How often do you have sex? Is it once a month? Or once every 3 months?

You know, it’s totally normal. Many parents of young children are in the exact same boat. I mean, really, your biggest priority in life is to care for your children. It’s a huge responsibility. You need to work to provide for your children —  feed them, cloth them, entertain them and make sure you give them ample opportunities to grow and evolve as little humans. Then, on top of that, you want to maintain a shred of the life that you once used to have: be it going out with your buddies, or enjoying a movie night, perhaps a yoga class or going for a jog with the stroller.

At the end of the day, you’re exhausted, and there’s no wonder that you don’t have time and energy for sex. On those rare occasions that your partner says to you: “Hey, honey, how about some hanky-panky tonight?…” you shrug inside and think to yourself that you really don’t feel like it. Really

A good night’s sleep is much more important — and enjoyable! — than sex. Or is it?

Truth be told, the few months after a baby is born, a lot of people don’t even have the capacity to think about sex. Especially the one who gave birth. They might experience some pain in the organs that are supposed to give them pleasure during sex (A.K.A genitals), and having sex is off the cards. Plus, the main caregiver of the baby is more often than not full of oxytocin — the so-called “love hormone” — because they are having lots of close body contact with the baby. Their cup is so full that sex is not an appealing concept all. It is not uncommon for mothers of newborns to feel disgusted by their partners. Wishing that their partner will just disappear and leave them alone with their babies, and in extreme cases even feeling strong hatred toward their partner. It’s really common. However, if your partner is not abusive, and generally doing his best to help, there’s no need to act upon these feelings or thoughts. After all, there’s a reason why you decided to be together. Please remind this to yourself, and be gentle to both of you during this transitory time.

Now you know that you’re not alone. Having sex in the immediate months after a new baby is born is, for many people, a no-go zone.

However, if the stage of “not having sex” or “having sex only once in a couple of months” lasts longer than the first few months after the baby is born, you might want to look at actively changing this situation. Here’s why.

Normal does not mean optimal.

Most of us knew that once we have children, our life will never be the same. We were making that sacrifice willingly. It’s part of the journey of becoming parents. We tell ourselves that it’s OK to put our sex life on hold right now, believing it will sort itself once the kids grow older. And sometimes it does.

Not having sex, or having sex only once every few months, is very common for parents of young children. And it is not necessarily a bad thing. Unfortunately, many times it is.

Even though sex is not the most important thing in a relationship, it is a very important aspect of an intimate relationship, and the lack of it could indicate that something is out of shape. At times, it is the exposition in the story of a break-up.

The importance of sex goes well beyond the physical satisfaction it has the potential to bring. When I use the word sex, the image that I have in mind is of a union. The act of bringing two bodies together, being as one, is a noble concept that has a strong implication on our wellbeing as individuals and as a couple. Some people go as far as describing this as a spiritual experience.

I am aware, though, that when I use the word sex, many people have a very different notion in mind. The sex we see in the Western world around us is synonymous with raunchiness. It’s manipulative, degrading, and shameful. If this is what you think of when I use the word sex, then I should explain why it is utterly important to practice it with your partner. Because it’s not just about enjoying an orgasm or two together.

Sex, when practiced with a loving partner, isfostering trust and strengthening the bond between lovers. And it really doesn’t matter which type of sex you enjoy: it can be sacred tantra or hardcore BDSM. As long as you do it with someone that truly cares for you, and there’s a strong mutual desire to please each other and to experience a togetherness through physical touch, it will have similar effects on your relationship. It’s not about a sex position or technique, it is about your mindset: are you connecting to your partner? Do you make sure that they stay connected to you while you’re having sex? That’s the type of sex I’m talking about.

Having sex in a way that deeply satisfies, nourishes and makes you feel alive, is the type of sex that gives fuel to a relationship. Investing your time and effort into it is investing in your long-term relationship.

But how can I want to have sex if I really don’t feel like it?

What I want to tell you is, if you used to enjoy having sex, and if you want to keep your partnership thriving — it’s a good idea to make sex a priority. Not the type of sex you have just to keep your partner happy, but the type of sex you have to make you feel alive. The type of sex I described in the previous paragraph. 

A few people might think they have low libidos. This could be your case, and it is treatable. If you want to have more sex but really don’t feel like it, here’s some advice.

But I am too tired and busy to have sex regularly.

If you have time to zone out in front of the television a few times a week, you can find the time for a sex date once a week. Or perhaps it’s time to give up something from your busy calendar. I know that going out with your friends or having a weekly yoga class is also very important. And I also know that what you invest in will flourish and what you neglect will wither. Again, it’s about prioritizing the relationship that you want to last a lifetime. The one you want to thrive. The one you want to evolve and grow and become more fulfilling over the years to come. 

Schedule a sex date on both your calendars. Set it up as a repeating, weekly event. 

But sex is supposed to be spontaneous. If we plan it, all the fun will be ruined.

Let’s be honest here. Think about the last time you had spontaneous sex. Was it that great? Was it truly satisfying?

Spontaneous sex works really well at the start of the relationship when the excitement levels are naturally high and the novelty rubs off on everything else. And even then, if you pay close attention, nothing is truly spontaneous. How long were you thinking and fantasizing about having sex? Or even planning it? The only difference is that you didn’t share it with your partner.

A sex date can be tremendously exciting. Imagine waking up in the morning, knowing that tonight you get to have sex with your partner… Thinking of all the things you will do to each other… Cheeky text messages throughout the day, teasing touches, whatever gets you in the mood. By the time the sex date is due, you’ll both be too excited to pass it up for anything else. Just take some time and attention to make it special and enjoyable for both of you.

At the end of the day, there’s nothing wrong with not having sex often. But if sex could provide a cure for a relationship that is stuck in the rut, wouldn’t you want to try it?

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