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Our kids are ruining our sex life: What to do?

They often interrupt when we are trying to get intimate and my husband can’t orgasm after the distraction

Pamela Stephenson Connolly, a psychotherapist who specialises in treating sexual disorders, in an article writes, “My husband and I both work full-time and have four kids under 10. When we do get intimate, half the time we are interrupted by a kid banging on the door. I can usually get back into the zone but my husband struggles and can’t orgasm. I asked if he would consider taking an erectile dysfunction drug, but he said no because he doesn’t think he has an erectile problem. Should I pursue this?

Your problem is distraction, not penis-action. In order to focus on pleasure and achieve orgasm, many people need a particular type of environment. You may be able to switch on and off with ease, but your husband cannot. I doubt that an erectile dysfunction drug would help him, and it sounds as if he is correct when he says he doesn’t have a problem that would warrant one.

Could you escape the household now and then, or get a babysitter? A “date night” once a week would provide a much-needed break for both of you, especially if it included an erotic stopover at an understanding friend’s place. It is challenging to transition from frequent lovemaking as singles to “stolen moments” as harried parents, but aiming for quality rather than quantity – and valuing it – will help. Returning to the environments of your courtship – movies, clubs, or perhaps the back seat of a car – should further enhance your erotic connection and allow you to re-experience the exciting relationship that bonded you in the first place.”

How to maintain your sex life while parenting

Most parents know that having less sex is part and parcel of life with a new baby. Yet when the children are a bit older, when we’re less tired and we have more opportunity to be intimate, we can look forward to our sex life returning pretty much to what it was pre-children, right?

Well, apparently not. According to a survey carried out for Family Lives, parents having the least sex are the ones whose children are teenagers. 66 per cent of our respondents have teenage or older children, followed by those with children aged between 5 and 12 (49%). Clearly, these parents aren’t struggling with sleep deprivation or exhausted by the demands of caring for a newborn. Many seem to a large extent to have given up on their sex life: just under 45% told us they have sex less than once a week, and just over 23% confessed they hadn’t had sex at all in the preceding month.”

When we talked to parents of teenagers about their sex life after children, we found a similar story. One father of three daughters aged 16, 14 and 11 told Family Lives: “My wife just isn’t interested any more. Since our last daughter was born we’ve had sex very rarely, maybe once a month, and it’s always me who wants it. I put up with it at first because I thought things would get better when the kids got older, but they haven’t. Most of the time we don’t mention sex, but if I bring it up she accuses me of being demanding and it ends up in an almighty row.

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