Some people may say that the tenacity of the human spirit can be exemplified by marathon runners, or soldiers, or flowers growing in the desert. While all of these are admirable for sure, I say that humans' extraordinary will to keep moving on in the face of tremendous adversity can best be seen in the fact that, even after having children, parents continue to have sex.
Because you guys. You guys. There are so many reasons to give up on sex after you have kids, at least for the duration of their childhoods. For one, if you are in a heterosexual relationship and you were pregnant and gave birth, you are living in the shadow of that unpleasant experience. (Even if you had a mythological ~perfect birth~ it still wasn't exactly a walk in the park.) Sex is like a goddamn Sword of Damocles looming over your bed during sexytimes, waiting for one little element of your birth control to slip up and fail. But even if the threat of unplanned pregnancy from sex is a non-issue in your relationship, malevolent forces often stand between you and an orgasm: Exhaustion, lack of time, a screaming baby, wigged-out hormones, or birth trauma (physical or otherwise). I've said it before and I'll say it again: For the first couple years, babies are nature's birth control.
And yet, to quote the great chaotician Dr. Ian Malcolm, "Life, uh, finds a way" and parents have continued to do the dirty for generations. (Except for my chaste and virtuous parents, and don't suggest otherwise, because LA LA LA LA I can't hear you!) Of course as we go about the business of getting down to business, certain concessions are often made. Maybe it's that the fact that our kids have exposed us to a level of grossness that can never be out-grossed, or maybe it's just that we've been through so much literal shit together that we're down to clown no matter what, but parents are willing to turn the other baby food-covered cheek when life tries to put ickiness between them and an orgasm. To wit...
Neither Of You Has Showered In A While
The importance of a shower drops precipitously on one's list of priorities when put up against feeding baby, keeping baby from screaming, attending screaming baby, playing with toddler, and, of course, sleep. There's a lot to do these days, folks, and if you want "banging" to make the cut, you're going to have to make sacrifices elsewhere... like showering. And since you haven't showered...
All Manner Of Food Encrusted All Over You
Maybe it's puree in your hair. Or perhaps there's banana mashed into shirt. Maybe you take off your bra and several Cheerios fall out (this may or may not have happened to me... more than once). Point is, your children get food absolutely everywhere, including on you, and you are going to have to learn to overlook it sometimes if you want to grab a quickie while they're both napping.
Leaky Boobs & Chomped Upon Nipples
For the breastfeeding mamas out there, your decision to nurse has added a potentially complicated layer to the whole sex thing. So let me first say that there's nothing disgusting or wrong with breasts that leak milk. That's what lactating breasts sometimes do. It's not a big deal. But I'm also not going to sit here and pretend that it isn't sometimes off-putting or, at the very least, sort of awkward for a lot of people.
Then of course, there's the fact that breastfeeding nipples can sometimes have other stuff going on with them that aren't exactly compatible with eroticism, like milk blisters or just being chomped to shit by a teething kid. In cases like this, you just kind of have to be gentle and thank your breasts for taking one for the team.
Your Clothing Smells Like Body Fluids
Don't feel too bad, because those smells probably didn't originate with you. Babies and children ooze all manner of unpleasant from pee, to puke, to poop, to... just this weird kind of toddler ooze that's a combination of their own snot and whatever filthy stuff they pick up throughout the day that gets passed on to you. So when you're humping and you notice your partner has what is obviously a spit-up stain on their shirt, just breathe through your mouth.
I'm not just talking about what you choose to do with your pits and pubes, which varies pretty widely whether someone has kids or not. (Not to mention there's nothing gross about body hair. It's pretty much all about personal preference.) I'm just saying that the level of effort you expend upon beautification (whatever that means to you) has probably gone down since you became parents. For example, despite having really nice hair (I'm owning my strengths here, people), it's "all top knot, all the time" in my house. Also no-frills nursing bras and 10-year-old yoga pants. I'm not saying all parents wander about like frumps constantly (I promise, I actually don't; I even wore earrings today because I'm fancy), but if you and your partner can both find both the time and energy to mash the orifices of your choice together for sweet, sweet lovin', slipping into the latest corset from Agent Provocateur, doing your hair, putting on a full face of make-up, and vajazzling aren't bloody likely.
Having Sex On Sheets That Have Not Been Washed In Weeks
But let's be honest: You probably weren't super on top of that before you had kids, either. I don't think any grown-ass adults actually change their sheets as often as we think we should. I'm pretty sure it only happens when they get noticeably smelly or we're about to sleep with someone new for the first time. Sorry to out us like that. You know it's true.
Images: NBC; Giphy(6)