(Note: I wrote this post during the holiday season so sorry for any confusion when you start reading about Christmas.)
Three years after writing this blog series here's my sex expert perspective: One lesson I have to keep relearning is if I try to do too much, I won't feel like having sex. I believe this is true for many women. For all those husbands reading wondering how to help their partner feel like having sex especially after baby here's the 411: assist her with daily tasks and/ or encourage her to take on a little less. It's a simple solution that rarely get's put into action.
What I learned last week: Oral sex to the rescue. I had a hernia and couldn't have intercourse and I was able to indulge my husband which was a great way to show him some love and affection.
What the !?*!?&? was I Thinking Trying to Have Sex this Week?
Okay, I’ll admit it. I bit off way more than I could chew preparing for Christmas. Honestly, I thought baking 30 dozen cookies, shopping, mailing cards, potty training, working on my book and taking care of my kids—in a seven day period—wouldn’t be such a big deal. Yet here I am at the end of the week stretched way too thin and stressed out.
Not surprisingly, I was snappy with my husband for most of this week. And he in turn was snappy with me. Why do people call this the “happiest season of all” when it’s really about surviving and not killing your spouse?
Sex was the last thing I wanted. In fact, sex with myself would be far more fun and satisfying (Note to self: why don’t I have sex with myself as it would be fun and satisfying?) But I had to make an attempt at it; if nothing else for this blog.
After putting my toddler to bed, I poured a hot bath. In a defiant tone I mumbled to my husband, “Do you want to join me?” I wanted him to say no. I really needed some me-time and didn’t want to have to make polite conversation in such a cramped space.
But, as Murphy’s Law would have it, he joined me. First thing he said when he got in the tub was, “Pour more hot water in.” I was going to say, “There’s enough hot water and we shouldn’t waste.” But then I thought, “Try not to scrap the one attempt to be nice to each other this week.” So I completely filled the tub with hot water.
The extra hot water seemed to do the trick to relax me. I was just settling in, letting the warm water envelope me, when my baby woke up and started softly fussing. Three minutes later, the fussing was too loud to ignore and I was out of the tub drying myself off.
My husband said, “Can’t you just let him be?” Which could have easily set off another fight but I just kept my mouth shut and got the baby.
The next morning, the bit of tension between us had ebbed. I’m not sure it’s because of the olive-branch I (reluctantly) offered taking a bath together. However, it felt better not to be in such a scrappy mood.
Which makes me wonder what is the difference between: forcing something that shouldn’t be forced; and making an effort because it really needs to be made?
If anyone has an opinion on this, I would sure like to hear it.
Has anyone noticed that my husband I have yet to have intercourse? Well, that’s my goal for next week. I have a particular soft spot for Christmas sex as it is what gave me both of my children. I’ll be trying out Pink lubricant to see how it works. Stay posted.
Week #3 of my Six Month Sex Challenge and because last week we focussed on my sexual needs, this week it's my husband's turn. Problem is I had a hernia and intercourse was out of the question. Just one more complication in trying to get sex back on track.
Lesson learned from last week: Having my sexual needs met won’t always be greeted enthusiasm. It seems unfair that sex always has to include intercourse in order for my husband to be satisfied...I really need to set a new sex precedent.
Finding Intimacy in the Funniest of Places
The pain in my stomach became more pronounced Monday afternoon. By Monday night it was just plain bad. Tuesday morning the pain hadn’t gone away and I had to call my husband home from work to take care of our kids.
Luckily my doctor was able to see me that day. As I gingerly hopped off his examination table he calmly explained, “You have a hernia that may need operating on within the next 24 hours. I’m sending you to Emergency to have it dealt with.”
Crap! I don’t have time for this.
Went home, phoned my mom to take care of my toddler. Bundled up my newborn and my husband and I proceeded to Emergency. Long story short, we waited for 7 hours in Emergency. When we saw the surgeon he said, “It’s not life threatening and we have a very busy night. Make an appointment in one week so I can reassess.”
During those seven hours in Emergency, my husband did a marvelous job of taking care of me and our baby. It was incredibly comforting to know I could count on him and we really were a team.
The closeness I felt to him was amazingly similar to the intimacy felt after a good romp in the sack. Always amazed at the places I can find intimacy as long as I’m open to seeing it.
It’s later in the week and we’re back to my husband’s sexual needs…
My husband was given a bad piece of news Thursday. He, understandably, went into a bad mood cave.
Because he took such good care of me at the hospital, I really wanted to reciprocate and take care of him. Give him a little sex pick-me-up. As the horizontal mambo was completely out of the questions because of my hernia, I decided on a little oral sex.
