While on vacation this summer with our 7- and 8-year-old at my parents' beach house, my husband and I had a rare opportunity to sneak away for a daytime tryst. Feeling almost desperate for some quality time in a bed together in which we were both awake, we headed over to the mainland to get a room. There were certain parameters. It had to be air conditioned (after all, this was Florida) and it had to be clean.
At three o'clock in the afternoon, and wafting a desperate scent of it's been far too long since we did "the dirty," we roused the desk clerk. There was an exchange of keys for credit card payment and a brief discussion about whether or not there was an afternoon special. (There wasn't, but there was an added bonus of free cocktails in the lounge overlooking the bay.) Room 6 it was!
My husband fondly recalls it being the most expensive sex he's ever had.
Children are an exquisite blessing. Yet they can be the ultimate killjoy of conjugal bliss. Ask a woman who is juggling a job outside the home, managing the home front, children and a husband, what they'd like to do when the lights are turned out, and their answer will probably be... sleep. Ask her partner, and the answer is going to be different. Sex. More of it. And now.
Unfortunately, now never seems to be the right time. There are still dirty dishes in the sink, baths to be run and stories to be read to irresistibly adorable, small people who think you hang the moon. Then comes the tucking in... with songs, and once again you find yourself falling asleep standing up... mid-verse. You are worn to the bone, and you wish there was someone to tuck you in.
Yes, that is why Fifty Shades of Grey is so popular with married women -- and yes... I've read all three books. The idea of unlimited funds and being submissive to a hunger only quenched by having more sex feels far removed from our realities of paying bills, juggling household family chores, running kids to activities and just keeping one foot in front of the other moving in a forward direction. When many of us are too tired to even roll over, how deliciously seductive a trip it is decamping with a guilt-free tour into "kinky fuckery."
No one advises you that having children can kill your sex life. Or, if they do, you don't believe them. Surely they're exaggerating? They are not. Yet, if we want to have a sex life at all, there's a good possibility it will be in the midst of Legos and cookie crumbs.
So, what's the answer? I'm not sure there is one. I'm hoping that this is a temporary stage. One in which my husband and I will emerge as decathlon winners. Because we did sign up for the long haul, we just didn't know that included having to haul our sex life along, too.