Monday, January 21, 2008

In Case You Are Wondering...

"Several Times a Week" has just taken the lead with 25% of the vote in my ongoing sex survey. Seriously people?!? Seriously?
Interestingly "What? I don't know what you are talking about" is following closely behind in second place with 23% of the vote. I'm not really sure which I am more surprised by... but I certainly know which one I am more relieved by ;)


Kiki said...

Well because I am a night owl, I am up to get your post...ummm, so your survey, I'm not sure how to respond, do you want an explanation...we don't have kids, we want to have kids, we like to practice...too much sharing???? Plus its the only freaking exercise I get!!! heehee

moley said...

It is nice to know that there is sex after kids, although it did make me laugh when I thought that 17yrs ago I would have needed a several times a day category. Oh to be young again with only 7 hrs lectures per week.

Still perhaps it averages out to several times week over the whole 17 years. We did have 10 years before kids after all :-)

Heather said...

Oh this is not good news for the future: we're barely making twice a week NOW. God help us!

Unrelated question: can I use turkey meatballs in the meatball soup or will it be gross?

I'm off to make my Van's Waffles, which I am in love with. A lil natural peanut butter on them makes them a more complete meal for me. ;)

Julie said...

I actually want to know more about those who do have sex several times a week. Kids or no kids? When, where, how??? Well, not how in the "how to" sense. But ya know.

Maybe this blog post will encourage more sex in my house just like the cardio plan. Probably not though:)

Hey, no sex in the house here...but also no high fructose corn syrup, baby!

And yup, Moley, I remember we used to have sex every day way back in the day, too.

Alright, back to my sexless life with the kids...

Sorry to keep saying the word, Sex, over and over again. It must be repressed since God knows I would never say that word out loud in front of the kids!!

michelline said...

I voted for several times a week. But our kids are older (8 and 12) and that does make it somewhat easier. But even when they were small, we managed to find time to "enjoy" ourselves. I think that here is where our parenting differences come into play.

We decided very early on that we would not co-sleep and that I would not stay at home. My older daughter slept in a cradle in our room until she was 2 weeks old, then was moved to a crib in her own room. When she needed nursing, I got up or had Chris get up and bring her to me. I had to work in the morning same as he did, so us both losing sleep was just fair :) Luckily, Daughter 1 actually slept through the night from about 2 months on.

Daughter 2 is 3.5 years younger than Daughter 1. She also slept in our room for the first few weeks, then was transferred to her own crib in her own room after that. Unfortunately, she didn't sleep through the night until she was about a year old.

It is definitely easier to have sex when you don't cosleep. Or when you're not a SAHM. I think as a SAHM, you're more likely to get wrapped up in your identity as a mother and to down play your identity as a wife and adult.

Just my two cents and not a commentary on being a SAHM. I admire those women who can handle kids on a 24/7 basis. I love my daughters, but I'd rather slit my wrists. :)

Gigs said...

michelline, my boys are 9 and 11 and we still aren't making that several times a week category! We didn't/don't co-sleep in the standard sense, and both of us work. But I think we have other factors playing into it, and a lot of it has to do with our schedules. I often end up sleeping in my youngest son's room. My husband freelances and often is up late working, when I go to bed. Also I take meds that repress the libido. That certainly doesn't help! And really, I'm just plain tired so much of the time. And we really did used to be in the "every time we're together" category! We still believe that when the kids are older (not sure how old that means at this point!) things will pick up again!

Anonymous said...

I'm one of the ladies who voted for several times a week. Our boys are 10 & 8. I'm also a SAHM and we NEVER co-slept with our boys.

I think it just comes down to making it a priority.

Plus, I believe if you feel good about your body you want to share it more. :P

Robin said...

Hmmm, makes me think I need to try to have sex more often. We don't co-sleep, but I still am really tired most of the time.

Mrs. Furious said...

Okay here are my thoughts:

#1 I wish I had had a way to put in subcategories... maybe I'll have to do it over again.

#2 Such as "trying to get pregs" or "co-sleeping"
or "late night freelance work"

#3 I put in the working options because I was wondering if Michelline's point would be true and if working women have more of a separate sense of self and then have sex more. I will say the numbers went up on Monday but I can't really tell who said what so it is inconclusive. I do think the SAHM thing is less about not having an identity as a wife and more about having to be/find time to be sexual in the workplace!

#4 and this is HUGE and unaccounted for is libido. Let's face it not everyone WANTS to have sex everyday (male or female). I know some of us wish we could find the time make it more of a priority and I know MANY people for whom that is NOT the case. Trust me... I've gotten lots of real non internet feedback on this survey!!!

#5 Marriage length has nothing to do with... those numbers are all over the board.

