5 Reasons Sex Is Better After Kids

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I’ve read enough magazine articles and blog posts — and watched enough sitcoms — to know that, for a lot of couples, sex just isn’t the same after becoming parents. I completely agree. For my husband and me, our sex life now looks nothing like it did pre-babies. I would argue, though, that it’s even better now than it was before.

Here’s why:

1. Any time can be sexy time. Before kids, having sex was an event. Between the massage and the foreplay and the always trying to look good, it was exhausting. It was the most enjoyable type of tiring, but tiring nonetheless.

Now, all it takes is seven free minutes and an Ed Sheeran song on repeat. We know how to take care of business so that neither one of us is so fatigued after that we require a nap. It’s a good thing, too, because when Bubble Guppies is over, we’ve got to be parents again.

2. You’re more comfortable with your body (or you just don’t care). It’s ironic that I’m more comfortable now, with my floppy, stretch-marked body, than I was before having kids, when I was thinner and in shape and lacking a sexy c-section scar. Pre-kids, I preferred to make love after dark with the lights off and, despite the dim lighting, I made sure to shave my legs often.

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These days, I could care less about how light the room is. If both kids are napping at 1 p.m., you can bet we’re going to take advantage. And either my husband doesn’t notice the two-week-old stubble on my legs, or he’s willing to take what he can get.

3. You don’t care who knows. Years ago, when my husband and I were first married, we were out one night with some friends and some friends of friends. We got up to leave and, since it was fairly early in the evening, one of the guys I didn’t know said, “Y’all are going home to do it, aren’t you?”

I’m sure my face turned all kinds of red — mostly because he was right — but I just replied, “I’m not entirely sure who you are.” I was horrified that all of the people at the table knew — or would even think — that we were headed home to have sex.

Fast forward to the year after our first child was born. We were on a cruise with my husband’s entire extended family. Our in-laws volunteered to watch our son, so we didn’t waste time getting naked and under the covers. Things were heating up when the door to our cabin popped open. My father-in-law stood there, realization surely dawning, before quickly closing the door behind him.

It was an incident that, only a couple years before, would have ruined the mood and made it difficult for me to make eye contact with my husband’s dad ever again. Since we have kids, though, my husband and I just shared a horrified laugh and got back to business.

4. You’re no longer scared. For childless newlyweds, a pregnancy scare was pretty much the epitome of worst-case scenario. We were hanging out with friends once and the wife casually mentioned antibiotics and birth control. My heart immediately began to beat double-time because I was, at that very moment, taking antibiotics. And birth control pills. It was a tense several days before I got my period and we knew we were “safe.”

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After three pregnancies and two kids, we aren’t scared anymore. That’s thanks, in part, to being older and wiser when it comes to knowing my our way around birth control. But mostly it’s due to the fact that we’ve had babies. Back in the newlywed days, we both knew we were wholly unprepared for parenthood. Now that we are parents, we know we don’t suck at it, so pregnancy is no longer a terrifying prospect.

5. It’s cheaper. Pre-kid supplies: lingerie, candles, flavored body chocolates and oils. Post-baby necessities: … it turns out that both partners can be fully satisfied without all the extras. Before, we “needed” lingerie; now, I just flash a boob and my husband’s good to go. Before, we had music to set the mood; now, we just try to block out the sound of our daughter singing the alphabet as she falls asleep in her bed.

Our current routine might not win any awards for romance, but it’s definitely easier on our bank account. Plus, on the rare occasion that I do squeeze back into my pre-pregnancy lingerie, my husband practically licks his lips like a starving animal.

Sure, sex is different now that we have kids. There are definitely days when we long for the spontaneity we had before. But the years and the pregnancies and the kids have brought us together, to a new level of intimacy, that we never would have reached otherwise.

Related post: The Five Types of Sex Parents With Young Kids Have

Top 10 Real Life Mom Fantasies

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Remember when your fantasies involved anything about your man’s body? And not just his body moving to the fridge to get you out some ice cream before watching Mad Men together? Me either. Welcome, friends, to the new normal. Try to contain yourself, you little sexpot.

