchases of footwear.

Husbands have already been given some clues in this article, so here are just a few clues for wives.

1. Give him a sexy attitude. This is mostly accomplished by what you choose to wear, along with a few choice words.
2. Let him look at you.
3. Let him look at what he's doing.
4. Try new positions. He will really like the ones where he can look at what he's doing. I will not get specific because we are keeping this website filter-friendly. Sorry guys, but happily married couples know what I'm talking about. I've also noticed that such topics always seems to lead the feature stories in Cosmopolitan.

I think something needs to be said about hygiene and ego. Women have the power to grind male egos to pestle by pointing out, just when things are getting cozy and his hopes are raised, that he smells.

In general, if you need him to shower first, then give him the sexy attitude by turning on the water and leading him into it yourself. Your hair doesn't have to frizz--wear a cap. Besides, by that time of night no one will notice, especially your husband, that your hair is less than perfect. If you need him to freshen his breath, put a candy jar of mints on the dresser and make it a game by popping one or two first, or laying them out on various places for him to scoop up with his tongue.

There is a lot more to say but it's getting late so I'll be turning in. You all know what THAT means. Now where did we put the ginger?

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