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Twice A Week Sex? You Must Be Joking

08/07/2011 14:35 | Updated 22 May 2015
Twice a week sex? You must be jokingGetty

Twice a week? You must be joking! That's the (rather reassuring) verdict of mums on their sex lives.

If you read about the antics of Ryan Giggs you'd be forgiven for thinking the whole world- or the WAG world at least- is having sex all the time.

Media pressure to have an active sex life is perceived as an issue by over 75 per cent of mums, according to a survey I carried out. And somewhere the notion that couples have sex twice a week arose. But for many couples with young children, twice a week is simply a myth.

The survey I carried out - it's not scientific, but it was online and totally anonymous, and I like to believe that the mums who took part did so honestly.

The survey results showed, maybe not surprisingly, that over 95 per cent of mums' sex lives changed once children came along. Out went the once to three times a week which was the average pre-children, to once a month or less frequently still, once women had children.

Esther Perel, author of Mating in Captivity: Sex, Lies and Domestic Bliss explains it like this: "Family life thrives on an atmosphere of consistency and stability. This creates tension between the erotic and domestic. The erotic crumbles under routine."

And just to make reinforce that, Frank Furedi, Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent, author of Paranoid Parenting, believes that mums find "parenting desexualising".

Statistic from my survey showed the majority of mums were unhappy with their sex lives - seven out of 10 mums in fact. Why? Most hankered after the sex lives they'd had before the pressures of motherhood set in. Most said they wanted sex – and lots of it - but tiredness, low libido, children sleeping with them or not sleeping, all took their toll. The reasons they weren't swinging from the chandeliers was - you've guessed it - tiredness.

Yes, eight out of 10 mums said tiredness was the passion killer. Lack of opportunity was near the top of the list too. As one mum said, "I'd love to have sex without having to plan ahead i.e. getting the kids to bed at a certain time on a certain day."

Another mum described her feelings like this:"I wish I had the energy and inclination, but if I get the chance for an early night I prefer my 'space' in bed after spending all day rushing round at work then coming home and rushing around more."

Tiredness wasn't the only reason though: some mums said their partner's libido had taken a nose dive. They were very angry that doctors assume it's women who don't want sex.

Many have partners who are happier to play with their boys' toys - and no, that's not a euphemism - than connect with them in a meaningful way. I could feel the anguish behind the mum who wrote, "I want my partner see me as the same person I was before the baby came and not just a mother!"

I asked Nicci Talbot, sex expert and author of In Rude Health and Orgasm: How to Get the Ultimate Satisfaction for her tips.

Number one was take your time to get back in the saddle after the birth. "If you are breastfeeding, your hormones will be all over the place. And don't attempt sex until you have had your 6 week check up - then take it slowly."

But don't think that after six weeks you simply ought to be raring to go. Many mums are so tired that sex is off the menu for a good part of the first year after the birth. And if you have more than one child, the demands of sleepless toddlers or nocturnal teenagers can be just as tiring.

So just how often are mums getting down to it? Most of the mums who took part in the survey revealed it was once a month. The next largest group was once a fortnight and finally once a week or less.

Suzi Godson author of The Sex Book, suggests that if you want to buck up your sex lives, make a real effort to have time to yourselves - a meal, a drink, a night away, and talk about something else apart from the kids.

And perhaps we should stop feeling under pressure from the media perpetuating the myth that everyone, everywhere, is having tonnes of sex all of the time. They're really not.

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