#6 I thought FOR SURE that "once a week" would be the front runner... that is what I am most shocked by. As of today the most frequent and least frequent are tied again.

I was talking with a good friend yesterday who is in a similar boat to us. She was talking about there being different seasons in your marriage and the season of "little kids" is not the sexiest ;)

I'm assuming most people are not co-sleeping here so I think there is more going on then that Michelline. For us ... that is one of the top factors... and we know that when we are actually sleeping in the same room our number go up dramatically. But a LOT of people don't have sex on the radar or are having it infrequently and more respondents work then stay home. Very interesting stuff. But I think the biggest indicator of how frequently people are having sex is the libido issue. And I think two people coming together and having the same libido (through their whole marriage) is rare. And this is a bigger problem for men then is ever talked about. I know several married couples where the woman wishes the husband was more interested.
So I might need to do more surveys. Stay tuned!

Mrs. Furious said...

And I have to agree with Anonymous here...

I think most of us want there to be a romantic notion to sex and feel desired and seduced like when we were dating... we don't want to have to make time for it or think about that in a practical way. I know for us we'd like to make time for it but because we don't want to "schedule" it we can turn around and be like "holy shit" it has been a long time. Time flies with little kids that is for sure.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. F,
I totally agree about the "season" of little kiddos not being the sexiest. Been there done that. :)

We also don't schedule sex. We've been together so long (since we were 16/17--now 33/34--married for 12 years) that we are on the same page...freaky as that sounds, it works for us. :P

I should clarify too...I'm a SAHM with NO KIDS HOME ALL DAY! I'm also a personal trainer trying to get a on-line PT business going and DH travels a bit for work.

I'm also a Michigan girl, so I like staying warm on these cold winter days/nights. ;)

So in a nut shell, open communication between DH & I is probably the key to OUR "several" times a week.

Anonymous said...

I think several times a week would be completely annoying. lol. I didn't know people actually did that! BAH!

michelline said...

I do think the SAHM thing is less about not having an identity as a wife and more about having to be/find time to be sexual in the workplace!

Good point about the workplace. Ugh. I don't know that I want to do it in a conference room here! That would probably color my responses as well (both intellectually and physically LOL)

And I think two people coming together and having the same libido (through their whole marriage) is rare

Re libido... I have been there.(and here is where it might get to be TMI. Feel free to delete the comment if you think it is, Mrs. F) Up until about 4 years ago, our sex lives weren't all that I would have liked. This led to more tension, arguments, dissatisfaction, etc. After all, who wants to have sex with someone you're frustrated with, for whatever reason? Chris wasn't happy with the frequency and I was unhappy because I felt I was being pushed into doing something I didn't want to do. So sometimes I didn't do it just to "punish" him for pushing me. Big issues... and part of our marriage from right after Daughter 1 was born.

How did this change? When I finally decided to take my lack of libido in hand (figuratively and literally) and do something about it. I was tired of the arguments. They weren't really Chris's fault. They weren't really anyone's fault. But something had to be done about them if we didn't want to become a marriage statistic. So I learnt about self-gratification. And what it took for me to "get in the mood". Whether it's reading erotica or whatever. And I'm willing to do it. I learnt a LOT of things about myself. And now, even if there is a dry spell of a few weeks or so, Chris doesn't feel the need to pressure me because he knows it will all be ok again.

Basically, for us to have a good sex life, we had to work through our issues, both physically and emotionally, and deal with money issues, etc. We couldn't have a good sex life (good sex yes. Good sex life, no) if we were always irritated with the other individual.

Mrs. Furious said...

Anon #1,
Oh I didn't mean to imply that you schedule it... just that people think they have to ... and maybe some of us need to... to make it happen.

not too much info. I think this is an important discussion for woman to have and especially for those who are uncomfortable... to read. That is exactly what Dr. Christiane Northrop said to do on Oprah last week... along with getting your hormones checked out.

Now I don't want to get to TMI since that wasn't my intent or really the full nature of the blog... but I am sometimes surprised at how many women don't have fully satisfying sex lives (not talking frequency here) and I'm just going to put out there that you do need to know how your body works and how to work it. I wasn't raised in a sexually conservative type of family so this wasn't taboo to me and seemed to be a very natural part of sexual development... I know that isn't the case for everyone.

So I agree if people aren't having the libido the want and it is not because of hormonal flux or medication your advice is not only sound but dr recommended!... well hell even if it is hormonal or medication advice it can't hurt ;)

eurydice said...

i read recently that married couples should schedule "sex dates" to keep the intimacy going, since men and women both want closeness, and for men that means sex but not necessarily so for women.

moley: several times a day? what in the world!?

emmyjw said...

We did cosleep and work crazy schedules,and I am home most of the time with the kids.We just take the opportunity when it arises.Night time isn't always going to work. We also form the beginning have very simialar needs/desires so that helps too.

