Tag Archives | relationships

A sex life with teens?

A Sex Life with Teens? | Betty HerbertAuthor: Laura Wilkinson

First off, I’m not talking about teenagers having sex; I’m talking about the parents of teenagers having sex; or not, as is more often the case in my household. For clarity, when I say teen I mean adolescent, which seems to begin at about eleven these days.

I have two ginger sons. When my husband (known as the BigFella; he is tall rather than weighty) and I took the momentous decision to have children we understood there would be some impact on our sex life; we had friends with young children; we’d read the manuals. Naturally, we hoped for good sleepers but knew it was a lottery.

Unlike others we knew, when friskiness was off limits for six months or more, our sex life resumed sharpish after Ginger1’s birth. After a traumatic, fast labour my body snapped back to pre-baby form within a fortnight, and so we made love. After Ginger2’s arrival – this time by C-section – we had sex within a month. We were advised to take it easy; wait six weeks, the doctor said, but I drove after four (unaware that I would not have been insured had there been an accident) and I figured if I could drive I could get laid. Bizarre but true.

Neither of our boys were good sleepers; in fact, they were horrible sleepers. Especially our first, who woke at 2am for a play and a chat before returning to bed (ours) for a couple of hours, after which he was up for the day. While others munched on croissants, I dug into fish and chips; 9am was effectively my lunchtime. An ‘early-riser’ the health visitor said, quaintly, smiling. You could be forgiven for thinking this had an adverse effect on our sex life. It didn’t. It just happened a little earlier in the evening than BC. The little fella went down like a dream at 8pm so we always had a couple of hours to ourselves before we’d fall into a deep and dreamless sleep. And with energetic and helpful grandparents available and willing we managed weekends away periodically: New York, Paris, and, closer to home, London. Luxurious shag-fests with a bit of culture thrown in when we could drag ourselves out of bed. I’d be lying if I said our love making was as vigorous, imaginative and frequent as it had been when we were young and newly in love, but all things considered it was more than satisfactory.

So when did the passion disappear? Quite recently, that’s when. And disappear isn’t the right description – it slipped out the back door, shrunken and apologetic. So quietly we didn’t notice, for a while. No one warns you of the impact of an adolescent in the house on your sex life. If you live in a mansion where a rave could take place in the west wing without those in the east wing knowing anything about it then you will probably think I’m talking gibberish. But, like the majority of the population, we live in a pretty standard three-bedroomed house, where the walls are only marginally thicker and more sound proof than a good quality tea towel. Ginger1 is in his early teens; too young to be out and about having fun (and a sex life of his own) and too old to be tucked up in bed zzzing by 9pm. Teenagers are around. All the time. We often hear him padding around his bedroom after we’ve finished our cocoa and turned out the light. Still a horrible sleeper.

And teens are so aware. And so much more assertive than our generation. Like all teens, now and then, Ginger1 is mortified if his parents are blatantly sexual. On the rare occasion when we go in for a snog against the dishwasher, while ostensibly preparing the evening meal, if caught we are met with a very vocal ‘Yeeeeww!’ As a liberated, metropolitan couple we are open with our children, but we are not without inhibitions. One evening, amorous and desperate after a bottle and a half of Pinot Grigio we gave it a go only to be stopped in our tracks when Ginger1 banged on the wall, asking us to control ourselves. I remember hearing my own parents ‘at it’ at about the same age, lying there, fingers in my ears, desperate for them to finish, but I would never, ever, have asked them to stop.

What about making good use of your fella’s morning glory I hear you cry? Teens have to be dragged out of bed. There’s a four year gap between our boys, so the youngest is still up early-ish. On the rare occasions we wake up before both boys, we have gone in for a quickie, but these are rushed, whispered affairs, with one eye on the bedroom door and where the BigFella keeps his boxers hooked over one ankle in case an emergency leap out of bed is called for. And the grandparents? They are older, and less energetic, and teens are less than keen to spend entire weekends with gramps.

The gap between fumbles widened from weeks to months. ‘When did we last have sex?’ we asked at last. Once we’d noticed its absence, boy did we miss it. We might be middle-aged farts but the thought of hanging up our paddles and chains (I blame Fifty Shades) is too depressing to contemplate. We’re not so ancient to rule out sex altogether – if indeed anyone should do that. Smutty comments and bottom squeezing occurred regularly between my grandparents and though I found it disconcerting as a – you’ve guessed it – teen, by the time I was all grown up it delighted me to think that even after all those years (they’d been married 51 when my grandfather died) they still found one another desirable.

