How To Reclaim Your Sex Life After Parenthood

sex life

A big sigh of relief, Finally. The work day is over, the dinner dishes are washed, the chores are done, and the kiddies are tucked away for bedtime. Finally, you and your partner can be alone.

And just when things are getting steamy, you hear it: Knock knock knock.

And with a creeping dread, you hear a small voice through the door call, "Mooooom?"

Sexy-time thwarted again.

The worst, am I right? When will you two ever have some time alone? If you're a parent – you totally get it. Intimacy – and how often it happens – changes after becoming a mom or dad.

YourTango and the makers of Trojan™ Lubricants surveyed more than one thousand parents to ask them how having children affected their sex lives. Before becoming parents, the majority of respondents said they enjoyed sex almost every day. After kids? That dropped to a 15-minute quickie once or twice a week. And 78 percent of people confessed that they have less sex now that they are parents.

You know that their little lives have changed your life forever – and while you wouldn’t change anything about that for the world, it's not exactly doing wonders for your sex life. So how can you take back your sex life? We consulted sexologist and relationship expert Dr. Logan Levkoff for tips on how to embrace your changed sex life after parenthood. And believe us when we say, it changes, but change isn't always a bad thing.

Be Spontaneous, Be Inventive!

Parents are the masterminds of being creative, whether it's helping your kids on their science projects or explaining long division to them. So bring that ingenuity and spontaneity to your sex life!

For one, your parent "play date" should always be a kid-free zone. Get a babysitter to keep an eye on your little ones (even if it's just for an hour or so) and sneak away together. Run off into the backyard woods for some "fresh air." Or tiptoe over to the garage and clamber into the backseat of the car, making out like a couple of teenagers.

And at night, don't let your kids sleep in bed with you. Keep the bedroom a "mommy/daddy only" space. That’s not to say you should leave your toddler running amok through the house unsupervised or neglect them when they run crying to your room after being shaken awake by a scary nightmare. But once your kids go to bed, generally, that's where they should stay – in their own beds. Naptime means nookie time for you!

Secondly, talk in code. This can be fun! Meet eyes with your partner across the room and announce that you have to "pay the electricity bill" with a flirty wink. Or tell the kids you both need to have a "timeout." Think of this wordplay as foreplay.

And don’t just stop there. Try a crazy new position, that new sex toy or that oh-so tempting Trojan™ Arouses & Intensifies lubricant. It all adds up to making your sex life oh so steamy.

Let’s Redefine "Sexy Time"

Prioritize play time (and no, we aren’t talking about the kids). Sure, you're both utterly exhausted and ready to collapse into bed. Sex is probably the last thing on both your minds. And we know, we know: Scheduling sex is about the least sexy thing. But here’s the good news: The best sex doesn't just happen between the sheets, after dark.

"Intercourse is not the only sex act out there!" Levkoff says. “There are many behaviors that add up to pleasure, find what you and your partner love to do and have time for.” 

For you and your partner, maybe "sexy time" is slipping into a hot bathtub frothing with bubbles and lined with dimly lit candles, wine glasses in hand. Maybe it's going to see a movie together (other than Frozen). Or hey, maybe it's something as simple as meaningful pillow talk after tucking the kids into bed. Whatever makes you feel closer and more bonded with your partner is something to make time for and can lead heightened sexual pleasure in the long run.

You’re Not Just 'Mom' Or 'Dad' – Love Yourself!

When you have a little one, it flips your whole world upside down. You go from being a lover to "Mom" or "Dad." You go from putting your needs first to putting the needs of your children first. And somewhere between the piles of dirty diapers and the spills on the floor, your sense of self gets lost in the mix. Take it back!

As part of redefining intimacy, you have to redefine your own sexuality. Dr. Levkoff suggests doings the things that make you feel sexy in your life – inside and outside of the bedroom. Go ahead and splurge on that sexy lingerie that you’re sure will make his jaw drop. Pamper yourself to a yummy flavored latte. Or treat yourself to playing 15 uninterrupted minutes of songs off your favorite album. You'll feel great, fulfilled and on-top-of-the-world confident. And confidence is sexy and a turn-on – for your partner and for yourself.

Stop With The Excuses – Make Love-Makin' A Priority

Sure, there are going to be nights when it's just not happening, but so often, we parents can find one excuse or another to put our needs (and sometimes, even the needs of our partner) aside for the sake of family or sleep. In fact, in our survey, 60 percent of parents said that they would forgo a night of passion for some extra sleep. Some of the other excuses topping the list? They were too busy or the kids were around.

Make a pact together: Never say "no" to one another. If you're not in the mood, try to get yourself in the mood with the help of a little foreplay or perhaps your favorite adult "toy". Remember, happy parents have happy kids!