Horizontal Hustle: Keeping Your Steamy Spark After Kids
I will start by saying that I am the furthest thing from being shy when it comes to talking about sex and sexuality. I grew up in a home where there was no shame attached to understanding your body and wants. My parents were very open and wanted us to be smart and safe when it came to sex. With that being said, it’s not as if they promoted sex at an early age or anything scandalous. Sex just didn’t carry a stigma in our house.
I knew by middle school that gender didn’t matter to me in terms of who I was attracted to. I never said “hey, I’m bisexual” or anything like that. I didn’t “come out” to my parents or friends. I didn’t hide it though, either.
As I got older, I was very adamant about seeing a gynecologist and staying on top of my female health. I think it’s important to know and understand your body as it changes. I have no issues saying that I was a horny teenager, and once I made it to my twenties, I feel like I was able to really embrace those wants.
The moment my husband and I finally decided to be together, I felt so comfortable with my body and sex. Before we had kids, I will admit that we were probably hard to be around for that first year. We couldn’t keep our hands off of each other. It was more than the honeymoon phase, because we held back our feelings for years. Having a relationship where I could connect intimately and sexually and understand the meaning of those words was incredible.
Now, we have two toddlers and a mortgage. Having those crazy romps isn’t exactly the way it used to be. There are timing issues and little ones that we can’t just ignore. We get tired and shit happens. We were told by everyone that sex would be very little to none existent once we were married with kids, but I swore we wouldn’t be the couple that only had sex on holidays and birthdays.
I’ve read a million parenting books and very few mentioned how to keep that spark alive. In the 3 years we have had kids, we have found ways to keep our marriage steamy. We don’t have the ability to just drop our kids with family or a sitter, so we’ve had to work on ways to keep our intimacy alive. We’ve had ruts and obstacles pop up in our marriage, but we are stronger than we’ve ever been. I really believe sex and intimacy is important for a successful relationship. I don’t think you constantly have to be doing the horizontal hustle, because intimacy is more than sex. It’s touching, connecting, and listening.
These are ways we find time to amp up the romance in our busy lives.
You don’t have to have sex in the shower when you’re in there together. You can if you want, but most of the time, we just shower. He washes me, and I wash him. We talk about our day and our upcoming plans. It’s nice to connect, and being naked in a small space is a perk!
I know so many people who scowl at me when I say this. They get huffy and say “spontaneous sex is better.” I get it. Planning things like sex aren’t always ideal, but as busy parents, it works for us. It’s fun to send a sexy text and say what I have planned once the kids go to sleep. It gives us something to look forward to. It might not always work out, but it’s worth a shot.
Date night is a little different than saying, “okay, we are having sex on Thursdays.” Having a date extends the intimacy beyond the bedroom. It could be any activity you like as a couple, and setting aside time without kids is important. We love our babies, but it’s okay to have time to yourselves. It releases stress and tension. Our date nights start as a family night, but once the tots are in bed, it’s our turn.
Touch Each Other
When my husband comes home from work, I wrap my arms around him. Hugging and touching relaxes us both after a stressful day. I am by no means a spooner or a big cuddler, but those touchy moments are amazing. We kiss hello and goodbye. The little moments add up, and it makes us feel wanted by each other. We are big on complimenting each other. It’s always been apart of our relationship, and it’s something that keeps us confident.
This can mean a lot of things. Stick with eating and exercising in a healthy manner. Feeling blah about your body and health can turn you off. The moments where I’m hard on myself and my appearance aren’t moments where I want to jump between the sheets. On days where I’m active and eating right, I feel like a sex pot. I’m not going to lie, feeling good helps you feel yourself! Keep up with doctor appointments, and acknowledge body changes too. Going to a gynecologist and finding out that I needed a hysterectomy was so difficult. Tumors and surgeries hit our marriage hard, but once I healed, our love life came back even better. Staying on top of how we feel makes a difference in our intimacy.
I’m not a sex psychologist, but if I could go back to school for anything, it would be that. I believe sex and sexuality are so important and need to be discussed. I’m not saying everyone is a freak in the sheets and needs to make trips to the adult bookstore, but I also don’t shame those who do.
Parents have needs too, and it’s okay to have moments with your partner. Self-care comes in many forms and having our intimacy is a big part of our marriage. Having sex and feeling beautiful makes me a nicer person. I get hangry if I don’t get to eat. I also get stressed if I don’t get alone time with my husband, and that is okay. Sex is healthy!