Mr. Candy is a very easygoing guy. Just about anything I want to write about is fair game — except for sex. Because not only do our friends and family read this column, but so do some of Mr. Candy’s colleagues and clients. A totally reasonable request on my husband’s part, and I’ve assured him that I would never, ever humiliate him by talking about sex in this here column.
Until I opened our mailbox and was accosted by something so wrong, so vile, so unbelievably horrifying, that I could remain silent on the topic no more.
It was a Parenting magazine. With a big ol’ headline screaming in yellow font, “MAMA SUTRA… Hot tips for a more satisfying sex life.”
MAMA SUTRA, people! Oh yes, they went there. How long did it take their crack editorial team to come up with that? Y’all know I am a sucker for a good, cheesy pun, but this was just too much. Too much, I say!
Like a car wreck or the neighborhood drag queen who bikes around town in a sequin miniskirt and no underwear, I could not look away. I opened the magazine for the very first time in my year-long subscription — I kid you not — and checked out these “hot tips.” In fact, if you read any women’s publications, then you know that sex after baby is a SERIOUS issue, in that many women SERIOUSLY have no interest in it after popping out an eight-pound kid and being so exhausted that they have to snort lines of Red Bull just to remain upright.
I was one of those women. (Hear that? That’s the sound of Mr. Candy’s head going THUD on his desk.)
While my husband recovers from his concussion, let’s get back to Parenting‘s guide for a “more satisfying sex life” for a second. To reclaim your mojo, moms, all you have to do is: 1) Kiss; 2) Do chores together, an activity the magazine deems CHOREPLAY; 3) “Touch base before touching boobs”; and 4) Wear pretty underwear.
CHOREPLAY! The couple that scrubs toilets together, humps together!
Speaking from the perspective of a new mother, caressing a bottle of Windex together does not make me want to spread my legs. I’m weird like that, I know. The problem is, as soon as women get the six-week postpartum green-light from the doctor, the husband is all, WOO-HOO! PARTY TIME! And, having read Parenting‘s handy guide, he dutifully breaks out his sexiest can of Lysol to get us in the mood. But no…! It’s not that simple. Things are often still dry and painful and funky1 down there. Also, and this is an important, potentially marriage-saving point: the Lysol could be construed as an offensive hint. Put it away immediately, boys.
Not to mention that if a new mother is lucky enough to get a free moment, sex is not exactly foremost on her list of things to do. She will want to hop in bed, yes, but she will want to hop in bed and sleep while her husband grumbles some gibberish about how he touched base but no boobs. Poor guy. For most men, sex trumps sleep, not understanding — or caring — that a woman’s body is designed, at its most primal level, to procreate. An old-fashioned notion? I don’t know. We are animals, after all. We get the urge most explicitly when we’re ovulating. And after we’ve given birth, our bodies are generally hardwired to nurse and care for the baby. Period. Many new mothers are not interested in sex because, well, that’s just how our bodies work.
Oh, and did I mention the funkiness?2
In conducting research for this column, and by research I mean googling “sex after baby” (and reading some excessively detailed descriptions of postpartum vaginae3 that almost made me faint, I kid you not) I came across a number of parenting forums where brand-spanking-new mothers (emphasis on spanking) bragged about how their sex drives were stronger than ever, and how they and their husbands were doing it, like, five times a day… on the kitchen floor, in their baby’s swing, on top of the Diaper Genie… and to them I say, good for you, you freaks! Because that’s the kind of magnanimous, not-at-all bitter person I am.
Without revealing too much for the sake of my marriage — I happen to truly love Mr. Candy and respect his privacy, and I haven’t even had a chance to take advantage of his United Airlines platinum status yet! — I will note that things, um, moved forward shortly after my six-week checkup, but it wasn’t until nine MONTHS after having the baby that I thought, Okay, NOW I can kind of get into this.
Do I know how to flatter a guy or what?
If I were to write a MAMA SUTRA guide, my recommendations would be simple: 1) Tell your husband if he lets you sleep in, you’ll let him touch boobs!; and 2) Keep in mind that a glass or two of wine can whet more than your thirst.
Also, and this is another important, potentially marriage-saving point: Be sure to never, ever ask your spouse if he’d like to engage in CHOREPLAY or MAMA SUTRA. Yikes. Those puns are enough to make you groan, all right. Just not in the good way.
Okay, you can open your eyes now, Mr. Candy. Mr. Candy…?
1 A highly scientific medical term for What the hell is going ON down there?!
2 Yes, it goes away.
3 Thank you, spell check. To think I almost used the pedestrian spelling, vaginas!