Julie said...

I love this blog. Really. I love that Michelline shared all of that. You know why? Because this is stuff that my friends and I do NOT talk about. Yet, I am always wanting to know what is normal, etc. I have tried to bring it up, but I have never gotten a bite. Not once. This made me feel like maybe my husband and I were the only people not having much sex.

I do agree that you have to make an effort. I know most of the time I would rather just sleep. Also, I totally agree with what Anonymous said about how you feel about your body. I don't feel good about my body right now, which really plays a big role.

Anyway, I don't know about anyone else, but in a format like this, there never is TMI. It's like a safe place to be who you are:)

Mrs. Furious said...

I'm just going to put out there the you all can write what you want and post it anonymously.

I think this is a good forum and I know some people might be uncomfortable sharing their stories. But feel free. You are not going to offend anyone. Those people who are not riveted by this discussion are not reading this post.

Mrs. Furious said...

this is your future... get used to it (lol... jk... but you know the ADD isn't helping here)

Mrs. Furious said...

yes we are trying to schedule it and start it off with a margarita... since getting a little drunk definitely helps switch the mom mode off ;)

Heather said...

The ADD makes it damn near impossible to have anything ANYTHING in our schedules regularly. It's very, very hard to have structure to our basic lives, (what time the dog gets fed, what time we have dinner, etc.). It's constantly me, and frankly, I wind up being resentful a lot and not in the mood. it seems like I have to remind Pete that we haven't done it in a while. Oh ADD, you are a treat!

michelline said...

We actually did schedule weekly "together time" at one point. That didn't work for us. It seemed like if we were able to keep the date (kids... family... cars breaking down... jobs...), then one of us wasn't in the mood. So much for the schedule :) Besides, neither of us liked the pressure to "perform"

michelline said...

yes we are trying to schedule it and start it off with a margarita

LOL! And if that doesn't work, who cares? Have enough to drink and you won't remember if you had sex or not.

P.O.M. said...

I'm with ya - I thought once a week would be the front runner. At least I was hoping it would be. wah.

I think it changes though - throughout a relationship. It sorta ebbs and flows - if ya know what I mean.

moley said...

several times a day? what in the world!?

That was a long time ago, but yes when we in our final year at university we used to spend whole weekends in bed, only surfacing for food and then going out for a drink in the evening, before returning to bed.

During the week we were slightly more restrained but we would still have a quickie in the shower before getting ready to go out and then again when we came back from the restaurant/bar.

P.O.M. said...

Here's another issue -what if the lack of libido is with the men? Especially if they are older?

This can be an entire new blog :) ha ha.

Mrs. Furious said...

sex in the shower... good lord it has been sometime since that happened around here.... I'm lucky if I take a shower!

you know I know. ADD is a factor. I am always working on the resentment of initiation. But you've got to look at it from the point of view that it is just like everything else... there is no awareness of the passing of time. Their brain is just not right.

Mrs. Furious said...

this is a common problem.

Chris Howard said...

We actually did schedule weekly "together time" at one point.

I had forgotten all about that.

Obviously, there is no right or wrong level of libido or frequency of sex. I think the important thing is that both people are honest about what they want and need and they work together in good faith to make sure they're both happy. Easier said than done, I know. And many times the issues aren't related to sex or physiology at all, other problems in the relationship will certainly cause the desire to fall.

moley said...

Mrs F

I'm lucky if I take a shower!

LOL. Tell me about it! Some days I don't even manage to get dressed.

ADD is a factor. … there is no awareness of the passing of time.

The more you talk about Mr F, the more I wonder about Mr Mole! He has lots of these issues. If I had a pound/dollar for every time he said "I'll just be five minutes" I'd be a very rich woman.

Sherry/Shay said...

I was married before and it was a good day (for him) when I was having sex once a month. And even then I didn't enjoy it. I think it had a lot to do with the person. I thought I hated sex, although I loved it before I was married to him. Part of it had to do with the fact that when I was preggo with #1 and my hormones were raging, he didn't want to because he thought it was weird. Then after having #2, I was just plain tired. Rejection will make you shy away.

Fast forward. I am now remarried and several times a day is on the list. My oldest are 8 and 6 and they live with their dad but are here almost every weekend. My husband has a daughter, 5, and she's here once a month. Then there's #3-she's 13 months. We make time for sex. No, we don't schedule a time. Sometimes it happens at 6am before I get up for work, sometimes it happens at lunch (we both work), sometimes it happens at 2am. Typically I am a bit pissy if I get woke up, so that doesn't happen that often. Sometimes we will do it in the middle of the day--the baby is in her jumparoo, the other kids are watching TV. We tell them we'll be right back and we'll sneak off to the bathroom by our bedroom. Sometimes we have to join the other in the shower. And if the baby is in our bed, we sneak off of the bed and hit the floor or stand up next to the bed. If there's a will, there's a way. And the will does have a lot to do with one's libido. If you're not wanting it, then you're not going to find time for it.

