By Kristin Koch
Do you prefer to make love after the dishes are done, but he wants to get busy right after dinner? Is he raring to go as soon as the alarm goes off, yet all you can think about is that first cup of coffee? Just because it feels like you and your guy are never "in the mood" at the same time doesn't mean your sex life is doomed. Experts say it's pretty common for partners to desire sex at different times of the day, week, even month. But if increasing the frequency of nooky is what you want (and need!), here's how you two can get on the same sex page.
Early Romancer vs. Early Riser
He likes to have sex first thing in the morning. You like to get up and start your day as soon as the alarm goes off, so delaying your morning routine-even for a quickie-stresses you out. Plus, you don't exactly feel sexy when you have bed head and morning breath.
Synchronizing solution: "Many men prefer to have sex in the morning because their testosterone levels are higher," says Lou Paget, a certified sex educator and author of The Great Lover Playbook. But if 7 a.m. isn't exactly prime sex time for you, compromise. Agree to a morning romp one or two days a week. Then, on those days, set your alarm for 20 minutes earlier, so you can enjoy it just as much as he does-worry-free. To avoid your (or his) dragon breath, stash breath mints in the nightstand. If you prefer more spontaneous sex sessions, just go with it next time he makes a move in the morning. "Women often have their desire increase as they start to become aroused," says Paget. To stave off worries of being late, consider creating a "quickie" routine for mornings when you're running a few minutes behind. Use dry shampoo instead of washing your hair, or have breakfast bars on hand to eat on your way to work. And remember Paget's sage advice: "Building a healthy sex life is all about being flexible-both mentally and physically." Photo: iStockphoto
Frisky During Flow vs. Put Off by Period
You tend to be extra-aroused when you're menstruating, but your husband would prefer to wait until that time of the month is over to have sex.
Synchronizing solution: "Research shows that it varies from woman to woman; some women have stronger desire just before their periods start, whereas others have stronger desire mid-cycle," explains Debbie Herbenick, PhD, research scientist at Indiana University and author of Because It Feels Good. If you're feeling frisky during your period but your partner's not, you might just need to ease him into it, says Dr. Herbenick, who recommends trying intercourse during the beginning or end of your cycle, when your flow is lighter. If he's still wary, try a menstrual cup (The Diva Cup, $23.99; Amazon.com), which is inserted into the vagina and "cups" the cervix so the blood only goes into the cup-and stays off your partner during sex. But if he's just not into it, remember that there are other ways you can satisfy your urges, such as masturbating, adds Dr. Herbenick.Uncover common myths about that time of month.
Night Owl vs. Sleepyhead
When the lights go out, you like to make love, but he's usually too tired and ends up falling asleep before you even get to second base.
Synchronizing solution: Plain and simple: Hit the sheets earlier! "Don't wait until you're tired," says Dr. Herbenick. "Go to bed when you both still have energy." Turning in early might require skipping an episode of 30 Rock every now and then, but you can always DVR it or catch the rerun later. Photo: Shutterstock
Before the Dishes vs. After the Dishes
As soon as dinner's over, he's ready to tear your clothes off. You'd rather wait until the dishes are washed and everything is in order.
Synchronizing solution: "Research regarding women's turn-ons and turn-offs by Sanders and Graham [of The Kinsey Institute] found mentions of clutter/dirty living spaces to be a turn-off in focus groups of women. Other research on cognitive distractions has found similar things," says Dr. Herbenick. So tell your husband that you actually get turned on when the dishes are done. We're pretty sure that's all you need to do to get those distracting chores done with enough time left over for a romp in the bedroom. To make clearing the table a little more exciting (and less of a buzz kill for him), turn the whole process into foreplay. Try a game of strip chores, where each person loses an item of clothing for every chore he or she checks off the list. By the time everything's clean, you'll both be thinking strictly dirty thoughts. Photo: Thinkstock
Mr. Right Now vs. Mrs. Waiting for the Perfect Time
He's ready to go anytime, anywhere. But you prefer to wait for the right moment-once you've showered, the sheets are washed and the candles are lit.
