Thursday, June 2, 2011

Sex and the Suburbs: It starts in the Kitchen

Dad, I’m really glad you said my blog was way too “girly” for you.  Good.  Because you definitely won't want to read today’s.  Even though I’ve had 3 children, in your eyes I’m still the 8-year-old girl who wanted to marry her daddy, so let’s just keep it that way!

So, what’s on my mind today that I just had to share with you?  Sex.  (There; I said it!)  Mostly because it’s not on my mind enough.  I feel bad for my husband.  He married a girl who wore sexy lingerie, and over time, favored flannel jammies and preferred cozying up in front of The Daily Show to passionate evenings. 

Hubby, on the other hand, never changed in this area.  He’s still every bit as interested today as he was on our honeymoon.  I know I should be grateful for his attention… but I just can’t keep up with him.  (Pun intended.)

Back in the day when we were DINKS (duel-income-no-kids), it seemed I had plenty of energy for - and interest in - sex.  My husband’s mind, body and soul was still terrain I just had to explore, and we spent lazy Saturday mornings tangled up together until one of us finally felt compelled to get up and at least make coffee. 

Now, 17 years and 3 lively kids later - well, we’re just arguing over who should get up and make the coffee on Saturday mornings.

Not that I don’t find my husband attractive.  I still do… but the trouble is, by the time I’ve ended a whirlwind day of wrangling and chauffeuring kids, cleaning, working, cooking, managing homework hour, volunteering and walking the dogs… well, I’m just exhausted.  When I finally put the kiddos to bed, I just want my comfy jammies, a glass of wine, and 60 minutes where no one aks me for one single thing. 

Which is typically when my husband gives me the look.  You know the one....

And I really hate to say this… but sometimes sex just feels like one more chore for me to do at that point.  (Sorry, baby.  No offense.)  I know I should prioritize my husband’s needs, but I need some help.  So I’m interested in hearing what you have to say about it.  Got any suggestions?  If so, my husband will praise your name and probably cook an amazing dinner for you.  

Some of my girlfriends say great sex starts in the kitchen, but not in the way you’re thinking.  Many of us seasoned wives seem to find our men doing housework a real turn-on.  This is because when we’re relieved of just some of the mind-numbing drudgery that comes with homemaking, we can take one more step toward relaxing.  And for me at least, the key to being ready for sex is a successful move from “mommy” mode to “lover” mode.  It's no small task to unwind a whirling dervish.

My husband absolutely hates to unload the dishwasher, but when he does, well, my affection for him skyrockets.  He’s doing it for me and me only, and I love him for that.

I also think an evening headed toward sex starts in the kitchen because I’ve heard it said if you want to make love with your wife in the evening, you need to start in the morning.  In other words, the smart husband pours his wife some coffee before he leaves for work, takes a moment to massage her neck, unloads the dishwasher or tells her she’s beautiful.  Yep; it means making extra efforts.  But think of the payoff!

Of course it’s hard for my husband to get this, because he’s ready for sex anytime, anywhere, under any circumstance.  Doesn’t matter if he’s been beaten up by customers all day, the kids are screaming bloody murder or if we’ve just had a huge fight.  He’s able to compartmentalize his life and drop everything (again, the puns) if I agree to run upstairs.  I admire this about him; and I can learn from it. 

Still, he has to learn that I’m not ready unless all stars are in alignment… I need to feel emotionally close, relaxed, and appreciated.  It might make me a high maintenance woman, but then, he’s high maintenance in his own ways, too.  (And that will have to wait for another blog post, if said husband is still speaking to me after I’ve laid us bare here.)

Then of course, there’s the kids.  Their very presence means most parents have to get creative in finding time and space and energy for love-making.   I’d love to hear your feedback on this one, because the truth is, both hubby and I agree one of the best things we can do for our children is to remain happily married.  And sex is an essential ingredient to that end.  Our kids are old enough to entertain themselves a bit while we escape for an afternoon “nap,” but it doesn’t always stop them from knocking on the door. 

Our solution has been to be open with them.  It’s how they got here in the first place!  We tell our kids we need private time, and to stay away from the door unless there’s an emergency.  (And running out of goldfish does not constitute and emergency.) And if you have little kids, I say, adjust your expectations and take every advantage of their naptime.  The dishes can wait.  Especially if your husband is willing to do them afterward!

I won’t say I don’t have to work hard to stay focused and not jump at every sound they make.  But when I make the effort, I think it endears him to me.  And I always feel better, because after 17 years, hubby keeps honing his prowess.