Mrs. Furious said...

"other problems in the relationship will certainly cause the desire to fall."
Absolutely and I think that is a good point and people need to be very honest with themselves about what factors are really contributing. Financial stress, job stress, whatnot, all can cause tension and tension is not conducive to intimacy of any kind. Some of those things might be easily remedied some might need a lot of attention. But I rarely think it is ever just sex.

WOW :)
That is some impressive stuff.
I guess where there is a will there is a way! ;)

Anonymous said...

Okay, a couple of random thoughts. Actually they are issues I feel pretty strongly about.

1) When I married my husband I knew our sex life wouldn't be that great. I was his first (and we got married in our 30's) and he was very awkward about sex. In contrast, I had sex nearly every day with the guy I dated before him. I had to make the decision regarding the importance of sex in my life. While I very much enjoyed sex, I enjoyed more the way he made me laugh, the way he was a good person, good liberal, had the same interests, and was exceptionally kind. To me, that was more important than good in bed.

2) I think we get the message from the media that you are suppose to have sex weekly and if you don't it signals trouble within the marriage. I obviously disagree. I think if you aren't talking regularly that's a better sign of a marriage in trouble. I think often that people look at frequency of sex to measure the "quality/strength" of marriage when they have doubts about their marriage.

3) I agree with others that sex is often about libido--the low libido can be on the man' side, the woman's side or both sides. As in weight loss and other areas of life we get way to concerned about numbers and not enough about quality.

Nice hearing everybody's opinions. Sorry I am such a wus and am posting anonymously this time.

Mrs. Furious said...

GREAT comment. I think it is a very romantic comedy notion that sex is a sign of how well your marriage is working.
" I think if you aren't talking regularly that's a better sign of a marriage in trouble"
We might not have sex as much as we like... but anyone who knows us knows we are excellent communicators and don't put anything under the rug EVER. Not my style... not acceptable.

Chris Howard said...

I think we get the message from the media that you are suppose to have sex weekly and if you don't it signals trouble within the marriage.

I think we would all do well to ignore most of what American culture has to say about sex, as much as possible. It's hard to imagine a more conflicted, damaging set of norms. For good advice on sex, I heartily recommend Dan Savage, with whom I agree on almost everything.

Anonymous said...

Okay I've been reading this with great interest.
I'm not sure how to best put my marriage into words but I've been thinking about this all night.
I am an intelligent (if I do say so myself) quick thinking woman, maybe a bit controlling even. I married an older creative, caring, but passive man. This marriage was a natural draw and fit. Like most couples sex was easy and frequent for the first couple years of dating but with more and more life to complicate things the frequency has decreased. In part I think I may always have had a higher libido, or possibly one less taxed by outside stress. Anyway the thing is this (much like what someone just said) I married this man knowing who he was. It would be fairly difficult to find a nice caring passive person willing to let me make all the decisions and have that same person be an aggressive sexual dynamo. That would have been great but not realistic. I still do get caught up in some ideal notion (or cultural construct) that the man should sexual pursue the woman and I can feel rejected when that doesn't happen. And it doesn't happen much. You see he is caring and sensitive and PASSIVE and INDECISIVE. He cannot pick out a light bulb at the hardware store without debating it for an hour. He also cannot pursue me for fear that I am tired or stressed. Reading this post has been a great experience for me because it has reminded me of the realities of this. Not that I am not desired but that I married someone who has a hard time risking rejection. That I wear the pants in the family (as I want to) and that means I must wear them in this department as well and that is okay. We've been parents for the past 7 years and for us that has taken a toll. We do co-sleep and I have been pregnant or nursing nearly this whole time. I honestly can't imagine getting up at 2 and having sex on the floor... I'm still being woken up at 2 to feed someone. But I don't think the frequency of our sex life has any reflection on the state of our marriage. We are together for many reasons. We have great sex when we have it and we look forward to having it again some day in the future. We try not to worry to much about whether that is tomorrow or next month or (gasp) three months (it has been known to happen) because we are on the same page.

Mrs. Furious said...

" We try not to worry to much about whether that is tomorrow or next month or (gasp) three months (it has been known to happen) because we are on the same page."
I think that is a great point.

Mrs. Furious said...

Breaking News:
It seems having sex on the brain greatly increases the chance that you'll actually have it.
Don't worry all you "Once A Monthers" we've still got your back... we're not changing out vote.
One *active* week doesn't come close to making up for the past year ;)

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