How do the BigFella and I resolve this dilemma? We have dates, mid-week, when the Gingers are at school. Mostly for sex, but also to wine and dine (lunch) and talk without being constantly interrupted or eavesdropped upon. We look forward to these secret liaisons like naughty teenagers and they bring us closer together, most definitely. We’re both freelance and as such we have the freedom (mostly, we do have demands and deadlines like everyone else) to do this, and I appreciate that this is not an option many could do regularly, but it works for us. And we are more than happy to sacrifice a day’s lolly to keep our love active. There’s nothing to beat the sideways glance and grin we give each other when Ginger1 returns home and says: ‘So what have you been up to today?’

About: Laura grew up in a Welsh market town and now lives in Brighton. As well as writing fiction, she works as an editor for literary consultancy, Cornerstones. She has published short stories in magazines, digital media and anthologies. She writes general fiction as Laura Wilkinson and erotic romance as L. C. Wilkinson. Her first hot romance, All of Me, is published by Xcite, an imprint of Accent Press. Currently, she’s working on two novels: one is set against the backdrop of the 1984/85 miners’ strike; the other is a romance following a petulant young woman and a man running from his past. What does all her work have in common? Compelling stories, fascinating characters, and ideas that make you think a little. At least she hopes so! To find out more visit her sites – www.lcwilkinson.com or www.laura-wilkinson.co.uk – for news and freebies. Or follow her on Twitter: @ScorpioScribble . You’ll also find her GoodReads, and she loves to hear from readers and other writers so do get in touch.





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Gay marriage is a red herring – the state has no place in matters of the heart

Gay marriage vs traditional marriageEver since I got married, I’ve felt like I have to justify it. Why, in this day and age, would anyone do such an outmoded, unnecessary thing?

Well, apart from the romance of making a commitment to one person, forever, I had practical concerns too. I kept waking up at 4am, thinking that there was nothing to link us together if something happened. I was at university at the time, and feeling every inch of the distance between us. I wanted that piece of paper to say: this is my next of kin. We have chosen each other. 

Until extraordinarily recently, we denied gay couples the right to make this simple arrangement. And now, although we have Civil Partnerships, the whole field is a morass of inequality and judgement. If you’re heterosexual, you can marry but not choose the cut-down option of a CP (which, on balance, I think I would chosen); and if you’re in a same-sex couple, there’s a little bit of ceremony held back from you, which seems designed to point out that you’re not quite legit in the eyes of society.

This is not just a matter of rights, though. The tone of the debate, on both sides, shows the depth of prejudice that still exists. I am no more in favour of the view that states only a man and a woman should marry, than I am of that which argues for the use of marriage to somehow lend respectability to same sex couples.

I, for one, am heartily sick of hearing that marriage is a force for the good. Marriage is not a thing in and of itself; it is an umbrella under which a whole rainbow of behaviours exist. There are wonderful, happy, fulfilling marriages, and there are awful, abusive, destructive marriages. Equally, there are myriad good lives to be lived outside of marriage too, and, indeed, outside of pairing-off into a nice, neat little couple.

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill is a big old red herring. The truth is that the state should butt the hell out of love. They should facilitate a basic way to register your next of kin – whoever they are – and then deregulate the rest of it, so that people can make whatever choice they want. The church could still carry out its irrelevant vision of ‘traditional’ weddings; and everyone else could make it up as they went along.

The question is, can all the Tories cope with a truly small state – one that doesn’t impose their moral beliefs on the rest of society? And can the rest of us bear to acknowledge that the world is made up of many different people?

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Sex After Baby – A Status Report

Sex After Baby Betty Herbert

Image courtesy of ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I am sitting in a restaurant, largely minding my own business. Bert is busy making some kind of a paste from a corn tortilla and a large quantity of dribble. The usual conversation strikes up with the women on the table next to me: Isn’t he bonny? What a smiler! How old is he?

And then, apropos of absolutely nothing, one of the women leans over and says, ‘The sex gets better after they turn two. You can pretty much forget it until then.’

By the time I have gathered my thoughts, she’s up and out of the door. I’m kind of touched, really. She’s basically taken the trouble to answer the question that’s on everyone’s lips after they have a baby.

Well maybe everyone. A friend of mine caught a couple doing it in the maternity ward, just six hours after their baby was born. I can only offer my awe-struck applause at such erotic enthusiasm.

Because, honestly, the true miracle of birth is that people manage to get pregnant more than once. The post-partum world is replete with reasons not to have sex.

