Your sex life changes when you have kids.
When I say this, you’re already starting to think about that giant negative dent that kids will inevitably make on your sex life. For people who haven’t become parents, it seems logical that kids = less sleep, less time for yourself, less social time, less sex.
There isn’t always enough time for long foreplay and mindblowing sex so you start to have quickies where getting off isn’t always guaranteed. You’re exhausted and covered in bodily fluids from a tiny person that is anything but sexy - so you can start to lose that passion that made having sex so primal. And at times, you think that you might as well forget about kinky sex...you’re tired - it’s “get in, get off (hopefully) and then get out.”
This is what most people think of when they think about sex after having kids. And there is some truth to that.
But what if I told you that becoming a parent could actually make your sex life better, not worse?
I’ll admit, my sex life looks nothing now like it did three years ago before I became a parent...but honestly, I’d say some parts (if not most parts) of my sex life changed for the better when we had kids.
How are you supposed to have mind-blowing orgasms between nap times or find the energy to ravish your partner with great oral sex before the kids are awake and demanding food?
Well, I’m about to tell you the secret to having an amazing sex life after having kids: you work at it.
You hear all the time that “relationships take work” or (my personal favorite one-liner about love) “it takes teamwork to make the dream work.” These aren’t just sayings that people throw around about relationships - there is a lot of truth there.
Sometimes having a good sex life is easy, and sometimes it means putting in a bit more effort.
Sometimes you and your partner’s schedules clash, you aren’t spending as much time together, he’s in the mood when you’re not or vice versa...and you just have to put in a bit more effort than when you were younger, childless and could get it in whenever you damn well pleased.
This leads us to a super interesting question…
First of all, let’s talk about the “average” for people who aren’t parents. As sex therapist Dr. Ian Kerner explains in this HealthLine article: there is no one right answer when it comes to how often you have sex because it depends on many different factors that will be extremely different for everyone.
The answer to “on average, how often do you have sex” could be anywhere from a few times a week to once a month or less. Sex is affected by so much in your life: your physical health, your mental health, your relationship status, your lifestyle, your age, your natural libido...I could go on.
While it is difficult to determine how often people without kids are having sex, the “rough” how often a married couple has sex can be anywhere from 50-80 times per year, according to a few sources - such as this Time article that includes findings from several studies on the topic that were done in the early 2000s and this Very Well Mind article that is more up-to-date, having been published in 2017.
This would average out to be anywhere from 1-3 times per week.
A little experiment of my own...
While this seems “normal”, I did some super-sleuthing to figure out if that was an accurate representation of the sex lives of people who are raising children.
When you become a new parent (and if you’re tech-savvy), you join all kinds of parenting groups on Facebook...after all, it takes a village, right?
So, I decided to ask some members of a motherhood Facebook group to participate in a poll, if they felt comfortable, to talk about how our sex lives have changed since becoming parents.
While the group voted to remain anonymous (which I will respect), I can present the numbers that I gathered from my little experiment.
When asked how often they had sex since becoming parents, a group of 47 women in an anonymous poll on Facebook shared their answers:
I found this poll particularly interesting for two reasons…
Firstly, my findings did in fact line up with some of the statistics we’ve seen in the sources linked throughout this article...it seems that the average amount of sex that couples with kids are having is somewhere between 1-3 times per week.
The second part of this that was very interesting to me is that the option of “we have sex 3-5 times per week, depending on our schedules” was an option in the poll that was added by one of the participants, and quickly the other women seemed to agree that the lifestyle and schedules of the week heavily dictate how often they got down and dirty with their spouses.
While there is a lot of debate on how often it is “normal” to be having sex, there are so many things that influence our sex lives and it’s natural to go through “dry spells” where you aren’t having sex as often as you’d like to be.
One of the first changes I noticed about my sex life after we had kids was that I was suddenly attracted to my spouse in a way that I hadn’t quite experienced before. For some people, watching their spouse go through the process of loving a child makes them much more attractive.
According to this Fatherly article, some of the reasons women are attracted to dads is because they are no-nonsense, caring, more comfortable with being affectionate and rock the hell out of a dad-bod (which most women would prefer to a six-pack, these days).
And it’s not just dad’s that become more attractive. Men tend to think their partner is sexier when they flex their maternal muscles, too. In fact, men dig single moms (like, a lot) because they “have their shit together” (preach!), they are more patient, open-minded and tend to be more selfless, meaning they make for great partners.
