Let’s talk about sex, baby. Or rather let’s talk about the sex you’re not having since giving birth to your child.
In their new book, Love in the Time of Colic: The New Parents’ Guide to Getting It On Again, authors Ian Kerner, Ph.D. and Heidi Raykeil offer guidance to parents in a fun, he-said, she-said fashion. Here are four tips for rekindling the heat in your (now baby-proof) bedroom.
Sex Tip #1: Take It Easy
Even after the doctor gives you the all clear, it may take some time to ease back into your old sex life.
“It’s really important for couples to talk about their sex life in an honest and friendly way without resorting to saying ‘I’m tired’ or putting blame on each other,” says Raykeil. She recommends that parents put the kids to sleep, grab a bottle of wine, and sit down to really connect and talk about what’s going on with their sex life.
Sex Tip #2: Hug It Out for At Least 20 Seconds a Day
According to the authors, couples that touch each other more often end up having more sex. And a twenty-second hug is all that’s needed for a woman to raise her oxytocin levels that allow her to bond with her partner.
“Non-sexual intimacy outside of the bedroom, such as hugging and hold-handing, helps build a sense of desire and anticipation for sex,” says Kerner. More advanced couples can try 60-second make-out sessions. “It’s about being sexual without the requirement of sex,” adds Kerner.
Sex Tip #3: Don’t Divide and Conquer
While it may be faster to divide up the household chores, it’s better for your sex life to do more things together as a couple. Whether it’s making dinner or making love, slow down and enjoy the moment together.
“Too often, you play tag-team and you’re like ships passing in the night,” says Raykeil. “And without spending time together and feeling connected, you’re not going to want to have sex.”
Sex Tip #4: Change Things Up
“It’s so darn easy to take sex for granted, to fall into mediocrity with your best friend, who also happens to be your one and only sexual partner,” the authors write, so they recommend that couples create a love map of uncharted territory for their sex lives to explore from. From exhibitionism to voyeurism, domination to submission, you don’t have to dive deep into the fantasy pool to reap its benefits, but try dipping your toe in.
“Start at whatever level you’re at,” says Raykeil. The most important thing is that you find a way to remember that you’re still a sexual person.”