KNOXVILLE, TN—Craig and Lisa Livorno, Knoxville residents who have been married for nine years, possess different ideas about what constitutes a healthy sex life.
"After almost 10 years together, we still make time for romance," said Lisa, who often equates cuddling and kissing with sex. "Barely a day goes by when we don't get a little intimate."
"My parents were so cold and stiff," Lisa continued. "Their sex life was practically nonexistent. Craig and I are the exact opposite. It's always, 'I love you, honey... Give me a goodbye kiss!'"
While Craig enjoys hugging Lisa and telling her that he loves her, he equates a healthy sex life with frequent sexual intercourse. The couple, on average, has sex once a week, which is not enough for Craig.
"Lisa and I are both to blame," said Craig, who is under the mistaken impression that his wife would also like to have sex more often. "You get caught up in your life and, before you know it, you can't even remember the last time you had sex. We both need to make more time."
Lisa and Craig agree that they should be more adventurous in the bedroom. Each, however, assumes that the other defines "adventure" the same way.
"I'd love to push things a little further, like experiment with leather restraints and maybe even try some anal sex," Craig said. "I'd definitely be into that."
Lisa is also eager to push the envelope, having recently read a Cosmopolitan article titled "25 Sizzling Sex Tips To Keep Your Husband Begging For More" that suggests candles, silk sheets, and flavored condoms.
"It says, 'A woman should not be afraid to wear sexy lingerie, talk dirty sometimes, or give her man a full body massage,'" said Lisa, reading aloud from the article while giggling nervously. "Some of the suggestions are a little out there, but a lot of it is very—how shall I say it?—intriguing."
Lisa said she believes that openness and honesty are crucial to enjoying a healthy sex life.
"So many other couples are afraid to talk about sex, but not us," Lisa said. "For example, I can say, 'George Clooney is so hot!' and Craig is totally fine with it."
In the spirit of kinkiness, Lisa said she encourages Craig to tell her his wildest fantasies and vice versa.
"I love it when Craig tells me about the crazy stuff he'd like to do," Lisa said. "It really turns me on. Once, he called me from work and said, 'I'd love for you to come by my office on your lunch break so we can do it on my desk.' I thought that was so sexy of him to say that! He loves telling me forbidden stuff like that—things we'd never actually do."
Craig, on the other hand, would like to act on some of his fantasies, a desire he erroneously assumed was implicit in telling Lisa about them.
"It would be cool, if the circumstances were right, to get together with another couple," Craig recently told Lisa. "Since we're so happy and secure, I thought a little 'swinging' might be good for us." Oblivious to her husband's seriousness, Lisa replied, "Ooh, that would be so wild! Can you imagine?"
"Sometimes, I think about renting a dirty movie," Lisa said. "You know, like an actual porno. I'm sure Craig has those kinds of filthy thoughts, too. We both like to do new things. It's what keeps a marriage interesting."
Like his wife, Craig is interested in renting pornography. Unlike his wife, however, he is also interested in videotaping themselves having sex; having Lisa "forget" to wear underwear under her skirt when they go out to dinner; penetrating Lisa doggy-style while she wears a French-maid outfit; receiving fellatio from her in an alley; having intercourse in a restaurant, movie theater, or public library; watching Lisa secretly seduce a male stranger in a bar and invite him back to a hotel room on the condition that her husband can watch; and inviting Allison, the couple's sexy 23-year-old neighbor, over for coffee, only to find out that she works as a stripper and would like to have some feedback on her act and could use a little help from Lisa getting her bra undone.