Does Your Sex Life Measure Up?

Find Out How Your Sex Life Compares to our Reader Survey polled hundreds of busy, multi-tasking moms and dads across the country about their sex lives after kids leaving nary a stone, or private moment, unturned.  We asked about orgasms and delved into secret sex sessions behind closed (and surprisingly, often unlocked) bedroom doors.  We even dared ask some brave husbands what they thought of their partner’s body post baby.

Here are the results of our Sex After Kids survey.

Wanna know how your sex life matches up?  Read on…

A Babe In Arms Means Less Time In Bed

What wasn’t shocking is that 55% of the respondents waited from 6 to 8 weeks to resume their between the covers activities.  A mummy’s body goes through many changes and needs time to heal and adjust.  Not to mention being exhausted and emotional.  But when sexual relations are resumed, a whopping 75% of the women and men surveyed are having less sex than pre-children.

One Yummy Mummy wrote:  I just don't feel like having sex. I’m very tired after a long day at work and then home to the kids to complete those routines. Even on the weekend there is always something to do and I never rest. It's the last thing I think about.

So how often is often?  45% are doing the deed on a weekly basis, 24% are having monthly encounters and 25% are having sex even less than that.

An anonymous mummy said:  I’m much more tired by the time I get to bed and usually would rather sleep. I sometimes feel as though it's just another chore that has to be done.

A Place For Everything

Gone are the days of having a quickie on the couch or a morning romp on the kitchen table.  With kids in the picture, 95% of the women surveyed told us sex is taking place in the bedroom at night…with the bedroom door unlocked.  Which leaves us wondering…if your kids are older are you able to lose yourself in the moment when you’re listening for the pitter patter of little feet coming to your room?

Sex expert Dr. Trina Read comments: “Parents need to set boundaries, to let their kids know that sex is a private time…and lock their bedroom door! Kids are cool knowing their parents are having sex. It’s the parents who need to relax.”

Although the bedroom was the most popular place for sex, there were quite a few parents who indicated they like to use the shower as a place to be clean and dirty all at the same time.

Time Is Of The Essence

The answers for men and women were almost identical when it came to how long sex lasts with 40% citing 10 to 20 minutes for a typical encounter.  25% of mummies were going the quickie route at 5 to 10 minutes, followed closely by 22% who were able to make a 20 to 30 minute time slot to enjoy time with their partner – naked.

So why the need for the deed to be done quickly?  The most frequent reason as pointed out by this mummy below, pure exhaustion.

We have to wait until the baby is sleeping, when I'm often too tired to bother for it and my husband is too tired to put any effort into it. Frankly it sucks, no foreplay and no orgasm for me.


What Happened To My Body?

We asked women if their personal body image has changed since having a baby and how.  While there were a few women who liked their bodies better after giving birth ”I think that I actually like my body better most days. I think a woman's body is absolutely incredible”, most women felt their post baby bodies were no longer sexy.  The harshness of the remarks about themselves was, in some cases, shocking. 

I don't feel attractive anymore-my body has changed shape in all of the wrong places even though i am within 5 pounds of my old weight. I am now very self-conscious of my stomach, butt and thighs. I have lost a lot of confidence and in general don't feel good about my body.

I feel like a fat slob. I don't feel attractive at all.

My self esteem has gone down because I'm way fatter, even though my husband says he is still very turned on by me.

And yet when we posed the same question to men - Since having a baby, do you think your partner's personal body image has changed and if so, how? – the answers were surprisingly different.

Yes, she is much more conscious of her shape and stretch marks despite the fact that I find her to be beautiful and sexy and never hesitate to tell her so!

She is less comfortable with her body. She now prefers to have sex with the lights out.

I can't tell her how hot she is without her telling me how fat she is.

So how do we help men understand how these physical changes are affecting their partners?  And how do women understand that their partners still find them sexy?

Dr. Marcia Sirota says “First of all, patience and understanding are essential. The woman needs to give herself time to get back into shape, both physically and psychologically. She can start by accepting the fact that her body might never be exactly the way it was, pre-baby. She has to go easy on herself about these normal physical changes, and believe her partner when he tells her that he finds her just as attractive as before.”

How To Get Back Into The Groove

It’s the men who are initiating sex (74%) but it’s all done spur of the moment.  When asked, 78% of men and 83% said they don’t plan or schedule sex in advance and yet when both groups were asked if they would have more sex if they had more time, both answered a resounding yes!

So how do you go about having more sex and putting the excuses aside?  Dr. Sherri Taras recommends these tips:

 Make Sex Important:
Too often, once couples become parents, they ignore the needs of nurturing themselves as a couple and don’t understand that being a strong couple and making it a priority, will make them better and stronger parents.

Schedule Time Without The Kids: Have a date night once a week. If you have a babysitter that is great. If not, make it a priority to have your kids in bed and have an evening together at home.

Make Time Once A Day: Schedule at least 10 or 15 minutes to sit together at the end of each day.  Use that time to connect and find out what is going on each others lives.

Be Empathetic To Your Partner: Consider his/her needs and commit to meeting a few of them. This could mean buying her favourite chocolate bar on the way home, watching his favourite show with him, or taking over one of your partner’s chores.

Practice: What most couples do not understand is that like most other things in life the same is true with sex:  we get better the more we practice. It may feel awkward at first when you go back to it. However, the more you practice, the more pleasure you have, the more motivated you are to practice some more.

And finally we’ll leave you with these tips from the real experts….moms and dads who had kids, lost the magic and finally got it back.

Make time for intimacy, even if it's just a little snuggle (can be done anywhere) or a meaningful touch or sex as a date somewhere. Women seem to need lots of positive affirmation and NO putting down in the area of her sexual image. She will respond with love and attention whenever she can possibly do so. Words mean a lot to her when she senses they are real.

Remember to make time for yourselves and not focus all your leisure time on kids and family outings. Being away from your kids is ok sometimes. It is good for the parents to have adult only time and it is good for kids to have exposure to other caregivers.

Schedule it in, and start even if you're not in the mood or too tired....the mood eventually comes and it's always worth the effort. Afterward we lie there breathless saying "why don't we do this more often!?!"

View the results of the Sex After Kids survey here...

Sharon DeVellis came to work at the YMC as the Yummy Mummy Club Coordinator after winning Canada's Yummiest Mummy Contest, a contest based on creativity and not on parenting skills (*whew* wipe beads of sweat from brow).

She is now the Senior Writer and maintains the voice of YMC which sounds very similar to the voice in her head. Being crazy is finally paying off.

If you're looking for insight on how to balance motherhood and working while keeping your house immaculate, go visit Martha Stewart's blog. If you're every other mother on the planet struggling while trying to figure it out... go visit The Inside Scoop.