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Sexual Intimacy After Children

Sexual Intimacy After Children

Did your sex drive take a nose dive after having kids? If so, join the club! It’s common for a woman’s sex drive to trail her partner’s throughout life, but desire discrepancy (where one partner wants sex more than the other) tends to get amplified once kids come into the picture.

Understanding the problem and becoming aware of some solutions can go a long way toward creating an intimate relationship for life – one where you feel supported, connected, and emotionally close to your partner. And a strong relationship between the parents is just what’s needed to create a strong family.

The female mind is known for multitasking. But once you become a mom, that becomes an understatement. Suddenly, you’re thinking about nap schedules, feedings, laundry, bills, your career… without relief. Sexual thoughts have been entirely squeezed out of your mind. And the amount of time you have to spend with your partner has also changed now that you have a very demanding extra little person in your lives! So how can you reclaim some intimacy in your relationship?

1) Understand what you need to feel connected to your partner.

Although that sounds easy, sometimes we’re so busy that we haven’t taken the time to reflect on our relationship or on our needs. Knowing what you need to feel loved in your relationship is an important first step. So what is that you want that you aren’t getting? Is it important to you that he is an equal partner in sharing the housework? Would you feel greatly recharged if you had one hour to yourself each day? Do you need appreciation from your husband for all you do? Do frequent, small gifts make you feel loved? Once you know what makes you feel loved, communicate these thoughts to your husband. And of course emotional connection is a two-way street. If you know what makes him feel loved (it’s quite possible sex; see below) and are actively trying to meet his needs, chances are that he will try to meet your needs too. And that of course is a win-win!

2) Have a conversation about sex with your partner.

Initiating this conversation can be hard to do if you haven’t really broached the subject before. It requires you and your partner to be vulnerable with each other. Funny how talking about sex requires more intimacy than having sex! You need to find out from each other how important sex is to each of you, how frequently each of you wants it, what turns each of you on, and if it’s important who initiates sex. You may be shocked by how much your partner values physical intimacy. It’s often the means by which males gain emotional connection, just as talking is often the way women gain emotional connection. Can you imagine what it would be like if he just stopped talking to you for weeks or months at a time? If sex is that important to him, it should be important to you. Now you just need to get yourself in the mood. Read on!

3) Determine what arouses you.

Maybe you didn’t need to think much about how to get turned on early in your relationship because it just happened, but now you need a jumpstart – and you know that sex is oh-so-much-better when you are in the mood for it! So what does it take to get you in the mood? For most women, we need our brains turned off to get turned on (Refer to Low Libido in Women article by Julie Hart). In other words, we need to be cognitively aroused. And that’s no small order because as women and especially as moms, we constantly have multiple thoughts running through our minds at once. What does it take to turn off those childcare/career/household thoughts and replace them with sexual ones? For some it can be a bath or a glass of wine. For others it might be reading erotic stories, or watching an arousing film, or fantasizing. If you haven’t tried out erotic material, I encourage you to do so. It can be just the thing for shutting down that to-do list that never stops cycling through your mind – and for getting you eager for a little romp! And if you start initiating sex, just maybe your partner will initiate a load of laundry!

If these tips don’t help revive your flagging libido, you may need to meet with a Psychologist or Sex Therapist who can help you explore other factors that might be contributing to the problem.

Author: Dr. Suzanne Olds, Founder of After Nine Tonight

Dr. Suzanne Olds is the founder of After Nine Tonight and creator of the one-of-a-kind Rekindle video series designed to quickly and tastefully get busy moms in the mood. She is dedicated to strengthening relationships by helping couples to understand and overcome desire discrepancy.

You can follow her at, @after9tonight, or

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