1. Your husband comes home driving a new minivan. “What happened to the Audi?” you ask breathily. Your husband gazes steadily into your eyes and your knees wobble. “I realized you were right and I was acting like a child. I’m ready to grow up now,” he declares, in a take-charge voice. You kiss for six seconds until your toddler defecates in his diaper. “I hope you put the carseats in right or the kids may die,” you cheekily remark.

2. Your husband’s cell phone rings during dinner. He glances at it and puts it back in his pocket. “Who was that?” you huskily inquire. “My boss,” states your husband casually. “He can wait, this is family time. Sometimes I think you’re right and he’s a textbook narcissist.” You feel desire surge through your body, then recede as you serve the broccoli.

3. Your mom calls the landline, which you only purchased because she kept bringing up scenarios involving power outages and your children in danger with no way to call for help. Your husband picks up. His face bursts into a radiant smile. “Maureen!” he delightedly greets her. “Why haven’t you called more lately? I had it on my calendar to check in with you this week if we didn’t hear from you. How’s your landlord treating you, that bastard?” You swoon on your way upstairs so you don’t have to get on the phone.

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4. ”Why don’t we spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with your family?” your husband asks with a sensual smile. “I’ve realized that my mom undermines you at every turn, and it makes the holidays so stressful.” You reach for each other, forgetting that you’re currently nursing your 1 year old, who swats at Daddy’s face distractedly without unlatching.

5. “Damn, woman!” your husband growls in a gravelly baritone. “How did I get lucky enough to get a woman who’s within 50 pounds of her target BMI after raising two kids? And you also like having sex 3-4 times a month. You’re my fantasy woman.” You bat your eyes and whisper, “Don’t forget I wore lingerie to conceive our third grader.” He reaches for you, but your Crest White Strips are in.

6. “I can’t wait till the Real Housewives premiere tonight!” your husband says, with a twinkle in his eye. “I’ll do bedtime so you can watch in real time and tweet about it. Here, let me pour you a glass of rose without mocking your choice of beverage.” You feel your nipples hardening. Oh, must be time to nurse again.

7. “God, I love reheated leftover casseroles,” your husband exclaims with a boyish grin. “It adds a frisson of excitement to never know if the inside will be ice cold or luke warm.” You shake your finger at him playfully. “Not tonight, stud. The kids actually finished it before you got home. Would you like me to pour you some Chex?” He butterfly kisses the nape of your neck while you realizes there’s actually only Fiber One left. His smoldering gaze thanks you for caring how much roughage he ingests.

8. “Are those new underwear?” your husband inquires with barely restrained passion. “Why no,” you giggle flirtatiously. “Don’t you remember? They are maternity underwear and they fit again since I gained a couple of pounds.” “You’re driving me crazy,” your husband explodes, grabbing your ass, and then re-grabbing it to accommodate the rest of it.

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9. “What do you want to do for a second career?” asks your husband inquisitively. “You’re too intellectually gifted to go back to your old job. If I got a second job I am sure I could subsidize you going back for your MFA.” You stroke his face and say, “That’s so thoughtful. We have no time to kiss because Madison is on the potty doing number two.”

10. “What’s this?” you exclaim, upon seeing your husband stride into the house purposefully, holding a bag from Rite Aid. “This is the wall calendar that you’re always talking about,” your husband responds with a resolute set of his jaw. “I also purchased markers so we can color code our activities and be sure that we’re always on the same page. When we forgot about Holden’s birthday party last weekend, it made me realize that we need to be more organized if we want to raise secure and happy children.” You catch your breath and bite your lip. Later that evening, you have missionary style intercourse upstairs in bed with the lights out. Maybe not that evening, actually, but by the end of the week. Definitely before the month is out.

Related post: 5 Reasons Why Moms Shouldn’t Take Sex Advice From Magazines

The 5 Types of Sex Parents With Young Kids Have

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After reading this article, I felt that, although many types of sex were chronicled, some key ones were left out. There was a particular deficit in documenting the varieties of sex that are most popular in the large, fatigued population of parents with small kids. So what kind of sex are parents with young kids having?

