DAY 1: Entice your partner by dressing in lingerie and performing a striptease. Don’t smile too much — mysteriousness is sexy. Also, when you smile, your partner can see the mouthguard you wear every night to protect your teeth from stress-induced grinding.
DAY 2: Find a new place in the house to have sex. Since the kids can wander in at any point, steer clear of the kitchen, living room, dining room, bedrooms, bathrooms, guest room, TV room, stairway, laundry room, and attic. But there’s still the crawlspace! Oh, and that damp corner of the concrete basement that always smells like body odor.
DAY 3: Watch a Kama Sutra video to inspire a new position. While you’re at it, could you email Bella’s mom and ask her for some new snack ideas? Every day Jackson’s been coming home with his lunchbox practically untouched. He said he liked pistachios! You heard him!
DAY 4: Shower sex. Apply generous quantities of soap to each other’s naked bodies and enjoy the smooth sensation of — whoa, where did the non-slip bathtub stickers go? You can’t just step into a bare tub, it’s dangerous. Yes, I know Chloe’s afraid of seahorses — that’s why I bought the dolphin stickers… they’re under the sink… behind the lice shampoo. Behind. Behind. Behind. Do you not know what “behind” means? Forget it, I’ll do it, just move.
DAY 5: Read erotica together in bed. For bonus points, read out loud to each other. Just be sure to turn off the baby monitor first. Also, unplug Alexa: you don’t need some rando from LinkedIn hearing your rendition of Hot Yoga: Getting Down Dog and Dirty.
DAY 6: Give your partner a sensual massage. Start by rubbing their shoulders and move slowly down their back. Be sure to whisper coquettish things in their ear like, “Your mother keeps emailing me about our summer plans,” and “I worry you’re not eating enough salads.”
DAY 7: Share a wild fantasy with each other by email during the day, then play it out at night. Find a night when you can take your time. Monday and Wednesdays are no-go because the kids have karate, and Tuesday and Thursday nights are Chloe’s ballet practice. Alternate Fridays are Girl scouts, Saturdays are booked up with Jackson’s soccer travel, and every other Sunday evening is community chorus. So… next Friday? Hang on, let me get the calendar, I think we have a dinner.
DAY 8: Sneak in a quickie tonight. A fun, speedy session keeps things lively, and can also be a handy way to get through the repetitive credit sequence of the Netflix show you’re binging.
DAY 9: Road trip! Hop in the car for a night drive, then find a secluded spot to park and have furtive car sex like teenagers. Since you can’t hire a sitter for less than three hours, you might as well bring back the folding chairs to Costco first. They’ve got a surprisingly hassle-free return policy that almost makes up for those endless lines.
DAY 10: Roleplaying. Try out a classic pairing, like football player and cheerleader, priest and confessor, Rachel and Ross. If you start to feel self-conscious, just remember that not too long ago it felt strange to think of yourself as a parent, and yet now it’s overtaken every identity you have.
DAY 11: Ladies night. Whatever Mama wants, she gets — including eight uninterrupted hours of sleep. Meow!
DAY 12: Food & sex. Tonight you combine two delicious pleasures. Just be sure to put a towel down first, because strawberry juice stains are impossible to get out. And don’t use the raspberries — I’m saving those for Chloe’s birthday cake. Actually, don’t eat the strawberries either, I might want those for the frosting. All berries are off-limits. Use the green apple in the fridge.
DAY 13: Take turns blindfolding each other. Just like you were blindsided by the drudgery of parenthood.
DAY 14: Break out the lather and razors because tonight you’re going to shave each other’s most private regions. There’s no better way to build intimacy. Well, one of you could also expel a screaming baby from your straining body cavity over a period of sixteen hours while the other watches helplessly… but shaving works too.
DAY 15: Halfway there! If you haven’t managed to actually have sex yet, now’s your chance to reset. Start over tonight with a racy session of… Honey? Are you asleep?
DAY 16: Snuggle up in bed and watch porn together. Try to find something that turns both of you on. No, The Crown doesn’t count. I know you’ve been asking to watch it together but tonight is… fine… I said fine… I’m not making an expression, this is just my face.
Day 17: Cosplay! If you’re new to the practice, cosplay is just Halloween for adults, except there’s no candy and the costumes cost hundreds of dollars. It makes no sense. But neither does devoting the prime of your life and the bulk of your income to raising children who will eventually abandon you. Suit up, Mr. Stark!
Day 18: Tonight you’ll make your own dirty movie. In addition to fulfilling a fantasy, you’ll also learn about the importance of lighting and how Google Cloud works.
DAY 19: Skip a night because one of the kids got sick.
DAY 20: Still sick.
DAY 21: Now your other kid is sick.
DAY 22: Now you’re sick.
DAY 23: Dirty talk. If you feel shy, wait until you’re embroiled in another argument, and instead of saying “____ you,” say “_____ me”. Watch the erotic sparks fly.
DAY 24: Only one week left! Come on, we have to do it once this month.. oh, begging isn’t sexy?… you know what, I don’t need this either.
DAY 25: Have sex in a chair. Try the one that’s supposed to have been reupholstered but every weekend goes by and there it is still, tattered and neglected. Hey, maybe this way a certain someone will actually notice it.
DAY 26: Take turns dominating each other. But not in the psychologically damaging way that lately comprises your relationship, as you lash out because of your ruined expectations, weary disillusionment, and resentful exhaustion—tonight, do it in a fun, sexy way!
DAY 27: Wine pairing. What goes best with a tired, over-familiar body shrugging through the rote motions in the hopes that you’ll finish already? Pinot Noir sounds about right.
DAY 28: Determine each other’s spirit animal and tap into that primal nature for some savage lovemaking. Maybe your partner is a lion, wolf, or bear… aw, remember when Jackson used to listen to “Here Comes a Bear” non-stop? That was so sweet. And he’d sing along with the Wiggles in his raspy little boy voice. Now all he does is play Minecraft. Everyone says the time will fly by, but you don’t believe them. Until it does… Sorry, what were we doing again?
DAY 29: Advanced-level Kama Sutra. Find two or three challenging positions to attempt. Maintain the mystical energy by avoiding questions like, “Wouldn’t it be easier to work with gravity?” “Is it supposed to bend like that?” and “Why would a donkey even try to mate with a monkey?”
DAY 30: Congratulations! You made it to the last day of the challenge. Celebrate by having sex at a time other than the seventeen minutes after the children are all finally asleep in their beds, their lunchboxes have been packed for school, the living room straightened up, kitchen counters wiped down, dogs walked, calendar updated, and before the soft, dark hand of sleep has mercifully closed your eyes.