How has your sex life changed since having a kid?

by singlemomseeking on May 30, 2008

It’s the final week of Babeland’s Sexy Mama event, and this week’s theme is Reinventing Sex: How has your sex life changed since having a kid? (or, kids!)

A year into single motherhood, for the first time in my life, I wanted to custom-order a night of casual (but safe) sex. I’d never thought this way before, but I wanted my burger with cheese and fries, thank you very much.

Sure enough, the next day, a nap seemed much more appealing.

This is certain: I roll my pants up now, I ask for what I need, I carry my own pack as I wade into the river, no matter how cold the water is.

Your turn: Now that you’re a parent, do you think about sex differently? Has your definition of sex changed?

I’m sending the winner a signed copy of Single Mom Seeking: Playdates, Blind Dates, and Other Dispatches from the Dating World.

P.S. Single dads, we’re curious to know how you’d answer this one, too!

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

The Exception May 30, 2008 at 8:14 am

This was a great question.

I seem to recall that I used to, at some point, have orgasms! Not so much anymore. It is not that I don’t have a drive or the ability to have fun, be creative, and enjoy the moment. It isn’t even that I haven’t been with some great men. It is more that, in the time permitted, I am not able to fully relax and get “into” the moment! Trying to fit a few orgasms into an hour lunch period while listening for the phone and thinking about this or that sitting on my desk… well, it doesn’t really work well.

I dream of letting my drive go – losing myself in the moment and in the passion. I dream of having sex when and where I want it… and how I want it. But, when you have a kid and are a single parent… well, for me at least… it doesn’t work that way. I have to make the most of the time I have – and that means that sometimes my mind doesn’t disengage and the climax isn’t all that it once was.

The man who gets me when I do have that time and ability to disengage… he will have a tiger on his hands!

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Ms. Single Mama May 30, 2008 at 12:30 pm

I have less energy for it than I used to … unless I’m ovulating (major frisky time lasting about 10 days for most women). Outside of those 10 days I am just as happy to pass out.

But, when I am in the mood – it’s even better than it used to be – because I cherish it, savour it – this time for myself and my partner.

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Crazy Computer Dad May 30, 2008 at 1:00 pm

After my son was born I don’t recall our sex life changing all that much (that is once my son got on a regular schedule and such). His mom and I had pretty compatible sex drives. Once we separated things changed. I was full time single parent and his mom only saw him every other weekend. I hadn’t dated in over 12 years so that was a shock in many ways.

So how has sex changed since becoming a single parent?

When you meet someone new there is always a higher level of excitement. As you get to know them better I have found that can stay fairly level, or decrease rapidly (usually a clue that something isn’t working). Finding the time and the space to be alone to have sex can be challenging, and as alluded to here often, even semi-public places can refuges from the complication of children. Nothing is ever quite as good as totally connecting physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually with someone else and leaving everyone and everything else behind. Kind of like what Exception says above. It can be hard to find the right person and the time to let go like that.

Since I’ve become a single parent I find that I am very picky about who I date, and my dates normally turn into long term relationships. To date my relationships have a 100% failure rate, but the sex is normally VERY good to AMAZING. Like Rachel says above (unless I misunderstood), most single moms don’t play games, they know what they want, they know how they want it, and they aren’t normally afraid to go get it.

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singlemomseeking May 30, 2008 at 1:26 pm

Nope, CCD, you understood! No games for sure. We know what we want, when we want it. At this point, it’s all about staring fear in its face, without blinking.

I really appreciate hearing from a single dad (and, hey, I thought you had a serious girlfriend! Did I miss something?).

Yes, as you all say here — inc. Exception and Ms. Single Mama — when you’re able to let everything go, for just that moment, it is amazing.

Here’s to being a tiger!

And Ms. Single Mama, I look forward to a post from you about that frisky time. Very true indeed.

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mc May 30, 2008 at 1:52 pm

Well, after I had the twins, it took a long time to come back. But it did come back!

Probably part of the problem was because of my partner (or lack of one!) when I had my twins–their Dad who I was still married to for several years–and our relationship was not going well. But also I hated my post-baby body and that made me not feel sexy, at all. My body felt like someone else’s. I was exhausted all the time. And I had an extra 20 lbs on me, but that wouldn’t have been so bad except that it was all in the wrong places! Especially my poor stretched out stomach (I carried the twins to term, and I was HUGE) which seemed to hang down to my knees and it didn’t go back for YEARS.