When it comes to couples who are married and have recently become new parents, the verdict is in there, too: parenthood makes your partner more attractive.
How? Well, Glamour magazine lets us in on a little secret: 57% of married parents they interviewed said that they were having BETTER sex after they had kids than before they had kids.
Parents like to get kinky, which (depending on your relationship with your own parents) is maybe something you don’t want to hear: but it’s true!
On top of the super attractive qualities that being a parent brings out in most people, there is also something really intoxicating about being a “new family”. For first-time parents, there is a lot of love going around in the first few months of your baby’s life.
Not only did you just create and birth a human being together (which has to be the most team-working, trust-building exercise known to man), but the female body is also coursing with hormones that can up your libido or make you feel all sensual at the very least.
Oxytocin (the so-called “love hormone”) that is produced during and after childbirth, during breastfeeding and while having sex can also be a big reason why there is a lot more affection being thrown around in the beginning stages of parenthood.
Oxytocin can be described as “a hormone of attachment” according to clinical psychologist Carol Rinkleib Ellison. “It creates feelings of calm and closeness, promotes attachment and eases stress.”
Well, that sounds like a recipe for sensual love-making to me.
I don’t want to avoid the simple truth that women can be incredibly sensitive to their ever-changing bodies during pregnancy and after childbirth.
And for very good reason: it’s a wild time - things aren’t where they are supposed to be (literally, the woman’s entire organ system moves around to make room for a baby), you don’t look how you always looked before, and sometimes it can feel like you’re trapped in a stranger’s body.
Pushing through the beginning parts of motherhood (which is literally like an entire change to your identity) can be extremely difficult and no woman should face that by herself (count on your friends, family, spouse, and professionals, please...you’re not alone).
However...after you’ve given birth to a child, it really puts things into perspective. Once the dust has settled, hormones have balanced out and you’re starting to figure things out again - things just don’t look the same.
Suddenly you stop worrying so much about being perfectly waxed, about fitting into tight lingerie and about being a perfect 10 in the bedroom every single time. You become more forgiving of yourself and of your partner, you become less worried about what they will think and put more emphasis on just being there for each other and pleasing each other however you can.
This expands to the world of kink, too. You become less worried about stigma and about rules, you become less inhibited and are up for trying something new, because why not?
You begin to form a deeper bond with your spouse, one that isn’t solely reliant on how good you are in bed but that is reliant on intimacy and connection and sensuality. Sex becomes more about pleasing each other and less about making things look and feel porn-star-level good.
When it comes to pregnancy and parenthood, you might not think immediately about being kinky...but there are lots of ways these two things tie pretty heavily into the world of kinks and fetishes.
Erotic lactation, dirty baby-talk, erotic humiliation, intense nipple play, pregnancy fetishes, breast worship...there are tons of kinks that are maybe even better after you’ve had kids or been through pregnancy and childbirth.
Exploring things like pregnancy fetishes can make you feel so much more appreciation for your body. Even if your spouse isn’t into it, maybe they are into cuckoldry and are fine with you sharing nude photos of your pregnant self with people online. I mean, there are men out there willing to practically worship pregnancy photos of you.
While you’re looking at the bad angle, sagging tits and the massive round-ness of, well - pretty much everything on your body, there are lots of people who think those are the sexiest photos ever taken.
Then there’s the whole femme-dom thing - and I tell you, no one can channel their inner dominatrix like a woman who’s been through 20+ hours of intensive labor can without an epidural can.
Maybe your lover likes to be talked down to and you can flex your new discipline skills to indulge in their erotic humiliation fantasy. Or maybe your spouse wants to try pee-play - if so, then they are in luck because bladder control is a lot harder after you’ve given birth, anyways!
Whatever stage you’re at (whether it be 39 weeks pregnant or coming up on your kid’s 1st birthday) there are ways to use this parenting thing to your advantage and test out some kinks you never thought to try before.
Now that we know parenthood can make your sex life great, let’s get to the reality of problems many new parents face. There are lots of ways parenthood can kill your sex life...but I’ve got some solutions for you.
Problem: You Have Nowhere to Actually Have Sex
There are diapers, burping cloths and dirty newborn clothes everywhere.
Your kid likely sleeps in your bed more often than they sleep in that way-too-expensive crib you bought them and you’re just left thinking: where could we actually HAVE sex? Where is there enough (clean) space for us to physically make this happen?
Solution: Anywhere. Literally, just anywhere.
Anywhere that you can make it work has to be “good enough” sometimes. The shower, the kitchen table, the little section of the couch that doesn’t have clean clothes waiting to be folded on it.
