My husband and I are high school sweethearts and have been married for 15 years. Some might wonder if the sex would become monotonous after being together for so long, but we’ve always enjoyed a rockin’ good time together between the sheets.
Not that sex hasn’t changed a lot over the years. When we were teens and young adults, there was a lot of sneaking around, out-of-control lusting, and awkward stupidity. I cringe a little when I think of some of the things we did — and the places we did them in.
During our 30s, the hardest part of sex was trying to squeeze it in around the parenting of itty-bitty kids — and often being too exhausted to do very much at all. Sex was a quick romp in the bathroom while our kids were zoned out watching Blue’s Clues or messing around on the toddler bed while the kids slept soundly in our bed.
Now, as we exit our 30s and crash headfirst into our 40s, sex has become more amazing in many ways, but also more awkward and uncomfortable in other ways.
Here are a few hard truths about what happens to married sex as we enter our 40s.
1. You know exactly how babies are made, so birth control is no joke.
We were always pretty good about birth control, but I will say that we took some chances when we were younger. Back then, it was like: “Hey, if we get pregnant, that’s OK because we want kids someday anyway.” Now it’s like: “If you get me pregnant again, I will cut you.”
2. The ‘I have a headache’ excuse is real.
I don’t know if it’s perimenopause or what, but I get headaches all the time now, real ones, the kind that make me feel like I’m going to barf. Sex during one of those? Nope, obviously. And my husband knows better than to question me on it.
3. You know what you want, and you ask for it.
I’m not going to offend my husband if I yank his fingers away because what he’s doing is just not right. In fact, now I’ll give him detailed instructions about how to do it exactly right. It might have taken over 20 years of hooking up with the dude, but I have no qualms about running the show now.
4. You used to sneak away from your parents; now you sneak away from your kids.
Our kids are bigger now, but they still won’t leave us the hell alone. Recently, though, there evolved this thing where our kids wake up alone on a Saturday, turn their electronic devices on by themselves, and give us an extra hour of sleep — or sex. It’s honestly a hard choice, but sex does make it into those magical mornings with some regularity.
5. If you bend the wrong way, you might actually break something.
Recently, after doing the deed, I got a stiff neck. I couldn’t turn my head for three days. Not sure if it was worth it in the end. But it was after particularly awesome sex, so there’s that.
6. You thought you’d lose your libido eventually, but the truth is, it only increases with age.
Well, at least for me. I had a few dry spells when my kids were little, but each time my libido returned, it did so with a wallop. And there is something about a distinguished older man (my husband, ahem) that gets me all hot and bothered.
7. You thank the good Lord for lube, pillows, and a plentiful stash of clean underwear.
I don’t think I need to go into further detail here, but let’s just say that sex toys become a thing of the past and good old-fashioned comfort trumps anything else.
8. You don’t do it to please someone else. You do it for you.
Not that I ever “put out” for my husband, but there were times I thought, Well, he probably wants to, so I just will. But now? If I’m not into it, or if he’s not, we can just take a rain check (or go and get it on ourselves: There’s no skirting around the masturbation issue now. We both know the other does it, and we’re fine with it.)
9. You give far fewer fucks about what you look like naked.
Listen, this is the guy who saw me push a kid out of my vagina. Twice. Obviously, the goods down there aren’t going to look the same. And that squishy stomach that won’t go away no matter how many crunches I do? No point in hiding it. I let it flap around all I want. And he loves me for it.
10. You get your freak on in ways you never imagined you would.
I think this one goes along with the IDGAF attitude that defines your 40s, but I do things in the sack I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing in my 20s. There is a beautiful, uninhibited freedom that blossoms in a woman over the years, and it’s easier to let that freak flag fly as you get older.
I’m going to go as far as saying that sex in my 40s is better than it was when I was younger. I mean, I still have some really awesome memories, and there is nothing like two young, ripe souls learning about love and pleasure together. But I’m really digging my 40s sex life, and if the past few years are any indication, I’m confident it’s only going to get better from here.