The 5 Types of Sex Parents With Young Kids Have

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in-bed-with-babyImage via Shutterstock

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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Ways to Please Your Man Image via Shutterstock

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

Talking Naked

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socks-in-bed

The jokes about the death of sex after marriage are long running. I remember when we first got engaged a bunch of my husband’s older buddies made some quips about blow jobs being a thing of the past. He silently looked at me with one eyebrow up, asking the question without words. I shook my head. No, no piece of paper was going to dull our sex life. No way… and it didn’t.

Then we had kids.

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Besides the effect of childbirth on my body: the stretch marks, the lovely and large scar from a cesarean section, the added weight to my caboose, there was the full exhaustion of actually having to take care of a baby. Sex happened but with less frequency. Sometimes with more urgency. It was like “sex light.” Less time, less noise, less buildup. We penciled our needs into the calendar when we could, and often we couldn’t.

On this particular night we had come home from a dinner with the extended family fairly late… about 10 PM. My oldest fell asleep in the car and we quietly changed him and tucked him into bed. As I closed the door to the baby’s room (who was also sleeping soundly) I said to my husband, “You got 10 minutes?” He laughed and said, “You bet.”

We quickly stripped off all our clothes and jumped on the bed. Hubby was laying on top of me and for a fleeting moment, I thought we might have timed it just right for a nice evening together.

That’s when I heard my son’s little voice, “What are you guys doing?”

OMG, this can’t be happening. Dear God, why don’t we have locks on our door? I felt my mortified, and my husband was suppressing a giggle as he buried his head in the crook of my neck. Coward, guess I was going to have to handle this one myself…

“We’re talking.”

Talking? You couldn’t have come up with anything better than that? Jesus.

“Talking naked?” said my 5-year-old, “That’s silly.”

“That’s us, super silly! Did you need something?”

Now I was just grasping at straws. Anything to make the most awkward moment of my life end… and fast.

“Did I leave Mr. Bear in here?” my sweet and clueless son said.

Hubby reached to our right, found Mr. Bear and threw him in the direction of our child.

“Thanks” he yelled, “Good Night.”

I breathed a sigh of relief as I thought this ordeal was finally over, but then he popped his head back in as if he’d forgotten something.

“You know…” he thought aloud, “If you really are talking naked, you’re doing it all wrong. Daddy’s still wearing socks.”

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After my son was gone, we both laid there on the bed for what seemed like forever, laughing so hard we couldn’t breathe. Side-splitting, face hurting laughter. Sexy time was over, but it can become something more intimate, something hilariously real.

We ate a microwave pizza and went to sleep.

That night, it was better than sex.

Related post: The Five Stages of Parents’ Sex Life

Why You Should Say Yes Tonight

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couple-in-bed

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

4 Perks of Old Married Sex

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Door-Sign

Let’s be honest: once you’re married, and especially once you add children to the mix, your sex life changes. Sometimes drastically. Pre-children, between-the-sheets escapades with my husband involved things like juicy peaches and whipped cream. Now the only food in bed with us are crumbs from the Goldfish crackers our kids ate while watching Spongebob on our TV. The fuzzy handcuffs and silk scarf are gathering dust in the furthest reaches of the closet, and it’s been at least a decade since I eagerly devoured Cosmo articles about “Ten Positions Guaranteed to Rock Your World.”

It’d be awesome to retain that freshness – to get it on whenever the mood strikes, for example. Alas, though, that kind of lovin’ is practically impossible to maintain in a real-life situation. Old Married Sex is very often penciled in along with “dog to vet” and “pick Suzy up from soccer practice.” If you’re not juggling the demands and hourly obligations of jobs, you’re juggling the demands and obligations of kids – and often, both. And since the last thing you wanna do is scar anyone for life, you have to pick a time when privacy is ensured, like when the kids are at Grandma’s, which involves planning on your part. Even when you try to go the spontaneous route, it’s hit or miss; sure, you can set the kids up with a movie and a snack in the other room, lock the door, and hope for a few uninterrupted moments. But nothing cools the libido faster than, “Mommy? What are you doing in there? Can I come in?” or a call from the bathroom of, “Need help wipiiiiing!”

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Even so, I’m not complaining about Old Married Sex. Because, though it may look different in comparison to the hot-and-heavy romps of years past, it’s beautiful in its own right. Take these perks, for example …

1. Less preparation. Before regular sex becomes Old Married Sex, you prepare for it like a major event. You shave/wax/trim every hair on your body (including your upper lip, because sex is sexy and there’s nothing sexy about rocking a she-stache.) You moisturize everywhere you can reach. There’s douche involved. You wear the underwear from Victoria’s Secret, not the underwear from Walmart.

With Old Married Sex, prep work is all but taken out of the equation. Sure, you may go the extra mile for an anniversary or somebody’s birthday, but for the most part, you’re good just the way you are. Haven’t trimmed up “down south?” Whatever. Legs that feel like reptiles – who cares? No shower? No problem! And rock those raggedy bargain-bin skivvies, sister, because the purpose is not to impress anybody, but to get to the main goal and get some sleep.

2. Less experimentation. Early-relationship sex is like cooking a complicated recipe for the first time. Sure, you know the basic ingredients, but you haven’t yet mastered the intricacies: that it actually needs a little more salt than the recipe calls for, or a bit less lemon juice, or that you should cook it at a lower temp because your stovetop’s “medium” is apparently “high.” But once you’ve made that recipe over and over, you’re a pro. There’s no more guesswork; you’re doing everything right the first time. Old Married Sex is like that: familiar, reliable, and much more difficult to screw up. And just like you can try out a new recipe, you can (and should!) spice things up in the boudoir once in a while, too – but it’s nice to have the satisfying, fail-proof standby to fall back on.

3. Less pressure for perfection. So your nipples brush your kneecaps. So your husband’s stomach is less “six-pack” and more “keg.” So you both seem to have developed some stretch marks during that last pregnancy. So what? That’s the good thing about Old Married Sex: you’re with someone who has seen it all (and, you know, seen it fall) and finds you desirable anyway. There’s no creating illusions with Spanx and a push-up bra, only to worry about them being shattered when the supportive undergarments come off. Your spouse knows what’s under those undies, and still wants to have sex with you. WIN.

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4. Less risk of total humiliation. Say you decide to handcuff your partner to the bedpost – and then drop the key down the heater vent. Or accidentally let a fart slip during a pivotal moment. Or realize that the lube with the “gentle warming sensation” feels more like battery acid. There are many scenarios that could turn into the most embarrassing moment of your entire life … unless, of course, they happen during Old Married Sex. Sure, it might kill the mood, but you’re with a person who has likely seen you in other awkward and stupid situations. And you’ll have something to laugh about for years to come.

So while it may get a bad rap, Old Married Sex is something to be celebrated. Couples say that they’d like to put the spark back in their sex life, but they don’t realize that Old Married Sex is the product of that spark. It’s the gentle, warming flame that illuminates the most intimate part of our spousal relationships, burning in the background during the years when our focus shifts to building families and careers. Maybe someday, when the kids are grown and gone and there’s no chance of someone busting in on us, we’ll fan that flame a little and make things hotter.

For now, though, we should stop seeing Old Married Sex as humdrum and start appreciating it for what it is. It’s like the yoga pants of the sexual world: comfortable. No-fuss. And great even when you’ve gone up a few pants sizes.

Related post: The Five Stages of Parents’ Sex Life