1. The-Baby-Is-Sleeping Sex. In this torrid form of sexual union, one partner, usually the wife, puts the baby down for his nap and is aware that there is an uninterrupted span of 45 minutes to be made use of until said baby will ear-splittingly announce that he is awake again. The wife feels guilty because she cannot remember the last time she and her husband made love, or even eye contact, and therefore she initiates with the arousing, melodious words, “Come on, he’s only going to be asleep for another 43 minutes and I also have to pump before he wakes up.” Her husband, eager Casanova that he is, responds by saying, either “Great!  Let’s go!” or, “Well if you don’t really want to, whatever,” based upon whether or not he wishes to cause a Tremendous Fight in which his wife decries his passive aggressive nature and threatens to Never Goddamn Try Again.

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2. Half Sex. This hot sexy form of lovemaking is a philosophical riddle.  How can something be only half sex?  Well, grasshopper, I am referring to that arousing moment when it becomes awkwardly evident that one partner is really, really, really, not into having sex, to the point that it is reminiscent of the underrated cinematic triumph Lars and the Real Girl.  In fact, in this unfortunate circumstance, only one half of the couple can even be said with any veracity to be having sex at all. This is usually the man, who later, in a paroxysm of bitterness and resentment, stays up until the wee hours Google stalking his hot high school ex-girlfriend who used to “really like making [him] happy.”

3. Co-sleeping Sex. Watch out Jenna Jameson, you may have a lot of hot sexual experiences under your belt (no pun intended!), but even you may not have been up to executing this steamy, and technically challenging, carnal fantasy.  In this triple X rated experience (one X for each week the couple has been celibate prior to this encounter), a co-sleeping couple stealthily sneaks out of their bed while baby is still sleeping in it, and, so as not to disturb him, either has sex on the floor near the bed in a nest of bedding, or adjourns to a different room of the house, such as the living room. During this episode of unbridled passion, both partners are sure to be quick and silent so as not to wake baby or, worse, to fail to hear him pick this moment to learn how to roll out of the bed. This entire episode is so transcendentally sexy that it’s hard to even type it without becoming excited (for the day that we have all our kids in their own beds).

4. Birthday Sex. Obviously, I am referring to the guy’s birthday here, because often, the mother of small children would like her birthday present to be a signed (in blood) and notarized contract stating that no sex will be asked for during the entire month preceding her birthday. But, for her husband’s birthday, the wife will put on some lingerie that she doesn’t mind getting stained by breastmilk, and try to approximate a simulacrum of an enthusiastic sexual partner (meaning, she may make some noises that aren’t “Shhh”). Her husband, if he is adept at self-deception, will respond accordingly. Then the baby wakes up.

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5. Actual Sex. Once in a blue moon, when all the children are asleep and you are feeling especially close (possibly because your in-laws have just visited so it is the furthest point from their next visit, or because you leafed through old photo albums that made you remember how hot you thought your spouse was when you first met), actual sex will transpire. Although you have one ear out for the baby monitor, you are able to get into the moment and connect with your partner sexually, emotionally, and non-parentally. Relish this experience, because it is as rare as a sighting of a unicorn, although much more magical.

If you disagree with these descriptions, either you need to bottle and sell whatever neurotransmitters you have racing around your brain, or you’re lying. Don’t worry, things will improve at some point. Just in time for menopause. Ha ha! (Let’s pretend I’m joking for all of our mental health.)

Related post: The Five Stages of Parents’ Sex Life

5 Ways to Please Your Man! (Or, Not)

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I have come across a few “5 Ways to Please Your Man” articles recently which, more than anything, leave me rolling my eyes instead of feeling inspired. Here’s how the article suggestions would go down in my house…

Article suggestion #1: Greet him at the door wearing an apron and high heels when he gets home from work.

What really happensPut kids to bed early and assume the attire. The only apron you can find says, “I’m not aging; I’m marinating,” but it will do. And you haven’t worn sexy heals since before your first child was born, so you find yourself hunched over boxes, digging through basement storage wearing nothing but an apron. Your four-year-old sneaks out of bed, finds you and announces, “Eeeweee! Mom’s booty!”

