By Denise Anderson
Despite the fact that I have a very public personal blog that gets read (or at least viewed) by thousands of people all across the world, I’m actually an intensely private person. There are certain things I just don’t talk about that often, not even with friends. ?But today I’m going to talk about something very personal and that I rarely ever share with anyone: my sex life.
In an effort to not overshare, I’m just going to be curt and to-the-point: our sex life has suffered since the baby was born. There, I said it. It happens to a lot of couples. Their lives get turned upside down with the introduction of this new person into the dynamic, and certain aspects of life don’t receive the attention they once did, including lovemaking. For us, I can say that spontaneity went out the window. We had to plan nearly every second of every day, and of course most of those plans revolved around our baby girl. Add to that hormonal changes and overall lack of energy from being pulled in a million different directions, and you have a perfect recipe for sexual disaster in a marriage. He was frustrated because he wasn’t sure if/when our next sexual episode would occur because they were so few and far between. I was frustrated because after working at a high pressure job all day long and taking care of a kid, I felt pressured to perform when all I wanted to do was rest. Our sexual context had changed drastically, and neither one of us knew what to do about it.
So we decided to try something new, something we’d hesitated to do in the past. We decided that we would schedule sex. We set aside two days out of the week when, come hell or high water, we’d get it on. Initially the thought of doing that was a turn-off because it suggested there’d be a lack of spontaneity in our lovemaking or that it would be forced and another chore on top of an already full schedule. But honestly, it’s not like things were happening on their own. This new sexual context we were in (parents of a small child) demanded that we be more proactive with our sex life. Scheduling sex would at least ensure that something happened, and that it would happen on a regular basis. It didn’t preclude us from sparking things up any other day of the week, but it did provide a way for us to actively and intentionally make time for each other. So the deal is on those days, after the baby is down, we get to work! No distractions from studying, television, or other hobbies. No Facebook, Twitter, or internet. Just me and him, deliberately connecting.
I have to say that I’m so mad at myself for hesitating to do this earlier, because it’s really changing my outlook on our sex life. Oddly enough, setting aside a time for sex takes the pressure off. It gives me something to look forward to and putting aside the millions of distractions on those days allows me to relax more. I don’t feel so depleted on those days, hence I have more interest in sex. And he’s much more relaxed because he knows that he’s not going to have to “convince” me to do anything. Turning him down when I was too drained was doing a number on his self-esteem. He now feels secure in the fact that his wife does love and want him — and that he will in fact get some!
A change in the dynamic of a relationship can wreak havoc on a couple’s sex life, simply because they’re existing in a new context, yet trying to operate as if they were in their old context. We had to come to terms with the fact that things just don’t pop off the way they used to due to a number of reasons. So instead of trying to make things happen the way they once did, we had to honor where we currently are and find a way to operate in that new space. As a result, I see a very real and enjoyable change in us, even if it’s not one of our set-aside fun days. We had to learn that if you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always be what you’ve always been. So we decided to do something different, and so far it’s paying off!
Do you or would you ever schedule sex? Does the idea appeal to you? Why or why not?
Denise is a wife, mother, and minister living in the Washington, DC area. She shares her musings on marriage and motherhood on her blog, How Mama Got Her Swag Back (http://newmamaswagger.com). Follow her on Twitter @newmamaswagger”