A few weeks ago, I wrote an article for mom.me about how often parents were doing it or how often they "should be doing it," according to a sex therapist. (Instant recap: once a week, or four times a month was a solid number to aim for.) A lot of people wrote to me and said they could totally relate to the subject matter, but more than one of them also asked, "How am I supposed to get in the mood if I'm just not horny?" Good point.
This is a super common dilemma for tons of new moms—as the sexpert also mentioned—having a baby can often fulfill that need a lot of us have for closeness and intimacy, leaving sex in the lurch. I mean, could sex ever make you feel as fantastic as you do when your toddler hugs you with all his might and says, "I love you and you're my best friend"? Maybe sometimes, but not always. But since you can't always rely on baby cuddles for those dopamine boosts, are there any tricks for getting your mojo back when you just don't feel like doing it anymore?
I actually have my own, personal trick that always works for me, even when I really don't want to do it, for the usual reasons. (I just want to sleep. I'm annoyed with my husband for something, probably child-related. I'm wearing a Rocky Balboa-style sweatsuit to bed. I feel sick since my toddler is a germ factory and passes everything on to me.) But what always gets me going is to just start with a really good make-out session.
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While we're kissing, I can feel him getting turned on, which then makes me turned on. I also feel a closeness with my hubs, something that often takes a backseat to catering to our demanding little prince. From that point, it's easy to want to take things further. I asked other mom friends if they had their own tricks to get their minds and bodies in the mood. (*All names have been changed!)
"This may be weird, but I sometimes look at my ex's profiles on Facebook and fantasize about them," says my friend Brianna* with one toddler. "Not because I still love them or want to be with them, but because one time I know I had great sex with them. We were younger, with no kids or demanding careers. We had energy to be wild and did it in elevators and bar bathrooms. I like to remember those days."
"All I really need to do is put on sexy underwear," says Amy, who has two young ones. "Just the act of putting on something pretty and silky or a thong makes me want to be sexy for my man. I want him to actually look at me, but when I'm wearing the granny panties I want him to just look away."
I'll occasionally text or email my husband something sexy or even blunt.
"I try not to go to bed mad," says Caroline. "And that can be a problem because bedtime with two little kids is really stressful, and more often than not, one of us snaps at the other about something. If I'm going to have sex that night, I'll make sure I say sorry to my husband and kiss and hug him. EVEN if I think he's the one at fault. I have to be the bigger person so we can get some!"
"Sometimes if my son is at school or a playdate and I have a few moments to spare, I'll look at some naughty stuff online," says another friend. "The images tend to stay with me when we're in bed later."
"I'll occasionally text or email my husband something sexy or even blunt, like 'Let's do it tonight,' so we'll both be thinking about it, or at least feel committed to it," says Jenny.
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"The only way I know I’m going to have sex is if I do some serious preparations during my morning shower in the form of grooming," says Alison. "I don't like surprise sex anymore if I feel hairy and gross. But if I'm all groomed, I'm much more likely to initiate it since I know my body is smooth!"
"The first step for me is to try to make it to our bed without falling asleep in front of the TV," says Lila. "It's harder than you would think."
"Sometimes I just do it. I just cave in to my husband's advances, even if it's the last thing I feel like," says a friend who confesses she's never the initiator. "Once we get going, I'm always into it."
Actually, more than one woman told me that sometimes they "just did it." Once they started, they remembered how much they really enjoyed sex and always had a good time. So if you're having a rough time getting aroused these days, maybe try any number of the above tactics to see if it helps rev things up. At the very least, they're easy enough, and don't require any extra flexibility and imagination and you'll (hopefully) be rewarded with some possibly long-overdue nookie.
How do you get in the mood?