Synchronizing solution: If you need some time to relax and get in the mood, whether that means hopping in the shower or just taking 20 minutes to yourself, make sure to build that into your day or evening, suggests Paget. Ask him to put the kids to bed while you take a bath and slip into something more comfortable. Better yet, ask him to join in on the ritual, so he stays aroused while you get in the mood. Take a shower or bath together, or if you prefer to bathe alone, ask him to rub lotion on you when you get out of the tub or light the candles and choose the music while you shower. Photo: Jupiterimages/Thinkstock
The Adventurer vs. The Conservative
Your partner wants to spice things up by doing it in public places or where you might get caught, like the bathroom at a friend's party or in the car. You prefer the comfort (and privacy) of your bedroom.
Synchronizing solution: The heightened "oh, we shouldn't" risk factor that comes with having sex in a public space increases the brain's production of dopamine, which boosts attraction and arousal, says Paget. "The less adventurous person needs to understand that the partner isn't a [sexual] freak, and that him or her wanting to try new things isn't because he or she doesn't like the sex you're already having," says Josey Vogels, sex columnist and author of Bedside Manners: Sex Etiquette Made Easy. It's likely that the more daring lover is just excited by the idea that you could get caught in the act. Rather than going straight from the bedroom to a public space, find a middle ground, advises Vogels. Instead of having sex in your bed, have sex on the couch or on the kitchen floor. "This adds a bit of spice for him, while you get to stay in the comfort of your home," says Vogels. In fact, just getting out of the bedroom every once in a while might be enough to satisfy his thirst for adventure. And perhaps, you'll find that leaving your comfort zone inspires you to be a little more adventurous as well. Photo: Jupiterimages/Thinkstock
Post-Battle Romp vs. Cool-Down Cuddle
He goes right for make-up sex after a brawl, but you're too emotionally drained and still a little too pissed to get naked.
Synchronizing solution: If he's ready to be intimate immediately after a fight and you're still upset, don't assume that your spouse is being insensitive or that he's not taking your argument seriously. "Women's brains don't do the switch from angry and hurt to aroused as easily as men's," explains Paget. It's perfectly fine to tell your guy that you need more time to get over the emotional impact of the spat. Just because we've heard so much about make-up sex doesn't mean it's beneficial for everyone, notes Dr. Herbenick. Still, cuddling up with your husband may make you feel better--even if it doesn't lead to sex, she says. Plus, you'll reassure him you're not physically withdrawing as punishment for your fight, which he may fear, adds Paget. Photo: Comstock Images/Thinkstock
Variety vs. Routine
You'd like to try some different things in bed (maybe you want to add sex toys to the equation or try some role-playing), but he likes to stick to the standard lineup ("If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is his motto).
Synchronizing solution: Try Vogels' approach: Together, make a list of sexual activities-and don't censor yourselves. List anything either of you has ever heard of. Then, next to every activity you came up with, you should each indicate whether it's a no, yes or maybe. "Once you're done, anything you've both said 'yes' to is a go, the 'nos' you stay away from (at least for now) and the 'maybes' are up for negotiation," says Vogels. Photo: Shutterstock
Post-Baby-Drain Mama vs. Pumped-Up Papa
Even though it's been a month since you gave birth, you're still not in the mood to make love. Your husband, on the other hand, is chomping at the bit. You feel bad, but you're so drained and feel so unsexy (thanks to the baby weight and your swollen breasts) that getting busy is just about the last thing you want to do.
Synchronizing solution: "Many women are so exhausted, sore and hormonally pummeled-even six weeks after having a baby-that they have no libido," says Paget. Explain to your partner that, while you understand he's anxious to have sex and you love that he desires you so much, mentally and physically you're just not there yet. But even if you're not up for sex right now, it's important to still be intimate with each other. "This is a time when many couples pull apart, as the arrival of a baby is one of the most upending things to happen to couples," warns Paget. Taking a bath together or asking him to give you a massage can help you stay physically intimate-and it may even help put you in the mood again, says Dr. Herbenick. Sleep also plays a huge role in desire. Ask your partner to take a regular feeding so you can have a few extra hours of slumber. And don't worry too much about your sex life right now: Many new mothers find that once the baby starts sleeping through the night, their desire returns, says Paget. Photo: Creatas Images/ThinkstockOriginal article appeared on WomansDay.com.
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