Originally published on my sfw blog
A few years ago, it wouldn’t have been unusual to find us in a midday fetish-y romp in the middle of the living room floor on a Tuesday. We didn’t have any small children in the house and our teenager spent most weekends away. Fast forward to 2018 and some days a kiss and a little subtle groping while making dinner has to suffice until bedtime, when we can be alone for a little (hopefully) uninterrupted adult time. We take advantage of it where we can.
We were often up until the sunrise, finding the floor littered with candle wax, toys, lubes and rolling papers when we crawled out of bed together the next afternoon. Now we stay busy trying to potty train, work, wean a baby, start a new career, teach a teenager to drive, and keep a house livable. (I would say clean, but I am trying to live a more honest life.) Plus all that other shit that it takes to keep a household running.
All of that considered, my partner and I recently celebrated seven years together and our sex life has never been hotter.
You absolutely have to keep talking to each other, even when it is hard. I think that is where most struggles begin- when the communication breaks down. There is a reason everyone suggests open communication in any relationship. It builds intimacy and trust like few other things can.
To help us make communication a priority, we use a specific app dedicated to all things sexy. We share articles, studies, music, pictures, selfies and anything that enhances our sexy, intimate place we carved out for only us. We use a separate app because I found it a little counter productive to scroll past a clients text, or email from my son to read something that is meant to turn me on. Between uses a cute little star notification, so anytime I see that icon on my phone, it means there is undoubtedly something positive and sexy waiting for me when I get a chance to peek. It gives me something to look forward to, a nice relief in both the monotony of a workday and a lovely, much appreciated break in the chaos that is being a (mostly) stay at home parent of a toddler. It is a wonderful, and easy way to let your partner know you are thinking of them, without it getting buried in the “pick up diapers on your way home” abyss.
Thursdays are date night. They have been for years. The teenager always spends Thursday nights with his grandparents so it is only the toddler at home, which is nice since we don’t have to be quite as censored around him yet. Date night for us, right now, means we make an extra effort to be present and together. We don’t go out often since we have a little one and no family to babysit, so this usually consists of a nice dinner at home and instead of bingeing on Bojack Horseman, we watch something a little sexier that helps keep us in a specific frame of mind. It is a chance for us to discuss any ideas, questions, wants, desires, etc. for our more formal datethat always follows on Saturday.
We’ve always been a very affectionate couple, so it was a little bit of a jarring experience welcoming this gorgeous little bundle of I-am-gonna-kick-anyone-who-gets-near-mom into our lives and our bedroom. Maintaining physical contact is pretty high on our priority lists, so we try to sneak in kisses, touches and hugs whenever possible. A stolen kiss while passing in the hallway can really brighten up my day, as can an unexpected hand caressing my back as I am writing. Humans, for the most part, like being touched, so it is a quick oxytocin spike that can sometimes work magic on my anxiety and depression.
It makes me sad to see so many parents talking about putting their sex lives, and even their entire relationships on hold until the kids are grown. I’m not going to lie, it takes effort to maintain the relationship we desire. It is a lot of work and we don’t always get it right, but it gets easier and easier to get back to us when we are actively building a solid foundation to rely on.
Nikki is a photographer, writer, and general creator of things. She writes about mental health, sex, and relationships.