From 50 Shades of Grey to 2 Shades of Vanilla

There’s an unspoken rule that once you get married, your sex life will start to diminish. Add in children and it will become nonexistent. I call it a rule because as silly as it sounds, sometimes it really does feel like it rules your life. And I never used to believe it, until it happened to me. It’s almost like a sex superstition! 
Now I’m not saying that my sex life is nonexistent or that everything I’ve ever been warned about with sex after marriage and children is true, but I’m also not living in denial either. Marriage definitely does change the dynamics of a relationship and for some people, it has the opposite impact on their sex life. Children are where I find it gets to be a bit sticky. Not literally, although yes, children are VERY sticky! But figuratively in that they make the opportunity for sex more of a challenge. 
Before I got married, my then boyfriend and I had plenty of sex. As often as we wanted. Wherever we wanted. We were free to try whatever we desired and to be loud and crazy if that’s what we were in the mood for. We had been together for a little over a year when we got engaged, and then we were married 9 months after that. Moving in together, getting engaged, and getting married never had a negative impact on our sex life. If anything, it only made it better. Our bond became stronger, we had more intimate conversations and talked to each other about everything. Even the small details of previous sexual experiences and the things that turned us on that we had never shared with anyone else. 
Sex was never scheduled and I tried to mix things up as often as I could, more because I enjoyed the excitement of something new and different. I enjoyed getting home before him and dressing up in sexy lingerie, or wearing some sort of role playing attire (enter naughty school girl), and waiting for him on the bed, hoping he enjoyed the surprise. We had plenty of toys but never really used them as we were plenty turned on by each other. Our interests varied from talking dirty to each other, to watching porn together, to talking about what kind of situation we would like to be in. Maybe having someone watch us? Maybe having another person there with us? There was plenty to keep us turned on and in tune with each other. 
We continued on with our carefree sex and easy going life style after we got married. We had decided to try to have a baby but agreed that we would keep our sex life as easy going and carefree as possible. We wanted to enjoy sex, not make it into a chore to get pregnant. 
After a few years of trying we finally got pregnant with the help of a fertility specialist. Now I feel that it would have been fair for someone to warn me that the lack of sex starts at pregnancy, not when the child is actually born. You see all of these movies with pregnant women and their incredibly high sex drive and that’s what you expect. That’s not what I got at all. 
I got swollen body early on. I got morning sickness. I got aches and pains. I got exhausted. I got everything except the desire to have sex. We’ll just say that we tried it once after the first trimester and then we were done. Our rule from the very start of our relationship was that if one of us wasn’t feeling it, we didn’t have sex. We never wanted the other to have sex out of feeling guilty or obligated. 
After our daughter was born we waited the 6+weeks to get the OK to have sex again. Soon my body went back to normal, the hormone levels went back to normal, and I wanted to jump on my husband any chance I got! Sex with an infant was rather easy when she was actually sleeping and we weren’t too exhausted. Of course we didn’t get to go back to our old sex habits as they weren’t as realistic anymore. How do you have loud sex without waking a baby? And how do you find time to get dressed up like you used to? The clock starts ticking as soon as the baby goes to sleep and you start to think about every second before they wake up. There’s no time for dressing up or talking about sexy stuff- we are in the T minus however many minutes are left zone. You gotta make every minute count! 
But eventually you get your rhythm and you find your opportunities for making love to your husband. And then, just like life full of unpredictable events, your world changes when baby #2 comes along. 
I hoped baby #2 would be different and I would have those high sex drive hormones that I hear some women have, but of course I don’t get those. I got a repeat of everything from the first pregnancy with the added exhaustion of working full time and caring for an infant. No sexy pregnancy sex. And I’m sure my husband would be the first to confirm this, as I’m sure he’s still reflecting back on the very long, very dry 40 weeks of baby #2 cooking.
Now let’s talk about sex with TWO babies under 15 months. I’m pretty sure my husband and I have become virgins again at this point. We don’t have to talk about the lack of sex because we’re too exhausted to even remember what sex is. I  would be willing to bet money that if it weren’t for hormones, most families wouldn’t have more than 2 kids. Those hormones really kicked in for me around 5 weeks. And my follow up appointment was still 3 weeks away. But my hormones didn’t care. They were whispering in my ear, “Go get it girl, you deserve it.” “It’s been so long, you both need it.” “You don’t need to get the doctor’s ok, you probably WON’T get pregnant again!”. And that’s when you realize that being an exhausted mom has not completely taken away your sex drive or the ability to want to seduce your husband. 

Sex with children is hard. It definitely changes, especially with the more children you have. It starts to become like American Ninja Warrior, you have more obstacles against you and you really just want to reach the finish line in one piece, possibly in record time! But, inside each of us is a true warrior and a sexual goddess. So what if sexy is now stripping off your sweats for a quicky? How we view sex with children is how it will be. Either we’re willing to put in the effort and find creative ways to make it happen, or we allow the challenges to rule our lives. Sex doesn’t always have to be 50 shades of grey to be good, sometimes my 2 shades of vanilla is more than what I need. Sharing the connection with your loved one is far more important than focusing on how sexy your sex life might be. Ultimately I strive to find the perfect balance of love within all of my relationships, including whatever kind of intimacy I can get with my husband. Who knows, our vanilla may get a little spicy again in the near future, but I’m ok if it doesn’t. 

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5 thoughts on “From 50 Shades of Grey to 2 Shades of Vanilla

  1. I’m so sorry about your mom, I can imagine the impact that had on you. It’s definitely not just children that can create challenges, life itself throws many curve balls at you! I’m glad you guys are finding your rhythm!

  2. This was a fun read and so relatable! I'm currently pregnant with #2 and I definitely feel you on that whole lack of desire thing. I feel like a beached puffer fish, lol. It's all part of the adventure!

  3. I met my partner when my son was 10, thankfully he is a good sleeper and sex was never an issue. When we moved in together and his 2 girls were with us we continued to have a great sex life. 2 years later and after losing my Mum I found sex just not high on my priority list.
    My partner has a very high sex drive and thankfully the further in to the grieving process I get the more my sex drive increases!!

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