Is it possible to have romance and kids?

Is it the Mum’s responsibility to keep the romance alive?

Is it possible to have romance and kids?I was asked to pop onto the breakfast show for Heart Wiltshire the other week by the lovely Molly (check out what I said here on her blog)

She guessed I might have strong feelings about husbands complaining that they don’t get any attention any more and that the romance has gone out of their marriage!

And I do!

It’s not that I don’t think that Dads are as important as kids.

It’s not that I don’t think that they deserve to feel loved and get attention and sex.

But I can’t bear all the theories about how the wife should make an effort to make sure he doesn’t feel left out, poor thing.  Seriously!!

In the majority of homes the Mum will be juggling a pile of stuff, and has very little left to worry about romance.  It’s not that she doesn’t want it, it’s just that she’s concentrating on what has to be done, and that is taking up all her time, energy and brain space.

The Dad is a grown up, he can look after himself, manage his emotions and do a pile of stuff the kids can’t (or he should be able to, and can certainly learn to).

And there is NOTHING MORE OFF PUTTING than a bloke adding to the pressure of being a Mum, by whining about not getting any attention or romance.

 

You are probably quite right that your wife has put the kids first.  It’s called nature; our hormones give us little choice, and even if they did, practically speaking the kids need us and you are a grown up.

The question is can you man up to the task?

 

1) Make the effort to add a bit of romance in yourself.

Can you take over dinner time, tidy the kitchen and put the kids in the bath while giving your wife an hour to relax once in a while?  Put a film on that she’ll enjoy, make some pop corn, get a bottle of wine out and cuddle up to her on the sofa.

Talk to your parents or get a baby sitter and find somewhere that she would like to go.  If the kids are too young for you to go out at night, go out for coffee or a romantic picnic.

DON’T add extra pressure by pushing her to leave the kids for longer than she wants to.  It’s meant to be fun for her remember!

 

2) Find the romance that is there and make the most of it.

Philosophically speaking nothing goes away totally, it just changes.  You just aren’t looking for the romance in the right places.

Romance is about warmth, closeness, intimacy and fun.  Try to ignore the kids and they’ll kick off.  But create family romance by including them and you can still have it.  Picnics, walks in a forest, sand castles on the beach, family film time; all of those have that lovely romantic feeling to them.

Don’t ignore the kids wanting to give you hugs when you leave or at bedtime.  Have fun with it.  Have family hugs, instead of 1to1 hugs with your wife.

Bear in mind, if the kids are her number one priority, then the way to get up to number 1.5 is to go with it, rather than against it!  (Hint: this is how you get more sex with your wife).

 

3) Be Patient

Remember that this will pass, the kids will get older and she’ll have a chance to breathe, and come back to you.  Make sure you’re worth coming back to!

Don’t fall for that ‘My wife doesn’t understand me’ way of thinking and find some other woman to have an affair with; she’s just looking at you as someone who has already proved they can commit, and will do exactly the same thing to you eventually.

Get an interest that you can be passionate about during the few years the kids are little.

Get interested in the kids!

 

What do you reckon?  Am I too harsh?

Have you managed to keep the romance alive despite the kids?  Does your other half complain?  Did you come out the other side and manage to rekindle the love or did you find it was wrecked by the stress?

BTW I’ve written lots about sex and being parents, if you liked this post, you might want to read some more.

 

Full moon is magic

I can’t sleep after sex or during the full moon – HELP!

Can't sleep during full moonSo lovely blog readers I have a problem for you to solve!

I’ve googled it, but can’t for the life of me find a solution, so I’m turning to you incredible peeps to find one for me.  Because I have a BIG problem!

You know how I wrote my top tips on getting to sleep or back to sleep for busy Mums and Dads?

They work for me all the time apart from one.  And that one time makes me a bit freaky in comparison to the rest of the world.

It’s after that ‘sexy time’.  I’m not snoozy, cozy, sleepy, dozy, snuggly or any of those lovely things.

No I’m WIDE AWAKE and full of energy and adrenalin.

Whats up with that world?

Everyone else is falling fast to sleep in a happy daze.  But oh no, not my body, no it’s totally contrary.

So I just go with it and read, blog or do admin.  But if you had a solution I’d love you forever, because I don’t get loads of sleep anyway on a ‘normal’ day.

Remember when I talked about scheduling sex?  Well this means that I literally go through my diary in my head and work out if I can afford to have a couple of hours less sleep with what I’m doing the next day.  Sex is difficult enough to fit into life with two young kids, without also worrying about it making me even more tired (hence I’m so good at writing tips on how to get more energy – arggh!)

Oh and another freaky thing.  There is NO WAY IN HELL I can have sex around a full moon; because I can’t sleep during a full moon anyway, but add sex into the equation and there will be NO sleep ALL NIGHT.

Sorry for the shouting, but OMG!  I don’t just have to be the PA to my kids and the hairy northerner, I also have to keep track of the blinking moon!

Does this officially make me a witch?  Many people have suspected as much in the past; perhaps I should go and run around the full moon naked instead?

So looking forward to your ideas.  I’ll try anything!

 

UPDATE

So I haven’t totally cracked the problem or found out why it happens, but I’ve certainly met loads of people on twitter who have the same problem.

I have had an improvement by watching the full moon more closely and making sure that I’m even more careful about what I eat and drink in the run up to it (no caffiene after 4pm, reduce sugar and chocolate).

Plus I’ve kind of embraced both problems, so I’ll have a plan for work to do just in case I can’t sleep and aim to get a little bit of sleep at least when I’ve exhausted all the extra mental energy.

Oh and definitely avoiding sex for a couple of days around the full moon (sorry husband!) as the combination is a no-no.

