It was inevitable this topic was going to rear its horny head. I’ve been avoiding it, seeing as my folks, husband and friends read this blog and the topic is rather personal.
So, I’m going to make it general and not look at anyone in particular. Friend of a friend and all that.
Considering the act of intimacy takes less time than a load of washing we should be able to find the time and energy to schedule it in.
Sex. If a bloke was discussing it, the conversation would go something like this:
You getting any?
Nah. Want another beer?
Unfortunately for you, I am not a bloke so you must endure a lengthier and potentially juicier account of sex after children.
If you’re a parent, you’ve done it, at least once. When the result of that seedy / romantic / boozy / loving night was born, the sex probably dropped off a little. Or a lot.
It seems obvious that once you fall pregnant the expectations about your sex life will be adjusted. A cocktail of hormones staging a mutiny on libidos throws women completely out of whack. I’ve read many posts about randy women who can’t get enough during pregnancy with all those crazy chemicals running rampant through their bloodstream. Half their luck. And double their husband’s luck.
Something about a massive belly, raging indigestion and other children roaming the house just seemed to zap the drive for me, or should I say that friend of my friend. Maybe the lazy beached whale syndrome struck me down. My husband was willing to overlook the beached whale and was quite flexible and creative in his suggestions for ways to manoeuvre around the mass that was my pregnant body. He’s very charitable like that.
Admittedly, it is a little boring to talk about your sex life unless you are fifteen and find the words 'sex drive' and 'spicy' hilarious and exhilarating. Whether you like it or lump it, a decline in sex after children is, for most couples, a reality. At least for the first few weeks after the birth while the nether regions cower in fear, attempting to recuperate.
Did I say weeks? OK, so I meant months. The pleasure (or is it leisure?) centre is under reconstruction and possibly new management.
Those tiny creatures we call babies who wake constantly through the night and demand every fibre of our being, of which we give with much love and generosity. The same affection and adoration we previously adorned our partners is often transferred to our children, and so by the time we crawl into bed at night and roll over, we can barely manage a peck on the cheek for our loving partners.
Mother Guilt stretches to Wife Guilt where the sexual stagnation weighs on your mind. Everyone has needs, and this can, at times feel like yet another necessity of someone in the house you are not addressing. Naturally, women have desire and drive too but this often comes to a screeching halt when you are overloaded. Bills to pay, houses to clean, kids to feed, legs to shave and “you’re not coming within a country mile of me until my lady garden* is manicured” mindsets can all create obstacles to a pumping nightlife.
Nothing a live-in cleaner, chef, chauffeur, beautician and child psychologist couldn’t fix.
Fatigue? Get over it, we’re all tired. You just need to make sex a priority, right? But when you dream about sleep; when you think about how comfy your bed is all day and then your head hits that pillow, the idea of mustering enough energy to swing from the chandeliers, or simply get a leg over is exhausting. You may have just enough in reserve to pick up the Bed Snake Bat.
Considering the act of intimacy takes less time than a load of washing we should be able to find the time and energy to schedule it in. Something else to put in the diary.
Arranging date nights with the intention to have an uninterrupted conversation with your partner (remember those?), a nice dinner, which doesn’t involve anyone flicking peas or sticking beans up their nose, followed by a massage and an early to bed rendezvous is great in theory. Until one of the kids gets gastro or the husband gets invited to a bloke’s night at the pub, where he can no doubt discuss all the sex he isn’t getting.
We are told sex is an imperative part of a loving relationship. Tell that to the woman who gave birth not long ago and hasn’t quite got her head or her hoo-ha around the whole sex life revitalisation concept.
Body issues – ah, the enemy of a brilliant sex life! Lack of confidence in your slingshot body that has been stretched and slung back, unfortunately not always to your former self can dampen things in the bedroom. Most men, I am assured, wouldn’t give up some action because their partner’s body is not as cut as it used to be. In fact, such a shallow view is pretty disgraceful when you think about the amazing miracle of growing a baby. Try to convince the woman who has some stubborn kilos that won’t dissolve or the tell-tale train tracks across her belly that none of this matters. The fear of an overhead light whilst caught in a compromising position erases any positive pep talk previously carried out.
Breastfeeding singlets replace sexy lingerie. Romantic lighting and calm music are superseded by songs about Fruit Salad (yummy, yummy). Leaking bosoms and squeaky babies who make noises at crucial moments can kill the thrill in a millisecond. Older children who decide to come for a visit at inappropriate times with not an iota of warning make diving under covers an Olympic sport. How do we overcome these logistical problems? Do we ignore the baby’s cries for the few minutes it takes to complete the act? Do we learn to shut the door and teach the kids to knock? Are we in for a creative few years as we work around inquisitive minds and prying eyes?
Realigning libidos, scheduling time and storing energy to have a vibrant sex life after children are complicated factors that seem so simple. Losing spontaneity because you must organise things around children and their unpredictability can diminish prospects for a little vertical jogging, unless you take a positive angle on the changes to your romp opportunities. The adrenalin rush of a quickie, whilst children are napping or snatching a shower together with the door locked whilst the kids are babysat by the idiot box redefine an exciting sex life.
Sex after babies is possible. Apparently. I have three children to prove it.
How has your sex life changed since children? What tactics have you employed to get your skates back on in the bedroom rink? Comment on Kylie Orr's blog here.
* I must credit the wonderfully creative EK members who came up with this phrase, the “Lady Garden” which I find laugh-out-loud hilarious!