Health News, Obstetrics & Gynecology

OK, folks; it's winter, cold and dark. No one has any money, and none of us knows for sure when things will get better. We need a picker-upper that will raise spirits without depleting our dwindling bank accounts. For a lucky group of people who are parents, that might be sex together, IF ONLY there were some way to get away from the kids.

Here is a solution to this problem. It's an exercise taken from my book SexTalk (p.96, Zoldbrod and Dockett, 2002). Trust me, if you previously liked sex, this strategy works:

Couples with small children who don't have really close relatives nearby have difficulty finding time for great sex. Women have a more difficult time than men, because of their arousal patterns and because they frequently have primary responsibility for childcare. It takes a good night of sleep to be able to be a good parent in the morning. And it takes a long time of lovemaking for many women to click off from the mommy role and remember that they are sexual beings.

Even if you are a very social couple, make a joint decision that sometimes the two of you will have to forego "social night" with other couples for "really steamy sex night" with yourselves. Most couples cannot have both of these activities in the same night. Take out your calendars and mark off one or two (or more) weekend nights a month where you will not make plans with other people. No family obligations, no anniversary dinners, no movies and dates with friends. Make a plan for the day of the date night that includes:

  • No cooking or cleaning up of the evening meal. Get takeout or heat something up.
  • Do something that tires the kids out during the day.
  • Person who needs nap should take one during the day. Or trade off and both get some nap time.
  • Feed the children and get them to bed early. Eat a light dinner early yourselves. Again, do not fuss with cooking or cleanup.
  • Do not eat a lot of food--It makes people tired and makes people feel self conscious about their stomachs, a mood-killer.
  • Do not answer the phone after 6 O' clock.
  • Have a movie or something fun to watch while the kids settle down and go to sleep. Whatever this is, make sure you are doing it together.
  • You will have digested your food and gotten the kids to be sleeping by 9 P.M.

You will now have at least two hours to have prolonged sex, to giggle, to just lay down and enjoy each others' bodies. All this and you will still be able to get to sleep early enough to enjoy being a parent the next day.

One of the best side effects of this strategy is that it teaches your children

that mommy and daddy have a wonderful, close, relationship. It trains your kids to give you some emotional sexual space and privacy and that is part of the rules of the family. So it's a gift to your kids, and it sets a good model for them. They will understand that sex and affection is something that two loving people find time to do. And they'll understand that they cannot always be the center of your universe. (See Dr. zoldbrodâ??s blog on this topic at where you can add your two cents worth

Dr. Aline Zoldbrod ("Dr. Z" ) is a Boston-based sex and relationships expert.

This Sex Night For Parents recipe is a tried and true one, from her own experience. Trust me, it works. She author of three books and is the consulting sex therapist at the Lahey Clinic Center for Sexual Function in Peabody, Massachusetts. Her book Sex Smart won ForeWord Magazine's award for being one of the top three self help self help books of the year. Zoldbrod has been the expert on I-Village's Mismatched Libido chat board.