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Fast-forward to husband gets home late to find “just marinating” wife passed out on the couch, waiting for him with a bag of potato chips on her chest and one navy blue/one black high heel.

Article suggestion #2: Go to his work at lunchtime wearing nothing but a trench coat and high heels; surprise him in his office and lock the door behind you.

What really happens: Your 20 year old babysitter and 65 year old retired neighbor scratch their heads as you leave the house looking like inspector gadget in July. Kids whine, ” I wanna dress up like Perry the Platypus too!”

When you finally get to husband’s work, the gate security guard tells you he needs to search your jacket and bag before giving you a visitors pass. You turn cherry-red and make a beeline back to the minivan.

Article suggestion #3: Send him a sexy, seductive selfie. Bonus points for nipple.

What really happens: Google “permanency of text messages” and contemplate appropriateness of sending a sext to husband’s work cell. Nothing says sexy like locking yourself in the bathroom, experimenting with seductive pouts and poses while ignoring children’s banging on the door. And try not to slip in the puddle of pee surrounding the toilet. You finally decide to just not include your face.

Husband replies a few hours later to boob-pic: “Did Johnny get another spider bite? Looks bad this time.”

Article suggestion #4: Sit on his lap, look lovingly in his eyes and tell him he is your hero and the man of your dreams.

What really happens: As you attempt to sit on his lap, husband keeps moving over on the couch to make room for you. Finally you announce, “I’m trying to sit on your lap,” to which he replies “why? We have a big couch that we can all fit on.”

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Eavesdropping two-year old gets great idea and claims territory on daddy’s lap. Two additional kids squeezed in-between you, so you lean across two little heads and whisper, “you’re my hero” into husband’s ear.

He scratches his ear and says, “Huh?” Oh, okay,” while switching the Netflix to the Superman cartoon.

Article suggestion #5: Make a reservation at his favorite restaurant and tell him half-way through the meal that you’re not wearing any panties.

What really happens: Hmmm…His favorite restaurant? You contemplate the $3/slice pizza place and the local fast-food place with the play area, but then remember you will be kid-free.

After the salad course, you lean close to your husband and whisper, “I’m not wearing any underwear.” He informs you of the spinach in your teeth and asks, “Oh, are we running low on clean laundry?”

You each have two glasses of wine, not enough to impair your driving, but enough to help you pass out with your mouth hanging wide open before your head hits the pillow…(right after you’ve gotten into your comfie draw-string PJs and back into your booty-covering undies.)

Related post: Why You Should Say Yes Tonight

The Truth About Sex After Kids

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People like to joke that once you have kids, you stop having sex.

Obviously this isn’t true, or there would be no such thing as younger siblings or vasectomy parties. (Yes, I contemplated throwing my husband a party to commemorate his vasectomy. I am certain this is actually a thing people do, and I’m not just a lunatic. There are menses parties, for god’s sake!) I sometimes think this is a myth created by people who don’t want to imagine that their parents actually had sex for pleasure on a regular basis.

Movies like “Date Night” perpetuate this myth, with hilarious scenes like the mouthguard incident, or the look of shock on Tina Fey’s face when her friend says she’s getting divorced in part because she and her husband are only having sex two or three times a week. And yeah, I laughed my ass off, because I’d recently had twins and my husband and I were living in shifts in order to take care of two sets of dirty diapers and whatnot 24 hours a day, and yeah, we weren’t having sex every night. Or week. Or month. But judging all of parenthood by the first six months is like judging all baseball teams by the Cubs, or judging all of “Up” by the first ten minutes.

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So I’m going to set the record straight.

Sex is a minefield when you’re starting a relationship. First off, there’s the awkwardness factor of attempting to move in concert with another person in such a way that both of you can avoid making strange and humiliating noises (and not just with your mouths), and trying to look sexy while you do it. Then there’s the goodie-bag of body issues most of us go into sexual relationships with, making things that much harder by necessitating a completely dark or poorly lit sex environment. On top of that, there’s shame based indoctrination that tells men they’re never big enough and they don’t “last long enough,” and tells women they should be capable of half a dozen orgasms pretty much all on their own with no help, or that they’re not really supposed to like sex to begin with, depending on their cultural backgrounds.

