Why You Should Say Yes Tonight

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It took you two hours to get the kids to sleep.

There were glasses of water fetched, imaginary flies pretend swatted, three stories read and everyone was tucked in –begrudgingly. But not for long. Because then there was the crying and screaming (you) and the ultimatums (them). The bribes. Empty threats were made and finally, they collapsed–all their ploys exhausted, to rest up for another day of killing you slowly.

It’s kind of a suck job, this whole mom business, but it is your suck job and you may as well not complain. So you were just looking forward to an hour or two of wallowing in quiet self-pity and ice cream, perhaps curled up with a book or even an episode of The Bachelor.

You thud down the stairs in your too small pajama pants, your t-shirt has spatters of paint and reads 5K Fun Run 2006. You can’t recall how you acquired this shirt but you sure as hell know you have never ran a 5k and if you had, it would not ever be classified, in your opinion, as something a person should do for fun.

As you traipse around the corner to the kitchen you think you hear the faint sound of the stereo playing in the family room. You grab the Ben and Jerry’s from the freezer, slam the door shut with your rear end and grab a spoon. You are sitting cross legged, contemplatively at the kitchen table, fitness magazine (fuck you, irony) spread out in front of you when you realize that there is music playing.

And that it is definitely coming from the family room, where, it seems, someone has turned off the overhead lights. Hmmmm…

You can barely make out the flicker of candlelight from the shadows around the corner and you wondering if you should go and investigate (a seance?) when you hear the soft strains of melodic sex oozing from the record player.

Sade.

Your spoon stops in mid air.

Oh no. Think. Think. Think.

You consider a retreat back upstairs, a fake sleep at the table. You wish for narcolepsy, amnesia. Anything. But it is too late. He is already sauntering around the corner, wearing only his jeans and white undershirt.

He is holding two wine glasses.

He has spotted you and he is smiling.

“Well helloooo beautiful.”

You want to turn around and see if perhaps there is someone behind you to which he is actually speaking. But then he winks. At you.

And he speaks again, reaching out for your hand and peering at you in what you imagine he imagines to be seductive allure.

He gestures with his hands up and down his middle aged dad sized frame.

“Are you up for…this ?”

Shit.

* * * * *

It’s a struggle that must go back to the dawn of time.

Perhaps even back to those prehistoric cave dwelling couples in the Stone Age. She gathered the berries and hauled water and nursed Neanderthal Junior all day long. Neanderthal Man was busy hunting bison with blunt sticks.

He should have been exhausted. She was exhausted. But as soon as the baby was sleeping in his stone bassinet, here came her husband–hunching and smoldering, grunting the modern equivalent of “let’s get it on”.

All she wanted was to sit quietly, maybe bone up on some of the cave wall hieroglyphics. But her Neanderthal husband had a different plan. He wanted to bone her.

What’s a Neanderthal wife to do? What’s any wife to do? What will YOU do?

I know this is novel, but brace yourself: Why not go for it?

Before you even begin (put your hand down) I know you have a million reasons why not.

I’ll list a few here:

You’re tired. Perpetually tired.
You haven’t showered since yesterday (or in the case of Neanderthal Woman, since never).
You just put on your GOOD yoga pants.
He just WINKED at you.
You need to read this fitness magazine and eat ice cream.
The lights are on.

So many more. But let’s agree to let the Why Not’s rest for awhile.

You can always say No.

Don’t you say No a hell of a lot?

You are practiced in saying No.

No means No and should always be respected.

No is often our first response.

But, before we realize it, the no’s can add up into a long yoga pant drawstring of days and weeks. Months. Suddenly we are counting back on fingers, and toes…and with a sickening sense of worry, we can’t even remember the last time we had said YES to a roll in the hay.

And we worry even more that our husbands remember EXACTLY how long it’s been.

Or that they are keeping a log of our refusals, like this guy did.

Is that guy a jerk? Probably.

Are we any different than his wife? Probably not.

