Having two toddlers makes it nearly impossible for me to feel "in the mood" on a regular basis. By the time my kiddos are asleep, what little energy I have left is spent catching up on housework or the new Queer Eye for the Straight Guy on Netflix (fabulous, BTW). To quote Jonathan from the show, I'm generally "strug to func" — that's struggling to function — past 9 p.m. But I know my bedroom should feel more "where the magic happens" and less "where the laundry gets folded." So, here's how to make scheduled sex romantic, if you're like me and are considering penciling in regular romp sessions.
Designating a set time for sex may sound like yet another thing to add to your to-do list, but doing it more does seem to be one surefire way to improve how you feel about your relationship. "There’s a strong relationship between rating your marriage as happy and frequency of intercourse,” said Tom W. Smith, who conducted the “American Sexual Behavior” study, in an interview with The New York Times.
If you can't recall the last time you and your partner went to the 'bone zone,' here are some ideas to put the spark back in your sex life even if it's scheduled.
1. Leave the house
If the idea of heading to bed and saying "Ok, let's do this" sounds less than hot, consider heading somewhere else for your romantic rendezvous. Picking a more adventurous spot — like the car parked in the garage — can definitely heat things up.
For writer Helena Frith Powell and her husband Rupert, heading to the orchard in their backyard was the key to increasing their sexual appetites. Frith Powell, in an interview with the Daily Mail, recounted how her husband had texted her out of the blue one night to meet him in their orchard for a romantic tryst. After that one encounter, the orchard was where they connected on a weekly basis.
For those a little too shy to do it al fresco, consider some of these indoor spots outside the bedroom.
2. Sext ahead of time
Spice things up by sending some sexy texts leading up to the appointed rendezvous time. Sometimes anticipation is half the fun.
"[Sexually satisfied] couples keep sexual energy in the mix throughout their lives together, creating anticipation by sexting with each other, keeping an ongoing sexual conversation and a doing a quick make-out here and there,” explained sex expert, Danielle Harel, in an interview with the Huffington Post.
Just make sure to shield those sexy threads from your kids' prying eyes!
3. Watch something that gets your revved up
When you're having a hard time finding your mojo after a day full of diaper changes and spill clean-ups, try watching something that reminds you that you're a sexual being, not just a mama.
Whether it's a steamy scene from Game of Thrones or the latest Fifty Shades flick (btw, Fifty Shades Freed comes out on digital HD on April 24), turn on what turns you on, and you might just find that mojo after all.
4. Schedule intimate time not just sexy time
Having to go straight from story time with your little one to sexy time with your mate might seem like too big of a jump. Add in a buffer time to properly switch gears.
"If you love cooking together, whip up a meal while you drink wine. If you love friendly competition, break out a game or activity that makes you feel invigorated, so it's easy to segue into foreplay," recommended sex and relationship therapist Megan Fleming in an interview with Health.
Sometimes connecting over conversation leads to connecting in other ways.
5. Hit the gym, then hit the sheets
Leaving the gym hot and sweaty just might help you keep it hot and steamy in the bedroom.
Working out releases endorphins that lead to a boost in mood, according to Web MD. So whether you're experiencing a "runner's high" or are feeling extra energized after that spin class, directing those positive vibes towards your partner might help turn scheduled sex into steamy sex.
"In general the studies have shown that the more regular the exercise regime, the higher the sex drive," explained Fitness.
6. Mix it up
If you approach scheduled sex like you approach a dentist appointment (ok, let's just get this over with), chances are it's not going to be that enjoyable. But, if you turn it into a game, your chances of pleasure are infinitely higher.
"Cut up a bunch of squares of paper, and write down some of your favorite sexual activities or experiences. For example, sex positions, toys, role-playing scenarios, and so on. You can also include things you’ve never tried before, but have been curious about. Fold up all of the slips and put them in a jar. The morning of your sex date, pull one out at random," advised Life Hacker.
A sex jar instead of a swear jar could be exactly what your house needs.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.