Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Best Sex

sex
Remember the best sex you and your partner ever had? It was a snow day for George and me. Work was called off. There was nowhere to go. We stayed in bed all day, oblivious to a city being transformed by snow.

I didn't even need to mention that the particular snow day occurred before Claire was born, did I? You just knew, right?

There are so many reasons why best sex usually occurs pre-baby. Sleep deprivation ranks at the top of the list. Or the fact that my daily interactions with my husband usually lack a certain intimacy. We generally engage in a back and forth about Claire or household responsibilities. Neither of which gets my motor running, honestly. Likewise, a day of Curious George and sippy cups does not make me feel all that randy. I don't remember the last time we had a leisurely stretch of time to get in the mood either.

None of it makes me feel like a sexy mama (oxymoron). Did I mention I'm tired?

The self-help gurus just make me feel worse.

Them: "Schedule sex".
Me: "Yet another oxymoron. I schedule an appointment to get my teeth cleaned, not to have sex."

Them: "Have a quickie in the laundry room".
Me: "And who's watching Claire, while that's happening?"

Them: "Nap when your child naps."
Me: "My husband's still tired at night. We can't find a rhythm."

Them: "Have sex even though you're tired."
Me: "Am I a horrible person for coveting sleep over sex right now?"

Them: "Drop your child off at grandma's."
Me: "That's a lot of work just to have sex. Is it going to be worth it?"

And that's the thing right there…the last one…sex is not supposed to be so much work, or, at least, it never used to be. Having a child is a huge responsibility. I don't want sex to feel like a responsibility also. It pisses me off that we're in a rush to fit it in between baby's bath time and blogging (oh, right, then there's blogging).

Moms who have come before me like to say that it gets easier having a child. I want them to say the same thing to me about having sex.

Unfortunately, a sage blogger, Jane Marsh, wrote a post debunking the myth that parenting gets easier. I'm worried that the same might be true about sex. Jane also wrote a post suggesting having quickies in the laundry room or similar such places. She has a bunch of kids. It's obviously working for her.

Jane says parenting doesn't get easier; you get better. She says you have to be willing to let things be different in both parenting and in your sex life.

See, I told you she was smart! Life changes. I still want our sex life to be the way it was before. Now that we have Claire, nothing will ever be the same.

I'll have to admit, though, it makes me feel like I'm 19 again, losing my virginity. I don't know what this "new" sex life is going to look like, and that's scary. I'm worried I won't know what to do. I've lost my confidence about what is "right", what will be "good". I fear that my husband and I will have to get to know one another all over again. I feel funny in my new body. I feel disoriented by different priorities and changed circumstances. In a word, I feel vulnerable.

It sounds like it should be exciting. It sounds like the way sex should be, slightly off-kilter and unpredictable.

I feel more out-of-sorts than off-kilter. I just don't feel so sure of myself anymore.  Maybe, at some point, that will be enough. I want it to be enough.


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Photo Source: Sujit Kumar, Wikipedia Commons

38 comments:

  1. It is possible! As a mother to six, if it weren't, the other five wouldn't have shown up. At least that is what I tell myself. Sometimes, taking a nap when the baby does charges you for a bedtime romp. Sometimes. Sigh.

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  2. I know I too covet sleep over sex many times now and never pre-baby would I thought I would say that. But things do change, I guess. But I will say this we do try our best to do what when can in this area and I think if you just change your perspective a bit on, as well as your expectations, things do get better in this area. I promise.

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    1. I have faith. I really do. We need to find a "new normal", that's all!

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  3. I don't have a kid and sometimes I'm too tired for sex. Life gets in the way, doesn't it? Then I read tips like those above and it makes me feel off-kilter and not confident.

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    1. Yes, I agree. I think it's important to figure it out for yourself, and figure out what you want not what other people think.

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  4. I loved the bit, "parenting doesn't get easier; you get better. You have to be willing to let things be different in both parenting and in your sex life." so very true!

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    1. Jane is very smart. Now...if I could only figure out how to do that for myself, all would be well and good!

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  5. You started the post out on a light note, but I think it is a really serious topic and one that many people are loathe to discuss in a real way. Your point about losing confidence about what is "good" is so right-on. If on top of the fatigue and overschedulization (I just made up that word) and awkwardness in our new bodies we also feel insecure... well, that's just a recipe for chastity. I don't know the answer. Good post.

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    1. A perfect storm. I don't feel helpless about it though. I think it's a matter of taking the time to adjust.

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  6. good post .. though inexperienced still don't know how it feels .. but with my sense i can say you addressed the problem quote well !

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    1. You have a lifetime ahead of you, Ankur!

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  7. I hate that one ... "have sex even though your tired!" Really? Brian and I had a date night this week because Rey stayed with her grandmother and I felt so bad because I was exhausted from having spent two hours at the gym and the past weekend was catching up to me. It wasn't the best sex .. I'm pretty sure Brian even mentioned it was the most awkward because I was just not into it.
    Feeling vulnerable sucks and it's something most all women who have had a baby go through. You are not alone my friend.