I think it was when my kids were around 4 or 5 years old that I started to feel a little like myself again. This did coincide with me finally dumping my ex, but I think it also helped that I started taking care of myself better. I cut out my lousy junk food & carb diet and focussed not on losing weight but on eating healthy meals three times a day. I started trying to eat meat at least once a week (my usual non-pregnant diet included almost no protein). I committed to sleeping 8 hrs a night (which in my case meant I finally had to be firm with the kids about them not sleeping in my bed). Also, I started getting full body therapeutic massages every week. I totally recommend this if you can possibly afford it—it’s worth canceling your cable to do it. The massages were really amazing—they lowered my stress level tremendously and made me feel like my body was “me” again, and made me feel like I was loving my body instead of punishing it. I also think it helped to finally get my muscles back where they should go.

I didn’t exercise–I still haven’t found that time for that, and I didn’t lose much weight, but I feel like myself again now. I feel sexy and strong. I’ve happily dived back into the dating pool, and sex is great, better than before even. I think this because I’m more in tune with my body than I was before I got pregnant, and also because I feel like it’s so badass to be the cool, mature (and maybe a little bit wise, now?) mother that I now am.

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Kristin Davis May 30, 2008 at 3:05 pm

So what do you do when you’re ready to “custom-order a night of … sex?”

That’s where I am right now, and I’ve only been divorced for a month. I find myself at home at night staring at my cat, wondering how to get what I want right now (and I mean now!).

And yet this perspective is so foreign to me — it’s only since finally ending my 18-year marriage that I’m getting my libido back. What a great feeling, especially after all the totally un-sexy years of diapers, sippy cups, and pediatrician visits. But I’m at a loss at what to do about it. I’m single! Free! Available! Woo Hoo! But I’m also alone…

So I putter around the house, pick up after my sleeping kids, start up a load of laundry, clean the hamster cage, and smile that after 13 years of motherhood, I’ve finally got my sex drive back.

Custom-order sex, anyone??

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Kat Wilder May 30, 2008 at 3:49 pm

Well, I’ve had to get quieter ….

And I have had to schedule my sex around when my teen is with me and when he’s not (and then my neighbors know, because I’ve been able to amp it up again).

It isn’t being a parent that changed my definition of sex; it was turning middle-aged and divorced. And, as CCD says, really paying attention to who I spend my time with — he must be worthy!

However, now I have to think about my kid having sex one day, and that — as much as I want him to experience love and passion and lust deeply — makes me, um, nervous

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dadshouse May 30, 2008 at 4:20 pm

Sex as a single parent has been different, for sure. When dating, I am so happy and grateful for a girlfriend that we do it all the time, and I walk around like Tom Hanks the morning after in Big.

When not dating, I somehow attract women who see me as the perfect booty call partner – they want nothing to do with my kids, but they’re quite happy to sleepover when the kids aren’t here. (I’m monogomous with my FWB relationships)

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Jim E May 30, 2008 at 5:30 pm

I’ll be happy to compare my pre-parenting sex with my post-parenting sex just as soon as it happens.

Yes, it sounds like a joke, right? Well, its actually true. After my daughter was born (5 years ago) my wife just stopped. Nada, nothing, nil. She just lost all interest. Countless cold showers and thousands of therapy and medical dollars later nothing changed.

Now that the marriage is over, I’m looking forward to being able to answer this blog question someday soon.

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Marie May 30, 2008 at 8:55 pm

I haven’t had sex since Teo was conceived (or a few days after). It’s now been 2 years, and I do crave it. But not the same way I did “back in the day” when I would get frisky with any cute guy after a night out, and with no strings attached (on his end at least…)

I always had insecurities when it cam to sex, but after having my son, I am ready to have a real, honest relationship with a man I love, and where sex is the cherry on top of the cake. I really am not interested in doing it with “just any hot guy” anymore. I guess I need the spiritual element that comes with it.

Until I meet someone I can build a close relationship with, I think I will just have to get it on with my vibrator (and go shopping for more, at Babeland!).

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singlemomseeking May 31, 2008 at 6:51 am

MC: Yes, self-care is key to getting your libido back, at least it has been for me.

Kristin: Bravo! You go mama! Once you get out there again, make eye contact and smile. Say “hello.” As Ms. Single Mama always suggests, dare yourself to ask for a man’s number!

Kat: You get me every time. Having to get quieter. So true.

Dad’s House: Sounds like you have quite a system that works for you. I’m impressed.

Jim E: Let us know when it happens! You’re on your way.

Marie: Thanks for making it real and honest… with sex as “the cherry on top.” Love it.

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5ksandcabernets June 2, 2008 at 6:58 pm

Well, like Jim said, I’ll also be happy to compare my pre-parenting sex with post-parenting sex as soon as it happens. My son was born about 10 months ago. Me and his mother live 200 miles apart and she has had some ppd issues (which is why she moved back home to begin with). I haven’t even held a woman’s hand since then, much less anything else.

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