Jazz It up in Bed
Let’s face it: kids are the best birth control ever invented. If you’re like most of us, sex is the last thing you want when you get into bed at the end of a long day. Your mind is heavy with worries, and your body aches like you’ve been fighting all day. When your man’s hand finds its way to you under the sheets, your lips move before your brain even processes it: “Please, not tonight.”
Does that sound familiar?
The truth is, as a working mom, your days will most likely be busy, and you’ll end up feeling tired most nights. If you’re waiting for the perfect time to renew your passion, it’s like waiting for Halley’s Comet to visit every seventy-five years. Few marriages can sustain a long drought without falling apart. Don’t think you’re in the safe zone just because your partner hasn’t complained about it yet. It’s usually the things left unsaid that keep couples apart.
Denise Donnelly, professor of sociology at Georgia State University, estimates one in seven married couples did not have sex with their partner in the last six to twelve months. 40 Are you one of them?
Michele Weiner-Davis, author of The Sex Starved Marriage, explains why a low-sex marriage is a major problem:
When this major disconnect happens, intimacy at all levels drops. It’s about feeling wanted, feeling loved, feeling appreciated, and feeling connected and, in this case, feeling feminine. Because of the hurt, [a couple stops] spending time together. They stop laughing at each other’s jokes. They stop making eye contact. The bond between them dissipates, and it puts the marriage at risk for infidelity and divorce. 41
Health Benefits of Sex
If the only reason you’re withholding sex is because of stress, the surprising health benefits of sex might change your mind. Health experts agree that having a healthy, active sex life is good for you. Some health benefits include:
Keeping the immune system strong. Researchers at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania found that people who had sex once or twice per week had more immunoglobulin A antibody in their system than others. 42 Found in mucous membranes in the respiratory and digestive tracts, Immunoglobulin A helps fight infections such as the common cold and flu.
Providing a good pelvic floor workout. Pregnancy, childbirth, and other factors weaken the pelvic floor muscles and may lead to incontinence later in life. Good sex may help strengthen the weakened muscles. “Women tell me that after paying more attention to the control and coordination of their pelvic floor muscles, they have found new heights to their sensation and awareness during sex,” Kathryn Warr, Founder of IvoryRose Physiotherapy for Her, told The Huffington Post Australia. 43
Improving mood, memory, and sleep. Sex triggers the release of oxytocin, endorphins, and other “feel-good” hormones responsible for the stress-reducing effect. 44 A 2017 study showed the frequency of sex was positively associated with memory function in heterosexual women. 45 Researchers also found people who had orgasms before bed (either from intercourse or masturbation) experienced improved sleep quality. 46 Sex might just be the all-natural sleeping aid you’ve been looking for.
Blocking pain. Barry Komisaruk, a distinguished psychology professor at Rutgers University, found that vaginal self-stimulation more than doubled the women’s pain thresholds. 47 A 2013 study in Germany showed that sexual activities could relieve or even stop a migraine attack in both men and women. Subjects with cluster headaches also felt better after sex. 48
Preventing prostate cancer. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, men who ejaculated frequently were less likely to get prostate cancer. 49 If you truly love your man, you would do anything to help him live longer and healthier, wouldn’t you?
Rejuvenating your skin. 50 If you make love regularly, you’ll have the happy glow that makes others envy you. Think of your partner as a super Botox/filler machine who can revitalize your appearance for free. Instead of paying a beauty spa every few months, use that money to take your entire family on vacation. When your coworkers inquire what you’ve done to look so good, tell them it’s a special formula designed just for you.
Keeping a regular sex routine takes planning. Have an honest conversation with your partner and work out a schedule that both parties approve. Stick to the plan no matter how tired you are. You’ll feel better afterward. It’s much easier to fall asleep after sex, and you’ll wake up the next day energized and cheerful.
Not in the Mood?
You may not feel sexy after the children, but there are tools that can put you in the right mood immediately. It only takes five seconds to get that super lacy lingerie out of the drawer, and another ten seconds to put it on and make a grand entrance. When you dress sexy, you feel more confident. When you feel sexy, your body responds sensually, much to your partner’s delight. He will be more than willing to please you in bed—and out of bed. If he has been forgetful about the chores you give him, remind him after sex. Trust me, he will remember every word you say, down to the letter. Talk about the power of sex.
Out of Practice?
Don’t worry about how out of practice you feel. The more you do it, the better you’ll become and the more benefits you’ll receive. Regular sex increases the level of trust and intimacy in your relationship. You’ll find yourself more open to your man; you’ll talk more about how you feel and how you feel about him. He’ll appreciate your trust, and in return, he’ll care for you more. He will want to offer solutions to your problems. When you appreciate his effort, he feels proud of himself and becomes motivated to do more for you. Even if his recommendation doesn’t work, thank him anyway. He cares about you; that’s what matters. Most men don’t know how to comfort women, in my opinion. Find your best buddies to process your emotions; they’ll understand you better.
Spice It Up
To spice up your bedtime activities, setting the right ambiance can help both you and your partner to relax and enjoy. Turn on the romantic playlist; light a scented candle if you desire. Have your partner massage you if you’re tense. Caress him if he is not ready. Use lubricant or stimulating gel to enhance your pleasure. During sex, say what you want him to do, and watch him try his best to please you. Tell him what he makes you feel to validate his effort. If you need help to reach orgasm, try using a vibrator to intensify the experience. Everyone has sexual fantasies. Knowing your partner’s will help turn him into a sex machine made just for you. It’s nothing short of a wonder that out of seven billion people on earth, you married each other and had children together. Fuel your loving relationship with sexual intimacy. When your children grow up in a household filled with love, they’ll be more likely to have happy marriages of their own.
Remember, what happens between you and him in bed is nobody else’s business. Be wild, be silly, be quirky—whatever works to keep your passion going strong for the years to come.
When Passion Is Missing
Some of you may no longer be attracted to your partner, or perhaps never were. Unhappy about the situation, you’re probably used to the emotional distance between you and your partner. If you intend to stay married, instead of longing for what is missing, try to focus on the positive aspects of your relationship. Do something fun and exciting with your partner to warm up to each other. During intimacy, focus on how you feel rather than how disappointing your partner is. The shift in perspective can boost your level of satisfaction. Even though you may never fall in love with your partner, you’ll learn to appreciate his loyalty and to see more of his virtues than shortcomings.
If you love your partner but he’s no longer intimate with you, try to uncover the real cause. Has he been stressed about work, or do certain medications affect his libido? If the cause is related to stress, help him resolve the issue by figuring out a solution together. If it’s related to medical causes, talk to his doctor as a couple to seek treatment or switch to alternatives.
Stop thinking about how awkward you look and immerse yourself in action. Imagine yourself being twenty-one again, tease him until he responds, then resist him until he’s fully engaged. Do what your twenty-one-year-old body would do and think what your younger mind would believe. He’ll feel the difference in you and respond to your newfound passion. Lovemaking is an art—it’s not the body that matters, it’s the mind that makes the magic happen.
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