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!”
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.
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.
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