Swedish moms are already known to benefit from living in a country with universal healthcare and outstanding maternity leave policies. Now, it appears they also have more sex. Mothers living in the "land of the midnight sun" may have even found a solution to age-old questions American parents are still asking: Where and when do you have sex once kids are in the house?
Their answer? The Local reports that, according to a survey done by the Swedish magazine "mama,” one-third of Swedish parents have sex while their infants are asleep in the same bed.
Yes, you read that right.
And, as poll after poll reveals U.S. parents as having generally unsatisfactory sex lives, Swedish moms have fewer complaints. The Swedes agree that everyday life sometimes stands in the way of "fulfilling their sex dreams," yet they seem to be more sexually active than their American counterparts. Of the over 600 Swedish moms surveyed, 48 percent have sex once or twice a week (4 percent said daily, the rest varied greatly). In comparison, 40 percent of American parents, cited in a different survey, said that sex was so rare, they might as well be sleeping in separate beds.
The usual excuses are, We’re too tired, The kids are always around, and, of course, There just isn’t time. When HuffPost blogger Jenny Isenman took women's and parenting magazines to task for running so many "hot sex life" tips for moms, she joked, "Whoever writes those stories somehow has more than 24 hours in her day." And writer Liz Ryan says she's had such a difficult time finding time and privacy for sex with her husband that they choose to pay $100 for a hotel room just to have an hour to themselves.
Of course, Ryan only had to get creative like this once her kids were old enough to know what goes on behind closed doors. With babies in the house, moms may be exhausted, but 59% of U.S. parents admitted to doing it while an infant was in the room. Still, having sex while bed-sharing is a much more shocking concept to Americans.
American actress and attachment parent Mayim Bialik advocates co-sleeping and says that one of the questions she gets asked the most is how she is able to be intimate with her husband. Bialik says they simply don't use the bed for sex. “We can be intimate in any other room of the house,” she explained in her book.
Choosing to be intimate while babies are in the bed doesn't necessarily mean Swedish parents are "freakier” or even more desperate to get it on. Co-sleeping is just much more widely accepted there. "Swedish children often co-sleep with both their parents until school age,” a 2005 study concluded. In contrast, bed-sharing is controversial in the States -- a large number of American co-sleeping parents go so far as to hide their choice which makes any data on how common the practice is likely to be inaccurate.
It's not all roses and romance for the Swedes, though. The new survey revealed that Swedish parents do have complaints about their sex lives -- having a baby in the bed isn't exactly preferred. Most participants said they wish they could have more -- and better -- sex. In a perfect world, one 32-year-old mother of two revealed her fantasy, "New positions and not just quickies. And in more exciting places like outside.”