 

 

Sex life for busy parents

How to fit sex into a busy life as a parent?

Sex life for busy parentsI’m back to doing what is most popular on my blog: writing about sex!  In particular how to fit sex into a busy life as a parent.

I kept a little quiet for a while as I was in Woman’s magazine a few weeks ago, and it was REALLY embellished.  So I kept my head down incase anyone actually read it!  I wasn’t expecting to take up a whole page, I thought it would be more like a little corner, so I was a bit shocked.

Big northern one, you might want to go away for a bit as I share some (not all) of our secrets!

Here’s our problem:

  • We’ve got rubbish sleepers.
  • Little Dimples is still napping at lunch time, so doesn’t go to sleep until late, by which time I’m knackered.
  • Now we have two kids, nap times aren’t available for a quickie at the weekend.
  • There are no relatives nearby, so no accessible babysitting; my kids are fussy about trust.
  • Little Dimples is still breastfeeding so evenings are tricky in terms of going out for a meal because that’s when she most wants milk.
  • I’m co-sleeping and sometimes Little Dimples is very aware of there being no actual body next to her.

 

So you can see that in order to fit in sex to our lives, it requires some ingenuity.

But there is some ‘good news’!

  • Whereas I used to get really grumpy without sex, I’m now more chilled about it.  I think that I used to need it for intimacy, but I now get loads of cuddles and love from the kids, so I’m basically just after sex (sorry if that is shocking to anyone who doesn’t think that Mums have any libido left).
  • Being over 40 has helped too, as I’m more confident in myself, and less nervous.
  • Losing 2 stone last year and getting to a healthy weight has helped me gain more confidence
  • My kids love a little old lady who lives locally who helps out with looking after Little Dimples when I work.  So she is available sometimes during the daytime at the weekend.

So what are my tips?

 

Tips For Mums

 

1) What’s the minimum?

Work out what the basic minimum is and aim to hit at least that.  Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing; they’re probably lieing about it anyway!

Basically compromise between what you would both ideally like, any differences in libido, and reality.  I know you’re tired, and I’m not suggesting you make it worse, but a couple of 20 minutes here and there per month  aren’t going to make it much worse; you might be lucky, it might only be 5 mins ;o)

 

2) Be patient and adjust rather than complain

‘This too shall pass’ – it’s not long in the lifetime of a marriage to have to adapt your sex life a bit for a few years.  Remember that this is about keeping your sex life alive in some way, and ‘a change is as good as a rest’.

Be realistic about the type of sex you are going to have.  If your life is like mine it is likely that long romantic sessions are not going to fit in, maybe enjoy the excuse to have ‘quickie’ sex!

 

3) Plan it and think out of the box

Don’t complain about the lack of spontaneity, after all it can be fun to schedule sex and have the anticipation.

Don’t leave it to the man to make sure it happens.  They aren’t going to be as aware as you are of the difficulties of fitting it in.  So it’s up to you to keep an eye on your monthly diary and make sure that you can fit in at least the minimum with trips/visitors and your period (if he’s fussy).

If evenings hardly ever work out for you, think about organising for your kids to go to see a neighbour/friend/relative during the day for a couple of hours.  Our excuse is that we want to go out for coffee for a ‘chat’ (which we do also do sometimes – now I’m blushing at the look I’m going to get every time I mention coffee to my neighbours!).

 

4) Find a way to cut down on the foreplay time needed!

Don’t be subtle.  If he doesn’t notice the lingerie, perfume and the fact that baby went to sleep early, just be direct i.e. ‘Fancy a quickie?’ works well.  (I’ve got some more posts up my sleeve to help with this!).

If you need a build up, then whisper something suggestive in his ear at the beginning of the day and enjoy the fun of ‘sexting’.  By the time your chance comes you’ll both be up for it.

 

5) Don’t worry if it doesn’t work out

If you are managing to hit your minimum, then you should be able to have a sense of humour when things go wrong; i.e. the kids puke or one of you ends up snoring!

Plus you’re parents, so you’re probably tired, especially if you have young kids, so a degree of pragmatism is going to be needed.  Make sure that you keep talking about it and don’t stick your head in the sand; you’ll probably find that chatting about your mutual tiredness and frustration will help loads.  Perhaps go out for that coffee after all, just to get a chance to chat together and feel more intimate.

 

Tips for the man:

Often all you’ve got to do is ‘turn up’ and don’t mess up your chance at getting some sex!

Check out my post on what makes a man unsexy and my other one on what makes a man sexy and my top tips on persuading a wife that isn’t keen on having sex.  I’ve written loads more about sex and being a parent here too.

Basically if you want sex, make sure she isn’t too knackered or feeling like a drudge, and don’t be grumpy/smelly/lazy in the last couple of hours of the day, because then sleep is going to look a lot more attractive than you.  Plus remember that many women will need some intimacy, romance or affection in between as well!

 

What do you guys reckon?  Do you have any top tips you’d like to share to help out other busy parents with fitting sex into their hectic lives?

Would any of these tips just not work for you at all?

How many of you find that because you don’t schedule your sex life in any way, it often doesn’t happen for weeks or months on end?

 

 

 

 

Agony Aunt for Mums

Problem Corner: Lost Myself and Can’t Find My Feet

Agony Aunt for MumsThe Problem

I received an email from a Mum a week or so ago that reminded me so much of what many of us feel at times in our lives:

I feel like I’ve lost myself and really can’t do anything, be a good mum, work or even decorate our house which we moved in last year. I don’t really think I’m depressed, but just can’t find my feet. 