So, let’s just take a deep breath and loosen the drawstring a bit. Let’s explore what might happen if this time (brace yourself) you said yes…

1. You would burn calories. According to Mens Health, the average man burns 100 calories and the average woman 69 (hee hee) calories during the typical roll in the hay. Okay, so maybe you aren’t burning as much as if, say, you were sprinting a (not at all fun) Fun Run, but still far more than you would burn shoveling in the Ben and Jerry’s.

2. You would be happier. Making whoopee makes you giddy, psychologically. WebMD cites a study that surveyed the sexual activity and happiness of 16,000 men and women and found that sex “enters so strongly (and) positively in happiness equations” that they estimate increasing intercourse from once a month to once a week is equivalent to the amount of happiness generated by getting an additional $50,000 in income for the average American.” You might not be trading in the minivan for the car of your dreams this year, but you can still take the Mustang out for a ride if you know what I mean.

3. You would be healthier. Listen, girl, you’re a mess. You have no time for anything healthy—sure, you wolf down your daughter’s Flintstones vitamins and you floss the week before you go to the dentist. But a little ‘gland to gland combat’ is just about as good as any other move toward a healthier you. It has been proven to boost your libido, make you sleep more soundly, reduce your risk of heart attack and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.Unless your pelvic floor muscles are already super. Which, in that case, disqualifies you from even reading this. I almost called this it Need kegels, will travel. Ahem. Moving on.

4. You will feel more connected. There’s probably a lot of science to back this one up, but let’s keep this more simple. Every woman I know says that while she might have a million reasons she didn’t have the energy to start having sex, she’s usually glad she did it anyway. Because afterward, you just…like each other. Of course you always love each other. Even when you say no. Even when he isn’t interested (isn’t he always interested?). Even when you are too tired. And even when you haven’t had sex since before the baby, unless you count that one time at his parents house when you told him you would do it if you didn’t have to take off any articles of clothing and didn’t have to move at all. And he was all like, sure, that’s cool. But when you do decide to ignore the Why Not’s, when you do decide to just go for it, you realize that more than loving him—you actually like him. And you like having sex with him.

That guy, he’s pretty okay, isn’t he? He would never keep a spreadsheet of your refusals, he understands you. He doesn’t care that your pelvic floor is as weak as a busted up hammock. He thinks you’re beautiful. Even when you are irrational or difficult (which is never). And he wants to do the horizontal hokey pokey RIGHT NOW.

And he wants only you.

Sometimes you just can’t muster the energy and sometimes you will say no. And that’s okay. Take the guilt and throw it out with the empty Ben and Jerry’s pint. But take the long list of Why Not’s and toss those out too. The whole thing needs to be redetermined and reconsidered.

If you wait for that small interval in which you have had enough sleep and feel enough energy and have enough time and you really really really want to…well, that time might never come.

And then you might never come.

So I’m here to say this: sometimes it’s okay to fake it until you make it.

(Except don’t fake IT. Make him work for that shit.)

* * * * *

You take the wine glasses from his hand and tell him that if he promises to never, ever wink again you will give it a go. And he wants to dance with you.

And dancing leads to kissing and kissing leads to the stairs and the stairs lead to your bedroom. And the bedroom leads to bow-chick-bow-bow.

And once you are in your bed—your legs layered in post coital bliss, you are still tired but you are glad. He touches his nose to your nose and smiles so closely you remind yourself to tell him tomorrow to trim his nostril hair. But boy, is he handsome. And he looks at you so happily. You are glad you ignored the Why Not’s this time.

You are just about to drift off into sleep when the bedroom door is flung open. The tell tale sound of child sized footstep approach the bed and you brace yourself for what comes next.

“Mama. I’m FIRSTY”, says your son as he pokes you in the neck.

You don’t even move or open your eyes as you speak.

“Honey?” You say sweetly to your husband.

“Are you up for… this?”

And then you drift quietly into a long and restful slumber.

The Five Stages of Parents’ Sex Life

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There are people out there who claim their sex lives never changed after they had kids, and still others who say they started having sex more once their little ones were born.

