It's Week #1 of my Six Month Sex Challenge and I'm all fired up and ready to have sex. I had a plan to initiate sex...or at least I thought I had a plan. It turned out to be lesson #1 for having sex after baby: It's really difficult to get into a sexual groove so couples just have to persever and wing-it.
You’d think being me being a sex expert would make the whole reconnection after baby thing easier. Nope. The two month absence in sex wedged a tiny “how do I initiate” awkwardness between us.
So there I was figuring out how I was going to get the sex ball rolling in a fun and light hearted way. Admittedly I had a few romantic notions of a sweet and tender, uninterrupted reunion—where teeth were brushed, legs shaved and I was wearing something other than puked on sweat pants.
The week flew by in a flash of toilet training, work and domestic ‘bliss’. I wasn’t too concerned. With my first son, making time on weekends was pretty easy and so Saturday became ‘the day’ to have sex. I was, admittedly, a wee bit smug that everything was going to go to my Six Month Sex Challenge plan.
And then all hell broke lose…
Friday night, the two kids (and the two adults) were up most of the night with whatever flu is going around. I woke up Saturday morning feeling like my head was stuffed with cotton. As well, my newborn had a growth spurt and started cluster feeding bright and early.
Yet, I was still not deterred. Dr. Ruth once said, “Sex usually lasts for 15 minutes. Always remember than when you don’t feel like having sex.” For whatever reason, that pragmatic thought pattern works for me. So although I was sick, tired with a baby attached to my nipples, I thought “It’s only 15 minutes out of my day. I’m still going to make this happen.”
About 10:00 I saw an opportunity. My toddler was busy playing and my newborn was (blessedly) sleeping. I dashed at break neck speed to brush my teeth and put on some decent underwear. Then found my husband in the bedroom changing his clothes—felt this must be a sign that sex was meant to happen.
I threw him down on the bed in the lighthearted fashion I had daydreamed about. Marveled at how easy it was going to be to reconnect. We kissed and caressed for a few minutes and it was really lovely. I didn’t realize how much I missed him.
And then the baby started to cry. Hungry again.
No problem, still a good portion of the day left. We made a promise to resume during my toddler’s afternoon nap.
By my toddler’s nap time I was exhausted—mentally, emotionally, physically—the newborn’s cluster feedings and non-stop fussiness had taken their toll. All I wanted was a hot shower and a long nap.
With my newborn’s next catnap, I walked past my husband and said, “Would you mind scrubbing my back?” We hauled our sorry, tired butts into the shower. We simply stood in the hot steaming water for a few minutes and then took turns lathering each other’s back. We got out and dried each other off.
That bit of closeness was exactly what I needed to rejuvenate. “I have enough energy for 15 minutes” I thought.
And then the baby started to cry. Hungry again.
So we never got around to having sex this week. But what we did have, in hindsight, was the perfect start to my Six Month Sex Challenge: A hit of much needed intimacy that created a very sweet connection between us.
And that’s what sex should be all about right now, feeling nurtured with a sense of intimacy and connection. Funny how life always works out.
About two years ago I decided to go on this crazy adventure which I called "The Six-Month Sex Challenge." I learned a lot but more importantly, it started a discussion with parents on what kind of sex is realistic after your baby is born. So, in hopes that it will once again start a good discussion, I've decided to republish the blog series.
Here's the introduction—originally published in November 2009. What I remember most about this introductory post was being criticized for only having sex once a week...six weeks post partum—I was astonished. I could barely find time to take a shower and I was supposed to find time to have sex multiple times a week. Really??!?!
Sex after baby is born. What a crazy time in a couple’s sex life.
It’s been six weeks since I had my newest son, Evan, and my OBGYN tells me I can resume sexual relations. After having my first son, Andrew (who’s now 26 months), trying to get sex back on track was, at times, a complete gong show. And that was with me making a concerted effort to have sex at least once a week.
With that in mind this time around, I’ve decided to make sex after this baby a project. For the next six monthsI will (attempt) to have sex with my husband at least once a week.
But not just any old sex. Oh no.
I’ll be upping the ante by trying out all different sorts of things each week. We’ll test drive techniques (like erotic massage), sex toys (there are so many) and other products (like sexy board games) to see how and if they work.
As well, once a week the sex will be all about me and the alternative week the sex will be all about my husband.
We’ll see how having scheduled and planned out sex works through exhaustion, teething, flu season and all the other things that got in the way of great sex with my first child.
My thoughts at the start of this project…
Initially, I’m really excited about doing this. I’m eager to resume having sex with my husband—and potentially great sex too. I really like the idea of trying out a bunch of ideas.
I’ve always wanted to create a resource of ideas for moms on what works and doesn’t work. I hope by trying all these different ideas and products, it will give women a good idea for her own sex.
Finally, my mantra as a sex expert is that a woman must know what makes her sexually satisfied—and then she needs to ask for it to happen. She cannot and should not rely on her partner to figure that out for her. By me making the sex about my wants and desires, I hope it helps (can I be so bold as to say ‘inspires’) women to do the same.
The Six-Month Sex Challenge might be brilliant or it might be a bust. I hope you follow along to see what each week brings.