 

I got a little more information from her, and here are the cliff notes, which I bet many of you can relate to as well:

  • 2.5yr old daughter who is not a good sleeper and goes to nursery two days per week
  • started her own consultancy business that her husband joined, but stopped working when had daughter and now feels unneeded in the business, although does some admin for it.  Can’t think of what to start instead and doesn’t have the confidence in herself as feels she is out of date now.
  • about a stone heavier than before having baby, size 14, doesn’t drink enough enough water, doesn’t priorities exercise each week
  • does wear makeup, but doesn’t spend much on self
  • organising building work on house
  • no nearby family support, a few friends
  • closeness is lacking with husband and intimacy is limited

 

Such a classic situation don’t you think bless her heart?

 

My Answer

Don’t feel bad lovely, this is such a normal way to feel and place to be, it doesn’t mean you have done something wrong or aren’t a good mother.  For a start having children changes our priorities and values, which can be very discombobulating.  It means that things that were once important to us aren’t anymore, so we have a bit of an identity crisis. We also lose power in our relationships because we often feel like we are contributing less.  Plus we have to do a pile of stuff that is just plain boring and doesn’t light our fires.  Then we add to that whole mess by not taking care of ourselves, and so the spiral continues down and down.

I like to work within our limitations, rather than rage against them.  So the idea is to find you ways of improving how you feel whilst you are still the major caretaker of your daughter, as things naturally shift when they start school.

 

There are several issues here, and this is the priority that I would look at them in:

1) Health and Fitness

2) Beginning to research ideas for work that can blossom when your daughter goes to school

3) Spend more time with husband

4) Sort out intimacy

 

The reason I’ve put them in that order is because if you gain confidence in yourself, the relationship will improve, if not disappear altogether.  The key is to start with yourself, even if all/some of the problems seem to be ‘out there’.  The key to when we are feeling so low is to give ourselves a fighting chance by strengthening the body; it’s amazing how that can help with how we feel emotionally and mentally.

When you says you are not ‘depressed’; hmmm who knows where the thin line between being down and being depressed really is.  I would warn you that you are close to that line.  I’m going to assume that you are well enough to be able to sort it out yourself when given clear action steps to follow.  HOWEVER, if this doesn’t work, please come back to me and I’ll give you a way of motivating yourself.  If that doesn’t work then I’ll know what to do, so don’t worry; it just means we need to tackle a few confidence issues directly.

 

Action Steps

 

1) Supplements

You are that tired that I think you might need some supplements.  Pop to a health food shop with a shop assistant who knows lots about it.  Also read my posts about getting more energy and supplements.

 

My favourite immediate energy boosters are:

  • Blueberries – magic little creatures!
  • 2xcup Epsom salts in bath – buy a BIG bag from health food shop when you are there.
  • Floradix – magic in a bottle
  • Omega 3,6 & 9 – otherwise my brain doesn’t work

 

2) Hydration

Your body can’t take in all those lovely vitamins and minerals unless you drink enough liquid.  It’s like trying to run a car without oil.  So you need to reduce the coffee by 1 or 2 cups, and not drink after late afternoon and drink more water.  Check out my post about why hydration is so important.

My top tips for adding water into your day is:

  • Drink water when you and your daughter brush your teeth – that’s three extra glasses.
  • Have a bottle of water in the car for when you go on the nursery run or to the shops.
  • Have a specific time of day mid-morning where you have a glass of water.

 

3) Nutrition

It doesn’t sound like you need to lose weight, but I reckon your eating isn’t helping the situation.  There is lots more information in my section called ‘Healthy Eating For Rubbish Cooks‘, but here are the most important points:

  • Eat 5 fruit and vegetables a day (one with breakfast, one for snack mid morning and mid afternoon, then one or two with dinner and/or lunch)
  • Use a good fruit juice not from concentrate (counts as 1x5aday)
  • Eat different colours of fruit and vegetables
  • Eat something for breakfast however small
  • Eat a balanced meal with Protein AND Carbs AND half a plate of vegetables/salad (or fruit for dessert)
  • Cut back on the sugar – it’s a big downer (I’d say the same for alcohol if you were drinking much)

 

4) Exercise

A certain amount of exercise will get you healthier, a bit more will get you fit.  I know that you are running around with your daughter, but that won’t give you the endorphins or fun that exercise can give you.

  • On the days when she is at nursery your FIRST priority is to go to the gym or somewhere and do a fun class like dance/zumba or something that will calm your worries like yoga.  No cleaning or admin for the company until this is done!
  • EVERY day go outside for a 15 minute walk – even with your daughter

 

5) Ideas To Blossom

You aren’t ready to ‘find something to do’ yet.  So let’s get realistic and let’s get you researching ideas as your confidence improves.

  • Get yourself a notebook and write in it every idea you’ve ever had on what you could do.  DO NOT discount any ideas, even if you think you are unqualified now or you think they are pipe dreams.  Then keep adding ideas.
  • For each idea write the Pro’s and Con’s down.  There should be the SAME number of Pro’s as Con’s.  If not, you need to think a bit more about that idea to find more.
  • Also write what qualifications, skills or experience you have that might help and the additional training or experience needed that you don’t have.
  • Get into the habit of counting 3 blessings every night, even on a bad day there might have been a lovely rainbow, or good cup of coffee or hug from your daughter.  You can write them down if you like.
  • Get some of the rubbish out of your head and onto paper 1-5 times per week by writing all your worries and stresses down.  3 pages minimum.  Do it at least once per week.
  • I’m really not keen on you doing the ‘admin’ for your company, considering you started it initially and a virtual assistant is £20ph.  I see the logic in your doing it, but I don’t think that it’s good for your psychology.  We’ll chat more about this next time!