I’m calling bullshit.

Now don’t get me wrong; I like a good roll between the sheets. But I’m hard pressed to believe anyone’s sex life remains unchanged or increases after kids enter the picture.

I just don’t see how that’s possible.

Unless you weren’t having much sex to begin with, of course. And if that’s the case, I am so very, very sorry…

Then again, if you weren’t having much sex before you had kids, you probably aren’t bitter like the rest of us at the drastic decline in “relations” that parenthood brings. Maybe that’s the trick – set the bar really low from the get-go so you always come out on top (so to speak).

Anyway, let’s stop ragging on the prudes and get down to the topic at hand, shall we?

Having kids kills your sex life.

Alright, so I’m no expert when it comes to relationships or sex, but it would seem there are 5 distinct phases couples go through in the bedroom.

1. Dating. Oh, how I loved this stage. You remember what it was like – every time you saw each other, it was all you could do to keep your paws off each other. I believe I spent the first 6 months of my relationship with my husband with JBF hair. What’s that, you ask? What’s JBF hair? Think about it: “Just Been…”

2. Living Together. This starts out really exciting – since almost every date you have leading up to the moment you move in together ends with sex, you naturally assume you will now be having sex every day.Bah-hahahaha!

3. The Pulling Of The Goalie. Also known as the “we’re trying” phase, this is a magical, magical time because, almost as soon as you ditch the birth control, you are magically transported back to the Dating Phase. It is glorious. For about a month. But the longer it takes your husband to knock you up, the more sex starts to feel like a (mostly fun) science experiment.

4. We’re Pregnant! When you enter this stage of your relationship, you will be on cloud nine. But then morning sickness will kick in, and let me tell you – nothing gets a guy in the mood more than hearing his partner yak several times a day. The good news is, you start to feel better by your second trimester. The bad news is, a lot of men aren’t overly interested in doing the deed once your belly starts to grow. Something about poking the baby (men like to flatter themselves, don’t they?).

5. We’re Never Having Sex Again Parents. Once you hit this phase, sex as you know it will never be the same again. Ever. You now have to schedule it around naps and bedtime, and when you do muster up the strength to do the deed, you have to pray like hell the baby doesn’t wake up . . . because the sound of crying or happy chattering is an instant mood killer.

Now, I’m sure there are more than just 5 phases in this whole cycle of love, but The Hubs and I aren’t there yet. My guess is that, once The Kid starts school a couple of years from now, this whole process will come full circle and The Hubs will start coming home for nooners again.

If I’m incorrect in this assumption, please do me a favor and keep that piece of information to yourself.

How to Still Have Sex Once You Are a Parent

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As I glanced over at the side of the bed, I realized we weren’t alone. I slowly removed my feet from his shoulders, buried my head under the covers, and died. 

Finding the time and opportunity for sexy time is one of the most complicated aspects of having kids, bar none. Gone are the days when you had to be in the mood. If the opportunity presents itself, you take it. No questions asked.

I fully believe children are equipped with sensors that alert them when something is happening that doesn’t involve them: sweets, important phone calls, paperwork, sheet work, etc. They know. Sometimes, it seems like they always know, knocking on the door at the absolute worst moments. It is a special skill they don’t even know they have.

It is challenging, and can have potentially devastating effects on your relationship. To combat this, I have comprised a list of a few ways to keep your relationship from becoming a victim of the tiny buzzkills:

1. Lower Your Expectations. I cannot even begin to stress this enough. My Granny, with Gramps for over 50 years, says the secret to a long and happy marriage is low expectations. She is absolutely right. No parent has the energy to go all out every time, especially after a long day of assisting tiny, helpless people with their endless needs. Crazy nekkidness and headboard banging are replaced by whispers, pillow muffling, and blanket coverings. Give that night an A+ if you both manage to get your underwear all the way off. Say goodbye to the regular red carpet treatment. Instead, watch him vacuum without being asked and make it work for you. (Someone please tell me I am not the only one who is turned on by unprompted housework!) Be ok with limited foreplay (occasionally). Be ok with quickies. Ignore the fact that your body misinterpreted your sexual arousal for a midnight snack and decided to drench you both in breast milk. Perhaps you can make that milky slip-n-slide work for you (Dinner and a show? badumching). Not a morning person? Become one. Do I like piña coladas? Yes. Getting caught in the rain? Sometimes. Making love after midnight? No, not really, but late night, half-awake nookie is better than no nookie at all. We may only get 5 hours of sleep if no one wakes up in the night. Totally worth it.

