Every women's magazine has a "Mom" version of the standard "How To Have Better Sex" article. Quite often, the titles alone make me feel like I should keep an extinguisher by the bed -- along with a bucket of cold water to douse on myself and my partner when we spontaneously combust from sheer passion: "How to Keep Your Love Life Hot and Your Sex Life in Flames." "10 Ways to Reignite Your Marriage." "How To Turn Up the Heat In the Bedroom, Without Singeing the Sheets." (Oh, I like the last one.)
Can we take a moment to disband the sex myths propagated by magazines, and have a little straight talk here?
Let me break it to you (in case you haven't figured it out already), sex after kids is often not so hot - and sometimes not so often, for that matter. That said, here's what I think about the most common tips given to moms about sex.
1. Don't Forget the Foreplay
Multitasking Mom Response: Really? Really? As it is, I have to have sex while catching up on my Tivoed shows, reading Star, having a healthy lo carb snack, and repeating the words, "lettuce, milk, eggs" over and over until I can get to a pad and pen. Now I have to add something else to my repertoire?
Look writers, we forgot the foreplay a long time ago. Well, my husband didn't, he calls it brushing his teeth, which I am beyond thankful for..
2. Set the Mood (You know, aromatic candles, heated massage oils, and sexy lingerie?)
Brutal Honesty Response: Are we still taking time to set the mood? I mean, isn't that what got us here in the first place? Listen, if there's no lingering gas odor in the room and you're in an old t-shirt without any holes, I say you're as sexy as you need to be. Work your dimmer switch and voila… ambiance. Better yet, utilize the TV as a source of glowing ambient light. If you can get the volume to an audible level, you can work in sex without giving up Big Brother. It's called multitasking, something we moms are all too familiar with.
As for a massage, I'm lucky if I don't get one of my kids' leftover Tostito corners embedded in my thigh. When I ask my husband to flick it out and slide the remaining crumbs off my tush like sand paper, does that count as a massage? Well, arguably, it's more like an exfoliation, but it's undeniably hot.
3. Time Your Trysts Around Nap-Time
Realistic and Totally Snarky Response: Everyone knows that there's nothing women like more, when trying to have an orgasm, than the sense of pressure that time constraints puts on the experience. It's like telling moms to 'sleep when the baby sleeps,' we'd love to do it, but it ain't gonna happen!
4. Have a Date Night Every Week
Reality Check Response: Honestly, I love this one, because in theory it's a legitimately good idea. It's definitely worth trying every week, but unfortunately, it assumes that there will be a night each week when no one is sick or has an event or activity. It also assumes that on that exact same night there will be a babysitter or grandparent available, and neither you nor your hubby are too tired to go to dinner - a meal where much of your conversation will inevitably revolve around the kids.
5. Start Your Day With a Bang (Set your alarm an hour earlier and have an uninterrupted top-o-the-morning.)
Bitchy Uncensored Response: First of all, what ambitious sex-perts think that an entire hour is necessary? Nine minutes would do the trick and yet, I'm still not down with that idea. Do you know what I like to do before I wake up in the morning? SLEEP! In fact, THE ONLY THING I BANG IN THE MORNING IS THE SNOOZE BUTTON! Yep, I'm not even willing to bang that button one less time!
OK Mommas, do yourselves a favor, throw out those, "spice it up" pieces and "top 10 lists," and do what works for you. That said, if you pick quality over quantity, just make sure you do it enough that you don't end up in couples therapy.
JOIN THE SARCASM ON FBJenny Isenman AKA Jenny From the Blog is the humorist behind the award winning site, The Suburban Jungle. A caffeine addicted card carrying Gen Xer, on air lifestyle expert for NBC, and columnist at Huff Po and The Stir, her goal is to you keep herself sane. Oh, and to teach dolphins to read. She is failing at both. Join the insanity on Facebook and Twitter, and Pinterest.