 

Then

Come back and let me know how you are doing regularly (you can comment on this blog anonymously).  Once you are feeling stronger in yourself, we are going to look at subtly shifting the power in your relationship with a clever trick that I know and getting you more sparkly.  Then we can look at your relationship itself – I have a few blog posts scheduled that you are going to like, so make sure that you have subscribed to my blog by email as well!

You might want in a week or two to buy my book ‘Six Steps To A Sparkling You And Enjoying Being A Mum‘.  I’m in the middle of writing version 2 (with just a few minor changes and tweaks) which will also be out in paperback.  Once that comes out I’m raising the price from 89p!  (Remember you can read a kindle book without a kindle).

What do you think?

I’d love to know what you think, whether you are the originator of the question or not?

Have you felt like this too?  Can you let her know that it’s normal and only temporary, especially if she starts to take care of herself more as I suggested?

Or do you disagree and think she should go straight for sorting out her work and relationship?

Got a problem of your own?  Submit it to my problem corner.

The Top 6 Things that make a man unsexy?

This should be so obvious after my post about what makes a man sexy, but just incase you are one of the mums leaving my blog posts open on your laptop for your husbands to read, I thought I would do a ‘state the bleeding obvious’ post, as what is obvious to us, isn’t always obvious to our men. Then when I started to think it through I realised that maybe it’s not that obvious as what makes a man unsexy is actually very different from sexy …

So one note, the order of priority of these depends on the woman, and there is still now way of pressing a woman’s buttons long term without spending some time to get to know her.  (sorry husbands, there does have to be a certain degree of effort here!).

1. Top of the list is being a Sex Pest

There is nothing more irritating than a man who nags for sex.  Partially because they often don’t think about the timing or circumstances.  Often because they try to turn any situation into a sexual one, rather than a romantic one or a ‘potential for sex later’ one.  But mainly because they don’t seem to realise that it’s not our job to feel horny, it’s their job to get us to feel horny, so if we aren’t there, then it’s down to him too.  I love the quote by Athol Kay when he says ‘if your wife says she is too tired for sex, what she means is that she is too tired for sex WITH YOU’!  (Boys, it’s a man saying that, not a woman being difficult).  If a man has to nag for sex, then basically it makes us think twice about them, because I bet there are men out there who don’t have to nag.

2. Being Majorly Pissed Off or Hurt

If the guy is regularly mean, harsh, cutting, patronising, sarcastic, rude, disrespectful, angry, scary or anything generally not nice with his wife?  Guess what, that doesnt make her want to sleep with him.  A guy can be really lovely for half a day, but end it with shouting, or nastiness and her legs are going to close up like a clam.

Then there is the problem with doing something that hurts her deeply (what hurts each person, is a little tricky as it depends on what their priorities are in life, as to what their buttons are).  The obvious ones are affairs, lieing about money, losing a job by doing something wrong, letting the in-laws get away with atrocious behaviour, and not taking care of her when she needs you.  But there can be all sorts of other ones as well.

This one is probably not fixable alone.  This is when the wife is so hurt or angry about something or a number of things that the husband has done, that even his breathing is irritating.  This one will need some external help like counselling, coaching or other therapies (feel free to ask for tips on which ones in my Question corner).

3. Making her feel like a drudge

Have you seen many erotic fantasies where the woman was knackered, covered in baby puke, with straggly hair, and a pile of washing up to her ears?  Nope, funny that.  So adding to the drudgery, or not helping out with it when you can is definitely not going to help you appear sexy to her.

4. Hitting her bug bears

We all have bug bears, because we are all a bit OCD.  Some people have an issue with teeth, others with clothes, feet, toothpaste squeezed from the top, loo seats left up, and leaving a trail of clothes and crap throughout the house as you arrive is a favourite!  All of these make a wife go ‘grrrr’, rather than ‘phwaw he’s hot’.  Mine is probably smell, which was made worse after pregnancy because I now have a bionic sense of smell and never lost it.  So come anywhere near me with bad breath, body odour, smelly feet, beer breath, smoke, or worst of all unwashed genitals, and I’m trying to not wretch and throw you out of the window.  Most women tend to not appreciate what a man’s mates like either; so farting, burping and spitting are generally big turn offs (this might surprise some blokes!).

5. Being a Wimp

We might like a kind, gentle man around the house, but when it comes to being sexy, it will hardly ever turn a woman on.  So baby talk, whining about life, lack of confidence, not taking control of situations, not making decisions, basically not showing any of the Alpha traits I mentioned in my previous post about what makes a man sexy, is definitely going to reduce how much sex appeal a guy has to his wife.  It’s all about ‘fake it until you make it’ when looking to improve this, so pretend to be her favourite hero: Captain Jean Luke Picard, or Dr Shepard (Greys Anatomy), or Mr Shuester (Glee); Wolverine is probably going a little too far, so there is no need to get metal grafted to your bones to be sexy in all reality.

6. Appearance

I’ve put this near the bottom, because although important in making a man unsexy, if the other things above are true, even Brad Pitt hasn’t got a hope in hell.  Plus some will be covered in bug bears at number 4.  So lets assume that the wife doesn’t have any major bug bears, biases or requirements when it comes to physical appearance, then probably the key here for the husband is to maintain what they originally had, rather than worry about plastic surgery.  So this probably means that they put on weight, their hair needs a good cut/restyle, their clothes sense has gone to pot, they’ve become a bit too practical in their choice of shoe wear  (yep, northern hubby that does mean you too, cos those geeky walking things just don’t do it for me!), and they’ve lost a bit of confidence in their appearance.  It might take a few months, but it can be restored!

These are the main top 6 things that make a man unsexy, rather than what makes a man sexy or attractive to us.  Are there any I’ve missed that just make you go yuuuugh?