When it comes to finding space, you just make it work where you can - even if that means getting busy on the floor. Just lay a soft blanket down, maybe light a candle and you can pretend it’s a super romantic date night instead of that 20-minute window before your child wakes up from their nap.
Problem: You’re Sleep-Deprived
Did you know that parents get an average of 5 hours of sleep per night? And if you’re a new parent (I’m talking newborn stages) then those 5 hours are very likely split into 30-40 minute segments, especially for breastfeeding moms.
When I was in the newborn stage with my son, it’s not like I never thought about sex...I’m a sex-positive person, I think about sex all the time. But actually having it...that seemed nearly impossible.
Solution: Accept that there will be highs and lows to your sex life. Don’t get stuck in the lows and take advantage of the highs.
Being a parent means you can’t just get it whenever you want. There are other duties that require your time-sensitive attention. However...that doesn’t mean there will never again be time for your spouse to ravage you just like they did on that first date you swore you wouldn’t sleep with them on.
There will inevitably be highs and lows when it comes to your sex life after you have kids - sometimes your schedules just aren’t in sync or you’re just too stressed to focus on that part of your life. But there are other times when the sex will be regular and great - and take advantage of those times! Communicate with your partner. Some people even come up with sex schedules, which may seem kind of intense but honestly, whatever you have to do to get laid...do it.
Problem: Hormonal Imbalances and “Not Being in the Mood”
Pregnancy and parenthood really do a number on a woman’s body. There are all different kinds of reasons you may be experiencing low libido.
Some women claim their sex drives sky-rocket after becoming a mother, and some women explain that their sex life is pretty much non-existent as a new mom because they just “aren’t feeling it”.
Solution: Talk about it and seek professional advice.
Whatever you’re feeling, you’re not alone.
Talking about your emotions (especially if you’re struggling with post-natal depression) and seeking professional medical advice for serious changes to your personality (including a lower libido) can help you target and address whatever problems you might be dealing with on a hormonal level.
Problem: There Just Isn’t Time
“Spare time” when you’re a parent is like a magical three-headed unicorn that can do your taxes and simultaneously complete a perfect rendition of that sexy striptease dance from Magic Mike...in that, you have absolutely no idea where on earth you’d even begin to search for that.
Parenthood is busy!
Who has time for mindblowing sex, you might wonder.
Solution: It’s not always easy...you have to work on making time for each other.
This is likely not what you want to hear, but this is part of the whole “relationships take work” thing I was telling you about before.
Sometimes you have to really work for it. You might not be in the mood but you could at least try. Put some sensual music on, slip into your sexier robe instead of the one that has baby-vomit on it. You know...things like that.
Making time for your partner and their needs makes the sex that much more intimate and meaningful, too. Really finding the time to care for each other and bond with each other in the ways sex can allow you to isn’t always the easiest thing but it definitely is worth it because once you reconnect on that primal level and start to experience good sex again, it becomes more addictive and then it becomes easier to make time for.
Problem: You Just Don’t Feel Sexy Anymore
This is an extremely common problem for both men and women who are new parents. Whether it’s the extra weight you put on during your wife’s pregnancy (giving you a total dad-bod that everyone else finds attractive but that you find upsetting) or spit up in your hair that your husband is nice enough not to point out - parenthood can be anything but glamorous at times.
In fact, it can be downright disgusting.
Solution: Self-care will do wonders for your ego, your mood, and your sex life.
When we become parents it’s like we suddenly forget how to care for ourselves because we’re so instinctively caring for the baby’s needs.
Practicing a bit of self-care (going to get a wax, doing a 10-minute pilates workout, having a shower, painting your nails)...all of these things can have a massively positive effect on your love life.
You’re a parent now, you’re not going to look flawless all the time...but it sure is nice to get dolled-up every once and awhile. And when that happens, your lover will be pawing at you begging to please you, and that will feel amazing.
There are a lot of misconceptions about your sex life after having children, but by far the biggest one is that all kink goes out the window when you see that positive pregnancy test - and this is just so inaccurate.
Take this couple, for example, who did a whole interview with Fatherly about how they balance sex parties with planning their child’s birthday parties and find time for orgies between PTA meetings. Just because you’re a parent doesn’t mean you have to stop being who you are in the bedroom.
You’re a sexual being and your physical needs deserve to be recognized.
Even after you’ve done the “kid” thing, you can still do the “kink” thing, too.