    ¤´¨)
    ¸.•*´
    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo
    Raising-Reagan.com

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    1. It's nice to know I'm not alone, Lanaya! It's hard when sex doesn't work. Lots of things in life don't work and we don't beat ourselves up about it. When sex doesn't work, we do. What's up with that?

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  8. Oh boy!! Since kids my sex life has gone down the hill. Is it sad that sometimes we need to schedule it? :(

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    1. I don't like the scheduling thing at all.

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  9. Not to mention that when both of you mange to hit that groove at the right (and same) time...you feel rushed because you're worried that the kids will wake up/walk in while you're doing it! I feel your funk, and hopefully it only has to last while they're little.

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  10. Who has sex even when they're exhausted? Who. I can only say I've joined that club when we were trying to make baby #2 and were going on a year with no luck. That was it. At that point the motivation for a baby won over the need for sleep. Which, I guess that's fitting since a baby brings you no sleep.

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  11. Rachel,
    This is an excellent post. I don't want to have sex when I'm tired and don't want to want to have sex when I'm tired. Oh and blogging. It, too, gets in the way, doesn't it? My husband and I are going on vacation next week and were just talking about the difference between going out of town pre-baby (lots of wine, live music, hours and hours in bed) and post (washing sand out from baby's buttcrack, toes, ears, hair, having to be quiet and knowing that even if we have some wine and get frisky, that we're getting up earlier than we have to even at home.
    I love the part about not knowing our bodies any longer either. That's a big one for me - some of my former confidence is gone. I want it to be enough, too!

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    1. I don't know how to make it enough! I just have to have faith!

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  12. Oh yes- you are not alone. This is brilliant, and i imagine many (all?) of us moms reading it nodded along in agreement. I often wish I was wired like a man, so that I could overcome whatever exhaustion/distraction/stress I was experiencing to feel the urge to have sex. But then I wonder if fathers have similar struggles with prioritizing it. Not like we do, I don't think. Great job with this, Rachel!

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    1. Yes, it does feel like it's hard to get in the head space to have sex when I have so many other things on my mind, so many other responsibilities and priorities. It would be nice just to have tunnel vision sometimes!

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  13. This was a perfect summary of what is going on in my brain. Absolutely agree with Steph and you, Rachel. TIRED. Don't want another chore on my To Do list. I read Jane's post about sex and knew she was right but I just can't get myself to fee anything but TIRED. It's sad really, but I'm hoping it will change.

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  14. This is a great post! I don't disagree with anything you are saying. I am way too lazy to make it so much work. But I love sex too much to not try something besides scheduling or (~gag~) role-playing (more cheesy advice we'd gotten). Plus, for us, grandma lives 4 hours away, so that's not an option.

    I have only two pieces of advice. First, sex is probably 25% physical and 75% mental. Try to care less (about whatever's inhibiting you) and second, just get naked.

    For some reason--and we just were talking about this tonight--the sex has gotten better for us recently. We are having some of the best we ever had (despite working more and having 3 kids incl. the toddler) and sometimes it starts by dragging our exhausted naked bodies into the bed and lying like a heap on each other for three minutes. Until someone shifts a body part, then a gentle touch. Then you get that familiar tingle. Etc, etc, etc. Bada-bing-bada-boom!

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    1. I really like your advice! Really, really like it.

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  15. Children make for great birth control.

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

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  16. Oy Rachel. This is a great post and so right on. I wish I could say you get less exhausted when they're 8, but I can tell you that isn't so...

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    1. I know it doesn't get easier! I was a teacher! I'm just going to cross that bridge when I come to it!

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  17. I think most moms feel that way, probably most of the time. I know I do anyway. Then the TWO TIMES a year we DO get a sitter come around, and you feel all this pressure. Spontaneous anything becomes almost impossible when the kids are little. I did find it got better after my first child. We now have THREE kids, and the baby is only 18 months and I feel that way again. Hopefully we will work it out and find or make time again. We definitely don't worry about it as much, too many kids and yes, TOO TIRED!

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    1. Oh, yes! I forgot to write about the pressure! You are so right....Thank you so much for your perspective. It is so good to know that I'm not alone, that it does get better and that you don't worry about it too much. Sometimes, I think my worrying makes it worse!

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  18. I concur with Jen. Mine are 13 and 7 and I. am. tired. We opt for mornings because I'm too tired and he works at the computer til the wee hours but then our 7 yo wakes up early. It's tricky.

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    1. We never had to worry about timing. It just "happened". I miss those days.

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  19. Great post!! I remember my doctor asking me what we were using for birth control right after my second baby was born, I said we were using the, two children no sex method! You are right, sex after the kids is not the same. I do find that though we don't have the same time we use to it has gotten better, but that could just be the fact that we are older, we have been parents for 14 years, and we no longer remember our pre-children days!!

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  20. I'm with you dear! The sex rule in our house is not in our house. Plain and simple. So... what does that mean? I will only have sex (with my hubby) outside of the house. He's not the adventurous type, so no sex in the car or in the woods. That leaves not a whole lotta options! So we have hot tub date nights or hotel over nights. (Thank you grandma!) Oh, and wine or sherry and some good ole erotica! (And reading glasses, can't forget those.)

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