Video Wed: Stop Whining and Sort It Out

Sounds harsh heh, ‘stop whining and sort it out’: but you know what I mean don’t you?  There comes a time when your friends need to stop listening to you, and kick you out the door telling you to do something about it all, or at least one of the things that you are whining about.

I’m the same; I do whine, even though I have a pretty low boredom threshold for problems, so I tend to be quite proactive about improving things.  This year has been particularly hard, and in a way I haven’t whined too much on this blog, because I knew that it was going to be a long haul.  However a few weeks ago I spent a lovely day with a couple of my Mummy Blogger mates, in the most glorious sunshine, and I basically puked whine and worry.  Whilst therapeutic, and I know they are my mates, so they didn’t sit there saying ‘For god’s sake shut up Lisa’, I did feel guilty afterwards.  Despite me saying that although I’m the ‘Mummy Whisperer’, not the ‘Perfect Mummy’, I do sometimes expect more of myself unreasonably/reasonably.  So I’ve decided it’s time to knock some of the things off my worry/whine list and sort it out.

Did you see my recent blog posts about embracing the exhaustion so that you can work out what the matter is, and then make a plan?  You don’t have to fix everything in one fail swoop, but pick a pile of little things to start with, and then pick something bigger.  I’ve decided to concentrate on first my exhaustion, so I’ve refocussed my energy on food, sleep and dumped a pile of to do’s.  Next on the list is a couple of things with the kids.

Hows about joining me in deciding to knock something off your worry/whine list?  I’m happy to help …

  • If you are exhausted, then read my exhaustion posts.
  • If you are overweight, decide to change it and read my weight loss tips posts.
  • If there are problems in your sex-life then keep reading all my posts about sex in marriage (which are soooo popular, that I’m beginning to think that I should organise them and make another weekly tip series, I just don’t have enough days in the week!).
  • If you are struggling with depression, make a small start and try counting your blessings (I’ll write more about it and how powerful it can be soon).  There are lots of books about it, I’ve even done a little ebook.  But the basic idea is that you get a notebook and each night before you go to bed, you write what you can be grateful for.  It might not ‘fix’ it, but it will help and give you more energy.
  • If you have a bigger problem and nothing smaller to look at, as me for help in my question corner, or talk to a mate and ask for ideas for help, or read a book about it, or ask for other professional help.

If you don’t, how long are you willing to feel crap about it?  It’s possible your answer is ‘a couple of years, because the kids are young’.  If that’s true, then try the counting your blessings idea to get you through it.  But if you are suddenly at the time where you are ready to change, then make the commitment NOW; do it here.

If not, your general enuie, lethargy, misery, or whatever is going to be written all over your face, and one day it will be etched there forever, like I told Curly Headed Boy.  So today your video is ‘Brand New Day’ by Ryan Star, which is the theme tune to ‘Lie to me’ and has the subtitle of ‘The truth is written all over your face’.  I hope that you decide it’s going to be a ‘Brand New Day’ as I have (I might need to remind myself a bit, over the next few weeks, but it’s a start heh).

What makes a Man sexy?

I’m sure that if there was a 100% answer to this it would be worth millions, especially if it was just from a touch of the button, or from buying a gadget!

I’ve been reading up a lot recently about sex, it must be my mid-life crisis, just about to turn 42 thing!  It started with me finding a fascinating blog called ‘Married Men Sex Life‘ and having a few chats with it’s writer Athol Kay, and then reading his book.  I warn you, as a woman, and an independent type at that, it was a little shocking.  But I had to admit that a pile of what he said made a lot of sense, even if it meant that I rather uncomfortably realised that as a woman what turned me on was maybe a bit of a cliche.  The big northern grumpy one has read it too, and agrees with me that it’s a really good book.

I answered a question from Athol in my question corner for one of his readers, who was struggling even after Athol’s advice to improve his sex life with his wife, and I wrote a blog post about how to get more sex from your wife.

My post was all about knowing your wife, and what she enjoys; maybe presents, or talking, or compliments, or physical touch, or doing things for her.  But I’m beginning to think that maybe it’s a lot simpler than that, and that my post was more about how to get warm and cuddly sex from your wife (what Athol calls ‘love bond’).  But it wasn’t tackling the more ancient ‘Me man, you woman, we go well together so lets just do it’ kind of sex (Athol calls ‘lust/dopamine) and the attraction of a man with the traits of an Alpha male.

I suspect that what I wrote about, makes us feel more open to our men, and therefore that can lead to sex, because it means that we feel close and loved by them.  But I’m not sure that it actually makes them sexy.

In the daily mail a couple of days ago there was an article suggesting that equality has destroyed people’s sex lives, and I think that there is some truth in that.  We might be independent women, who want equality in our relationships and at work, but I suspect that a massively high percentage of us are still biologically programmed to react to the ‘Alpha’ male, i.e. the one who is confident enough to grab us, kiss us, and drag us off to bed.  (No, I’m not talking about any situation where it is obviously against our wishes).

So it is probably true that there are confusing signals out there for men, because in order to survive a busy modern life, we do need someone who keeps us safe, and we also like respect and equality (This is what Athol calls the Beta traits); however, our bodies are still hormonally programmed to react to the more basic need of a strong man for him to press the ‘sexy’ button in us.

Anyone who is in control in one place is going to want to be out of control somewhere else, I bet the majority of the guys who become ‘submissives’ in S&M are actually major big wigs at work.  No one is the boss everywhere, not even a control freak.  So it makes sense that as Mums who have to be so on the ball to keep life, the kids, work, housework, and all the chaos around us under control, that we would want a time where we aren’t in the driving seat.  With the added juggling that modern life demands of a Mum, maybe we need even more to feel that there is a time in our weeks when we don’t have to be the responsible one, or the one in control, or the boss.

