5 Sex Tips for Parents

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While children can be a blessing in so many ways, they may also change a sexual relationships’ dynamic in unexpected ways.


For some mothers, they may find it difficult to switch personas from nurturing parent to sexy seductress. Spontaneity can become a regular challenge. And the fear of discovery can dampen emotions—and lead to silent sex. 


Many parents tend to shift their attention away from their partner and to their children, creating a divide in their romantic lifestyle. Research has found a commonality among first-time parents—they tend to have more stress and less sexual satisfaction in their lives. This research found that, overall, parents were only somewhat satisfied with their sex life.


Similar studies found sexuality, sexual satisfaction, and the frequency of sex generally associated with marital stability. Which means it may be vital for parents to learn ways to keep their sex lives healthy. 


#1 – Stay Connected

Yes, parenthood should be embraced and enjoyed. But your and your partners intimate relationship also needs to be appreciated and nourished. First and foremost, stay connected with your partner. 


Consider scheduling time at the end of the day to review your day with each other. Make an effort to actively listen to each other. Discuss other topics besides your offspring. 


Connection 2.0: Ways to Intensify Connection in Your Relationship


  • Hold hands
  • Look into each other’s eyes during conversations
  • Show affection
  • Celebrate the little things


#2 – Practice Touch

According to research, marriages can suffer from touch deprivation and lack of touch is a common element in distressed couples. Partners can fall out of the habit of touching. But studies show that touch has been linked to positive and uplifting emotions—while lack of it is linked to stress, loneliness, and anxiety. 


Non-sexual Touch: C-Tactile afferents (CTs) are neurons which are a part of the human skin that have been studied for their positive response to sensory stimulus such as stroking.  


This means, purely holding hands or touching your partner can lead to a feeling of positivity. 


Non-sexual Sexual Touch: Sensate Focus sex therapy, was devised in the 1960’s by Masters and Johnson and mandated that penetrative intercourse was not allowed and couples were instructed to touch each other with the aim of discovering what feels good without the performance pressures that often dominate a sexual encounter. 


This practice can be eye-opening since partners may discover new erogenous zones where they least expect them. Sensate Touch may be a good practice for new parents who may not be able to have penetrative sex early on. 


Touch has been found to lower blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol levels, as well as uplifting emotions. Hands on research found people who experience touch on regular bases can fight infections better, have lower rates of heart disease and fewer mood swings. This study linked touch to our physical and emotional health.


Perhaps the most compelling reason to touch your partner every day? Sex therapists advocate touch to inspire stronger, more connected relationships. 


#3 – Schedule Pleasure

Many child psychologists tout the importance of routines for children. Routines are created to teach children healthy habits, but many parents find creating schedules can keep a household running smoothly. These schedules can also be used to create time for parents to be intimate with one another. 


While sex can be spontaneous, there’s a natural arousal that comes with knowing a sexy tryst is in your future. While scheduling a date with your partner, you can also make time to groom, wear sexy under garments, and have candles lit and massage lotion heated. 


Scheduling dates can build anticipation and give both partners a sex secret to look forward to. This may also be helpful for those parents who find they need time to transfer themselves from parent to sexual individual by allowing more time to mentally get into a romantic mood. 


#4 – Creative Connection

Find creative ways to connect throughout your day. Touching base doesn’t always have to center around updates on the children. Try sexting or simply letting your partner know you’re thinking of them. 


Leave small notes for each other. Surprise each other with small gifts. Send compliments to one another. 


Make efforts to keep your one-on-one relationship just as important as being a parent. 


#5 – Secret Intimacy

For many parents, finding a way to be physically intimate with children in the house can be a challenge. But making a few revisions may pay off big time when parents feel more comfortable and relaxed in sexual situations in their own home. 


This means putting a well-working lock on the bedroom door and the master bathroom. It means finding a white noise machine—or having a music outlet or TV in the bedroom that can help mask sexual noises. It’s important to have a private place that partners can retreat to and enjoy each other. 


Try sex in the shower—make sure to have a good waterproof lubricant, such as silicone, on hand. Incorporate waterproof toys into an intimate bath date. Play a sexy card or board game to create an effortless adventure. 


Be Partners plus Parents

It may be tricky to consider yourself a partner and a parent. Keep in mind that people can be many things all at once—a cook, a bookkeeper, a tutor, a lover. Being a parent doesn’t mean the other aspects of your life are less deserved of your attention. 


Sex is healthy, clinical-based studies show. A 2017 study found sex contributed to pair-bonding in relationships. Just like the parent-child bond is important, so is the bond with your significant other. Make time and a commitment to each other to keep your intimate relationship well and thriving.

Do you find balancing parental duties and relationship intimacy a struggle? Are there things you’ve tried in your relationship that have helped keep your partnership close while being a parent? Please send me your questions and comments. I’m always here to help you.

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Dr. Sunny Rodgers is a clinician, author, and speaker who has worked in the wellness industry since 2000. She holds a Ph.D. in Human Sexuality, a Master of Arts in Clinical Sexology, and is an accredited Sexual Health Educator. She is the Founder of The Institute of Intimate Health, an Ambassador for the American Sexual Health Association, regular lecturer for the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Sexual Confidence Coach for the Marigold App, and a professional Sex Toy Concierge™. Rodgers hosted a popular weekly show on Playboy Radio, has been an expert guest on several TV and radio programs, and is a regular contributor to HuffPost, Men's Health, Cosmo, Bustle, and many more publications.