Basically, until you get comfortable with your partner, sex is kind of… awful.

That’s not to say it can’t still feel great. Because let’s be honest, most of the time it does. But parts of it are embarrassing and confusing and involve lots of talks about what it all means, and whether you’re having enough of it, and you avoid the conversations that might actually make it better.

After kids? Forget all of that. Sex after kids is completely different.

Why?

Because you have completely lost all sense of shame or embarrassment towards your body and what it does. The fears you used to have about whether or not he’ll stop liking you if he notices your fat stomach are replaced by the knowledge that this person watched you screaming in pain while you carried multiple human beings around inside of you, with random parts swelling up and growing hair no human should grow and with a wild hormonal glint in your eyes that threatened actual physical violence, and you know what? They still love you!

So fuck it!

Once the realization that your partner loves your body and what it does, regardless of whatyou think of it, really hits?

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The sex is incomparably better. You can simply ask for what you like. You can explore fetishes and kinks and preferences, even ones that previously embarrassed you, because nothing embarrasses you anymore. Not when you’ve both sat staring at each other at the crack of dawn, covered in the same infant’s vomit and feces. Not when you’ve had more conversations than you care to count about the kids’ diarrhea and whether or not the shits you’re both experiencing indicate a virus, something psychosomatic, or yet another side effect of prolonged fatigue. Not when you’ve been responsible for popping each others’ back pimples, harping on each other to get to the gym, and sitting on the couch after the children are FINALLY asleep, each eating your own entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s. Once you hit that point, the sex is epic.

And that makes people feel icky. To know their birth heralded in a new and exciting era in boning for their parents is beyond uncomfortable.

So stop making it about them already, and make it about you.

All that said, there are still some deep truths when it comes to the levels of exhaustion a couple with children experiences at the end of the day. There’s nothing quite like going to bed utterly exhausted and covered in four people’s fluids to make you NOT want to be covered in another variety.

There are levels of bone weary tired that only appear when a kid woke you up at three in the morning the night before because they had a hangnail, and then another woke you up at dawn because you promised they could have scrambled eggs for breakfast. SCRAMBLED EGGS. It’s not like you need an extra hour to prepare them, for God’s sake! Follow that with a whole day of wrangling into carseats, evacuating from car seats, pushing loaded strollers, doling out snacks and keeping tabs on space cadet kids who forget to follow you in the middle of a park because they thought they heard a dog somewhere, and see how you feel.

That kind of exhaustion only comes with having children; or providing instructions to astronauts in a busted space ship for what to do to keep their air breathable until they can make their descent back through Earth’s atmosphere.

So when it comes to post child sex there are two varieties, and for your reading pleasure I will sum them up with the following entirely theoretical definitely not real certainly not from me conversations:

“Hey, remember that thing you did the other night that made me see God while I was orgasming? Can you do that again, only this time can I be blindfolded and can you use some ice?”

“Sure! Only you have to promise that tomorrow you’ll do that other thing. Twice. And I want you to wear that thing we got on Valentine’s Day while you do it the second time.”

“Do we have to wait until tomorrow? Can we do it now?”
“Yes please!”

“I’m so horny. But I’m soooooooo tiiiiiiiired.”

“If you decide you’re more horny than tired, I can rally.”

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“You can rally? Okay… these pajama pants have a hole in the crotch. How about I just lie here and you make this happen through the hole in my pants, and we call it a night?”

“I’m not doing that.”

“Probably for the best. That would make the laundry extra gross.”

snooooore

So the truth is, it’s inconsistent. Like almost everything in life. But it’s not the sad, exhausted, infrequent joke it’s made out to be.

Which is why vasectomy parties should totally be a thing.

Go get your freak on, people with kids. You’ve earned it.

Related post: The Five Stages of Parents’ Sex Life