I’m happily married after 13 years and three kids—and it’s a miracle, especially in Los Angeles. That doesn’t mean that my husband and I haven’t had our ups and downs. Marriage and partnership take a lot of work, whether you are a man, woman, gay, or straight. But one thing I know for sure is that after the passion fades, which it does to some degree, sex should still be a top priority (and has been for us). Maybe you can still be happily married and not be having sex. But for us, when we are physically connected, it carries over into all the other aspects of our relationship, and everyone in our family benefits from that healthy bond.
To be clear, I’m not a doctor or a sex expert. But as a 39-year-old sexual woman with three kids, I can share with you what has worked in my marriage and how we’ve kept things connected, spicy, and fun after over a decade together. Now, if you hate your spouse or partner and can’t stomach being around that person, let alone being physical with them, then this article probably isn’t for you. Maybe there are deeper issues or a serious disconnect, and therapy or even divorce would be a better option. I don’t have all the answers—just my story. If you still love each other and just want to find new and enticing ways to want each other again, then continue reading.
Candidly, it hasn’t always been the way that it is now. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve always made our relationship a priority through date nights, time alone, and sex. But life can sometimes feel monotonous, and if you are not careful, you can find yourself in the danger zone of sex becoming a dull exercise that you get through rather than the spicy, spontaneous fun that it should be. Seasons of life, hormones, mental and physical health, and age can each play a huge part in how you feel on a daily basis, and I believe that carries over into your sex life. Not to mention, during those childbearing years (which I’m done with now), sex is not always top of mind. In fact, it can definitely take a back seat in many relationships.
I began to see a real increase in my sex drive when I hit my mid-30s (post-babies). Of course, I Googled my newfound sex drive and discovered that many women’s sex hormones reach a peak in their 30s. I am now rediscovering sex in a whole new way. That may be from the hormones alone, or a combination of factors such as my kids getting older and more independent, life being more balanced, and just having a more mature perspective. Regardless of what sparked the change in me, and in us, it has been exciting and fun for both of us. Once we upped our game, we just wanted to continue to be creative and keep it new and exciting.
My top 10 tips for great sex after 10+ years of marriage are below:
1. Make the time and show some effort, whether it’s once a week, twice a week, or every day. Set aside time for just the two of you. Without kids, without TV. Don’t talk about work or money or kids. Be silly, flirty, and just have fun together. Give each other massages, listen to music, light candles, and have a glass of wine (or tequila with lime for less sugar). When it comes to connecting with your partner, small gestures can go a long way. Try sending texts throughout the day to entice one another, or light touches and sneaky ass grabs when tag-teaming the kids’ bedtime—remember, if you give, you shall receive.
2. Don’t be shy. We are all mature adults. We all have a vagina or a penis, and they look how they look and do what they do. When I was in fifth grade, my science teacher made our entire class shout in unison “penis, penis, penis, vagina, vagina, vagina.” I swear it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I couldn’t be more comfortable with those words and parts if I tried. I mean that in the least scandalous way possible. Remember the saying that in five years you will wish that you had what you have now? Learn to love yourself and your body and own what you’ve got. Confidence is incredibly sexy.
4. Try new things, such as a new position that you aren’t used to (yes, being on top or doggy style can be fun) or a new place, like your car on the way home from date night or a quickie in a public bathroom. Okay, the bathroom isn’t me, but some of my friends give it rave reviews, so I thought I’d throw it out there. The point is, this is your partner so don’t be nervous to try something that’s different.
5. Don’t be afraid to touch yourself. Seriously, don’t be. I am always surprised when I hear from my friends how many of them don’t feel comfortable helping themselves along. So guys can acceptably masturbate but women can’t? Oh, hell no. Touch yourself, play with yourself, during sex, before sex, after sex, whenever you want. It’s your body. You should both be able to orgasm every time. No excuses.
7. Play games. Our besties (who shall remain nameless, but if you know, you know) introduced us to the idea of playing games, such as Sexual Yahtzee and Sexual Jenga to name a few. The point is to tease your partner and hold out until the end. Not always easy to do when the sexual tension is building, and you may or may not lose articles of clothing along the way.
8. Be frisky. Be risky. Don’t be afraid to sneak away when the kids are quietly watching a movie (or in our case playing Fortnite) and lock the door for a quickie. Sometimes those are the best, most exciting, and intense orgasms.
9. Go away. Far, far away if you can. Close but away if you can’t. Whether it’s just a weekend road trip or a week away for a special birthday or anniversary, we make time at least twice a year to leave the kids and rediscover ourselves and who we are when we aren’t being parents. This is probably the most important thing a couple can do to stay connected. Tap into friends, family, or whatever support group you have. Know that your kids will be just fine. Let go and enjoy. I think a weekly date night goes without saying. It also sets a good example for your kids when you make one another a priority.
10. Stay committed to your sex life and talk about it. It’s okay to get off track every once in a while. Obviously, we aren’t raging in the bedroom when one of us is under the weather, and the stresses of work and raising children can oftentimes get in the way. However, such is life, and what is important is that you recognize those lulls, communicate well to stay mentally connected, and return right back to your efforts to keep the orgasms flowing.