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30-Day Sex Challenge was a success, says couple

TAMPA — For Doug and Lorena Webber, having sex every day for a month means lots of long talks, restful nights of sleep and looks from giddy strangers.

The Safety Harbor couple gained instant fame for participating in an Ybor City church's 30-Day Sex Challenge and telling their story to the media. For a month, they and other members of Relevant Church vowed to try their darnedest to have sex every day. Single members, on the other hand, promised to forgo sex for the month.

Heading into Sunday's finish, the Webbers, without going into detail, say that, yes, they've met the challenge. And, yes, their relationship has improved, as church leaders said it would.

''It's been great,'' Doug said. "We're definitely sleeping better, and it's really brought us together as a couple. I'm surprised it worked as good as it did.''

The Webbers, who have a toddler and a newborn, knew that having daily sex for a month would be difficult. What they didn't expect was trying to have sex every day when your phone is ringing off the hook with interview requests and calls from long-lost friends.

Doug admits he felt like he was in a Saturday Night Live skit when he saw his picture for the first time plastered on a tbt* story about the challenge. Later, he laughed when his favorite barista said: "Man, I'm proud of you.''

And it didn't stop there. His local Starbucks offered him a daily jolt of java (which he politely declined), and a stranger asked for his autograph. Friends from his Pennsylvania hometown contacted him for the first time in years.

"I didn't know how shocked people would be,'' Doug said.

A few weeks since the buzz subsided, the Webbers have no regrets, except maybe that the message got muddled in all the excitement over having daily sex. Their marriage has gone from good to great, and they're enjoying life more. Doug learned that Lorena's top need is spending time together. Lorena learned that Doug's top need is openness and honesty.

"We're finding things out about each other that we didn't know,'' he said. "It's really brought us together as a couple.''

The same goes for Paul Wirth, the pastor at Relevant Church. He and his wife of 16 years, Susie, took the challenge to refocus their relationship and inspire others, using the Bible as their guide.

Since the Feb. 17 launch, Wirth has done about 40 radio and TV interviews from as far away as Australia, Colombia and Ireland.

Wirth received so many calls that, at one point, he had to turn off his phone. After all, he and his wife had other business to attend to.

So how have they done?

"I can't kiss and tell," he said.

FAST FACTS

Relevant Church

Pastor Paul Wirth closes the 30-Day Sex Challenge Sunday with the message, "Building Stamina,'' on how to turn the challenge into a lifestyle. Services are at
10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. at the Italian Club in Ybor City, 1731 E Seventh Ave. Call (813) 242-4800 or go to www.relevantchurch.com.

30-Day Sex Challenge was a success, says couple 03/13/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 19, 2008 4:44pm]

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