Most people will resolve to eat better, exercise, and stay health conscious for 2016. It's pretty much the same spiel each year. Most of us know that going to McDonald's for a Big Mac is not a great choice for our bodies and that we would be better off eating veggies and lean proteins, so there's no need to beat a dead horse.
What most people don't think about though is how important it is to have more sex with their partners. Why? Well, some people get all red in the face when you start a conversation with them about sex. Some people may think that if someone is open to sexual conversation, perhaps that woman or man is "loose," but in my opinion, those people are missing out. Then again, I'm the girl who wrote two songs about ovarian and sperm function (proper words were used in all verses — no potty words!) for her middle school sex education teacher, fondly known as "Banana Boobs" by the kids.
I am so sorry Banana Boobs for calling you that behind your back.
You don't have to be one inch kinky and could even prefer sex in the missionary position each time, and having more sex would still be crucial for you and your relationship in 2016. Here's why:
Closeness Begets Closeness: You may be too tired tonight to "do it," but chances are since you're a parent, you will be tired again tomorrow. You will be tired, burnt-out, and stressed for potentially quite a long time. If you keep pushing off until you're more awake to have sex with your partner, you may not have someone to have sex with. It sounds crazy, but I've seen it happen. The more intimacy in your relationship and the more touching, the more the two of you are reinforcing your bond and commitment to one another.
Think about when you first had your child/children. All the bonding — snuggling, bottle feeds, nursing, cosleeping, or just rocking that little one to sleep — helped you to form a bond with that child. Sex does the same thing for your relationship. It is a reminder of why you chose this person. It is a connection you have with no one else. When you have sex with your partner you're reminding that person, "Hey, I love you still." When one partner keeps rejecting the other partner sexually, it can be incredibly damaging to the partner's self-esteem and ultimately, the partnership. Do not become roommates because constant separateness and platonic activities create space between two people. This doesn't mean you have to be up each other's butts in order to stay together but that getting physical keeps the love alive.
The First Relationship: Without this marriage or partnership, you wouldn't have the title of mom (in most cases — obviously you may have had kids with another partner). And while being a mother is an extremely honorable and important role, you were also at one time just a partner. Don't forget the first relationship because if you do — which you probably will at some point during these early childhood years — your marriage or partnership will suffer. If the parents are not OK, the children will not be OK.
You two are both setting the stage for what your children's future relationships will look like in so many ways. Take time for each other and don't feel like a bad mother when you do so. Being a good wife or partner is just part of your new job description as mom. Don't ever feel bad for wanting time alone with your partner. If you start to feel like you could care less if you ever spend a single minute with your main squeeze, it's time to start thinking about why you feel this way, and perhaps maybe it's time to separate or see a counselor together.
It's Good For You: Sex is good for you, as long as you're not doing it with everyone on the planet or making the nasty with a toxic person. It helps you sleep better — what mom couldn't use that? — relaxes you, burns some calories (how about that, 2015 diet?), and is fun! We often admire children because they're capable of finding joy and fun in small things. Each day consists of play. Just because you pay taxes, make lunches, and probably help wipe someone's butt, that doesn't mean you shouldn't play. Sex is the adult playground. It's fun!
With sex, you can reverse your everyday life roles. Are you a type-A person? Perhaps sexually, you can be submissive. Are you an introvert by day? Maybe you can get your freak on during role-play, dirty talk, or a wee bit of S&M at night. Fifty Shades, perhaps? When you have a partner you love and trust, sex is a safe place to let loose and have fun, and having fun keeps you younger and healthier. See? More sex = younger = healthier!
- People Evolve: While for the most part people don't change, as much as we think we know everything about our partners, we really don't know every detail. Having sex together is a moment to learn something new about each other, and that's a good thing!
- Our Self-Esteem: Having more sex will help you feel better about yourself — even sexier. All of the hormones involved in sex won't just make you feel more bonded to your mate, but they will also flood your body with those positive feelings. It's why people often call love a "drug." It feels good and comes without side effects!
How to Make This "More Sex" Happen
OK, so now that I've sold you on why you should get intimate more frequently with your partner, you're probably wondering how that's supposed to happen. Here are my tips and solutions:
- To the Lazy Partner: Are you the parent who does everything? Are your kids up your you-know-what? If you're the "go-to" parent and your partner is looking for more sex, it's time to lay it on the line. Tell your partner, "You want me to have energy for sex, yet the kids are constantly coming to me for everything. I'm drained. I really need your help." Asking for more help — especially at the end of the night when a couple may have more time to "get it on" — will get that sexy train back on track. It's draining to constantly have the kids run to just you for each and every thing. Tell your partner to take on more of the workload, and perhaps you'll have that extra energy and mindset for letting your hair — and panties — down.
- The Physical Connection Substitute: Many women take the energy they originally had for their partner — physical and emotional — and put it into their kids. It's not that you have "sexual feelings" for your kids but that your physical drive is put into caring and tending to the little ones. It's not unusual for a mother to get a lot of joy and/or her needs of love and intensity met by her kids. I remember so fondly how great I felt when I nursed my daughter (minus those few bouts of mastitis). We bond so tightly with our little ones, and in the early years the kids are so bound to us physically that it just happens. Step back and try to put some energy into that once-abundant physical love you had for your partner. I guarantee that your partner needs it, you need it, and your relationship is begging for it.
- What If There's a Problem?: It's one thing to be too tired for sex occasionally, but if one or both of you has lost interest in sex completely, it's time to start looking at why this is happening. Maybe you're self-conscious about your weight, stressed about money, or perhaps in the grips of postpartum. Take mental inventory of what's going on with both of you, and if need be, talk to your doctor. Don't let this go on for too long.
- It Doesn't Have to Be the Titanic: Look, when you have kids, you have sex for 10 minutes if it's all the time you've got. Romance is great, but be practical. Sometimes you need that extra time to relax and get into it, and other times, you just gotta "bang" it out so to speak while little junior is taking a nap. Get creative. It's too bad there's not a Pinterest page for "sexual scenarios that can make a woman orgasm in three minutes while a child is watching Mickey Mouse."
- And Lastly, For the Partners: Help that mommy you love relax by doing something nice for her. Help her out more. Tell her she's pretty. Leave her a sexy text or note. Listen to her when she's talking. And most importantly, tell her to leave the lights on because to you, she's always beautiful!