Blame it on better careers, longer hours, total exhaustion, familiarity and the birth of your next generation – yup. A sexual dry spell is upon you. For some, sex after kids gets better and they have the finances and domestic help to make their couple getaways a more-easily accomplished reality. But for the majority of folks, it’s a real struggle. Here are some pointers on how to have a sex more than once in a blue moon.
1. Admit it and start talking about it
It’s no secret that a healthy sex life helps bolster a union. But the last thing a parent wants to think or talk about is sex when they're exhausted and when they've now gotten used to talking about the usual suspects — paying the bills, new bills, kid schedules, picky eaters, how best to discipline them (aka to cane or not to cane), how to get them to do a lot of homework without losing their childhood or ability to still see the world as innocent little kids. But you must.
You may not have the energy or be in the mood for sex but you have to talk about why, what’s changed and what you’d still like to still stay the same. It’s not an easy conversation to initiate. It may even feel weird. Start with a wish list then figure out what help you can get to help check some of the items off your list.
2. Make a plan
Get on the same page. Try to have a few similar sex goals. Be enthusiastic about trying to bring it back to a time and place when sex was good and not dreaded by the both of you. Rethink the concept of date night: Forget fancy dining or wallet-thinning experiences; instead, have your kids do a sleepover at a friend’s or Grandma’s and do date night right at home.
If you’re lucky enough to have kids that sleep early, then have a little aperitif (as strong or as light as you like), or just snuggle up to each other, open a pack of your favorite junk food (prawn crackers, salted plums, whatever sweetens the time together) and watch a movie or news together. Arms touching are a must.
If it’s too hot for human heat, turn on the air con so that sitting next to each other won’t be such a sweat fest. Humidity and heat have a real dampening effect on desiring intimacy so use the cooling aids available to you. There's no better time to pay for electricity than these times.
3. Tell the kids that it’s natural for parental PDA
How often have your heard your kids scream “eeewww” when they see Cinderella kiss Prince Charming? Yup, it’s part of the growing-up process. But you can help shape their views of what is a good level of couple intimacy that can bolster a happy marriage. Tell them it’s natural for Mum and Dad to be loving, just as it’s natural for parents to demonstrate love and affection to the kids. Use every opportunity to reinforce that kindness and physical acts of love (giving, physical touch) should be second nature in a happy family. Now, go turn up your heat.
4. Make each time count
It doesn’t have to be something that takes months in the making and it doesn’t have to break the bank. For starters, when you wake up in the morning, don’t just “hit the jackpot”. Stroke your partner’s hair, hug him a little before diving in. Home from work and done with dinner? Be spontaneous. Get in the car, park somewhere. If you feel that making out and sex in a car is past its prime, then forget the embarrassment, use your hard-earned cash and check in to a motel or hotel.
Rediscover sex on the sofa, midnight trysts on the kitchen counter top, far away from bedroom ears. Don’t wear old comfy old shorts and tees to bed. Get new girly ones. Just change it up a little and your sex life could get a much needed jump start. Above all, commit to flirty conversations. Never just be partners in crime for the sake of running a home. Remember that laughter and sexual tension bonds. Aim to reinvent the good ole days.
5. Lock your bedroom door
Do you cringe when you think of the kids seeing you share a kiss? Do you worry that the kids will hear you in the middle of? How does one have sex when kids still live at home? Tough doesn't even begin to describe it.
Most parents find it an absolute impossibility to throw sex into the equation after a baby is born. They think it gets better as the baby demands less attention and grows up but slowly discover the that connecting intimately as a parent is more a concept than a reality.
So invest in a lock for your bedroom if you don't have one. Make a thick-fonted "BUSY" sign and use it. It can also be a laminated picture of two puppies playing or simply a big purple bow hanging from your door knob. Tell them that when the sign is up, important things are happening and that "DO NOT DISTURB" must be strictly observed until the door opens again. Easier said than done? For sure. In the meanwhile, keep your clothes near your bedside and keep trying.
6. Make the kids sleep in their own beds
If you have young kids, you'll know they will snuggle and sleep with you. They can't help it. They feel safe and secure and it's not easy to break this natural need. But do figure out when they could and should start sleeping (and staying) in their own beds so that you can start to reconnect again as man and woman. If you need a solution that woks for both age groups, consider letting the kids fall sleep in your bed then bring them back to their bed when they're comfortably in REM sleep.
7. Agree on a big person lights out time
Big folks need an agreed lights out time as well. Barring that, one of you will forever be surfing the news on his phone and the other will be flipping through fashion magazines or replying to work emails until exhaustion pushes you both over.
8. Bring out the nostalgia
Have your parents ever said: "Don't always talk about the kids?" Well, grandpa and grandma are right. Sex isn't just about opportunity. It's about reconnecting with your partner. And this doesn't happen if you primarily talk about the kids. Find the time. Even if only for 10-15 minutes. Look through old letters and pictures. Remind yourselves of when you were younger and in love. Talk about adult stuff.
Create new path connectors with your mate - hug or a quick kiss when you see each other after work will get you used to a minimal level of intimacy. Be sweet - bring him a glass of ice water with dinner, make her a hot cup of Milo before winding down for the evening. Help him hang his towel (if it's not something you usually do). Ask nicely for his help to take out the trash, help do a grocery run without you. Jointly massage each other's tired feet or back. It may sound contrite and boring but little acts of love and kindness go a long way and rebuild tenderness in a long term relationship.
9. Remember to be a woman
And, hopefully the rest will take care of itself. You see, men like helping ladies, not power rangers. It is what it is - men like women who don't constant challenge their authority or nag them to death. So ladies, you can still be yourself, the art is all in the delivery. When you try to be feminine and put the lady back in woman, little miracles can happen. He will start to take notice of you in ways that only happened a long time ago. Flames can be ignited.
10. Above all, be realistic
Life is about change. And change can be harsh. Free willy sex usually becomes a figment of the past after the kids come. And, sex on the fly or on the cheap at the back of the car is something most folks wouldn't dream of once you've left your back packing days behind you. Perhaps you've now experienced that neck twist that resulted in a neck spasm and you now know that cramping into tight spaces may mean you won't be able to untangle yourself out of that vertical leg split. Worse, you might hit the jackpot and have an unwelcome body-numbing muscle spam if contorted in a recently unfamiliar position for too long. Don't believe it? Watch Hot in Cleveland and give your funny bone a good awakening.