My sisters, some cousins and I were talking about family planning with an older mom. One of my cousins was complaining about the weight she had been gaining since she started on her two monthly injections, which was now close to a year.
My cousin wanted to be a lepa babe, regardless of having had two babies. In matters of weight, I don’t talk, especially in this circumstance, as I’m outnumbered. One of my sisters praised the natural method of safe periods and I mentioned my trusty IUCD, which I’m even thinking of removing. Of course, when you talk about family planning, sex is not far behind and as we are all married and at different phases in our sexual lives, we got plenty license to discuss it to our heart’s content.
Anyways, we were soon swapping stories of how often we used to having sex, how it had dwindled or increased in tempo, how having children affected it, and all other factors. The older mom, who has been married for close to 20 years, with teenage children, just kept smiling and winking, while we laughed, moaned and murmured about sex, something we had all looked forward to several years back as the all-in-all. Her contribution at the end of the day was that, “You still have interesting times to look forward to, like when you can sleep in.” More winks, laughter and she was out.
It got me thinking about sex and then the way it had changed over the years; from the excitement of the first time, to the can’t-get-enough stage, to the sporadic, and so on. And when you add TTC into the mix, you have got an interesting mix there. I thought about it enough to write an article about it, breaking it down into different phases and stages.
First phase: When you start having sex
This is definitely an exciting phase, but it can also be a bit anxious but for different reasons. For some women, when they start having sex with a new partner, they can easily let go and focus on their own pleasure. On the other hand, for some the desire to “impress” a new partner earlier on can have a potentially negative impact on their performance.
But either way, it’s an exciting phase, because of the potentials to learn something new about how to pleasure someone else, and also be pleasured.
More so, some people find it hard to get turned on by the familiar, and they only can really find a huge turn-on when they’re not in a relationship, so they move about in search of that turn-on brought on by new partners. For some people, only when they feel safe, relaxed, and secure can they actually push their boundaries, and this has been shown to have an impact on the rate of orgasm in the relationship
Second Phase: Six to 18 months into the relationship
I remember, how a newly married bride had been talking about gymnastics, while describing sex one time, and “complained” how she can’t be doing it every night oh, but that they try every other night.
The laughter that followed her statement was epic. Here was a group of married people who, if they managed missionary style once a week, it was the grace of God, and there she was, talking gymnastic-style sex, every other day. Hmmm, it sounds definitely like interesting times for her and her hubby.
But that’s the reality with new relationships involving sex. The first 6 to 18 months are the best months to savour your relationship sexually, and fulfil all those fantasies that might have been running through your mind.
This time period is known by researchers (and couples) as something of a “sexual sweet spot”, the lovey-dovey stage.
A 2016 study published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, looked at the sexual satisfaction of 2,814 straight people in committed relationships and found that they tended to be happier with their sex lives between the six-month and 12-month marks of their relationships than at any other time.
But it comes to an end, unfortunately. But again, there’s something better to look forward to.
Third phase: Getting married or being in a long term relationship
Still from the same study mentioned above, it discovered that the mere act of getting married didn’t affect couples’ sexual satisfaction at all. But the comfort that a couple has achieved at this point can help you feel more adventurous and open to acting on your fantasies, or trying out certain “forbidden” trends.
That same comfort, or should I say familiarity, can also lead to a sexual rut. Of course, you can get out of it via communication. Saying openly how you’d like your sex life to change is important.
While at it, it’s also important to recognize that your sexual dynamic doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and is affected by all of the other milestones (and challenges) you’re going through; promotions, layoffs, or other career shifts, trying to conceive, caring for aging parents; and so much more — all normal life stuff that accelerate for many people after they enter marriages or committed partnerships, stuff that can make it hard for partners to carve out time for sex.
At this stage, timed intercourse is advisable, not necessarily for baby making, but so that you are able to have time together.
Phase four: Having children
Having kids is beautiful…but they are also time-consuming, attention-grabbing and ultimately, some parents have had to give up sex after babies are born, and remain without sex for months after childbirth. Not because they would have wanted it that way, but that’s the demand of their new status as parents. And if they have TTC before baby came, then there are so many sacrifices they would willingly make for the sake of the baby.
However, sex is a vital part of most people’s well-being, and it is often one of the first things to be set aside as nonessential when couples have kids. The truth is, you shouldn’t feel guilty about insisting on sexual time for yourself, once you become a parent. Men do that a lot and mommas are often left wondering why the man is being so demanding. Well, it’s just natural. Just because he’s now a dad doesn’t mean he should give up sex.
Again, creating time for sex will go a long way in solving this challenge. Early morning sex anyone?
Phase five: Say Hello, Mama Menopause
Before my mom had her hysterectomy, one of my sisters and I were chatting with the doctor and he was telling us why some women would rather not go through the procedure early, because they think African men don’t like making love with a woman who is not menstruating again, so they do all they can to keep on menstruating longer than they should.
But here’s the truth. While menopause isn’t usually thought of as a boost for your sex life, removing the risk of unintended pregnancy can be a huge turn-on for most women.
However, physiologically, a woman doesn’t have as much oestrogen as she used to and that might have physical impacts, but nothing that cannot be dealt with.
And here’s good advice for any age and phase: Take your sweet time on foreplay.
And some older women reported they feel more at home in their bodies than ever before in their lives, which is a great for sexual confidence.
The one common thread through all of these phases is good sex, and fortunately for us all, it does not have an expiration date.
Whatever phase you are in, enjoy life, enjoy your partner.
Join the conversation with any of our TTC and Pregnancy Groups here