As a multi-tasking mother of two and a lover (in that order) Rose Cohen contemplates sex in theory.
Sandton Clinic, 1999. It’s my six-week, post-partum check-up and I’m glaring at my gynae for asking: ‘Have you... ahem... had intercourse since the birth?
In the stunned silence that ensues, I struggle to make my tired brain come up with an appropriate response. What I want to say is:
‘Have you seen these Rock of Gibraltar engorged breasts? I flinch when my arm brushes past them and as for that scar you made in my ...’
But instead, I look down at the babe in arms (to hide hormonal tears) and mumble ‘No.’
Confronted by another out-of-my-depth mothering crisis, I confide in my been-there-done-that colleague. What are sleep-deprived parents supposed to do about sex droughts? And clearly there was a drought on. In fact, it was a full-blown (giggle) recession.
She cried with laughter, then seeing I was dangerously moody, consoled me with this advice: Make a list. Apparently all busy parents need a daily To Do List and sex must be on top (always) even before exercise. I liked the advice, but so far morning mayhem has beat morning glory for the past decade. No, this does not mean we’re still not having sex. (Thank the sex gods for weekends, Disney Channel and grandparents.)
We also rendezvous in our dreams and awake intertwined like vines, PJs still sadly on. We don’t have to say, ‘Baby, I dreamt about you’ because there’s a look of liquid lust in our eyes. The look lasts about a nanosecond before we jump up shrieking ‘It’s 7am’ and race each other to the shower. Not together. Not for fun. Another busy day has just begun.Sexpert tips for parents
These are worth a shot (in the dark).Tip 1: Make yourself feel sexy Sexologists say:
Wear raunchy lingerie, seductive perfume and daydream about your lover.Parents say:
Racy and lacy won’t stabilise our wobbly bits and we can’t afford perfume so we daydream about money.Tip 2: Bust boredom Sexologists say:
Explore fantasies, dress up in role-play costumes and introduce toys.Parents say:
The only fancy dress in this house is lying in a shower of glitter in the playroom. Toys could be fun, the spiny stegosaurus to be precise. Tip 3: Work sex into your weekly routineSexologists say:
Have a ‘date night’ where you wine, dine and stare longingly into each other’s eyes. Make sure there are no kids around.Parents say:
Did you say no kids? Do not pass begin, do not collect R200, let’s Monopolise this moment. Tip 4: Make time for foreplay Sexologists say:
Foreplay is essential. Light scented candles and warm up some massage oil.Parents say:
We are the masters of quickies. When there’s a spare minute we just go. Go, go, go. . . Yes! No! Stop, stop, stop. There’s a little voice at the door.Tip 5: Don’t score goalsSexologists say:
Long-term lovers have goal-orientated sex because they know each other, but intimacy is not about orgasms. Parents say:
Ja whatever, orgasms are nice and see my point about limited time above. Can Mommy and Daddy get a sex life?