2. Location, Location, Location. We co slept for years: Four, sometimes five deep in our king-sized bed. Night-time privacy was almost nonexistent, so you learn to be creative. Adapt or die. Get some use out of the kids’ beds. They sure aren’t using them. A pile of clean laundry on the floor? Oh, yeah. Calling the twin in the office a guest bed is much more appropriate than the sex bed, but let’s be honest. Anyone with kids knows exactly why it’s there. Bathroom doors lock. Most closets lock. Go “Parking” in the garage. Have a camper? Bingo. This is the real reason why wireless baby monitors were invented: to make more babies… or at least get in some practice runs.

3. Learn to Multitask. Fully focusing on your nakedtivities could result in severe injury, escape, death, or at the very least mental scarring. This is why learning to mentally and physically multitask is of the utmost importance. Ears always listening for cries. One eye on the door, in case tiny silent ninjas decide to invade. I have forgotten to do this on multiple occasions. (Side note: If anyone knows a good child therapist, that information might come in handy later.) Then, there is co sleeping. Co sleeping takes sexual multitasking to level expert. Keep a hand on the toddler on the other side of the bed in case they move. Pretend you aren’t snuggled with an infant. You should, however, be aware that necessity multitasking does not come without risk. You can potentially become too focused on the minions and accidentally make another one. This may or may not be the reason why we have three kids.

4. Date Your Mate. Flirt. Hide in the laundry room for a few minutes. Slap dat asset when you walk by. Let your mate know that whatever they’re doing or wearing is working for you. Let’s be honest, finding the time for the deed AND the necessary foreplay is almost impossible. By creating an environment where subtle looks or whispers is the pregame, it saves time later. Do not hint. Speak your mind. No one has time or energy to pick up on your vague clues. If you are so blessed, find a babysitter that will watch the kids at their house. A quick run home after dinner is always worth the drive. Even if the kids are home waiting on you, having time to go out and recharge your parental batteries can make all the difference in your partnership.

5. Switch it Up. Let’s face it, after a while, sex can become routine. This is especially true after you have kids. You find something that accommodates your relationship as parents, and you do it until long after it quits working. Find something that also accommodates your relationship as people. Our son sleeps in a portable crib in our walk-in closet for this very reason. We had reached the point in our relationship where the kids were too central in our lives. They needed to get out of our room. Alas, not enough bedrooms for everyone, so the Man Cub got closeted. (Don’t feel too bad. He loves it in there.) But be spontaneous. If the kids are happy watching Frozen for the 20th time that day, “Don’t let them in, don’t let them see! [Don't] be the good girl you always have to be.” If spontaneity doesn’t work, try scheduling. You may be surprised how sexy anticipation of a scheduled meeting can be. Additionally, if you know what the night holds, you can wear the kids out a little extra so they’re more likely to sleep for more than 45 minutes.

6. Lie to your Kids. “No, honey, it’s ok. Daddy was just… tickling Mommy. Go back to bed… No, don’t get in, no… Can you hand me my pants?”

“Nothing, just… Doing our taxes.”

“No, Daddy isn’t in the shower with Mommy. Maybe he’s outside on your swing set. You should go look.”

“Your sheets were… dusty. So I washed them for you. You’re welcome.”

“I don’t know why the baby lotion is in here. Maybe your sister moved it.”

“Obviously the monsters in the closet are just pretending to sound like Mommy. *pew pew* There. I killed them. Go back to sleep.”