At the same time, there is what Abraham Maslow called the ‘hierarchy of needs‘; which is a basic set of human needs that are important for us to feel that we are safe and secure and can focus on more than just survival.  Mums tend to be worried about lack of time, money and energy.  So if their husband does something that makes their energy levels worse, takes more time, or affects the financial security of the house, and they are going to be unimpressed with him.  Rather than making a man sexy or not sexy, this is really just about whether we want to be around him at all.

So I reckon that there are 3 levels to making a man more sexy to a woman, and a sensible man will mix and match them all at different times …

1) Looking after her basic needs; so that she is sure the family is safe and sound

Make sure she has some energy!  If she is exhausted or got PMT, then you need to look at what is most missing in her life and either help her with it or not make it worse.

This is normally lack of time, money or sleep and repetition of boring household chores that knackers her out.  (BTW, incase a really stupid man reads this I should point out, many women don’t want sex for weeks/months after just having a baby depending on the damage and sleep deprivation; nothing is going to fix that!).

2) Make her feel warm and cuddly; so she knows you love her

Make sure she feels loved, check out my post for how to find her ‘love button‘ and not miss opportunities.

You will need to spend a few hours working out what your wife loves, and then have to keep an eye on it incase her interests change, but it’s worth it for more sex right?

3) Remember, she’s a woman; and what she wants in the bedroom is a man

It’s a cliche, but there must be something in it, as it’s the standard recipe in every single Mills and Boon romance.  So remember that she’s a woman, who wants a big strong man to throw her over his shoulder, not a friend.

You just have to fake it until you make it.  Pretend to be confident.  Pretend you know what you are doing.  And go and read Athol’s book, it’s worth it!  (most importantly, read about the 10 second kiss!).

 

What do you think makes a man sexy, I would love to know?

p.s. hope you like the photo of ryan reynolds; I started with wolverine, but wordpress wanted to cut his head off, and it is a very pretty head ;o)

What blogs my readers read: Sex, Decluttering, David Tennant and School Problems

Did I mention I’m a finalist for the MAD Blogger awards in their Small Business Category, LoL?  Really, you didn’t hear me shouting about it and jumping up and down in an excited and bouncy way?!  If not, then read here … and vote for me, and then TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW to vote for me.  Ok, so maybe that’s a bit extreme, but seriously, some of the blogs I’m up against have a massive readership, so I need all the help I can get!

As part of all this, I have to send in an example of which represent me the best.  Of course, it’s a bit confusing, because there is a difference between my regular readers, and the people who find me via google and all sorts of dubious search terms.  But I’m really surprised by what’s most popular!

At the moment the choice seems to be between ..

So basically, to improve my stats I need more video messages from sexy men?  I can see how that might be a priority, and will get working on it immediately!  But you also want your houses decluttered?  Only then do you want to have sex with your husbands, and if you have a bit of time left then you might try to sort out your kids problems at school?

I suspect, that it’s actually a bit counter-intuitive, and that what is going on is that the stress of worrying about our kids, sends us to watch sexy actors and try to control our lives by decluttering.  The whole sex with the husband thing, is basically a ‘gotta do’ in order to maintain a relationship, and so when that is out of the way, we can manage to think about the newest worries of the day and what new challenges our kids are facing.

You guys do seem to like the Weekly Weight Loss tips a bit, especially the one with the webinar.  And I get a lot of feedback about the weekly Exhaustion Tips on twitter.  I’m thinking that those are probably more of a hit with my regulars, as is the Video Wednesday short posts?  Surprisingly in an era of recession, not many people are going for a free 30mins of my time with the Question Corner yet; don’t forget you can do it anonymously by emailing me at Lisa at MummyWhisperer dot com.  All the stuff I wrote about Affairs is popular, but I suspect that is from general internet searches.  But it does surprise me that it comes about affairs more than bullying.

Over time I’ve written nearly 150 posts and had nearly 1000 comments (but at least 50% was spam!) and my first post was 2 years ago on the 9th of May, just as I was also falling pregnant with Little Dimples.  Did you have a favourite?

So, I’ve loved blogging, and it looks like all my hard work and plans for world domination could be actually beginning to pay off!  I hope that I’ve helped lots of Mums out there with my posts, that’s certainly my plan, because with a blog I can reach more Mums than with my 1to1’s and programs.   I’m hoping that it’s onwards and upwards, and that soon the message that all Mums are fabulous and deserve to have sparkly in their lives will spread further.

Agony Aunt for Mums

Problem Corner: What would you advise a husband whose wife doesn’t want to sleep with him

I’m so chuffed, I’ve been wanting to launch ‘question corner’ for ages and out of the blue comes my first question from a blog I’m myself loving reading and recommended in my last post called ‘men did you miss an opportunity for sex with your wife?‘ by a guy called Athol Kay called ‘Married Man Sex Life‘.

So Athol’s question for me is:

What would be your suggestions to husbands that have already tried all that by the wheelbarrow load and still get nowhere with their wives?‘.

Assumptions

Arguing Couples
What’s up with her?

So in answering this I’m going to make a pile of assumptions …

1) That husband is being reasonable and not asking for sex when wife is ill, has a problem that makes it painful, or has recently given birth, or hasn’t slept in weeks.

(To check the reasonableness of the request, husband might want to ask his mates and a couple of female friends, as he maybe oblivious to his insensitivity).

2) That husband hasn’t done anything that makes him incredibly repulsive to the wife, like put on 10stone, be horrible to her,  have affairs, or drink beer and burp in her face.

(Answer to this problem is: read Athol’s blog and follow his advice about the ‘Male Action Plan’, or read all my blogs about affairs, or basically stop being horrid)

3) That the wife isn’t suffering from any kind of depression or emotional/mental stresses that mean as much as she would love to get back to the woman who enjoyed having sex, she just can’t see a way back there.

