…baby, let’s talk about you and me, let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things….
Anyone else have that song stuck in their head now? Thank you Salt-N-Pepa, or in my case, Pitch Perfect, for bringing this rad song to my attention.
Anyway, grab your glass of coffee or wine or tea or whatever, grab the box of chocolates and your digital girlfriends, and let’s talk about this, because first, who doesn’t love a good sexy chat with girlfriends, and second, this is super freaking important!
Everyone seems to know the drill by now- you meet that handsome hunk and all you want to do is lick his skin off (anyone else love the move Just Friends?), but now, 6 years of life together and 3 kids deep, all you really want to do is never be touched by another human person for like 10 flipping minutes. The reasons are endless- “I’m touched and grabbed and petted by small children all day, please don’t”— “I’m so tired, let’s just go to sleep” — “I’m just not feelin it right now” — “I feel (and sometimes think I look) gross, why would you even want to?”
What we as women don’t see very easily is that every time we say “eh, can we not tonight?” it can be, and usually is, a huge hit to our husbands ego.
What’s gotten me all riled up about this particular topic is I was scrolling through fb earlier tonight and saw a post someone wrote about sex, and I was thinking “finally! yes! let’s talk about sex!” until I read it. Basically, the blog post was about how this woman, as a wife and mom of two kids, physically didn’t feel sexy, felt like a big sack of jell-o, and eventually broke down in tears, sobbing to her husband about how she couldn’t get into sex because she didn’t want him to see her naked like that.
At this point in reading it, I was thinking “ok yeah, I totally get this girl. What happens next??”
Well, basically, she and her husband prayed…. and now they’re great!
it also said they talked some too, but the drive home message was “prayer will fix it” and I’m not arguing that it can’t, but I think there’s a lot more to it than that. Let’s discuss.
My husband and I go to therapy regularly. Not cuz either of us are depressed or considering divorce or fight a lot, but just cuz it super helps us communicate better and get along better and overall, lead happier and more fulfilled lives. One big thing that came up in therapy while I was pregnant with our first baby was that he didn’t feel loved by me because I didn’t want to have sex. Now, let’s start with me saying I really really don’t like being pregnant. I know it’s beautiful and amazing and an absolute miracle of life, and all that, but the huge things that I think about when I’m pregnant are 1) heartburn is straight from the devil and 2) gosh I hate gaining weight. So, it comes as no surprise that I don’t exactly feel sexy and into it when I’m pregnant, besides the fact that it feels different and it’s usually not a good different. BUT all that being said, that didn’t take away his feelings of hurt that I was constantly turning him down, so this pregnancy, we made proactive steps to try and avoid that, and to just in general make our sex life more fulfilling for the both of us, before, during, and after pregnancy.
So, my advice is this- Step 1) Pray. Pray that you will be more connected with your spouse and be attracted to them like you were when you first met. THEN move on to the next step
Step 2) TALK! For the love, tell your husband what you’re thinking/feeling/wishing/dreaming. He is your best friend and literally vowed to love you more than any other human being on the face of the planet (even your kids! More on that later….). He needs to know what you like/don’t like/whatever. I always like to start out my constructive criticisms with “hey babe, I love you. Also, that didn’t really do it for me when you did _____ because…” Or, if you’re not comfortable doing it face to face, my husband and I have a shared note on our phones where we write things we want to try or things that would turn either one of us on. You can also just text or email a list of things to him. Or talk to a therapist about it (therapy is never a bad idea). Either way, men are not very good at picking up subtle hints, so a lot of times you really just need to get right out there and say “I am sexually frustrated! You are not meeting my needs!” Trust me, he will be relieved he doesn’t have to try and figure you out anymore, and you’ll be relieved that he finally knows what you want! And vice versa– women, ask your husbands what they want, and work together to figure out how to get to where both of you are happy at the end of the night (it’s actually possible, believe it or not!)
Step 3) Research If you don’t know what you like, talking might not take very long, and will probably not be super productive, so try to figure out what you do like. Try new things in bed, watch some movies (whatever rating you and your spouse are comfortable with), read some books, and you’ll start to figure out what does and doesn’t do it for you.
Step 4) Go shopping Sex toys and lingerie can be amazing tools for taking a pretty “eh” sexual experience to an “oh man, can we do that again right now?” type of thing. After you’ve gotten some ideas of things you think might help, go to your nearest sex store (or farthest one away, or the one with the darkest windows, or shop online, whatever you’re comfortable with) and check them out! My advice that will totally change the entire experience if you go to a physical store- ask for help! Let me tell you, the only thing that will make the situation awkward is if you’re fidgeting and being all shifty eyed and weird. Just act like you’re shopping for a tool set, and are not sure which one will work the best for you. The attendants that work there are usually very in-tune to their sexual energy, and are not shy about giving you their opinion on certain products, and have been a HUGE help to us in the past.
Step 5) Get turned on I will admit, even after months of doing all of steps 1-4, I’m still often just not even remotely interested in doing anything, so I have to consciously make a decision to get in the right mindset. There are a million different things that can get you here, but the thing that works the best for me is reading, and I’m not talking about the latest mystery by James Patterson, I’m talking about the dirty, sexy, naughty books that could have been written by Chandler Bing’s mom. They’re usually pretty awfully written, at least the cheap/free ones that I download are, and the originality is often lacking, but after a chapter or two, I am ready to put baby down for an extra early and long nap and jump into bed, pregnant belly and all! You can also watch videos (again, whatever rating both you and your spouse are comfortable with), and sometimes it’s more fun to watch them together! And talk about what ratings you’re ok with when you’re together vs when you’re not together, because those things could be different for you personally. Whatever it is, it helps a ton to have your mind prepared before you start shaving your legs.
Step 6) Just start already Even if everything you did in step 5 was a huge disaster, just start. Do something, even if it’s just making out or a peck, or holding hands, or where ever you want to start. It’s not a lie that sex leads to more sex, and no sex leads to more no sex…… that was not grammatically correct, but you get what I mean. Just start, and eventually, you’ll get there. Just don’t forget to TALK because a faked orgasm is doing no one any good. If you have a bad bout, tell each other about it, and give suggestions on how to improve next time.
Another tip that helped me, especially when I was pregnant, was to decide ahead of time “I am not going to think negatively about my body right now. I am going to push any negative thoughts out of my head and pretend I am a hot and sexy and fit wife right now, because that’s how he thinks of me.” It takes some practice, but it does get easier every time you do it, and definitely makes the experience more enjoyable. It was a huge revelation to me when I realized I could control where my thoughts went, and decided that, especially during sex, I was not going to let some silly thought, that’s usually straight from the devil, ruin the entire experience for me.
Just remember, like a healthy marriage, a healthy sex life takes practice and persistence and a conscious effort, so don’t expect things to just pop back to how they were when you first met immediately, but the good news is once you figure each other out, everything you do will be a million times better than when you first met! You won’t be second guessing yourself, thinking “does he even like this?” and your husband won’t be thinking that either, because he already knows what you like!
I sincerely hope this helps you, and you walk away ready to change your sex life for the better! Be proactive and conscious of your decisions and decide for yourself “I deserve good sex! My husband deserves good sex! My marriage deserves good sex!” and go get it girl!