7. The CTFO Method. Seriously. Chill the f out. Obsessing and stressing over sex is totally overrated. You had kids. Surprise, they changed your life. Get over it. Adapt. Be creative. Be spontaneous. Naked shuffle out of your comfort zone and figure it out. It’s ok to let the baby cry in the crib for a few minutes. CTFO about it. Cartoons are not the enemy. CTFO. Stick the kid in the closet and for the love of foreplay, CTFO. (In case you’re interested, there is a sister method for parenting called the CTFD method. It is Sassy Confessional approved.) Make it work. If it doesn’t work, CTFO and try again tomorrow… or some time in the middle of the night. Lower your expectations and, like Nike says, Just Do It.

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

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Many women’s magazines have a “Mom” version of the “How To Have Better Sex” article. Usually, the titles alone make me feel like I should keep an extinguisher by the bed, along with a bucket of cold water to douse on myself and my partner when we begin to spontaneously combust from sheer passion: “How to Keep Your Love Life Hot and Your Sex Life in Flames.” “10 Ways to Reignite Your Marriage.” “How To Turn Up the Heat In the Bedroom, Without Singeing the Sheets.” (Oh, I like that last one)

Seriously, can we disband the sex myths propagated by magazines, and have a little straight talk here?

Let me break it to you (in case you haven’t figured it out already), sex after kids is often not so hot — or even often, for that matter. That said, here’s what I think about the most common tips given to moms through sex advice in magazines…

1. Don’t Forget the Foreplay. Multitasking Mom Response: Really? Really? As it is, I have to have sex while catching up on my Tivo’d shows, reading US Weekly, having a healthy protein snack, and repeating the words, “lettuce, milk, eggs” over and over until I can get to a pen. Now I have to add something else to my repertoire?
Look writers, we forgot the foreplay a long time ago. Well, my husband didn’t, he calls it brushing his teeth, which I am beyond thankful for..

2. Set the Mood (You know, candles, aromatic massage oils and sexy lingerie?) Brutal Honesty Response: Are we still taking time to set the mood? I mean, isn’t that what got us here in the first place? Listen, if there’s no lingering gas odor in the room and you’re in an old t-shirt without any holes, I say you’re as sexy as you need to get. Work your dimmer switch and voila… ambiance. Better yet, utilize the TV as a source of beautiful ambient light. If you can get the volume to an audible level, you can work in sex without giving up Real Housewives. It’s called multitasking, something we moms are all too familiar with.

As for a massage, I’m lucky if I don’t get one of my kids’ leftover Doritos corners embedded in my thigh. When I ask my husband to flick it out and slide the remaining crumbs off my tush like sand paper, does that count as a massage? Well, arguably, it’s more like an exfoliation, but it’s undeniably hot.

3. Have a Date Night Every Week. Reality Check Response: I love this one, because in theory it’s a legitimately good idea. It’s definitely worth trying every week, but unfortunately, it assumes that there will be a night each week when no one is sick or has an event/activity. It also assumes that on that same night there will be a babysitter or grandparent available, and neither you nor your hubby are too tired to go to dinner — a meal where much of your conversation will inevitably revolve around the kids.

4. Time Your Trysts Around Nap-Time. Realistic and Yes, Snarky Response: Everyone knows that there’s nothing women like more, when trying to have an orgasm, than the sense of pressure that time constraints puts on the experience. It’s like telling moms to ‘sleep when the baby sleeps,’ we’d love to do it, but it ain’t gonna happen!

5. Start Your Day With a Bang (Set your alarm an hour earlier and have an uninterrupted top-o-the-morning.) Bitchy Uncensored Response: First of all, what ambitious sex-perts think an entire hour is necessary? Nine minutes would do the trick and still, I’m not down with that idea. Do you know what I like to do before I wake up in the morning? SLEEP! In fact, THE ONLY THING I BANG IN THE MORNING IS THE SNOOZE BUTTON! Yep, I’m not even willing to bang that button one less time!