(Answer to this problem is: She is going to need some help and you are going to have to be in this for the long game; be subtle and if that doesn’t work be forceful).

4) That the wife isn’t a complete cow who is taking him for a ride and extremely high maintenance.

To be honest I don’t have much sympathy for wives who don’t sleep with their husband when (1), (2) or (3) are not true, because it’s like saying ‘I’m not going to give you chocolate’ to a chocolate addict who lives next door to a sweet shop.  Harsh, but true.  I know that many of us marry in church and vow to stay true, but realistically this is not how life works when you push people too far and there is chocolate out there.

 

Which Buttons Has He Tried?

Time to stop for a while
Pause

So, husband has tried everything I suggested; making the most of a romantic situation, and using compliments, showing her you appreciate her, making physical contact (cuddles and kisses), talking about your romantic past, helping with the kids and buying her a little/big present.

If that doesn’t work then she has different buttons, or he didn’t quite get the tone right.

One thing I know is that having been with the big hairy northern one for 22 years, there are times when he is just big hairy and grumpy, and times when he is sexy and attractive, and it all depends on which buttons he pressed.

Men think that women are ’emotional beings’ and that it is difficult to work out what we want.  But actually, it is still a mental process, it’s just that we react emotionally.  Press the right buttons by doing/saying the right things, and she will be like butter, press the wrong ones and I totally agree with Athol’s blog; it’s not that she doesn’t want sex, it’s that she doesn’t want it with you (she may not know this by the way, but if someone comes along who does press the buttons, then she’ll soon realise).

So finding the buttons!  There are two types of buttons:

  • The ‘gotta be done’ ones that you get no brownie points for, but if you don’t do them you’re going to get no sex
  • The ‘golden’ ones that when used just enough, not too little and not too much, will guarantee you sex

 

1) Gotta Be Done Buttons

To do list
To do list

The ‘gotta be done’ ones can be pre-negotiated, like taking out the bins (trash in american) but make sure that you don’t negotiate too much stuff which you aren’t actually capable of doing, because then you get into negative points.

What you need to look out for with these is what your wife is complaining about and what’s missing in her life or whats stressing her out.

1) Is she tired?  Then share some of the load, but remember to ask her what would be helpful as you probably don’t know what needs doing or understand the house as well as her (here I’m assuming that they are not as knowledgable as the few house husbands out there who know more about the house).

2) Has she been with the kids permanently for days?  Send her off for a hot bath with candles and bubble bath for a couple of hours and make sure you don’t make a MESS!  Or send her out, whatever works for her.

3) Is she bored, especially of tidying or picking up stuff?  Hows about taking charge and getting the kids and you to do it; you might be tired from your week of work, but at least this is different, whereas for your wife it can be incredibly dull.

 

So you are looking to help out with the things that make her tired, bored, lethargic, stressed and basically totally unsexy.

But, there is a huge BUT.  For this to work you need to know your wife, and probably ask what she needs if in the past you have made mistakes when trying to help.

Let me give you an example from my life:

  • Doing the bins with a young baby, 2 dogs, and a 5yr old at bed time is stressful, so it is definitely something I appreciate.  When it’s forgotten or I have to attempt to drag a huge bag from the garden through the house, I’m not so pleased.
  • I’ve got 2 dogs, so I have to give the floor a quick once over every morning.  It’s boring.  It’s every day.  But if I don’t do it the kids are covered in dog hair within 5 minutes of breakfast finishing.  So doing a 5 minute job like that is helpful.  But remember to be female about it not male ;o)  What I mean is, you know how sometimes men don’t do the washing up right, so that the wife always does it so that it’s done properly?  Some may be control freaks, but most wives just want clean crockery.  So if you do something like the floor, or washing up, then make sure she doesn’t have to do it again!

 

2) Golden Buttons

Presents
The right present

The golden ones are the icing on the cake.  You don’t want to use too many of them because then your wife will expect too much and get spoilt, and you don’t want to use too little so that you lose momentum.

Now to do these, you really need to know your wife well, unless it’s obvious like buying clothes or flowers (Sadly for my big hairy northerner gifts don’t do it for me, so he doesn’t have such an easy option).  To find out what she loves here are some places to look:

  • What does she tend to spend her time doing?  Why does she?
  • What does she like the house to be like?  Why?
  • What does she like to spend her money on? why?
  • What’s different between what you used to do when she did like sleeping with you, and how you are with her now?
  • Then try actually asking her!

There are a couple of good books that will give both men and women a clue into the values/priorities of their partners.

There is a book by a guy called Gary Chapman called ‘The 5 Love Languages’.  He says that most people favour one of two of the five which are (I’ve translated them a bit):

 

  1. Compliments
  2. Quality Time/Conversation
  3. Gifts
  4. Acts of Service
  5. Physical Touch

Gary has written this book in quite a practical way that works for men and women, and it makes improvement in a relationship feel very achievable, but some of his follow on books would really only work for a Christian (be warned).

By the way, just because you are male, doesn’t mean that your language is physical!  If you don’t tend to be touchy feely the rest of the time, then it’s probably just one of your ‘gotta be done’ things and not a priority.  ‘Acts of Service’ can mean that for some women when you do the ‘gotta be done’ buttons, you’ll also get some ‘golden’ ones too, which is a bonus!

But the problem with these 5 options is that again, if you don’t know your wife very well, you could say the wrong things, buy the wrong things, do the wrong things, talk about the wrong things, and even touch her wrong!  If you need more than the questions I popped above, then  there is a book by my mentor Dr John Demartini called ‘The Heart of Love’.  It’s harder going, but it explains about values in much greater depth and if you stick with it you’ll definitely get to know your wife.

