In the immortal words of the famous wordsmiths Salt N’ Pepper, “Let’s talk about sex, baby.”
Sorry, I had to! Why? Because we are in the peak season for sex. Yup, much like strawberries, summer is the perfect time to get cozy with that special someone.
“Most people think [the peak sexual season] is Valentine’s Day,” says Toronto-based sexologist Dr. Stephen de Wit. But the problem with that? “There is this pressure on us to be romantic, that sex is going to happen, to have roses and chocolates around.” And then the society instated romance fizzles out.
So what it is it about the summer that ramps up our sex drives?
First off, there is a lot more skin being showcased; there is the longer days and sunshine after the brutal winter; people take more vacation and generally have more time to relax. “It’s a more connected relationship with their partners in the summer because of all these factors,” explains Dr de Wit.
“When people are happier and feel better about themselves, they are going to want to have sex. Even with moms who are busy with kids there’s still going to be that element of things changing [in the summer]—the kids are outside, I’m feeling better, I’m more active, I’m generally happier. And then sex evolves from there.”
Perfect! So sunshine, more skin and longer days = the perfect time for sex!
But what if the summer still isn’t doing it for you and your partner?
Back to what my girls Salt N’ Pepper said, the whole talking about sex, as grown women with kids of our own, are we really comfortable having those conversations? I don’t mean, “Oh yeah, it’s great. The hubby and I do it at least once a week.” I mean really talking about the issues that arise from being both a mother and a sexually active Woman with a capital W.
Dr. de Wit says probably not. “We’ve been conditioned to believe that we should all be having great sex all the time and if we’re not we aren’t going to talk about it.”
The reality is that being a parent can introduce more concerns when it comes to your sexual behaviour.
When you become a mom, your body goes through a lot of changes. But Dr de Wit says it is important for moms to remember that it is okay for them to still be sexual beings even after these changes.
“Moms need to be able to reclaim who they are as sexual women and not see their body as serving a solely reproductive function… They need to re-learn how to love themselves and be comfortable with themselves.”
And it’s not just you’re issue as a mom. Dr de Wit works with many couples where these feelings are felt by the partner as well. “Sometimes, something can shift in your partners view. All of a sudden they see you as a mom as opposed to the hot babe they used to see.”
You’re a mom—this is an undeniable truth. You’re sexy and sexual—this is another undeniable truth. These two things can both be true; they are not contradictory.
If you are having issue with your partner—for this reason or any other—open up the lines of communication. “Have a conversation with your partner,” Dr de Wit urges. “Start talking about what’s going on in the relationship. Even if it is awkward and uncomfortable… communication is the most important aspect of sex, period.”
Your love life will experience ebbs and flows, this is normal. But if you are experiencing a particularly long ebb, (think more than a few months) and speaking with your partner hasn’t solved the issue, seek out a sexologist or sex therapist. They will be able to help you discuss your issues with and try to find a solution.
Only then should you move on to speaking with a doctor about the medicinal options available.