I am standing in front of the bathroom mirror, examining my left buttock cheek. There are three tiny, pin-point bruises on my it, in a perfect triangle. They look utterly bizarre.
‘Perhaps I sat on something,’ I say to Herbert.
‘Perhaps you were kidnapped by aliens and anal-probed,’ he replies.
‘Yes,’ I say, ‘I must have sat on something. Can’t think what.’
Wednesday night is date night, or at least that’s what we’re trying to instil in ourselves. If we have a regular evening set aside for sex, we think it will build up the anticipation, and hopefully help us to think of some interesting things to do in advance.
That’s the theory anyway. Since we started Date Night four weeks ago, it has only worked once. And that was four weeks ago. Since then, Herbert has forgotten it altogether twice (we still had sex, but without the simmering anticipation), and then, this week, we managed to get as far as being naked in bed before I started randomly feeling sick, and we had to give up.
Maybe Wednesday just isn’t our night. But then, what night is? I can’t just leave these things to chance; we’ll get busily swept up in the day-to-day, and will end up forgetting to have sex for weeks on end. Weekends are all very well, but they’re – literally – all over the place. It’s impossible to get into a routine. Sometimes, the languor of weekends leads to great sex, but more often than not, we’re even busier than we are on weekdays.
What to do? Do we wait until the mood takes us on the odd weekend afternoon, or do we conscientiously maintain a regular pattern of shags, even if that means that they’re sometimes a bit uninspired?
‘I know we both got fed up with the pressure of constantly trying something new,’ I say, ‘but on the other hand, I don’t want to slide back into having boring sex like we used to.’
‘That won’t happen,’ says H. ‘We’ve changed. We’re different people now.’
Maybe, Herbert, but are we different enough? I can’t help worrying that we’ll default to same old, same old again without a bit of forward planning.
On Thursday night, I opt for ‘regular but uninspired’ by moving Date Night back a day. Somehow, weeknight sex makes it feel more likely that we’ll have weekend sex too.
As Herbert nears orgasm, and we manoeuvre into doggy position, feeling his body begin to tense and shudder makes it all worthwhile. Then, as his fingers dig into by buttocks, I think, Well, at least I know where I got those bruises from.