Sex Diaries: 'I Want More Sex – But I'm Just So Tired'

I'm 38, married and no longer have the energy for sex. But it used to be really central to our relationship.

Sex Diaries is a fortnightly series on HuffPost UK that asks readers to share their sex lives: to talk about the sex they’re having (or not). Interested in anonymously sharing your story? Email sophie.gallagher@huffpost.com

I’m struggling to find the words to describe my sex life – I would love to have more sex but quite honestly I feel knackered, I’m always stressed and we are time poor.

Before we became parents to our daughter, who is now six, my husband and I had all the time in the world; life was breezy and we had loads of energy for sex. We’ve been together for 11 years, and in the early days of our relationship, sex was a real foundation – a building block. Now we probably have sex once a month, or less.

It’s not that we don’t love (or fancy) each other anymore, it’s just that life is busy and overwhelming. We’ve both adjusted to that low energy level.

“We’re part of that whole sandwich generation stuck between caring for parents and children.”

There are so many factors at play here: it is hard to feel sexy when you’ve been at the grindstone all day. Both of us have our own businesses, and although I try not to, my husband also works at weekends. I’m also in charge of the domestic scene at home and parenting duties, and I have an ageing mother who I care for. We’re part of that sandwich generation stuck between caring for parents and children.

My husband and I go to bed at different times and in different rooms – he comes to bed late and then snores, while I’ve had a history of insomnia so now sleep in the spare bedroom. We’re working really hard to fix that and get in the same bedroom.

And then there’s my hormones, which are all over the place, and my husband and I are constantly fighting off some illness our child has bought home from school. It doesn’t really leave much of a window, does it?

If I’m not in the right headspace, I struggle to jump right into sex – I need to be wooed a bit before I’m in the mood – so we tend to have sex early in the evening, just after our daughter has gone to sleep. But if my husband is working then obviously that doesn’t happen.

On weekends when our daughter stays with her grandparents, we used to try having sex in the morning – but now we’re both up and getting on with our to-do lists. My husband does try to fit work in at any opportunity, but I’m okay with that because there have been periods when I’m the same.

“Once a week would be nice because it’s not just about sex but having a connection”

We’d both like to be having more sex. Once a week would be nice because it’s not just sex but having that connection. My husband and I make sure to hug, touch and kiss every day; we’re very tactile in our family so I think maybe that makes the situation feel less bad than it otherwise could.

I would like to try and spice things up a bit, and I did buy a ‘position of the day’ book but we haven’t used it yet. My partner just looked at me and was like: “Er no I’m going to break my back!”. Because sex is such a precious commodity, we don’t want to waste it on something that will feel like it’s out of a Benny Hill sketch.

When we go on holiday, sex is different because we’re feeling relaxed and have time. But longer-term this is probably how it’s going to be for a while. I keep on reading about people whose children have grown up and flown the nest and they have a sex renaissance. But I’ve equally heard it is tough when your kids become teenagers: they’re going to bed later, are more aware about what’s going on, and obviously think it’s disgusting.

I don’t think we’re the only couple not having sex. But I feel like this conversation should be more out in the open because so many people think it’s just them and it’s not. For a long time it was the elephant in the room for me and my husband, but now we talk about it. I tell him: “I still really love you but I’m knackered”. And if we just want to cuddle, that’s okay. Our relationship feels deeper now.

As told to Sophie Gallagher