Let me give you an example from my life:

The compliments are actually more of a ‘gotta be done’ one for me, because without confidence I don’t feel sexy.  But the big button for me is to talk about the stuff that I love (my kids and my work), so someone has to know me pretty well to hit that button or hit it by mistake.  Anyone who looks like they are interested in what is going on in my life will seem to me like the best thing since sliced bread (whether as a friend or lover).  Extra bonus points then come from the fact that I’m really touchy feely, so hugs and kisses and just the odd touch of a hand etc will make me extra warm and friendly!  Gifts don’t work on me unless they have a huge amount of thought and didn’t cost much.

If none of these answer your question, then it’s either because:

1) A woman isn’t like a map, so it’s actually OK to ask her for directions, i.e. ask why she doesn’t want to have sex with you. It’s also OK to say that you really need an answer, even if she needs time to think about it, but that no answer isn’t good enough.  Just try to have the conversation out of the house, on neutral ground and start it off with ‘I’m feeling a bitbecause we don’t have sexis there a reason or something that I could be doing differently?

2) Or you need some more help on identifying what your partner loves and her buttons (let me know I can blog more with examples, plus you can use what you learn with everyone else, so this is a cool skill to gain)

3) I have one more answer: money!  Shall I blog about how to organise your money so that life is better and you get more sex?  Money can be a big stressor and a big subtle power struggle in a relationship, so changing how it is handled can have a mega effect on the sex life.

 

Mums, have you got any hints from your marriages that you would like to pass on to Athol’s readers?

It’s a huge opportunity to help those guys understand us even more (although Athol does have an extremely good understanding himself I have to say).

UPDATE

Since writing this blog, I’ve been thinking a lot about it some more.  I’ve written another post called ‘What makes a man sexy’, which I think simplifies it and points out that there are basically just some ‘must do’ behaviours, with some ‘make your wife feel loved’ behaviours, but that ‘sexy’ is probably a much more old fashioned and ancient concept!

Arguing Couples

Men, did you miss an opportunity for sex with your wife?

Arguing Couples
What’s up with her?

At the weekend I was pointed to a blog by a guy called ‘Athol Kay’ about making sure you still get sex as a married man by the Daily Mail; yes I admit it, sometimes I skim the front page of the mail’s website for fun or annoyance.  I’m so going to have to blog about this guys site loads, because it was full of all sorts of ‘you must be kidding’, ‘really?’, ‘thats so true’ and ‘seriously no ones going to believe that are they?’.  In general though, its a pretty good blog, very much written from a blokes perspective and in that bloke language that they keep hidden from us, if wise.

So it had me thinking?  How many blokes were out there this weekend complaining that their wife doesn’t give them sex, who were so involved in the complaining that they didn’t take the opportunity that the Royal Wedding afforded?  I bet there were tonnes who wouldn’t know an opportunity if it slapped them in the face.

Let’s run through all the opportunities that there were, especially if they went to one of the hundreds of royal wedding parties …

Compliments: Tell her how pretty she is when she comes down the stairs in her outfit for the party.  Compliments might not get you sex, but they will definitely get a warmer wife.  Bear in mind though that they need to be accompanied by the right tone of voice and a fond/amorous look.  Plus it’s not the same as telling her she looks hot in her underwear.  She knows your a bloke, so that is kind of a given.

Make her feel appreciated:

At the party, unless it’s an out and out lie, tell her how lucky you are to be with her and how pretty/beautifully dressed/gorgeous/’most true compliment you can find’, in comparison to all the other wives there.  She needs to know that you appreciate her and know how lucky you are to have her.

Cuddle up:

Sitting next to her during the ceremony and cuddling up would be bound to give extra bonus points.  Plus being in physical contact, kind of makes being in contact later more likely.  This doesn’t work from across the room with a drink in hand and all the other blokes making ‘guffaw we’re not very interested in all this girly stuff noises’.

Talking to her:

Reminiscing about your own wedding, feeling nervous on the day, the honey moon, joking light heartedly about the stresses (unless they were so bad they should never ever be mentioned again), will give her that warm romantic feeling.

Kissing:

Athol’s blog recommends a 10 second kiss, and as a big fan of kissing I’m in total agreement with him.  Any guy who didn’t make sure he got a kiss in soon after the balcony scene was totally missing a trick.

Looking after the kids:

If your wife was really enjoying the wedding, then keeping an eye on the kids for her is bound to be seen as a big gold star.  Plus a harassed, ‘been running around after the kids all day at a party’ kind of wife, is much less likely to fancy you later on.

Buying her something:

Some husbands might have even seen the opportunity to treat their wives to a new dress for the party, or some flowers, or a little something that reminded you of your own wedding.

Any husband who hit all or some of these was then bound to be seen in the light of a romantic royal prince, and be rewarded with a honeymoon night to remember (unless after all that he drank too much beer and passed out on the sofa, or managed to mess it up in some obvious way).  Bear in mind you have to translate them to your wife’s language as well, so into what she likes doing or having; but they would be a good start!

So to the guys now hitting their heads and going ‘Doh’; don’t worry, but stop complaining and keep your eyes open as there are bound to be other romantic sure thing options at some point.  There’ll be another wedding at some point in the next ten years I’m sure!  I’m kidding.  The lesson is to look out for opportunities, and to be really caring.  Ironically, just as in other things in life, if you don’t really care about your wife and it is all about the ulterior motives, she is going to smell a rat and it won’t work.  So the final important thing is that you really care about making her feel good!

I’d love to know from the Mums out there, what do you think?  Would any of the above have worked on you?