Uh, what sex? Any parents here doubling up in laughter (or tears) at the idea of great (or any) sex, post-kids? Whether you are a new parent wondering how second babies are made, going through a dry spell, or currently going through a romping good phase between the sheets (yay for this!), there’s always room to work towards better sex with your partner.
Trust us, it’s worth it not to push this to the bottom of your priorities. Let’s get “working towards a better sex life” on board your list of 2022 goals! Here are some tips that may help:
1. Schedule sex
We all know it’s just not realistic to be in the mood when you’ve been playing naggy mum (or dad) all day long, or after drained from a long week at work. Enter the diary, (and some useful apps) to help you schedule and plan that “after-hours” meeting between you and your partner.
As unsexy as it might sound, scheduled sex is no mood killer. In fact, according to sex and relationship psychotherapist Tammy Nelson, Ph.D., anticipatory eroticism is probably one of the biggest turn-ons. Build up the anticipation throughout the day. Send racy texts, sexy selfies, and little hints of what is to come (pun intended). It’s likely the two of you won’t be able to get your hands off each other when it’s time to get down and dirty!
2. Update your idea of foreplay
Try not to get hung up on vaginal sex being the only sex. Those must-reach end goals we often subject ourselves to? Out the window, please! Remember days when pure kissing alone could lead to the best sensations and feelings? Expectation-free foreplay and outercourse can be even more arousing and satisfying as an end in itself.
There are tons of ways on how fun the ‘everything but’ can be. Take advantage of fingers, mouth, breath, and even the clothes you are wearing, and make the most of going slow (no need to rush to get the deed done before your kid knocks on the door!).
3. Get out of the house (or room)
If it’s possible, get someone to help watch the kids for a night, and head for a romantic staycation. Sex outside the home can be more enjoyable when you’re not entertaining constant worries about the household – plus, it can lend a sense of appreciated novelty to shake up the familiar. Go for it (without having to worry about waking the baby up!).
At other times when you’re housebound, get creative with your space and go beyond the bedroom. You have the kitchen, bathroom (the running water is an awesome damper for any sounds, by the way), laundry room, dining table, car… you get the picture!
3. Work with what you have
Sometimes, we’ve just got to embrace the situation we’re in as parents. Even with limited time, sleep deprivation, and needy kids, sex doesn’t have to take the backseat. Turn the constraints into games and fun challenges. Light sleepers in the house? Turn the fact that you can’t make a sound into a game.
Take advantage of moments throughout the week where you can sneak in some sexy time too. Those precious nap hours and screen time (worth any screen quota you may have set!) are perfect windows for some perk-me-up quickies. Trust us – the laundry can wait!
4. Remember that the mental feeds the physical
We don’t often feel very confident post-baby, with leaky breasts, a flabby belly, and a new body to learn to love. Be honest with your spouse. Opening up and being vulnerable allows for emotional connection, an important precursor for good sex. Building connection and intimacy are key to any relationship.
As with all things too, your mental state affects your sex life – and vice versa. Don’t get pressured by the idea that more is always better. Instead, aim for more emotionally healthy, pleasurable sex. A satisfying sex life and a warm, interpersonal climate can matter more in marital satisfaction than having sex frequently.