How Parenthood Actually Improved My Sex Life

feet in bed

When my husband and I had our first child, everyone joked, "There goes your sex life!" And in certain ways, that's true. My sex drive temporarily plummeted. My post-baby body bulged and sagged in ways that I doubt my husband appreciated. Yet in spite of these mood killers, I'd argue that having kids actually improved our sex life.

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Surprised? Dubious? Let me explain. While it's true that having kids wrecks havoc on your body, your, er, lady bits, and definitely how much time you've got to lounge around in bed naked, I still think kids improved our sex life in ways that I'd never have expected. And you can reap these rewards too, if you focus on the fact that these perks are there for the taking. Consider these three ways that parenthood heated things up for us:

1. We learned to seize the moment. Before we had a baby, I often turned down my husband's advances because I knew that we had plenty of other opportunities to get busy, so what's the rush? As a result, any small impediment -- a recent tiff, I'd just styled my hair -- became a reason to hold off.

Not so once you have kids. Baby asleep? Let's have sex. Like, right now, before she wakes up (which could happen in five minutes). So what if you didn't shower today, or insulted my mother when she came to visit? No biggie. Alone time became far more precious, so we stopped sweating the small stuff and got busy.

2. I have fewer hang-ups. Before having a baby, I was pretty vain about my appearance -- I worked out at the gym every day, liked what I saw in the mirror. As a result, I typically felt pretty confident stripping down. Yet this didn't really result in better sex, because intimacy isn't about toned triceps and six-pack abs. It's about baring yourself, flaws and all.

Welp, once I had a baby, my body had a LOT of flaws. Yet the surprising upside was that I finally had something to lose when I took it all off: might my husband not like what he saw? 

I was relieved to see that my husband didn't seem to blink an eye about the physical changes that were bothering me. I felt simultaneously vulnerable and grateful, and these feelings turned out to be decent aphrodisiacs.

3. We have to be sneaky, and sneaky is fun. Back in high school, I had to hide the fact that I was fooling around from my parents, and the clandestine nature of these encounters was part of the fun. Now, the tables have turned in a really weird way: we're the parents, and we're hiding from our kid.

While the thought of our daughter catching us in the act is NOT a turn-on in any way, the idea that we have to be "quiet" to avoid waking her up -- or even barricade the door to keep her from barging in -- makes me giggle and feel young again. And at my age, anything that makes you feel young is priceless!

In the end, parenthood stripped sex of all the unnecessary frills and, in its place, has left a more basic, honest, and intimate kind of sex with one sole purpose: to bond with the guy I'd decided to have a baby with. Sure, amid the drudgery of diapers and play dates, it's easy to lose that spark of attraction that once drew us together. But having a walking (or crawling) reminder really does help... at least, when you're not totally pooped.

How did having a child affect your sex life?

 

Image via Photographee.eu/shutterstock

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