OK Mommas, do yourselves a favor, throw out those, “spice it up” pieces and “top 10 lists,” and pick quality over quantity. Or at least do it enough that you don’t end up in couples therapy.

Dead Vagina Walking

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I’m not great with dates. I can never remember minutiae like Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday of November or that New Years Day is exactly one week after Christmas. The individuals who know when Harvest Moons and Daylight Saving Time occur must be calendar makers or descendants of Nostradamus. If it weren’t for computerized alerts, I’d never be aware of birthdays, anniversaries, or the days Oprah is giving away gold-coated Maytags and half-sisters. The one date I can always remember – after three pregnancies in as many years – is the one that falls six weeks after delivery: The six week postpartum checkup.

It’s the appointment in which the OB will stare at your nethers under the glare of a strobe light mounted to a hardhat as she asks leading questions to discern how many times you’ve fallen down the stairs in a fit of delirium and how closely you identify with the movie The Omen. As you gently hint at the likelihood of getting a script for Tylenol PM for Infants, your doctor will smile at you, offer congratulations for your bundle of colic, and will utter the one sentence you are – no matter what her speculum says – entirely unprepared to hear:

You can resume sexual activity now.

Your Gone Fishin’ sign was just yanked right off your vagina. Mayan Year 2010 hit your private parts. If this visit follows the birth of your first baby, your husband is likely standing beside the table as this news is delivered. The grin to spread across his face will outstretch the one you saw when he was first handed his newborn child. The smile fades as he witnesses your descent through The Five Stages of Grief, all of which occur in dramatic flair with your knees still touching opposite coastlines.

Denial. “I think you have the wrong file. I just delivered a baby. A human. See, that’s her right there. That was inside of my body until she tore her way through it, like a goddamn Trojan Horse. Are you certain you went to medical school?”

Anger. “Why did you ask me here? I was told by a woman I work with that you were going to give me happy pills at this appointment, not tell me I need to be having sex with… (unsubtle head tilt in partner’s direction). And I would like my underwear back now.”

Bargaining. “Listen, I may have overreacted. Let’s find some middle ground. You pop a couple of those episiotomy stitches down there and I’ll tell all of my friends with yeast infections to come see you. Deal?”

Depression. The utterance of words during the passage through this phase ceases altogether as you consider that the only moments your day permits for a shower and a status update on Facebook have been stolen.

Acceptance. You nod slowly, shifting your eyes from the doctor, to the baby, to your husband, understanding that all are working in chorus to destroy your personal anatomy and your DVR queue.

You exit the physician’s office, quite possibly still wearing the oversized Maxi pads you absconded with from the hospital, with a slow and wearied gate. Dead Vagina Walking. Your husband, on the other hand, has a buoyancy to his step and is already suggestively whistling something by Marvin Gaye.

This is when the calendar floats into your consciousness again. Whatever day this 6 week postpartum check falls on – a Tuesday, a Friday, May, December – is the day that will be listed on your tombstone. This is the day you’re going to die. Your friends and family will eulogize your life with somber nods, “She endured too much. Sleeplessness, poor oral hygiene, elasticized waistbands, a diet of fistfuls of cereal. Despite this, her doctor told her she was ready for exercise and sex. It was too much to bear.”

Too much is exactly what it is. A nurse once whispered in my ear, upon walking out the door with my firstborn child, to be wary of the six week post-delivery time as this is the period babies present colic, when postpartum depression rears its vicious head, and – tragically – when the help and casseroles from those around you disappear. The weight of these stressors only compounds when your husband starts in with the bedroom eyes. It’s not that you don’t appreciate those eyes. May God grant Sainthood to the man who can see beyond the facade of sagging skin and stretch marks to the woman he was attracted to once before. It’s not that you don’t love your husband. It has very little to do with him actually. Your body has been hijacked by hormones, your erogenous zones assassinated by nursing, and your ability to lay prone in the dark without falling comatose has been lost. And you’re a bit terrified because your lady innards still feel a lot like Hiroshima must have looked after the A-bomb.

