If you Google, How often should my husband and I be having sex?, you’ll get 6 million results. I did not click on every single one of those links (I mean, come ON, people); however, I did look at more than 20 and let me tell you, the Internet thinks that married couples ought to be having a whole helluva lot more sex than I am currently having.
But here’s the thing: you don’t actually have to have a lot of sex (or even a little sex) to be happy. This is according to a new study out by me, Mrs. Dry Spell of the Happily Married Ever After Corporation (that happily part seriously depends on so many things, but I digress…)
As a modern woman juggling a household, three kids, a husband, two pets, a career, and chasing down the holy grail — aka A Social Life — I am here to tell the world that nobody needs to be having sex in order to be freakin’ happy. How do I know? Simple. I don’t have it much and my marriage is just fine.
My husband and I have been together for 13 years and through that, we’ve managed to figure out what makes us tick well and what gets us off-kilter. We’ve discovered that engaging in conversations, helping each other achieve dreams, and snuggling on the couch after a long-a*s day keeps us close.
With three little kids running around, the concept of trying to fit in an orgasm feels just plain stupid most of the time. And yes, I do need physical attention from my husband, but while we’re in the trenches of parenting, that physical attention feels so much more fulfilling when it comes in the form of my husband rubbing my shoulders after a full day of carrying a baby and chasing a toddler. At other times, just giving me enough alone time to have a steaming hot bath is what I would call love.
Don’t get me wrong though, I’m a huge a fan of sexy kisses and slaps on the a*s as we pass by each other while racing around to get things done. We include a lot of sexual innuendo in conversations and are no strangers to taunting one another with promises of sexual acts performed on one another if only the kids would actually go to bed on time. We flirt. We’re still in love. We still want to rip each other’s clothes off and go at it when no one is looking; we just don’t have the time, or, frankly, the energy to do this often.
As I turn the corner into 40, I’m realizing that marriage is not about self-gratifying fulfillment, it’s about imagining what happiness looks like for us and then taking the time to make it a reality. As our idea of happiness fluctuates throughout the years so, too, do our plans and actions. We decided that we wanted a big family, and that includes kids and eventually grandkids. We don’t want cruises and fancy vacations. But we do want a small efficient house and fulfilling careers. If those careers don’t make us much money, that’s beside the point.
Sex just doesn’t always register on the importance scale in the grand scheme of these ideas we have about our happiness. Our third and last child was born six months ago and we’ve had sex exactly twice since her birth. Judge all you want, but I’m totally happy with that.
When bedtimes are less of a battle and when we’re not more tempted by sleep than by hanky-panky then we’ll put a higher value on sex. For now, though, the sex can wait. Despite the millions of articles that Google offers up on the topic, we don’t think we “ought” to be having sex. Rather, we feel certain that snuggling up under a giant blanket and watching late night TV with a shared pint of ice cream sounds romantic and magical.