Oh, married sex. My exhaustion hits when my three boys have been tucked in, the dishes are done, to-do list written for the next day, and I plop on the couch next to my husband at 9 p.m. Maybe yours is when the baby is finally asleep, your teen is home and showered from soccer practice, and your husband walks in from work asking what's for dinner. Whatever your situation, when sleep sounds more enticing than sex, it's important to find some fail-safe methods that can spark your sexual interest. Note — these are methods you do for yourself to get you in the mood. Granted, I'd love a romantic evening out and to be showered with gifts and compliments by my husband to get me in the mood, but if your house is like mine, there' a good chance your husband may be just as exhausted as you are. So it's time to take matters into your own hands. Here are my favorite ways to get in the mood.
1. Take a bath. Or a shower. Or freshen up with baby wipes. The point is, after a long day of working, mothering, house-managing, or a combination of all three, you probably aren't feeling your sexiest — or your cleanest. For me, a lack of cleanliness can be a serious roadblock to sexiness. Spending a few minutes in a warm shower with some delicious-smelling soap and a sharp razor (ahem, the lady garden calls) or if I'm lucky and have the time, half-an-hour soaking in the tub does wonders for my mindset and mojo. Once I'm clean and smooth, I'm much more likely to consider some copulation. Even better? Invite the hubs to join you in the shower.
2. Enjoy some chocolate. Thank God for the science showing that eating chocolate (dark chocolate, to be exact) causes dopamine levels to rise and your body to release endorphins which are your body's pain-relieving and pleasure-promoting hormones. In layman's terms, chocolate makes you feel good. And a happier, more relaxed, more endorphined-up you is a lot more likely to want some nookey on four hours of sleep. So go ahead and nosh on some dark chocolate-covered almonds (my nightly favorite) or indulge in a square of gooey chocolate goodness. Your sex life will thank you.
3. Exercise. The last thing I want to do at the end of the day is exercise, but it does have its benefits in the bedroom. First, I know that I never regret having worked out. What's more, my body feels fitter and tighter (a.k.a. sexier) after a workout, and with all that blood pumping from exercising, I'm more motivated to keep it flowing with some under-the-cover cardio. And let's not overlook the added flexibility from post-workout stretching. Bonus points if you choose an exercise known to awaken female arousal like Pilates or spinning.
4. Have a glass of wine. All things in moderation, but I love a glass of vino to help me shake off the stresses of the day and transition from a "just-folded-four-loads-of-laundry" funk to a "I'd-love-to-make-out" marathon. For the best results, I like having this glass of wine with my hubby, cuddled up on the couch or playing footsie under the dinner table. Or try combining it with #1 (try this!) or #2 above (my favorite combo) which can also be highly effective.
5. Read some romance. I'm generalizing here, but it's no surprise to hear that men tend to be more visual while women often need a bit more than just some shirtless, rock-hard abs (not that rock-hard abs hurt). I have a good friend who keeps an attention-holding, blood-pressure-rising romance novel next to her bed to awaken her mental passion vibes. Just reading about that hot make-out scene in the closet or the seaside romp in the sand can get you mentally — and physically — stimulated. Worried about having such a novel around the house? Try out an erotic e-book on your phone or tablet. Just be sure to password protect that baby.