Then, my very hot man is ready to unload that dishwasher.  And, I think, we might just make it after all.

Got some tips for me?  Leave a comment and share!  How do you keep the home fires burning when the  flames flicker?


  1. diane -- your writing is brilliant! thanks for charting this territory....

  2. Diane -

    Great Blog. Bold topic. Dare I say day sex is the best advice you've ever given me! Especially when you're feeling like it's one more chore (which show me the woman who doesn't ever feel that way and I'l show you a part-time sales clerk at Fascinations). By checking it off your list by 2 pm you won't dread that you have one more thing to "do" after the Daily Show. I say flannel is hot, figuratively and literally. You have to (as a married woman) find what's sexy to you now. I never dated even one bald guy, now I've been married to one for 12 years. The other day, just after a hair cut, I found his freshly shaved head sexy. Even though it kind of felt like Velcro. We're lucky women if we've figured out along the way that sexy isn't skimpy lingerie or great cologne. It's more like a lighter; if you get a good one, the kind you can refill (not a Bic where the flame dies out quickly) you can always make a spark. Refill. It's what creative women like us do for everyone around us. And if we're smart we do it for ourselves.

  3. LOL Julie; I never am quite sure if people actually take the advice I seem to love to dole out. :) I LOVE the lighter analogy! As usual, you're far more brilliant than me, and I'm anxiously waiting for YOU to launch a blog!

  4. If you figure this out, please share!! Maybe hubby can come home from work for a very well when kids are in school and of course if he works close to home.

  5. Love nooners, Patricia! Well, as long as my hubby doesn't talk too much about the to-do list or why the dishes are STILL in the sink. I work from home - plus have the 24/7 job of mothering, and he would do well to take me away from all that instead of question what's not been done!!! NOT sexy!!! :) BUt still, daytime sex rules. I'm not quite yet totally exhausted.

  6. Jeez Diane!! I'm with your Dad on this one. Love, UD

  7. LOL! Sorry, Uncle Dennis. But you know; I'm a Parker. I seem to remember Gramma and Grampa were pretty hot for each other. At least that's my memory, and I'm sticking to it! OK, mums the word on this topic... for now.

  8. Diane - I had been forwarded this link a while ago and just emptied the dishwasher so now have time to read it. While I envy your husband and his ability to be rewarded with said "nooners". I also believe that the time it took to write this article could have satisfied you both on multiple occasions, if that's still in the old bag of tricks. (Pun intended.) Please don't take it the wrong way that your priorities are misaligned with your husband, as I am sure plenty of opportunities arose to entwine subsequent to this post. (Yes, still intended.)
    The basic difference in the way the male and female brains are wired makes the all day flirting and eventual under the covers wrestling match very difficult for us men. While we have perfect intentions when the day starts with the cup of coffee and the neck rub with the good-bye kiss, we still leave and 8-12 hours later (including 1-2 phone calls throughout the day to make sure the day is going well) we return. Upon return we generally find the kids have ruined any proactive measures we have taken and now find that our wives want only to escape the confines of their house and kids. Even our best efforts to help with dinner, dishes and get the kids in bed typically results in the freedom for the wife to get her 'other' work done or just collapse and go to bed...and I mean to sleep. I am not saying this is how every family with younger kids operates, but I know my example above will hit home to many others out there. Recommendations from the Locker Room - We both have to put our daily grind behind us and reconnect each night as a couple. Sometimes this is watching a show on tv and just relaxing (or pick the thousands of other options available) and sometimes this is going to bed early to enjoy each other's company in a fully unclothed state. Us guys will be up for option #2 EVERY night, we just need to all find the right balance.

    Anyways, thanks for sharing your viewpoint and I wish I would have read this before you came over for dinner a couple weeks ago and we could have had this discussion as opposed to the entertainment of our political discourses. I'm going to empty the dishwasher again...

  9. Hey Locker Room! We've been waiting for some male perspective here, so thanks for jumping in. Your observations are right on. It's true that romance too often gets scrapped for sleep; and I agree ... couples need to reconnect in the evening. You might need to get creative in helping your Missus relax! And yes; in the time it took to write that blog, I could have romanced my husband. OK; next topic - quickies!! Thanks for commenting and good luck!

  10. It doesn't always have to be in the evenings either, there are many things worth waking up for ;)

  11. As busy as people get sometimes it's ok to schedule it and that in itself can lead to anticipation and getting in the mood you could be trading emails, texts and calls with messages like "today at 5pm I am going to takt that shirt of yours and .." or "tonight after the kids are in bed I just want to take my hands and ..."