I remember being 25 and not understanding why anyone would ever allow something as trivial as parenthood to interfere with his or her sex life.
HAAAAAAAAA! Wasn’t I adorable?! Utter cluelessness was just part of my charm. Back then, my husband and I were madly in love, young, and able to lounge around on the weekends without interruption.
“Everything is perfect,” we said to each other. “Let’s start a family.”
Reality hit, along with morning sickness, around week seven of my first pregnancy: Parenthood was TOTALLY going to interfere with our sex life.
Here we are three kids later, and I can assure that we’ve had our fair share of dry spells. Nothing makes me want to shroud myself in an ultra-modest pair of pyjamas more than weight gain, stretch marks, varicose veins, and everything else that happens to a woman’s body after it’s stretched out repeatedly. Parenthood is the antithesis of sexy: it’s gross, difficult, stressful, and exhausting. No one feels like getting busy right after they’ve spent the past half hour trying to administer eye drops to a panicky toddler with pink eye. I know this because I’ve been there, and all I wanted to do after that harrowing experience was lock myself in the bathroom with a bottle of wine. Alone.
My husband and I have been married for a long time, and I’ve noticed ebbs and flows in our relationship. We’ve had time to discover what works and what doesn’t. Having kids added a new level of stress to our lives, and even though we love each other and we want to work as a team, sometimes we also kind of hate each other. Children can straight up destroy a marriage if priorities aren’t in order.
Case and point: Several years ago, I made an observation that our bickering and fighting went from constant to nearly nonexistent when we made sex a priority. Hmmm. Was it just a coincidence? I started keeping track of our arguments, and sure enough, when we had sex often — every other day was a reasonable, attainable goal — both of us were more loving, more attentive, calmer, and more patient with each other.
Some of my girlfriends find my discovery completely and utterly offensive. “Why should I have sex if I don’t want to?” they ask. Well, you shouldn’t ever be forced into doing something you don’t want to do. But hear me out, ladies. If you can pull your sh*t together and rally to have sex today, even if you feel bloated or don’t think you have time, your husband will magically turn into the very best version of himself. In turn, that will make you feel a little more like having sex with him again, and the positive cycle will continue.
There are a lot of things I don’t like about my body, but the single best self-confidence booster is having sex every other day. Yes, there are times when it’s problematic (hello, family holiday!), but overall, there’s no excuse. I’m not talking about romance novel sex here, you guys. I’m talking about banging one out, inserting some earplugs, and going to bed. Here are the most common arguments I’ve heard, and my responses to them:
Argument #1: “I don’t have time.”
Actually, you do. How many minutes do you spend mindlessly scrolling through your phone at night? 10? 15? Great! Now, just swap the mindless scrolling for a roll in the hay.
Argument #2: “I feel fat.”
You feel self-conscious because you don’t look like you used to? Guess what – he doesn’t look like he used to look, either. He is home with YOU. He wants to have sex with YOU. What the hell are you waiting for?! GET OVER YOURSELF.
Argument #3. “I’m mad at him.”
Simply turn over so you don’t have to look at his face.
Argument #4: “I’ve got my period.”
**Wordlessly points to the shower **
Argument #5: “Is this really necessary?”
Yes, it really is. Sex is to men like talking is to women. How would you feel if your husband said, “Is this really necessary?” when you told him you want to talk to him more often? It would make you sad. But guess what? If you have a lot of sex, your husband will suddenly become a chatterbox. Trust.
I’m no scientist, but this method has been a total game-changer in my house. Try it and see — I dare you.