Sex after kids: The art of the quickie
June 16th, 2011
07:11 AM ET

Sex after kids: The art of the quickie

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex on Thursdays on The Chart. Read more from him at his website, GoodInBed.

Hey parents, remember sex before kids? Remember when lovemaking was long and languorous, when vacations and weekends (and every other moment of the day for that matter) potentially revolved around sex? Remember morning sex?

Chances are that many dads will get to sleep in this Father’s Day, but odds are their Sunday morning won’t include much post-coital cuddling - or coital anything for that matter. According to a recent survey by the online magazine Baby Talk, just 24% of parents say they’re satisfied with their post-baby sex lives, compared to 66% who were happy before they had children.

At Good in Bed, we believe that parenthood is about perfecting the art of the quickie and finding moments between the chaos and exhaustion to squeeze in some intimacy. Quickies don’t necessarily have to lead to orgasm, and they don’t even have to be wholly sexual.

Take a long hug, for example. Studies have shown that positive physical touch stimulates a brain chemical called oxytocin. Dubbed the “cuddle hormone,” it’s produced during a range of scenarios, including sexual arousal, orgasm and childbirth.

The result: Oxytocin helps to create a sense of emotional intimacy, relaxation, contentment and trust. Scientists have even found that oxytocin helps relieve stress, improve mood and lower blood pressure. Even better, you and your partner easily can boost oxytocin all day long: just a 20 to 30-second hug can raise oxytocin levels in both men and women.

Other potential quickies:

Re-discovering the art of the kiss. Believe it or not, less than 50% of people kiss their partners on daily basis. No wonder so many people are stuck in sex ruts. Once we stop kissing, it’s a sign that something needs to change.

Sending your partner a sexy text. These days technology is often depicted as a time bomb that could destroy a relationship at any moment, but couples in trusting long-term relationship can use sexy emails and texts with each other to cultivate their connection and build sexual anticipation.

Telling your partner about a sexy fantasy or dream. A study at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, found that intercourse is the most common sexual behavior in dreams. A healthy 37% of participants reported having a sexual dream once a week, while 19% reported dreaming about sex up to five times per week. So share the dream!

Hop in the shower together. With the summer heat come more excuses to shower - why not save the water and enjoy one together? If you’re headed for the beach, take some time to rub suntan lotion on your partner with meaning and verve.

These small connections may not be explicitly sexual, but they create “transferable” desire that adds up over time and contributes to lasting sexual desire and fulfilling sexual experiences.

“Little quickies are a great way to get our adrenaline going,” writes Naughty Mommy blogger, Heidi Raykeil: “From handjobs to frisky playful exhibitionism, to just taking a moment to feel each other up, quickies are a way of re-connecting and building up a reserve of sexual anticipation. Taking the big O out as a ‘goal’ really leaves more room for playful, fun stuff - as long as we know we can get that other fulfillment later.”

So sex or no sex this Sunday, take the time for a little quickie with your partner, even if it’s just that 30-second hug and a little appreciation of the clan you’ve created together. You’ve come a long way since the days of sex before kids, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still give each other some one-on-one time. Happy Father’s Day!

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