When Charla Muller told her friends what she was giving her husband Brad for his 40th birthday, she was met with a variety of responses - none remotely positive.
One thought she might have been going through a mid-life crisis of her own when she came up with the idea. Another questioned her sanity, and yet another asked bluntly: 'Were you drunk when you thought of this?'
On the eve of Brad's birthday, Charla told him that his present was going to be sex with her every day for a year. She had wracked her brains to think of a gift that was original, intimate and - most importantly - memorable.
'I never wanted him to look back and ask himself: "Now, what was it Charla bought me for my 40th?"' she says. 'When I came up with the idea of daily sex for a year, I thought I'd hit the jackpot. What man wouldn't think that was the best present ever?'
'Then, to my horror, he declined the whole thing, saying that he didn't want me to feel that I had to have sex with him - like it was some sort of duty,' says Charla. 'He actually walked away from me, saying we would discuss it later. I was quite deflated.'
'But I was pleased with myself for seeing it through. We'd never have considered doing something like that before, but once we did, we realised it's not that difficult.'
And so it would continue for an entire year. So successful was the venture - the couple don't claim a 100 per cent success rate but say they had sex roughly 28 days a month for 12 months - that Charla, a feisty American from North Carolina, was persuaded to write a book on the subject, 365 Nights: A Memoir Of Intimacy.
In fact, most of her book isn't about sex at all, but about all the stuff that gets in the way of it for married couples - loading the dishwasher, work, night-time TV, body image, bouts of depression and the fact you need to shave your legs, but really can't be bothered. Whether you regard it as a funny book or a tragic one will probably pend on your domestic status.
A newly-married woman who always finds time for waxing might read it and laugh, declaring she will never become one of those sad souls who has to schedule sex in the way she schedules PTA meetings.
But one who has been wed for ten, 15, or 20 years and who has spent more than her fair share of 3ams consoling a sick child is more likely weep in recognition of her own experiences.
And even if offering her husband sex every day for a year was a flippant gesture - which she says it wasn't - it made Charla re-examine every aspect of a marriage she had believed was solid.
As she puts it: 'By doing this I really questioned everything I had assumed about my marriage and asked myself: "Was it really that good before?"
'The answer was that it couldn't have been, because the sex side of things had slipped into oblivion - and I had been guilty of allowing that to happen.
'I am not the only woman I know who somehow made a career of dodging sex with my nice husband. The trouble is that I didn't even admit that to myself until we were well into this process.
Ah, the gift that keeps on giving. Too bad with busy lives most couples can't squeak in a good nights sleep let alone think about spending those moments intimately.