Sex spreadsheet won't add up to more lovemaking

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On the same page with sex

On the same page with sex (GlowImages/Getty photo)

Nothing makes a gal go weak in the knees like a spreadsheet emailed to her work account, spelling out all the times and ways she turned down sex with her husband.

Perhaps you've seen the spreadsheet by now. A husband, whose name we don't know, logged the number of times he proposed sex between June 1 and July 18 — he got yes three times and no 24 times — and emailed it to his wife as she headed out of town for a 10-day business trip. The nameless wife posted it to social networking site Reddit.

Deadspin, People magazine, Huffington Post and a handful of other outlets picked up the story on Monday. Thousands of people weighed in with comments.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess how the nameless couple won't be spending her first night back in town.

"Tracking your sex life is not a terrible idea," said sex and relationship therapist Ian Kerner, CNN columnist and author of the New York Times best-selling "She Comes First" (HarperCollins). "A lot of couples really do disagree about how often they have sex or when they had sex last. He just used the information in absolutely the wrong way."

The information, as it were, looks like this:

On June 3: "I'm watching the show" ("Friends" rerun)

One June 16: "I'm too drunk and I ate too much."

On July 13: "No."

"If his goal is to have sex, he probably could have used that information to get there instead of using it to humiliate his wife," Kerner told me. "You want to use it to learn about what's going on in the relationship or discover a pattern. And when you ultimately present the information, you want to be positive, constructive, sexy, loving."

Kerner, who counsels couples at the New York-based Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy, says sex ruts are incredibly common. While extramarital affairs are occasionally at the root of the disconnect, far more frequently couples have simply stopped communicating about a whole host of issues — sex among them.

"In order to have a satisfying sex life, you need to have a satisfying relationship," he said.

And vice versa.

"When you're not having sex with your partner, your relationship is vulnerable," Kerner said. "If you've stopped having sex, you've often become disconnected and detached."

If the spreadsheet couple were to visit Kerner, he'd tell them to give sex — and their relationship — a fighting chance.

"Maybe he looks at the (spreadsheet) and says, 'Every time we try to have sex it's late in the evening and you're exhausted. Let's have some sexy morning sex,'" he suggested. "Maybe it's time to have more fun in the relationship.

"Couples often forget to focus on the mental component of sex," he added. "Maybe it's time to spice things up and listen to something sexy, read something sexy, watch something sexy."

"Friends" reruns don't count.

hstevens@tribune.com

Twitter @heidistevens13

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