5 Rules for a Satisfying Sex in Marriage
Relationship advice for married couples from sex therapists, relationship experts, and moms who put the spice back into their love lives
Use your words
It doesn't matter what's going on with the offspring, most men manage to get it up anytime, anyplace. Not so women. "My husband is one involved father, but it doesn't hit him in the same way when things are happening with the kids," says Goldsteen. "In fact, for him, sex is a solution; it's stress relief. For me, it's the opposite." Adds Resnick, "When women have young kids, they're very distractible. It may be nature's way of making sure Mom is attentive to baby. But when a woman is so focused on what needs to be taken care of, she doesn't value her own pleasure."
What's more, studies have shown that women's bodies can be physically turned on in response to suggestive stimuli without their even being aware of it. In other words, you have to get your head in the game before you can enjoy that you're aroused -- and the way to do that is with wordplay, not foreplay. "I'm running around all day, juggling schedules, problem solving, and my husband will jump into bed and want to have sex after we've been dealing with our own stuff and not talking to each other," says Margarit, a mom of two school-age boys. "He doesn't understand that I need him to touch base first." The pillow talk doesn't have to be sexy or provocative, either. "It can just be who drove us nuts at work today, or dang, what he thought of the pork roast," says Margarit. "As long as he touches base before he touches boobs."
Believe in your beauty
Start treating yourself like the desirable woman you are. Who cares if kids changed your body a little? Sure, pregnancy did its number on you, your diet consists of leftover chicken nuggets, and your gym pass is lost in the depths of your tote bag. But time and gravity take their toll on everybody. Know that to your man, you're positively beautiful. He doesn't care if you're a bit softer here and there; in fact, he might like it. Even if you're still carrying around some baby weight (five, ten years later), you'll still feel nice to him. Make the most of it by buying some pretty underthings: During the day, lacy panties or a thong underneath your jeans (you can find comfy, not-too-skimpy ones at Hankypanky.com) will be a reminder that you're still a sexy thing. Get some exercise, too, even if all you can manage is stepping up your pace when you walk the dog, or a ten-minute date with the kids' Wii. A recent study found that simply working out was enough to boost body image, without any significant physical changes. If you think of yourself as hot, you will come across as hot.
Once again, words can save the day. Let your partner know what you need to hear, whether it's "You're beautiful" or "You're smokin'," and then wallow in the praise. Next thing you know, you might find yourself grabbing his ass while he's doing the dishes; in fact, it might not be a bad idea to put a lock on the kitchen door, too.
*Some names have been changed.