(Please note: I’ve given up on trying to fit sex into my son’s weekend nap time. For now, sex has to be at night. Sigh. But really it only takes about 15 to 20 minutes which means I’m in bed at a reasonable hour.)
I am a bit sheepish to admit that it’s been a while since I performed an exclusive blow job (god, I hate that expression) and was a bit rusty. My husband didn’t seem to notice my forgotten oral sex techniques that I gleaned from Lou Paget’s fabulous book, How to Be a Great Lover.
Given the bounce in his step afterwards, it was a successful pick-me-up. Mission accomplished.
Putting on my sex expert cap for a second...
Oral sex is efficient, effective, and brings no end of happiness to the recipient. Really must remember this when I don’t feel like having intercourse but still want to have a little bit of sex.
Next week: My needs. I was going to try out something a bit exotic but we’ll see if the hernia has healed enough to do it. Also curious to see if my husband is, once again, unenthusiastic to join in when it’s all-about-me sex.
(Originally published November 2009.)
Six Month Sex Challenge
Week #1--Making Time for Sex Trickier Than I Expected
Week #2--My Sexual Needs versus the Football Game
It's week #2 of my Six Month Sex Challenge. As a sex educator my entire MO is for women to ask for what they want in the bedroom. Therefore I remember it being crucial in this challenge for me to set the ground rules that sometimes 'sex' would be about what I wanted. What I didn't count on was that putting these expectations into place would be complicated. Meaning I had to put my foot down and make it happen which was unbelievably frustrating. Three years later, I'm glad I set this precident in our relationship.
Lesson I learned from last week: Finding time to have sex has become a lot more challenging with baby number 2. I can no longer count on weekend naps to fit in sex. Crap!!! That completely bites the big burrito.
My needs versus the Bills & Jets football game
Part of my Six Month Sex Challenge is to make one week about my sexual needs and the alternative week about what my husband would like. So to start, this week is all about me. Me, me, me, me.
For months now I’ve been fantasizing about a hot rock massage, (you know those massages where they put warm stones on your back.) I decided that what I wanted out of ‘sex’ this week was a lovely all-about-me massage. Knowing it could never be an hour long affair, I had to decide between a massage to my head, back or feet.
A short foot massage should be easy enough to make time for I reasoned...but, of course, it wasn’t. You see we had a friend visiting for the entire week. Granted we are good enough pals for me to say to our friend, “We are going to busy for a few minutes. Potato chips are in the cupboard and sports are on TV.”
The problem was my husband desperately needed that male bonding time. I didn’t have the heart to pull him away from the nightly football and hockey matches. And I was NOT willing to wait until 11:00—even if it was for an all-about-me massage.
Then suddenly it was Friday. As our weekend was packed full of activities, I knew it had to be this night or it was not going to happen.
Friday morning I handed my husband a tube of foot lotion and as flirty as I could muster before my second cup of coffee said, “Can you massage my feet tonight?”
He gave me a pained look and whined, “But we’ve taped the Bills vs. Jets game.”
I stared at him belligerent. Seeing that I would not relent, he gave me a pained sigh and said, “Sure.” Not the type of enthusiasm I had expected about initiating some fun. And wouldn’t you know that night the bugger tried to dodge his massaging duty after the supper, chores and bed routine.
I confronted him at 9:00 and said, “I thought you were going to give me a foot massage.”
He came back with, “I have pressing things that I need to do…like clean the fish tank.”
Exasperated I retorted, “Isn’t having couple time more important then cleaning your fish tank?” (I couldn’t make this up if I tried.)
At that moment, the newborn woke up. Sigh. The three of us trudged to the bedroom. As an act of goodwill I massaged his feet first. He held the baby and as the foot massage progressed, I could see both of us relaxing. Then it was my turn. Hooray! Finally a bit of much needed me nurturing.
As soon as the baby was handed to me, he started to wail (the baby that is but I’m certain my husband would cry given the chance). My husband, who wanted to get the massage over and done with, didn’t wait for the crying to stop. I didn’t even notice the first foot’s massage as I was trying to calm down my child.
Frustrated tears formed on my lower lids and I was just about called the whole thing off. But then the baby settled down and I was able to settle back and calm my frazzled nerves.
Then it happened. My husband and I started to chat and giggle. We then—gasp!—shared some real couple connection time. It probably only lasted for five minutes. Yet it was enough for me to glean that much prized intimacy that I crave. My baby smiled at me and for just one moment the world felt more than perfect.
Foot massage done, my husband abruptly jumped off the bed and bee-lined it out of the bedroom to watch the Bills vs. Jets game. No where near an ideal night and still worth the effort.
Next week is all about my husband. I hope making time for sex is easier as his needs are so much more straight forward.
(Originally published November 2009.)