"I love my wife. I think she's beautiful, but she doesn't want to have sex with me any longer," says Ben, who has been married to Christy for four years. "I want to have sex with her every day."
"I'm perfectly fine with sex three or four times a month," says Christy. "I'm having an extremely hard time with Ben seeing me naked since my second child. I've had a hard time losing weight."
Ben came up with a solution. He created a fantasy sex menu called Chez Christy, in which Ben pays Christy for certain sex acts. "When I want sex, I order it off the menu," says Ben.
Some entrees include, a Waterfall (sex in the shower, $5), a Half and Half (oral sex followed by intercourse, $10), a Short Order (a quickie, $5) and Smooth Sailing (shaving each other, $15).
"The Fantastic Dress menu item is when Christy will dress up in an outfit of my choice," says Ben.
"I get $50 for Sausage with Cream Sauce — oral sex," says Christy.
"Rump Roast is the most expensive item," says Ben. "It costs $100. Definitely worth the money."
"You can guess what that means. I absolutely hate the Rump Roast," she says. "I would not do the Rump Roast unless Ben paid for it. Ben has been known to beg for sex. If I'm not in the mood for one of the orders from the menu, then I will either negotiate for a higher price, or I will close the restaurant."
Now, the couple wonders if their arrangement is harmful to their relationship. "I feel like I'm treating Christy like a prostitute," says Ben. "Christy has even spoken about getting one of her girlfriends to service me sexually."
"When Ben pays me, he leaves it by the nightstand before he leaves for work. There have been times that I've gone in the shower and just cried," she says. "I don't feel that I'm performing like a wife should."
"Dr. Phil, this menu started as a joke, but now it's gone too far. Is there anything that we can do to go back to the way things were?" asks Ben.
"You're working too cheap, for one thing," jokes Dr. Phil.
"Right now, he's in graduate school, and I'm working with what I've got. That's what you say to do, work with what you've got," says Christy.
"How often do you order from the menu?" asks Dr. Phil.
"As often as she'll let me," says Ben. "We call it Chez Christy because it's her restaurant. She determines whether or not it's open."
Christy explains that they even entertained the idea of getting her a store sign that says "Open" or "Closed."
"This is illegal in some states," jokes Dr. Phil. He asks how the menu concept got started.
Ben explains, "We sat down and started talking about the price and schedule, and it's really just how often she would like to perform certain acts. She set the pricing."
"Some of these jump up real high," observes Dr. Phil. "It goes from $2 for a Food Platter — what the hell is that?"
"Food play during sex. That would be like a surcharge that would be added on to something else," says Ben.
"Like at Valentine's Day, he got strawberries and chocolate, stuff like that. We're not that freaky," explains Christy, adding that there are also surcharges if Ben begs or if it's more than three times a week. "And if I have to take a shower after, well, then I have to use my favorite shower gel. I might have to wash my hair. I mean, there's extra for that. I'm not wasting that stuff."
"And this goes all the way to $100. And $100 is Rump Roast."
"Yeah, needless to say he doesn't get that very often, but I don't get that money very often either," says Christy, laughing.
"So, your question is what?" asks Dr. Phil.
"How can I make more money? No, I'm just kidding," jokes Christy.
"I was this close to being a lawyer," quips Dr. Phil. He brings up the fact that Christy doesn't like the sex menu anymore. "Have you just lost the desire?"
"We have two kids under 3. Ben's in school right now, he's getting ready to graduate. So, by the end of the day, he's been at school all day, I've been chasing around our little soldiers, as I like to call them, and so, sex is just one more thing that I need to cross off, like making sure the boys have their naps, making sure I've gotten the laundry done, making sure I've done the dishes. It's just easier to say, 'OK, I'll do this, but this is what it's going to cost you,' or 'I'll do this, but tomorrow's Easter, and I need a new dress.' That way we're both winning," says Christy.
"Well, what's the problem then?" asks Dr. Phil.
"I don't know. It's just not working for me anymore," she says.
"OK, then you need to change it. Here's the thing. Relationships are negotiated, and sex within a relationship is negotiated," says Dr. Phil. "To have a husband and wife that have the same level of sex drive at the same time, or the same desires at the same time, or the same
He tells Ben that he might want to think about inspiring Christy to be sexually motivated, rather than paying her. "It would seem to me to be a little impersonal. It just seems to take the spark out of it. It seems to kind of depersonalize it. This can actually be a fun thing if it wasn't bothering you, but because it's now bothering you, you need to change it and go to something else."
Dr. Phil also suggests that Ben try to decompress Christy after her hard day of chasing after two little kids. "If you talk to men about what is romantic, they say candy, flowers, dinner, candlelight. Do you know what woman say? 'He did the dishes. He bathed the kids. He put them to bed.' Those are the things that sometimes women tell me is really romantic because it's a gift, it improves the quality of her life, it gives her something back, and she says, 'That's a loving thing to do. I want to reciprocate.' I'm saying, take the monetary out of it, and see if you can just get into some mutual support."