However, he will start dry humping your leg like an un-neutered Jack Russell Terrier if you continue to cite ‘funky stuff you don’t want to even know about down there’ as your reason for celibacy. He will start to suspect you’re stretching the truth when you say you’re considering a Divine calling to join a Roman convent. Even you understand, with the small portion of brain matter you’ve got left, that reuniting may make you begin to feel more like your old self. You’ve weathered pregnancy and delivery together without any casualties, thus there must be hope for the same outcome in the bedroom. After all, isn’t marriage about compromise and leaps of faith?

But it’s completely fair to say you’re not taking your sweatpants off.

Remember Sex Before Children?

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Do you remember sex before children?

I remember having sex on my couch at three in the afternoon, and that would be after the good morning sex I had earlier that day.

Ahhh, those were the days.

Nowadays my husband can forget about sex multiple times a day; hell, if I’m talking honestly, he can forget about it happening multiple times a week. If he gets lucky, we’re on a once a week schedule, and that’s being very lucky. Very.

I have four children under the age of seven. I am freaking exhausted. It’s all I can do to stay on top of the laundry and the dishes, then at night I’m expected to stay on top of Eric too? Not going to happen.

At least it’s not going to happen with the old frequency.

Before children, sex would take hours; now if we go past 20 minutes, I’m impressed. Honestly, we know each other so well we can bang it out rather quickly. Speed sex; why stretch it out? I have to be up at six with the baby. Also, I always have an ear out for a child to coming running into our room and ruin everything anyway. There have been a few times that Eric has literally thrown me off of him after spying a shadow, but at least none of the kids will be in therapy after witnessing that. How passionate can I possibly be if I’m constantly worried that I’m going to be interrupted? If by chance we do remember to lock the door, I still have to be quiet since the baby’s in our room now.

I just can’t win. And neither can he.

Let’s not even talk about sex with the lights on. This poor body has been wrecked by four c-sections and four hungry children who have each claimed my breasts as their own, leaving my once perky C cups into saggy D cups. My belly has that oh-so-sexy hang of flab that just hangs over my scar and I’m riddled with faded stretch marks. I know, it’s the picture of hotness…

I miss the old sex. I miss the sexy undies and lacey not-quite-covering-anything nighties. I miss the nights I would throw on the itty bitty cheerleader costume. (Oh, yes, I rocked the shit out of that costume!) I miss coming home from work knowing that night all my tension would be gone…

I wonder how other mothers do it all. It’s not that I don’t have the desire anymore, it’s that the desire to sleep wins out.

So, I’d like to know: Is everyone else as exhausted as me? Are they putting on a happy face and going through the motions, or is it possible to really get your sex life back after children?

Because that’s all I really want.

7 Ways to Keep the Mystery in Your Marriage

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7 (LOL) Ways to Keep the Mystery in Your Marriage

My husband and I have been together almost two decades. 17 years. That is crazy. Especially since I’m only 31. Just kidding. I’m 40 and everyone knows it.

I believe there are some things that should be kept from one another. Basic human nature aspects that really don’t need to be shared. Sure this guy is your soul mate, the love of your life. But I try to keep him from seeing the elephant ear shaped labias in actual daylight. I think romance needs to stay somewhat alive. I try to keep a shred of dignity around him. If my efforts keep him wondering, keep him thinking, “this woman has such a mystique, even though I’ve been married to her all these years,” I’m doing something right.

Here goes…

1. Only wear those pore trip nose thingies on your nose when he’s not around. I even have ‘Frownies’ which are these stick on tabs you use to immobilize your face instead of Botox. They are like postage stamps for your forehead. He will never see me in these.

2. Hide your Aunt Flo stained underwear at the bottom of the hamper. Better yet- wash everything yourself and keep your husband from laundering any delicates.

3. Don’t go #2 in his presence. Yes, my husband thinks I, like other women, don’t poop. And honestly, I’m just going to pretend he doesn’t either. There are limits in our marriage. We can go #1 in each others’ company, but #2 is strictly off limits. What’s the worst is when we have to go to a hotel and eventually I have to have my morning poop. I make sure the fan is on and I keep a travel Febreeze in my product bag.

