I wanted to start 2017 off with a bang – pun 100% intended, not sorry. I wrote last year about being “touched out” and it had a phenomenal response. Men and women both telling me that they frequently feel the same, over touched, over pulled at and needed physically.
I’ve realised that I have come to a point where sex, despite being no less fulfilling than ever before, has become a time waste. There, I said it. Something that I really could live without, something that never quite has a time or a place. You want a quick bish bash bosh in the morning? Too bad, the kids need something. How about the afternoon? Nope, work. Evening? The kids won’t sleep. Night time? I’d rather sleep. And it goes on.
Sex becomes a thing that you will do another time, or something that you do in the speedy moments between one task or another.
Do you remember sex before kids? Sex in the shower, sex just after the shower, sex in the morning, sex in the evening, sex after drinking, sex before drinking, sex in the car, crazy sex, fun sex, LONG sex that didn’t require the phrase “Shit they’re coming” – or perhaps it did for you on that last once… whatever floats your boat. Sex sex sex. Then the kids arrive and your perspective shifts from being with one another to this little being. From being lovers to being parents.
I don’t feel any less in love with my husband, I don’t feel any less connected to him on an emotional level, but what about the physical? I don’t think so either.
We are a very tactile couple, it’s something that has been remarked on often – from holding hands to leaning against each other on the sofa. If we are in the house together, we are rarely not touching in some way, yet I feel like we’ve lost our way somewhat when it comes to anything much more. The question is: how much does that matter?
I remember reading once about a woman (it was on Scary Mommy, one of my favourite anti-sanctimommy sites ever) who had asked her husband if he wanted a “free pass” and then couldn’t understand why he was hurt and upset – there really IS more to a relationship for both genders than just the physical after all and by offering your partner an “out” it diminishes the rest of it. You’re in it together right, and what is sex if not a way to share something with your partner that is exclusive between you?
While I’m on the topic of what I’ve read, I also read about a blogger who decided to have sex with her partner EVERY day for a year. Initially it was forced, but as time went on they found it was there way to steal a few moments of “us time” and eventually she encouraged others to try it out, if only for a month. We jokingly said we would give it a go this month and made it to the 2nd of Jan… so yeah, perhaps one to consider for Feb…
So again, how much does it matter if you have lost your way a bit when it comes to the old “hanky panky”? If sex drive has been replaced by lay-on-the-sofa-having-a-cuddle drive, or Chinese take out drive? I think it does matter to a degree but it’s not everything. I think it matters if you feel you are becoming disconnected from one another, but other than that, perhaps we put too much pressure on ourselves to have sex. To “keep the magic going”, when in reality the magic didn’t leave, it just changed.
You know the old saying, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Dear Harriet, thank you so much for sharing this article! It gives me new insights and ideas on writing a blog post about the same subject for my blog. Personally as you said I agree that after some time the magic can disappear. For us lust changed to love. Still we try to keep it existing from time to time. Keep up the good work ;)!
All the house/family stuff you mentioned does come into it and leaves little time for anything else. It’s not that either partner don’t want to have sex, it’s just all that other stuff HAS to happen and the sex as nice as it is, isn’t compulsory. And so that gets jettisoned. Sometimes I find myself instigating sex because I feel we should, even though I too am exhausted and don’t geel like it, and sometimes I can tell my wife is trying but is actually mentally doing a shopping list. Kind of fizzles the whole thing. Hard work families.
Married 3 years together 13 years. Two kids boy age 5 and girl 1. Can’t say anything has ever changed for us we love sex, still as wild as ever.. think my wife slightly more than I. I would actually be saddened I think if it died out.
Now I’m going to be honest here and write something I’ve never admitted to before. My husband went off sex. And I mean completely. Years ago.
I convinced myself that this didn’t matter as long as we remained close. But we didn’t. Losing the sex meant eventually losing any close connection we had with each other – and he left me for another woman two years ago. I think both of us were too afraid to examine whether his lack of sex drive had a deeper meaning. And now I’ll probably never know.
