GPS: Great Parental Sex.
Finding YOUR way to the Intersection of Mommyhood and Sexytown.
What keeps us from getting there? Are we truly lost, or just falling asleep at the wheel?
Too many Moms suffer in sexual silence! Are you missing that pre-kid connection you once had with your partner? Are you both too stressed out (and taking it out on each other) to even think about making IT happen? With all of the distractions in our busy lives, how can we get back to enjoying one another?
It takes time, energy and effort to stay intimately connected with our partners. Setting the mood, being in the right mind-set, shaving your legs… throw in the demands of work, a household and a few small kids and DETOUR! Here are a few tips that will hopefully serve as a roadmap to finding our way back to that passion and connection that seems to elude the majority of Moms on the road.
The top two reasons for divorce in this country are money and SEX and I’m no Accountant, so let’s start up a dialogue which reduces all of that stigma and embarrassment over normal, natural, beautiful, wonderful, healthy, happy, super-fun SEX.
Out of Gas
Not tonight, honey… I’m out of gas. As a sex therapist, many friends, clients and colleagues talk to me, well… about sex. I never hear from moms “I’m too tired to have sex”. I hear “I don’t have sex because I’m @#$% EXHAUSTED”. Our overextended, super-mom tendencies render us relatively useless in the bedroom by the end of the day. Feeling like we are the only ones doing all the work exacerbates this issue, but we’ll get to that a little later. Here are some things you can do TODAY to increase the likelihood of revving up those engines:
Ask to get your needs met. Don’t play the martyr and don’t hint around. Our husbands will NEVER walk in the door, take a look around, sweep us off our feet and exclaim “My Darling! The floors look AMAZING! Thank you so much for mopping today! And is that a clean onesie on the baby??? You are everything I’ve ever dreamed of. THANK YOU for picking up my socks and throwing them in the hamper!!! “.
Let him know by actually telling him that you’d appreciate some help around the house. Request that specific tasks be done to help lighten the load so that you can BE IN THE MOOD FOR SEX LATER. Choreplay, baby! Watch that dishwasher get emptied in record time!
Take 30 minutes at the end of each day to have a glass of wine, read a magazine, do whatever to GET AWAY FROM THE KIDS so that you can transition from working haggard mommy to sexy loving wife. Husbands tell me that they are happy to grant this wish. They enjoy a much more relaxed you and they get to hang out with the kids THEIR way for a bit… they get to be “The Dad” without Mommy lurking.
Out of gas… broken down on the side of the road… STUCK. If we allow our marriage to go without care and maintenance, it will begin to breakdown. What once was shiny and new, running on cruise control is now rusty and making funny noises when you try to start it up.
Unresolved anger, resentment, and general unhappiness with our partner leads to decreased intimacy. It is very difficult to get “in the mood” if we feel that the workload is off-balance, if we feel underappreciated or criticized. Petty arguments fuel the fire…. and the disconnection.
Research shows that women need to feel loved, appreciated and affirmed in order to want to have sex… on the other hand, men express appreciation and love through physical intimacy. Let’s talk about how we can meet halfway, shift gears, and get back on the road!
What happens when we look at our marriages and one day, we realize that we are traveling along on the same road, yet miles apart? You are in front of the computer, your spouse is watching TV. You are doing laundry, he or she has brought work home. You share the same space, but barely utter two words in an entire evening.
Time to consider what is fueling the disconnection. We all need time to “wind down” at the end of the day, but what happens when that time for ourselves turns into avoidance of our partners?
The term “soft addictions” refers to seemingly harmless habits… time wasters like watching too much TV, endlessly surfing the internet, procrastinating—that actually keep us from connecting with one another. Soft addictions are known to rob us of time, numb us from our feelings, mute our consciousness, and drain our energy.
Designate a time each night to “shut it down”. Reenergize your relationship by checking in with each other, really listening and engaging at the end of the day. Life is so hectic when we are apart, let’s make sure to be emotionally available and present when we actually have that precious time together.
Need a Detail?
Pop-culture has made us obsessed with perfection. The perfect body, the perfect glowing skin, the perfect shiny, bouncy hair flowing in the wind as you twirl around in a field of wildflowers… I don’t know about you, but with two small kids, I can’t remember the last time I was wandering around anywhere BY MYSELF, never mind twirling about!
Images of photoshopped and re-touched “perfection” are everywhere and lead healthy, beautiful women to feel “less than”. That internalized pressure, stress and shame leads to irrational thoughts about our bodies. These issues with body image affect many facets of our lives. The bedroom is no different.
Not feeling sexy??? Well do something about it! NOW! You don’t need a makeover and you don’t need to shed those last few extra pounds in order to feel desirable and have great sex. You do, however have to change your thinking and a take a few steps in the right direction.
Remember getting ready for that big date? The anticipation… how energized and excited you were as you put on that lipstick? Go back to that place. Make some time for a little grooming and primping. Not for your partner, but FOR YOU! The action of getting ready as you once did prepares you emotionally for more than the average night in front of the TV. You’ll feel better about yourself because you are caring for yourself (a foreign concept for most moms, I know). Shave those legs, put on that lotion that you save for “special occasions”. A little make-up and some quality time with a blowdryer can work wonders on a frazzled mommy’s self-esteem.
And finally, I’m going to tell you a little secret… if your partner initiates sex, it means THEY WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH YOU! I am assuming that they are looking at you when they initiate sex and most likely they have seen you naked recently. Quiet those voices IN YOUR HEAD which tell you that you’re not sexy enough… that negative self-talk which makes you feel less confident. Your partner is telling you in no uncertain terms that you are sexually attractive and they want you… BELIEVE THEM, LET GO… AND HAVE SOME FUN!
Ladies, Start Your Engines!
So we’ve talked about being out of gas, relationship breakdowns, being miles apart and needing a detail. Now it’s time to take all of this info and rev up those engines! Time to get out those calendars! Yes, I’m telling you to schedule sex!!! I’ve stressed how important it is to make sexual intimacy a priority in your relationship. Today is the day to make the conscious commitment to create time for physical intimacy… the day to put “DOING IT” on your “To-Do” list! We know all too well that if sex is not regularly planned, the daily routine of life will take over and suck the fun right out of your relationship.
Fun? Yes! Have fun! Be silly and enjoy yourself! Remember that no one is perfect. Don’t worry about doing it “right”! Sex should be an enjoyable experience even if every word, movement and connection is not straight out of a romance novel. Learn more about what is right for YOU and your partner. Educate yourself about healthy sexual functioning and find new ways to make sex fun, exciting and mutually satisfying for both sides. Give yourself permission to explore your desires and fantasies and then indulge in them! Have a mid-day quickie, try a new position, use books, videos, toys and unexpected flirtations to discover the many ways to make physical intimacy an anticipated pleasure for both of you.
The quality of any relationship depends on how well it meets the needs of those involved. Relationships are about negotiation and compromise. Talk, talk, talk! Communicate your wants and desires. As for that GPS… Don’t be shy, give directions! You’ll both be happy you did.