4.  Keep from seeing each other’s anuses at all costs. I don’t think my husband has seen mine. I can’t guarantee what my husband saw of me during childbirth. It happened so fast and the poor guy was forced by the nurse to hold my leg. I told them no, that I wanted my hooha to be a sacred shrine of adoration kept intact in my husband’s mind, but they insisted. I don’t care that porn stars bleach their back door, this hemorrhoid addled (yes childbirth was retched on my body) butt isn’t going to be seen by anyone (except my gyno), not even a hand mirror I hold myself. And you can guarantee I will NOT be seeing his.

5. Don’t vomit on your spouse. Thankfully this has never happened to us. Once I puked on the bathroom rug and he graciously took it out to the garbage while I crawled back in bed with the puke bowl. Which is also the salad bowl I take to our neighborhood block parties.

6. Refrain from farting during sex.  This I think I’ve done actually. We had Mexican before for dinner. I had too many margaritas. We were rolling around in the sack and I did a Carrie Bradshaw to Mr. Big for him. I think he was a little distracted about the other stuff going on and continued as usual.

7. If you’ve snuck his razor for lady grooming, rinse it off and put it back without him ever knowing. Pubes are kind of a mood killer. Hopefully he has done the same should he borrow yours ever. Guy pubes are pretty wiry. I’m counting on the fact that he doesn’t want my Lady Schick in that jungle of his. Not that he does any manscaping down there, but if he did shave his balls- it would so be some Mach 4 razor that is only man enough for the job.

So there you have it. I think I’m about 80% mysterious to my husband. I will do my darndest to keep from him my stained underwear, hemorrhoid asshole and nose strips till death do us part.  Truly, this is key to a long and healthy, happy marriage.

Sex and the Married Woman

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sleepy-parents

I used to love having sex. I couldn’t wait to marry my husband so I could boink him at every possible opportunity, and I did. Then life interfered.

We moved away from family and friends. My career took a nosedive. My husband didn’t agree with everything I said. Children arrived. Sleep departed. Fatigue set in. The dog barked. My body sagged. My sex drive evaporated, and suddenly I lay in bed one night and couldn’t remember the last time we…you know. It had been six months, at least.

In desperation, I tried to work up the energy to go through the motions, but I’d fallen so far off the bandwagon that it was embarrassing and uncomfortable to climb back on. Not only that, I used to feel cute and sexy. Now I felt matronly and invisible.

For a while, I blamed my husband. If he paid as much attention to me as he did to his job or the kids, I’d feel special and desirable again. As usual, I was wrong. It was easy to pin the blame on him, but I was the only one who knew what made me happy.

As silly as it sounds, I stopped telling myself who I should be and started listening to the real me. I always wanted to be a writer, so I endeavored to write my first romance novel. I love taking pictures, so I picked up a digital camera and looked at life through the lens. Not surprisingly, as soon as I immersed myself in the activities I loved, my happiness skyrocketed. Reinvigorated, I revamped my diet and felt significantly better. Most importantly, I finally believed my husband when he said that he liked the way I looked. Granted, I didn’t look as good as I did when I was twenty-six, but neither does my husband and I still find him attractive.

One night, as I lay in bed thinking about all the sex we used to have, I reached over and grabbed my guy. To my infinite relief, he grabbed me right back. The sex felt great; but it had an interesting side effect. We felt closer than we had in years. We touched each other more, laughed more, and flirted more. Good days were great, and bad days were cushioned by what we could look forward to in the bedroom.

Am I the only mom who fell off the bandwagon? Let’s take back our sex lives, because sex isn’t just for newlyweds and supermodels. It’s for tired parents who smell like peanut butter and baby powder. It’s for middle-aged folks with jiggly bellies and hair in weird places. It’s for people who want to get as close as possible to someone else, so why not have sex with your husband? I have a feeling you’ll both be glad you did.