When I was 15, I stumbled onto a book of Kama Sutra positions in my friend’s basement, owned by my buddy’s grandparents. Thinking back now, it seems a little awkward for a 15-year-old boy to be flipping through Jim’s grandparents book of positions, but at the time, I didn’t really think much about the two 60-something-year-olds upstairs. I was too busy thinking about how badly I wanted to try out every single one of these contortions someday.
I was young and full of testosterone, so as I flipped through cartoon drawings of two people in one position after another, wondering if, once the day came, I’d be lucky enough to go though a book like this with a red pen and check off each position, something similar to what I do with a grocery list nowadays.
Naturally, this book was very Americanized, focusing only on sex and sexual positions, which is actually only a small part of Kama Sutra, but naturally, I didn’t know any of that. All I could think about at the time was sex, sex, and more sex — and the assumption that my future life would be full of it.
Now that I’m 35, with a wife and three kids under 10, I think back on that moment and shake my head in dismay. I love my wife. I find her incredibly attractive, even more so than I did when we met 15 years ago. I know her better, I trust her more, and she is an absolute beauty.
But the reality is, we just don’t have that kind of time. Who does?
Maybe we should have taken the time to check off the Kama Sutra lists before we had children, but we didn’t. Perhaps other couples with young children have huge regular windows of time to dog-ear their favorite edition of Kama Sutra. And if that’s the case, good for you. Honestly and truly.
But when it comes to intimacy, unless we find a sitter for the night and run out to a hotel, we are left with short windows of time, usually at the end of the day, after the kids are in bed, but before we’re too exhausted to not collapse into bed and immediately fall into a deep slumber.
To complicate things further, during those short intimacy windows, we are saddled with the very genuine threat that a child might, at any moment, knock on our door asking for a drink of water, or to let us know they can’t sleep, or to ask for someone to investigate for monsters, or to see if they can get a string cheese, or to make us aware that they went pee and washed their hands, or… who the hell knows.
The fact is kids are the world’s greatest cock-blocks in the history of forever. I mean, I love them, but facts are facts, and if my wife and I are going to enjoy any sort of sexual lives together, it’s probably best that we take some of the pressure off and leave the book of positions out of it so we can actually get the job done.
Come to think of it, perhaps this is why that book was in Jim’s grandparent’s basement in the first place.
I’m sure there’s someone out there just itching to tell me how their marriage failed because they weren’t keeping it exciting in bed, or tell me that I’m just not trying hard enough, and how they spend literally hours trying out new moves in all parts of the house, their children in 100% support of their sexual exploration. Well, if you are one of these people, congrats. This article is not for you.
I’m talking to the couples who are like my wife and me, wanting to be intimate with the person they love more than anyone else in the world, but unable to find more than a short window of uninterrupted time without a child nagging for attention.
I get you. I understand your frustration.
You are not alone.
Because here’s the thing, just the other day I was online and an article came up on some parenting site with a bunch of cartoon Kama Sutra positions. As I flipped through them, I thought about the younger me. I thought back to the young man in his buddies’ basement looking through images of positions and imagining his future. And as I did, felt bad. I wondered if Mel and I were doing something wrong. I wondered if my sex life was not living up to those early expectations because we sucked at being a married couple. I cannot help but wonder if other parents in my same situation, both husbands and wives, have felt the same way in a similar situation.
But then I thought about the reality of it. I thought about how much I love my wife, but also on all the demands around us — work, bills, kid’s homework and extracurricular activates — and I realized that right now, Kama Sutra-style sex is just not a priority. And you know what, that’s normal. We are intimate, and our sex life is great, but taking to the level of different positions and exploration just isn’t in the cards right now. Perhaps later. Perhaps once the kids are more independent.
But now, what we have is fine. It’s really is. We are two dedicated parents who are really in love with each other and have time for consistent and regular intimacy, but don’t really have time for something like Kama Sutra.
Most parents don’t have all that much time for intimacy, so enjoy the little time you have. It’s all good. Take the pressure off, slip into the bedroom, lock the door, slide off the pajama pants, and enjoy yourself before your kids knock on the door.