It is a universal fact that introducing children into your relationship will change your sex life. Forever. Of course, parents are aware that a newborn and everything that comes with it (the sleepless nights, the constant feeding, body changes that occur to women, and the hormonal changes) can alter drastically your sexual desires and even your body confidence, but older children and teenagers can also have an impact on your relationship and sex life as well. Your relationship with your partner evolves as the family grows, but this doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing.
So how do you keep that spark alive in a couple so that the sex and intimacy can be fulfilled on a regular basis? Circle 4 Parents asked Dr. Holly Richmond, one of North America’s leading sex therapists, Somatic Psychologist, and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) for some of her best advice on how to have a sex life while raising children and beyond.
1. Do not underestimate the power of the Quickie.
Quickies have had a bad reputation, but they can be potential relationship-savers when it comes to sex. “Some sex is better than no sex and you don’t need candles and a long date to be in the mood,” says Dr. Richmond, “Quickies are a great way to get closer because they are spontaneous and build excitement, two things people in long term relationships want.” No need for a babysitter, just next time you or your partner are about to get in the shower, why not join them for a little fun? Or when the baby goes down for a nap, take advantage and let your partner know they are still very attractive in your eyes and you desire them.
2. Sexual intercourse isn’t the only way to be intimate.
As much as intercourse and foreplay are important factors of sex and sexual pleasure, there are other ways to get close and intimate with your partner. Taking the time to be empathetic of each other, for example, can do wonders to a relationship, especially after the arrival of a newborn, when even physical barriers can prevent sexual intercourse. Holding hands, touching each other in sensual ways, finding the time to actually communicate your worries and concerns can also bring intimacy to a couple. With children come responsibilities and busy lives, so carve out some time and schedule it for one-on-one talking time between the two of you, and not about the kids or household business. Share your dreams, experiences, upcoming projects, and aspirations and actively listen when it is your partner’s turn to talk.
3. And don’t forget self-pleasure.
Pleasuring yourself has always been considered a taboo act in society, yet it is a great way to relieve tension and ease the pressure that your partner must please you every time you do have a sexual encounter. No matter how amazing your partner is in bed, you should not ever depend on him or her only for all of your sexual satisfaction. Also, sometimes we forget what pleases us, and masturbating is a great way to discover new forms of orgasms that you can later show your partner, who most likely will be more than happy to comply. Another benefit of self-pleasure? It can also help bring a boost to your own self-esteem and body image, which we can all enjoy from that!
If you find yourself too “busy” or “stressed” to have time for intimacy, you might want to consider exploring the stress level in your life, your stressors, and effective strategies and techniques for coping with stress. Our session Coping With Stress can help you gain insight into your stress triggers and find methods to reduce stress. Our session Work Life Balance will give you the opportunity to explore your demanding, and sometimes conflicting, roles of being a parent, a partner, and a professional. Lastly, our Self Care session will help you to make yourself your priority to make sure your needs are met.
An original Circle 4 Parents blog, with the collaboration of Dr. Holly Richmond. Circle 4 Parents is a new online community offering virtual parent coaching sessions on all things related to parenting. Visit www.circle4parents.com to try a session!