But his leaving prompted me to start dating and a year after he departed I met the greatest guy. We’re very happy and have a health sex life. Despite the fact we have four children between us and quite often have to barricade the bedroom door to get our rocks off!!!
My advice would always be that sex is not the be all and end all…. but make sure you keep up that close connection with each other. And communicate. Don’t ever be embarrassed to discuss your sex life and what you both want.
Oh this made me really sad – your ex husband sounds like a total fuck nugget. Not to be too blunt.
I think ultimately my point is that you should feel you HAVE to have sex in order to have a close relationship – you can have intimacy other ways. I’m still very much attracted to my husband, and he to me, but I won’t be made to have intercourse because, well, I’m a wife so I should if I’m really opposed. I totally agree with you that communication is the most important part of any relationship. H x
Well as if I didn’t already want to meet you after coming across your IG post and more importantly you and I having a mutual blog friend in the wonderful Laura of …BabyKicks, now I REALLY need to meet you. Because oh my very goodness, how long could I talk to you about this and the All Touched Out one I read yesterday? Long LONG time.
Ahh this is the best comment! Thank you lovely – I didn’t realise we both knew Laura, we MUST meet! Did you say you couldn’t make BlogOn? If you can we should chat xx
How lovely of you. Totally bummed at how many blog events I miss due to living abroad like lovely Laura. In fact she and I only met once at BML last year and it was tooooo short. Am in UK next weekend plus April for 2 weeks for fam wedding so can’t justify another trip. They should do a live feed of your talk! I must be living in a cave because I only discovered your blog through Laura over the weekend and now I’ve seen you on IG, Big Pink Link and everywhere lol. So happy to come across your amazing wordsmithery xxx
Ahh thank you lovely! Haha I am getting about a bit at the mo 😉 xx
What a great read.
Thanks Zoe 🙂
Interesting post! I think there is far more to a relationship than just the sex.
This is really interesting to read. I don’t have children, but I am so not in the honeymoon period of my relationship, so not everyone is going mad for it on the other side! I think I’ll possibly try to balance it out, but it’s interesting to hear how priorities really change.
Ha, that is also true!
I’m not a parent and I’m single. Having gotten over my “one night stand” period I don’t really have sex very often…and I survive ha! Would be really nice to have someone to be that intimate with though
It isn’t everything is it?!
Just recently got out of a long term relationship and though we werent married or even had kids, 6 years down the road all sex stopped and it became all cuddling and smooching. I said this to a friends if we had kids and it moved to that I wouldnt feel cheated out of a good shag because kids come first after almost 4 years of just holding hands and sleeping I couldnt handle it anymore (plus other issues). I personally think sex is not everything but matters a great deal before kids, after kids its ok once in a while. Great post.
It’s definitely important, but like you say, not everything!
Since my wife and I got together we haven’t had a high sex drive. I think being both female we both had the tendency to find other ways of being affectionate than sex, and it’s very different when it’s two women (not to be too graphic) but it takes AGES! It’s not just ‘wham, bam, thank you mam’ so it has to be planned.
Thing is, after lots of discussion we decided that it just isn’t an important factor in our life together. We love it, don’t get me wrong but it’s just not at the forefront of being connected. x
YES! It’s just not the be all and end all is it?!
if it was me, the idea of a free pass would never have crossed my mind. i don’t like the idea of it and like you said, it just diminishes everything
Exactly – I thought it was rather cruel to suggest it, based solely on his gender stereotype. Poor guy!
Certainly if you’re still into other things that connect you, such as cuddling, that’s fine! I love that someone tried to have sex every day for a year as a challenge xD
It’s fab isn’t it? Power to them!
I have three kids and can totally agree your prioritise change so much from what they were at the start of the relationship.
Such a funny and honest post! Its so hard to keep it up in the midst of the life itself – can totally understand how this happens. So totally agree as long both of you are happy and satisfied, whatever floats your boat really !
