It is the best of times. It is the worst of times. I'm speaking, of course, about the holiday season. On the one hand, what's not to love? Decorations? Merriment? Delicious baked goods? On the other hand, what's not to love, #sarcasm? All this cheer doesn't appear by magic, and throwing together a happy holiday can be downright exhausting, which can mean you're too exhausted for sex. But... you want to have sex! How can you make time for sex?! One word: quickies. Everybody wants to know how to sneak a quickie this holiday because, let's face it: That's all a lot of us will have the time and energy for this time of year. So Romper spoke to Dr. Jill McDevitt, a sexologist, sexuality educator, and sexual wellness coach. Because sometimes you want to be on the naughty list.
First, a caveat: Dr. Jill does not recommend all quickies all the time ("unless you and your partner absolutely love them"), and that makes sense. Think of it in food terms: A quickie is like fast food. It can be a great pick-me-up and get you what you need without any grand effort... but a person cannot live on drive-thru fare alone and eventually you're going to need something more substantive. "But," McDevitt told Romper, "[quickies] are a tool you can use when the situation calls for it, such as a stressful time like the holidays." Yes, in one of the body's coolest magic tricks, sex can make you less stressed (bless you, endorphins), so a quick roll in the hay may be just the thing to calm you down after your mother-in-law calls to tell you she has invited yet another distant cousin to your Christmas Eve dinner. And while many of us I'm sure would prefer a luxuriously paced romp, complete with candles and the music of Prince, sometimes, Dr. Jill assures us "the rushed, sloppy energy of a quickie can make it feel 'naughty' which can add to the sexiness."
This is not to say quickies are necessarily easy to come by. "Wait," you may be saying, "I have kids! How am I supposed to flounce off to get busy when they keep me plenty busy already?" First of all, very reasonable question. Second of all, I feel you, friend. But this is not insurmountable and is something you can work on over time. The key to it all, Dr. Jill tells us? "Boundaries!"
"It may... take some time to instill," she explained, "but laying the foundation now will pay dividends. Setting boundaries — for privacy, to knock before entering your room, and not coming in when you say you're busy for 10 minutes of alone time — is imperative not only for your sanity and sex life, but also is a key component for a sex-positive, shame-free household that I recommend to all of my clients when I teach a course on sex-positive parenting." From personal experience (without getting too into my own intimate life) this is something that can take effort, but eventually does get better. Also? There's a reason the good Lord invented screen-time. (Who knew that Peppa Pig could help you get laid?)
Of course, another challenge to quickies is the fact that, for the vast majority of women, the path to an orgasm is anything but "quickie." And, really, if everyone isn't having a satisfying experience then what's the damn point? "This is why I believe quickies are best used as an occasional tool when the situation requires it and not a lifestyle," McDevitt told Romper. "The orgasm gap is real and that phenomenon won't be solved with quickies!"
That said, when a quickie is called for (or merely desired) there are ways to help everyone cross the finish-line in record time. The trick? Toys! (No, not the kind your kids get under the tree or in the glow of the menorah... at least I kind of hope that's kept just a little more private.) "There are some great, quiet vibrators that couples can use," Dr. Jill says. This direct clitoral stimulation can help the process along when time is a factor. (For "p in v" sex, Dr. Jill recommends a hands-free option from CalExotics that everyone can enjoy.)
All of this is, of course, excellent news, but a key thing to remember is that quickies are a great way to keep intimacy strong in a stressful time-crunch, not the beginning and end of intimacy in general. A quickie is never so quick that you can't take some time for tenderness.
"Pay attention to your partner's face — hold their cheeks in your hand, kiss them, rub your hands through their hair — to get those bonding feelings elevated," McDevitt suggests. And let's not forget: When it comes to intimacy, it's not all about sex, people. (Don't get me wrong, sex is fan.tas.tic. but it's a piece in larger, very erotic puzzle.) "Steal away for a non-sexual, romantic "quickie"— a quickie make-out session, a quickie relaxing massage, a quickie one-on-one conversation to see how they're handling the holiday stress and remind them you love them and you're in this together."
Parenting is hard. Relationships are hard. The holidays are hard. A combination of all three of those things? Stupid hard. But it's less hard when you can be a team... and sometimes that team's version of a pep-talk is sneaking into bedroom, locking the door, and having sex for 10 minutes. A quickie won't solve all your problems or, really, any of your problems, unless your problem is "I want a quickie." But it can be one of the things that makes you and your partner more connected and therefore better equipped to face those problems together.
After experiencing a traumatic c-section, this mother sought out a doula to support her through her second child’s delivery. Watch as that doula helps this mom reclaim the birth she felt robbed of with her first child, in Episode Three of Romper's Doula Diaries, Season Two, below. Visit Bustle Digital Group's YouTube page for more episodes, launching Mondays in December.