Let's Talk About Sex, Mommy

8 years ago

Physical changes. Exhaustion. Fights. Late nights. Early mornings. Weight gain. Money worries. Busy schedules.

Sounds sexy, doesn't it?

You'd think once you get partnered up with someone, the sex would be easy, accessible and free-flowing. Or at least not a chore. So why are so many mommies lacking in libido? The explanation may have nothing to do with you or your physical make-up and everything to do with your schedule. Put down the K-Y and let's discuss.

Sex often happens at the same time that you might otherwise be sleeping, and even in the same place that you might otherwise be sleeping. Moms -- new or otherwise -- take a serious physical challenge every day, from feeding babies in the wee hours of morning to driving teens to baseball games that start at 10 on a weeknight. I wish I could say the physical element of parenting eases off after the preschool years, but my mommy friends with teenagers tell me they stay up until the last one sneaks in the door and spend nights fretting over teen pregnancy and college entrance exams. If you're not getting enough sleep, you're going to be fiercely protective of that bed.

PhD in Parenting literally compares sleep to sex for the parents of newborns:

If you have a newborn baby in your house, you may be starved for sleep. If you are the spouse of a woman who recently pushed a baby out of her vagina you may be starved for sex. If you are starved for sleep or starved for sex, then you might, as Ann explained, be obsessed with it, be thinking about when you last had it, how great it felt when you had it, and what you can do to get some again.

So don't beat yourself up too bad, new mommies: If you don't feel human, you probably don't want sex. And temporarily, that's okay.

The problems start when the babies get older and you're still not getting any. You're balancing the checkbook at 11 p.m. You're packing lunches in cut-off sweats instead of luxuriating in a hot tub with your lover. In the meantime, it seems every other couple is getting it on four times a week while you can barely bring yourself to stay awake for the end of Grey's Anatomy. Do you need a pill? Is there a magic pill for this? If there are pills for restless legs, shouldn't there be one for a deflated G-spot?

Sarah at J. LaMore takes offense to the search for female Viagra:

I don't think my libido is the problem here Mr. White Coat! Now what! Besides, I have to take issue with drug companies always trying to figure out a way to fix a problem that may or may not be a medical situation. Can you make a pill that gives me more time in the day, that when you take it a babysitter shows up (that's free of course), as well as a bottle of champagne, a sexy teddy and some candles! Make a pill like that and I'm in! (While you're at it, if you could throw in a little better body I would greatly appreciate it. Remember, I'm no longer in my 20's.)

I've got to say that I agree. While there are many legitimate physical problems that can make sex seem as much fun as combing your hair with an egg slicer, sometimes it just seems like too much work.

Karin Greenberg writes her husband an instructional letter on Open Salon:

The good news is that it's a very simple system. Despite what you think, my lack of sexual appetite has nothing to do with you losing your hair, gaining 20 pounds, or making less money. It's much more basic than that: You help me keep my energy up, I have enough energy to have sex with you when we get into bed at night.

So! What have we learned? Sex is not fun when you're exhausted. It doesn't mean you can't bring your A game ever again -- it means you probably need to get some sleep, be open to low-energy quickies and maybe encourage your partner to nibble your ear somewhere other than the bedroom and earlier than midnight. Trying to get between a fatigued woman and her thread count is a recipe for disaster.

Spending time feeling bad that you don't want sex is pointless. Spend time instead thinking about which little changes you could make in your life that would boost your energy and free up a half hour in your day when you could get horizontal. Hello, DVD player, my old friend. Hello, neighbor-who-sends-her-kids-to-my-house-every-Saturday. Hello, naptime. Hello, baseball practice. Hello, lock on my bedroom door.

Goodbye, thinking I'm too old and fat and tired to be desirable.

You're still hot, mamas.

For those that want to leave a sex book lying about the boudoir, check out:

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