For a start, there’s the fact that your body has been subject to what looks and feels like a small explosion. Sure, the stitches have all healed up, but it appears that these days, my vagina has corners. It’s a totally different shape. I am optimistically hoping that this represents some kind of a pleasurable penile assault course, but I am frankly too afraid to ask.

That’s if you get that far. It’s hard to feel particularly sexy when you have such angry, red and extensive stretch-marks that it looks like someone set your pubes alight. A few people have suggested to me that they are ‘mummy marks’, ‘tiger stripes’ or just the outward manifestation of every hiccup and wriggle I felt when I was pregnant. Those people are idiots.

And then there’s the tiredness; or in my case, it’s better termed ennui. I have, quite simply, reached the limit of my niceness for the next year or so. All of my care and attention is being absorbed by one small being, and everyone else can suck it up. I just do not have the brain capacity.

But the thing that’s shocked me the most is that Herbert feels the same. It’s like we’re both a bit broken. All our adoration and desire is flying in one direction, and by the time we’ve managed bedtime, eaten dinner, cleared up, done the washing and finished our chores, the only thing that our feeble desire can cope with is a box-set in bed.

Every landmark that defined our adult lives has been swept away: the independence, the energy, the spare cash, the bodies that behaved in predictable ways. And here we are, adrift. We just haven’t learned yet how to make the transition from mummy and daddy to lovers.

If I were a different sort of blogger, I’d now be offering you ten top tips to get the sizzle back into your relationship. But do you know what? It’s fine. It’s entirely natural for sex to peak and trough over the course of long relationships. As long as there’s still a dialogue  – and some affection – it’s hardly fatal. Sometimes, life just doesn’t feel all that arousing.

That said, I don’t want to wait until the two-year mark to get my groove back. It just takes a while to get the hang of this, that’s all.

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Mathematical counseling for all who wonder why their relationship is like a ‘sinus’ wave

For those of us who thought sinuses were in our noses: probably not the most useful way of saving a relationship.

Mathematical counseling for all who wonder why their relationship is like a sinus wave.

Via Science Daily.


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Blog Carnival: the best blogs on Sex, Love and Relationships

Welcome to my first Blog Carnival! I invited bloggers to share their recent posts with me on sex, love and relationships, and this is what I received.

Many of these are new to me, and I think they’re great; I hope you will too. Thanks so much to everyone who shared a post.

If you’d like to take part in future blog carnivals on my site, please sign up using the form at the bottom of this page.

The posts:

Meemalee writes movingly about having to live apart from someone you love, even if it’s not forever

The Harridan writes about the general crapness of fish as pets, and the marital disputes that this brings about

Mrs CeeeCeee confirms the pivotal role that Tetris can take in finding true love

The redemptive pleasure of a night of passion with a younger man, from La Nostra Nemesi

Rebekah Wilding explores why a spot of man-bashing probably saves a lot of marriages

At One Life Left And No Cheats, a look at the mistakes we’d willingly make all over again

Kinky Shoes writes a hymn of praise to the humble condom

ShakeItLikeAPolaroidPicture offers some poetry about A Transcending Love

Alison Dennehy  lays out the wonders of female friendship –  and her love of things that smell nice

Elsie Anderton helpfully shares her insights into how to camp without ruining your marriage

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‘Facebook Us’ Adds Potentially Sickening Relationship Pages To Social Network

Ugh. Like it isn’t already bad enough when a sloppy new romance breaks out all over your Facebook feed. Yet another FB irritant is about to be unleashed:

‘Facebook Us’ Adds Potentially Sickening Relationship Pages To Social Network.

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Blog Carnival: An Invitation

Blog Carnival: Love, Sex and RelationshipsOkay, I admit it, I’m late to EVERYTHING.

I’ve just learned about blog carnivals, and they strike me as an excellent idea – I often miss great posts just because so much zooms past me in my various social media streams.

The idea of a blog carnival is simple: one blogger collects links to posts from other bloggers on a certain topic. There’s more information on blog carnivals here. 

My blog carnival will take place on  Monday 12th November

Topic: love, sex and relationships

Here’s how to get involved:

1. Choose your best recent post that fits the topic – and ensure it’s published on your blog.

2. Email me a link to it (hello[at]bettyherbert[dot]com) – please use the header ‘Blog Carnival’.

3. I’ll collate the posts and put them up online on 12th November – all I ask is that you link to the carnival from your site so that lots of people find it.

N.B. I reserve the right to only include posts that fit with the topic and are of a good standard. If I get loads of submissions, I’ll have to be selective, sorry.

If it turns out to be fun, I’ll do it again sometime.

I hope to learn about lots of great new blogs and read lots of brilliant new posts!

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