Doug and Annie Brown act like a couple of crazy kids in the first throes of love. Lingering touches. Coy smiles. The sizzle when her dark eyes gaze into his deep blues. You’re half-thinking, “Get a room.” Actually they already have one—in fact, a 5-bedroom ranch house in Boulder, Colo., with a big yard and an airy kitchen where children’s artwork covers the cupboards, courtesy of two daughters, ages 9 and 5. The Browns, you see, have been married 14 years. How do they make it seem like 14 minutes? Look no further than the title of Doug’s new memoir: Just Do It.
It was a pact the pair made in 2006: They had intercourse at least once every 24 hours—for 101 straight days. “We kind of did it as a lark,” says Doug, 42. A Denver Post writer, he happened to tell his wife about the 100 Days Club, an unofficial group for people who’ve gone 2,400 sexless hours. “I said, ‘We should reverse that,'” recalls Annie, 41, and they threw in a 101st day for good measure.
When the Browns hatched their plan, they were living in Denver and hardly celibate, but not quite tearing up the sheets—they averaged three times a month, scarcely half the national figure of 66 times a year, reported in 2004 by the National Opinion Research Center. A challenge couldn’t hurt. Says Annie, a Dow Jones media analyst: “We started to think how much fun it would be to actually do this.” Do it they did—despite illness, kids crawling into their bed and days when they just weren’t in the mood. “The best thing,” says their physician, Dr. Lisa Davidson, “is that they fell in love all over again.”
The big countdown started Jan. 1, 2006. “The first week, she wanted to do a quickie,” Doug says. “I remember thinking, ‘A quickie—already?'” Annie turned their master bedroom into a “sex den,” draping the TV in tapestry, ditching family photos and adding scented candles. Covering their medical bases, the Browns checked in with Dr. Davidson, who supplied Annie with birth control pills, and Doug with the likes of Viagra. Midway, a crisis: Doug woke up at 5 a.m. with the room spinning. Good thing medication quelled his vertigo—Annie wasn’t giving him a pass. “It was like, ‘Sorry, dude, we have a job to do,'” she says.
Throughout their great sexperiment, he kept a journal, which morphed into Just Do It. They told their daughters (named Joni and Ginger in the book), “It’s about how much we love each other,” Annie says. Should folks try this at home? Only as an enhancement, not a cure, cautions sex therapist Clifford Penner, PhD: “This is for people with healthy marriages and healthy sex lives.”
As for the Browns, they feel closer than ever and now average six to eight trysts monthly. When the 101 days were up, though, they did go sexless for a month. “It was a bit like giving up chocolate for a time, then rediscovering it,” Annie says. “Like, ‘Damn, this is good.'”