First up? The sex talk, which was pretty unanimously called for in the comments of this post and next week we'll talk about taking a spouse's last name vs. not... taking a spouses last name. And then the week after that we'll talk about friendship and then we'll talk about something else. In the meantime, this post is rated NSFFamily for obvious reasons. TMIF.
There's a good chance I still don't but I am about to celebrate my eighth wedding anniversary next week, so I feel like I can write from experience a la what has (and hasn't) worked for us in our (imperfect but mostly! happy) marriage.
When Hal and I first got together it was... not because we loved each other (or even really liked each other that much.) We were a one night stand turned three month stand turned eight year marriage and four children... stand.
Sadly, eight years + four babies = not so sexy sex life. Do we have sex? Totally yes. But it's... trickier.
ED: There's a reason "married with children" insinuates "no sex life." Because there is nothing less sexy than a family. Not that having a family isn't the best thing ever totally awesome, but it makes it far more difficult to take one's "wardrobe" from day to night if you know what I mean.
You can't exactly swap out the "oversized bag" for a "clutch" as they say. The trick is rocking that massive hobo reverse cowgirl style.
My point is that, women, especially women postpartum have a harder time "getting it up" than, say, a man does. Call me crazy but I think it has something to do with the fact that there are no babies coming out of any penis holes and to my knowledge, no milk coming out of any man boobs.
For me, there are two issues at play, here.
1. Exhaustion. I don't even have to explain this one. You get it. I get it. Cheers.
2. Nine years. According to my calculations, Hal and I have had sex at least a thousand times, which, I mean... we've kind of done it all at this point, you know? We've done it all many times over and, well... hi.
Not that one can't have a rockin' sex life doing the same eight positions on repeat until the end of time, but the sights and smells and everything else do not change. Which is why monogamy sucks. I mean, fine, it's something to be valued and etc etc a million reasons why we should all be monogamous HOWEVER, can I get a show of hands from those of you who aren't thinking about other people pretty much on a consistent basis?
Because, hi, welcome to being a human animal.
Which is why porn works for me/us. It makes monogamy (feel) less monogamous. I know porn gets flack for a variety of reasons (we can talk about that in another post if you want) but when you've had sex with the same person thousands of times, it's nice to see other people having sex. I think so, anyway. There's also books (check out my friend, Rachel's anthologies, they're here and they rule) and sex toy stores all over the Internet.
Making time for each other is also super important. Date nights should be mandatory. It should be the first vow you make when you commit to another person. For better for worse, til lack of date nights do you part...
But most importantly, we must ALWAYS remember to cut ourselves some slack when we're not all there sexually. Most women I know were nowhere near ready to have sex six weeks after giving birth. It can take months (or longer) to feel like a sexual person again. So long as we take into consideration our partners and the shit they must be going through, too. (It isn't particularly easy for them either.) Just because we have the babies doesn't mean we have the right to be flippant and insensitive about our partners' needs. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect when it comes to sexual needs and listened to sans judgement.
Communication is obviously the most important part in all of this. Great sex is 99% communication. Putting on sexy lingerie and sipping wine by the fire means nothing if you can't have an honest conversation about what you TRULY desire... whether it's a threesome in a hotel room or more space.
Sit down, eye to eye, cell phones off and talk. Talk about things that matter and things that scare you and things that excite you. Candid conversation + mutual respect = key. And, yes, if you're us, a little porn.
What about you? How do you maintain a healthy sex life? What is your secret to marital bliss? How often do you have sex? How often would you like to? Any and all insight is welcome. Thanks in advance for sharing. BRB while I go find the ouija board.