I’m going to talk about sex. Because we’re grown ups and sex is important. I’m going to be frank, and I’m going to be talking about my own sex life in detail, so if you don’t want to know what goes on between my sheets – or you’re my mother reading my blog – please don’t read any further.
If you choose to proceed, consider yourself warned.
So, I can’t help but notice that 50 Shades of Grey is extremely popular at the moment.
And regardless of the opinions people have, the response has been undeniably passionate.
I haven’t read the books, or seen the movie so I can only speak from what I’ve heard, but it does seem that 50 Shades has brought BDSM and a bit of kink to the minds and bedrooms of couples who otherwise might not have been aware of these sexual activities and encouraging couples to explore a little bit outside the box when it comes to sex.
The fact that 50 Shades has been dubbed “Mummy porn” says to me that women, especially mothers, are wanting more sex – and more interesting sex.
…I know I was.
From what I understand though 50 Shades should not, in any way, be taken to be a “how to” engage in BDSM.
I’m not even remotely an expert on the topic, I have literally been Googling “BDSM for beginners” for the last few days and I found this video actually quite interesting (Don’t worry, it’s not THAT kind of video – but still it’s NSFW or around children) And from what I’ve heard “The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy” is a far better read than 50 Shades for those who are interested in erotic literature.
The thing is, our sex life has been a little flat for the last couple of years. If I’m perfectly honest we’ve probably had sex more times this year so far than we had in the previous year (and possibly the last two years combined, though I haven’t actually been counting)
The turning point in our sex life started on New Years Eve, when we jokingly promised to have sex every day this year. (Well I thought we were joking!)
But once that slight misunderstanding had been cleared up I did start thinking this isn’t going to fix itself.
Sex has been infrequent at best since the birth of our daughter (who’s turning 3 in a week) and I completely understand how that happened from my side. I had significant tearing giving birth to her so was too afraid to even attempt sex until 6 months later – and my fears were confirmed that sex was incredibly painful for me for some time. Which didn’t really boost my willingness to try without much of a sex drive to begin with.
Even though as time went on, slowly, steadily and gently, I healed and sex improved, I guess by then we were “out of the habit” of having sex.
Before we had kids sex was easy! There was no who’s initiating what and are we in the mood – we just rolled into bed every night and had sex. That was it. Occasionally we didn’t and that was fine, but pretty much every night.
As completely unromantic as it is, so many times since having children I have glanced at the clock as things start to warm up in the bedroom to work out how long until the next feed, or until I have to get up in the morning, and decided based on how much sleep I would get whether or not sex would be worth it.
And most of the time sleep ranked much higher than sex.
Also, there was this tiny, nagging, little voice in the back of my mind reminding me that contraception isn’t 100% and sex is what makes these little people who steal my sleep away from me. It was really hard to get in the mood with the thought, that even if it was highly unlikely, we might conceive another baby.
And it’s already hard enough balancing sex and motherhood – between tiredness, interruptions and really just wanting to be left alone for 5 minutes – without those niggling doubts and fears.
But it was time.
It was time to get myself back in the game.
Not for him, but for me. For us. For that adorable older couple I dream we’ll be one day – where we still sneak into each other’s beds in a nursing home.
So something had to change. And it had to be me.
And I mean ME. Not anyone else. I will not ever, ever ever ever, tell anyone that they should be having sex that they don’t want to have. Nobody. Not even my own partner. Let’s be clear on that. I recently read this HuffingtonPost article titled “5 Reasons You Should Have Sex With Your Husband Every Night” and while she does raise some valid points I just can’t get passed that “You” and “Should” in the title.
That is not at all what I’m saying. I’m saying me, I mean me, but if this is helpful to you then that’s awesome too.
I needed to start saying “yes” to sex and for that to happen we had to make sex fun again.
I feel like sex had become so serious. And we were having sex so infrequently I feel like I’d forgotten how to even be sexy, or spontaneous, or relaxed. I’d feel shy and awkward trying to initiate sex! Even with the man I’ve shared a bed with for 8 years – shy!
I needed to shake myself out of it.
I also needed to communicate this with him and say things like “I don’t feel comfortable initiating sex” or even really simple but honest tips for him like “I don’t want to have sex at midnight when I come to bed to sleep. If you want to have sex with me the best time to try is right after the kids have gone to sleep – that’s when I’ll most likely say yes.”
He needed to know that, because as close as we are he can’t read my mind. He can’t know what I’m thinking unless I tell him!
I started planning ahead to have sex, because with kids and commitments and stress and distractions, it doesn’t just happen spontaneously anymore – and not being more organised meant we’d be embarking on yet another year of infrequent sex. And taking control of our sex life meant doing some really simple things, like texting him at work to let him know it was on tonight… or grooming a little in preparation… or even just thinking about it in the hours leading up to the act, getting myself mentally and emotionally in the mood. And catching myself making excuses beforehand and asking myself how serious are my excuses or can I work around them? (like – feeling little bloated after having pasta for dinner probably isn’t such a big deal…)
A few weeks ago though our intimate relationship struck gold with an offhanded half-joke-half-serious comment from me.
As things started to warm up in bed my partner asked “Sooooo, what do you want to do tonight?” and I giggled nervously – because I didn’t know what I wanted to do, other than straight forward, lights off, under the covers, intimate, but functional, sex.
So I said “I don’t know… but… there’s probably an app for that.”
… I’m not kidding – 3 minutes later we had downloaded the ikarmasutra app which gives you random position when you shake the phone.
It is equal parts hilarious and amazing.
The best thing was it felt like it was all new (because some of it was VERY new) and 8 years into a relationship seems like a long time, but over a lifetime this is still the beginning of our relationship so now is the time we should still be getting to know each other and experimenting, in a safe and respectful way.
Also, we weren’t taking it seriously – at all. There was giggling, or hysterical laughter from me as we attempted to do something that resulted in total failure. It was fun. It was playful. It was relaxed (while also in some ways physically uncomfortable, but mentally and emotionally relaxed!)
There are a surprising number of sex related apps available, and I’m not planning to road test them ALL but I did find a list of “10 Apps to Spice Up Your Sex Life” that I did find… enlightening… (we have number 4 on the list)
I have absolutely no intention whatsoever of having sex every night. I still get tired, frazzled, touched out and just plain don’t feel like it!
But for me – for us – I’m trying to say “yes” more often and continue to find way to make things more interesting.