Amy disclaimed my stocking up front with a warning that many of the items were "re-gifts." Basically, she'd raided our pantry for little food items that would fit in. I had barely had time to pull together her stocking in one hurried afternoon at a local Cost Plus, and it wasn't feeling inspired: a decorative wine cork, some almonds, a small vacuum-packed bag of French roast coffee, a Toblerone bar, etc. But Amy had had no time to shop so she had really had to wing it at 3 a.m. the night before, after we had finally finished wrapping and assembling the kid's gifts.
Sure enough, there was a Crunchie candy bar, some chocolate coins that must have been from last Christmas, a small kitchen gadget ... stuff that would fit.
Near the bottom of the stocking, I discovered envelopes. Six of them. Solid, dark pastelish stationery that I had seen lying around the office desk for the last umpteen years. And here they were. Numbered one through six. I couldn't even guess what was contained therein.
I opened the one labeled "#1:"
Good for one mind-blowing BJ
(not just your run-of-the-mill blowjob)
Best used when sinus condition is not present
My breath hitched. My cock stirred. This was going to be tricky if this was only the first coupon. What state would I be in by #6? And here were my kids playing, not to mention another relative close by. Suddenly I wished we were somewhere private. At least I had my back to everyone else. Facing Amy, I could smile, look to Heaven, and mouth "Thank you!"
I'll expound on this more later, but it may even go without saying (after all, we are a middle-aged couple with jobs and kids): There has been some occasional tension regarding the frequency of sex. It doesn't exhibit as anger (I don't get mad easily), but more as guilt from both parties: me for my seemingly constant "nagging" for more, and Amy (who insists that I don't nag) for feeling like she is way too often tired, distracted, not-feeling-sexy-enough to give it to me.
There have been some pretty intense discussions about this in bed over the last few weeks. Tears shed, honest feelings discussed in the halting whispers of a couple simultaneously feeling deep emotion and trying not to wake up sleeping children. At least we're both communicating honestly and openly, but some possibly disturbing revelations have come about through these discussions. And we're still not sure what to do about the lack of parity on our libidos.
So the coupons blindsided me, in a good way. They were an amazing gesture. The "sex coupon" is a decades-old stand-by -- you can buy them gag gift stores or find any number of online sites that provide ideas for this way too cutesy idea. I think I even did a set for my high-school girlfriend once (lo those many years ago). Amy's were so special, I think, not only because they were somewhat "personalized" to my interests, but because they gave a sense of "hope" for the future. That we were going to keep working on this. And more importantly, as Dan Savage says, Amy was "good, giving and game."
I opened up the next coupon -- #2:
Good for some ass-action
(Need I say more?)
Ply liberally with wine or other lubricant
Anal has been a recent introduction to our repertoire, though it has been a long-term fantasy of mine.
Good for some morning sex —
even if it makes us late for work
(It makes us so happy while we're there)
Nice to find some good use for my "morning wood" one day soon. Though honestly, I have to wonder when this would happen, since one of the kids usually beats us awake every morning. I guess it won't always be that way, right?
Onward to the fourth:
Good for raunchy sex with
lots of dirty talk
(Pornos require advance notice)
Porn certainly isn't a necessity for me in this case, but it might be for Amy. She's a bit self-conscious about dirty talk, though she knows how much I love it. On nights when she's too tired to fuck but willing to help me get myself off, she knows I come faster if she nestles in next to my ear and spins a fantasy about her fucking one or another of our more attractive friends. With a dirty movie, she can really get rolling. It's taken awhile to work her up to it, but she can be pretty nasty when she sets her mind (mouth?) to it.
Number five had me dropping my jaw to the ground -- at first:
Good for a threesome, or
foursome, with Shelley and
Jon (if they let us)
Sorry, just kidding.
Oh wow. Shelley and Jon are parents of a schoolmate of one of our kids. Shelley has an exotic look to her -- and an amazing chest. Jon has an accent and is incredibly good-looking. We have joked and fantasized before about them, and wondered at first if there would be any interest there. We have since discovered that Shelley is extremely Catholic, so we don't hold out much hope. Still, great fodder between the sheets.
Amy almost apologized for the last coupon -- she said that she was having a hard time coming up with six ideas. So out of desperation, she wrote this:
Good for one new thing —
of your choosing.
Her desperation turned out to be the best coupon of all -- the very definition of "good, giving and game." It was so open-ended that I was immediately hard as a rock (and damned uncomfortable there in our living room!) with the possibilities. It was like having my whole life pass in front of my eyes -- except that instead of my life it was all of the fantasies I've had for the two of us. And one of them was going to get fulfilled.
I couldn't thank Amy enough for this gift. It was by far my favorite Christmas present this year. And not just because it's going to provide for some great, messy, dirty sex, but because of how it speaks to her commitment to find our way through the tricky sexual imbalance we're experiencing.
This is gonna be fun.