Remember sex? It's what helped you become a parent. And then the kids came and making love became but a sweet, distant memory ... well, that's how the joke goes, anyway. Everyone seems to agree that nothing will kill your boom-boom time like having children. But is that really true? Aren't there any ways parenting could actually be GOOD for your sex life?
Don't laugh! We asked a panel of experts, and to our surprise, the answer is a resounding YES. Here's what they say about why parenthood is the best-kept secret aphrodisiac.
1. Parenthood lowers men's testosterone. According to Dr. Nicole Prause, psychiatry researcher at UCLA, men with higher testosterone have more children, but having more children decreases their testosterone. And this is good for their wives' sex lives because? "Since men tend to have higher sex drives, this actually could help bring a heterosexual couple better into line with each other in terms of matching their drive," Dr. Prause reasons.
2. Fathers are more fun. "Fathers who have positive interactions with their children have increases in progesterone, which has been related to improved mood," says Dr. Prause. A happy man means happy times in bed, hopefully.
3. Setting up date nights makes your time together more special. "Parenthood can actually be great for your sex life because it makes you focus on 'adult' time," says author, relationship counselor, and intimacy coach Nwasha Edu. "Planning adult-only weekends away or nights out makes these events truly special. The excitement about date night can bring new passion to the sexual experience," says psychologist Lauren Napolitano, author of the forthcoming Over-Scheduled & Under-Sexed: How Busyness Is Destroying Your Marriage (2015).
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4. You treasure your intimate moments more because they're rarer. "Parenthood also helps you appreciate the quick times and impromptu locations for sex," Edu adds. "Now a quickie in the kitchen or coming out of the shower is all the more meaningful."
5. Parenting is a bonding experience. "The emotional bonding that occurs between parents can infuse the sexual relationship with new energy," says Dr. Napolitano. "Spiritually, being parents is the ultimate bond and can bring a deeper love and new appreciation for your partner when you see them in their new role," says Nwasha Edu.
6. Parenthood makes you more loving. "Your heart becomes more open," says family counselor Dr. Laurie Moore. "You become more compassionate, more kind, more loving." Bringing that into your sex life and becoming more attuned to each other can only make it better.
Do you agree that parenting can actually benefit your love life? In what ways?
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