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No Kids Allowed

bedA Beyond the Car Seat first, an adults only post. Got kids? Here’s how to keep the intimacy alive. Journalist Anne Rodgers and gynecologist Maureen Whelihan surveyed 1,300 women ages 15 to 97, including many in the throes of raising kids, about desire for their book, Kiss and Tell. Here are their tips for busy moms based on what the women they interviewed said did and didn’t work for them:

It’s important to know that being a mom and having a great love life aren’t mutually exclusive.

Chasing a toddler around or shuttling kids from soccer practice and piano lessons may not make some women feel very desirable. But just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean you can’t have a great intimate life.

• Don’t talk about the kids. Kids don’t create desire, they create stress, many women the interviewed said.

• Get out of your head. The women surveyed for Kiss and Tell who were having better sex were the ones who were focused on the moment, not on laundry, bills, the to-do list, etc. Many said having the mood set with things like candles, music or a glass of wine helped with this.

• Private time. Once they are old enough, teach kids how to make breakfast for themselves on Saturday or Sunday mornings and use that time as mom and dad time.

• Understand the demands. Many of the women interviewed for Kiss and Tell said they wished their partners had a better understanding of how exhausted they were. Since men have eight times as much testosterone as women, the authors say they may want to think about how they can harness that “energy” and do things to help get their partner in the mood, whether it’s running a bubble bath, giving her a massage or just straightening up the house and putting away some laundry.

• Don’t ignore your spouse. As tiring as being a parent may be, maintaining a strong physical relationship with each other creates a bedrock of intimacy, which also comes in handy down the road when the kids are out of the house.

Rodgers, a former writer and editor for the Austin American-Statesman and Palm Beach Post, spent an entire year conducting the interviews for Kiss and Tell. Whelihan is a gynecologist in West Palm Beach and a founding partner of the Center for Sexual Health in Charlotte, NC.

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