For the most part, sex felt like a chore after I became a mom. It took years for me to feel comfortable wanting sex, or admitting that I enjoy it. As a mother of two, I obviously have had to have sex a few times to make that happen. But when it came to feeling comfortable getting down and dirty with my husband, I still shied away from the act even though we’ve been married for five years.
The shame I felt was affecting our sex lives. Society has conditioned women to believe that sex is sinful until marriage and I was holding onto shame from being bullied in high school for being promiscuous. Yet even in marriage, I worried somehow I was doing something wrong by thinking about sex with my husband or enjoying it. And if I had a fantasy or two that made me curious enough to try in our bedroom, I simply think I would die of embarrassment rather than tell him about it.
But when it came to feeling comfortable getting down and dirty with my husband, I still shied away from the act even though we’ve been married for five years.
Logically, I knew my husband loved me and wanted to make love to me, but that little evil voice in my head made me worried that somehow he would think less of me. Or that wanting sex would make me a bad mom.
It wasn’t until we had a few chats in couples counseling that I realized that I was having trouble receiving pleasure because of my personal insecurities about my weight, anxiety, and childhood. These things were preventing me from feeling I deserved pleasure. Instead of putting my obligations as a mom and wife first, I slowly learned that my desires as a woman were important and vital for me to find happiness—and pleasure.
Ready to let go of shame and spice things up? Here are five ways to make sex feel more enjoyable, because you deserve pleasure too.
1. Explore your fantasies
Dim the lights, put out some candles, and play some sensual music. Give yourself the freedom to be creative in your fantasies and think-up the naughtiest scenarios that leave you panting for more. Make sure you remind yourself to let go of shame and fear, and as long as you keep things safe, sane, and consensual, you can think about anything from having an affair with a sexy neighbor to being tied up in a sex dungeon.
The freedom that comes with exploration and fantasies can help you let go in the future and will help teach your body to get there faster every time. The best part is that the more you are in tune to what you like, the easier it will be to communicate what you need from your partner.
2. Go on a shopping spree on an online sex store
When we associate sex and adult toys as taboo, we are missing out on experiences that can make sex alone or with a partner a mind-blowing experience. When shopping online for a new toy (or three) try to buy something you know you like (like a rabbit vibrator) and something that makes your heart pump a little faster but may be too nervous to purchase, like a paddle or whip. Remember that if you are a consenting adult, sex is completely natural and it’s supposed to be fun.
3. Read or listen to erotica to get in the mood
Look, porn typically works for a lot of men, but for me, it can be a bit much. No matter how sex-positive I am, I can’t turn my brain off from worrying about the woman’s welfare. But, when I read steamy books that have way more backstory and romance leading up to the deed, I find that I am way more comfortable and into the scenes that make my toes curl. Reading stories about strong alpha men ripping women’s panties off or *gasp* threesomes and moresomes is a sure-fire way to get my blood pumping.
What I love about naughty books is that I can read them at my own pace and pick and choose what I’m into, without worrying about how the women are being treated. After all, it’s just fantasy. And as a lovely bonus, it gives me new ideas to try out with my husband.
4. Wear sexy lingerie during the day and give your partner a peek
Nothing is sexier than confidence. If you feel sexy, you are more likely to get into the mood and focus on the task at hand… or mouth. Try throwing on a delectable lace bra and panty set or bodysuit under a dress as you go about your day. Try sneaking off to text a pic to get your partner excited or, if you’re working from home, giving them a little flash of what’s beneath your outfit to make you feel like a sex goddess.
5. Don’t shy away from lube
When it comes to sex, 90 percent of the time, wetter is better—even when you are going solo! There are so many amazing lubes out there that can enhance the experience with warming, tingling, or adding flavors. Water-based lubes are typically safest to use with condoms. For anal sex, silicone lubes are best because they are longer lasting (just remember not to use it with silicone toys because they can break down the materials—and they’re not fabric-friendly).