Thanks Jb x
Such an honest post, and I love it! When I had twins (naturally) I had no interest in hanky-panky – lets face it, the choice between that and an extras 15 minutes in bed, and the 15 mins sleep won every time. Even now that my girls are grown, they still live at home so you can swing off the chandeliers anymore either!
Things do change, but it doesn’t mean a lack of sex has to ruin a relationship 🙂
Thanks Tanya! x
This was a great read!! I remember after having my first I was so out of touch with life, I was so tired and demotivated to do anything and sex was the last thing on my mind. However we now have two and although your sex life is different when you have children we still manage to be together at least a few times a week, let bare in mind this is like after 4 years of recovering from lack of sleep! hahaha!
Thanks lovely x
Not quite sure how to even comment, I think you always have to make time for your special person in your life and honestly can’t relate and was almost shock to read about it feeling forced trying to make a full year. huh, do what comes natural I guess. Happy we don’t have to worry about those kinds of things!
Thanks for your input, I’m thrilled to hear you can’t relate and your sex life hasn’t taken a dip over the years! Rock on!
Great post; I personally think that sex isn’t the be all and end all xxx
I couldn’t agree more!
Don’t have kids so can’t relate in that way. However I think it’s all about what makes you feel comfortable. Cuddles on the sofa sometimes feels more intimate to me. I do think some couples with kids forget to at least spend these intimate moments together. That’s why challenges like sex every day for a year might work x
I agree! It’s a personal thing isn’t it?
totally agree, priories can change but relationships can just adapt with the same amount of love
Exactly my point Melissa!
I love honest posts like this! I don’t have kids, so I can’t really relate but I can imagine it is hard work finding time to yourselves.
Ha thanks Hayley xx
I think this happens to a lot of folks, relationships change and mature and suddenly it’s not all about the sex, its about the closeness and the companionship. A bit of hanky panky is nice though!
Haha amen to that Dawn!
I dont have kids but recently that side of my relationship has taken a dive due to health matters. Mybf has been amazing and has made me realise that sex is not the be and end all of a relationship.
Exactly – it’s about so much more and I think a dip is often just so normal!
I think this is probably a very common struggle for partners who are parents. Having so many responsibilities and tasks to accomplish each day leaves them exhausted and who wants to think about trying to fit one more thing in (bad pun). If both partners are happy with where their relationship is at the moment, I think that is all that matters x
This is an interesting read – I don’t have kids but when I’ve been in long term relationships sometimes I find this happens anyway – although they’ve never lasted so thats probably saying something! haha
Ha Milli! You made me chuckle 😉
I don’t have kids so i can’t really say much about sex before kids. Although i guess i can because i don’t have kids at the moment, so know exactly what it’s like to have sex before having any. I guess becoming a parent does change how you think about things like this
Ha, that is true!
I can imagine sex takes such a back seat when you become parents, but if you’ve found some sort of routine that works for you – then don’t change x
Indeed it does!
I love this post, not enough people talk about sex and i’m not sure why, I love sex! xo
Ha, thank you! Me too – well, when I have the energy!
You pose such a tough question! We have definitely gone through times where sex is really infrequent but in the last year we’ve made a real concious effort to make time for it. I think it’s miles easier for us though as only one small person to contend with although having teenagers in the house isn’t easy either but they live with their headphones in so whatevs!
I think the more you do it the more you want to do it and it makes you realise what you’re missing out on if you go a couple of weeks without but I totally get that in can be such a faff!
There’s really no right answer here, just whatever works or each couple I think. Fab post xx
Ahh thanks lovely – the teenagers sound a lot easier, though perhaps they would understand a bit more if they just waltz in like Roo and Tobes have done in the past…
Such an interesting post. As someone without kids myself I can’t even begin to imagine the struggle of not being able to have sex as and when you want it, but priorities change when you have a kid. As long as you’re both happy that’s the main thing x
Thanks Rhian x