Keris Stainton‘s fortnightly column on married life…
In my last column, I insinuated that something was up (in excusing the fact that my husband was doing housework, while I was lazing on the sofa). Well, it was because we’re expecting another baby.
Which makes me think about sex. Not because that’s how the baby was indeed made, but because, after our son (now 4) was born (and, if I’m honest, even before he was born), our sex life, well, fizzled out.
I recently read a letter in the Guardian’s relationship column from a woman whose husband, following the birth of their second child, suggested (in all seriousness, presumably since she was concerned enough to write to a newspaper about it) that, the average couple has sex three times a week, but that they should in fact be doing it five times “to make up for lost time (pregnancy, post birth)”.
If David had said something like that to me after Harry was born, I’d still be laughing now. Actually that’s not true. If me and David had to “make up for lost time”, I’d be having sex now. And every day for the next couple of years.
For example, the other day me and David were talking about how Charlotte Church is pregnant again, despite her daughter being just 9 months old and poor David said, earnestly, “You’re not even supposed to do it for six months after, are you?”
“Oh sweetie,” I said, feeling, to be fair to myself, a bit guilty. “It’s just six weeks you’re not supposed to do it for. It was six months I didn’t *want* to do it for.”
Presumably because Harry’s birth was so traumatic, afterwards I not only completely lost interest in anything “down there”, but I was also desperate not to
risk getting pregnant again. And you know that the only 100% safe method of contraception is not doing it at all. So we didn’t. For, if memory serves, the best part of a year.
But, of course, that’s not really sustainable. Because the thing about sex is that it’s about intimacy, which you need, and it’s also the only thing separating a couple from simply being roommates, which is not what we signed up for 13 years ago.
But what can you do about it? Magazines always tell you to “schedule” sex, but at this point I really don’t have room for anything else on my to do list.
This morning I read an article on the Daily Mail’s website about Charla Muller, an American woman who decided to give her husband the gift of daily sex for a year as a 40th birthday present. My first thought was that it was a good idea. My second thought was that it was a good idea for her, not necessarily for me…
Charla and her husband had also let their sex life slip following children and she says the experiment definitely changed their marriage for the better. And I can see that it would. Not just because, presumably, sex every day is better than no sex at all, but also because it’s a way of making your relationship – the one between you and your husband – the most important thing in your life.
More important than doing the dishes, or watching Friends or just reading one more chapter of Russell Brand’s autobiography. And that can only be a good thing, surely.