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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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Guest Post: How Thin These Walls, How Loud My Climax

How Thin These Walls, How Loud My Climax by Jillian Boyd | Betty Herbert

Author: Jillian Boyd. Find her on Twitter or her blog, Lady Laid Bare.

I’ve been in a committed relationship for nearly a year now. It’s really excellent, because I get to wake up to this sexy, clever and geeky dude every morning. Like all my Christmasses decided to morph into one person who loves me and isn’t appalled by me.

The sex is absolutely brilliant. I’m still rather new to sex, so everything about it amazes me. I am utterly fascinated by his erection, for instance. I’ve never seen anything more beautiful, and I’ve been in the Park Güell for God’s sake.

I’ve been blessed with this man, and I like to think he feels the same.

What we haven’t been blessed with is privacy.

When we started dating, I lived in a sharehouse and shared a room with two other girls. Neither of them were very fond of me, and even less fond when they saw my boyfriend’s friendly face appear. I’d occasionally chance it and ask him to stay the night, but it soon transpired that this wasn’t the best solution. For one thing, my roommates had flexible work hours, so there was no telling how much time we had to squeeze in the sex we both desperately craved.

But we managed a couple of times, and I do applaud both of us for doing it in the confines of my one-person bottom bunk in a bunk bed. I even managed to stealthily masturbate myself to orgasm twice, in his arms and in the dark of my room, while the other girls were present.

(I’ve become quite good at the stealth orgasm, I must say.)


Eventually, when the jig was up and my landlord told me my other half couldn’t stay the night anymore, we sat down together and came up with a different solution.

Indeed, within weeks, I had given my notice and moved in with him and his parents. It seemed only logical, since I was there pretty much all the time. It gaves us some semblance of privacy, in the sense that we had our own room. But said room, of course, shared a wall with his parents’ room. Swings and roundabouts, and that.

Still, we managed to let our relationship blossom and get to a good place. And then we unexpectedly had to move out.

Now, I could tell you the story about our frantic and extremely tiring search for a flat, but you’d get incredibly depressed, so I’ll spare you the details. Let’s just fast forward, shall we?

As it is now, we’re lodgers with a large devout Christian family. It’s a relatively small house, with thin walls and people walking about all the time. And blimey, they are loud people….

It’s still not an ideal situation for a young couple. But I’ll take what I can get, because all that matters is the moments I spend with my lovely man. Whether they’re spent cuddling on the sofa, having geeky discussions over dinner or making passionate (but quiet, of course) love in our bedroom.

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Guest Post: Losing Consciousness – RebeccaLowrie.com

Here I am at the wonderful Rebecca Lowrie’s blog, writing about how easy it is to stop engaging with your partner (particularly if you’re prone to checking your phone mid-shag).

Guest Post: Losing Consciousness – RebeccaLowrie.com.

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Who needs contraception?

How in god's name do babies KNOW when you're trying to get jiggy? | Betty HerbertThis week marked our (I-can’t-believe-I’m-old-enough-to-have-been-married-for) 14th wedding anniversary.

I looked it up to see if I was due any sort of an exciting gift. Apparently it’s ivory this year (we shamefully ignored last year’s conservation-grade suggestion of fur, too).  I can’t help but feel that these lists were composed in less ethically-conscious times.

In any case, we both knew what we wanted for our gift this year: you know what I’m talking about. Frankly, it doesn’t happen all that often at the moment, not for lack of enthusiasm on our part (well, okay, for a bit of a lack of enthusiasm on our part), but because of the tiny, humanoid contraceptive device that sleeps across the landing.

I swear to god, that boy has got detectors fitted somewhere. The second they register any physical contact between us, he wakes up. This is a child who routinely sleeps through the night; and yet H only has to look at me the wrong way, and he’s suddenly roaring for our attention.

How on earth does he know? We don’t get the chance to reach the bit where it might be noisy. Is this some evolutionary device to prevent any competition from younger siblings (in which case: don’t worry Bert; we’ve got that more than covered)?

However it works, we outfoxed him. I mean, it’s entirely possible that his little alarm bells were going off all the way up the hill at nursery, but we weren’t there to hear them this time.  Which made a rather delicious change.

Happy anniversary, H.

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The US cover to The 52 Seductions!

Lovely, isn’t it? Released later this year.

The 52 Seductions US Cover

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Valentine’s Avoidance: 10 Sex Facts from the Animal World

How to do it like they do on the Discovery Channel

Long-term readers of this blog will know that this isn’t the place to come for a Valentine’s Gift Guide (The Vagenda has a particularly chilling one though).

I agree with Tim Dowling: ‘14 February is amateur night‘. Although don’t think that I’m entirely hard-hearted. I did, in fact, ask Herbert to pick himself up a Valentine’s card while he was at the shops yesterday, but for some reason he declined. I would have given him the money, too.

So instead, I’m offering you ten bizarre facts about animal sex. Because I know you love that sort of thing, dear reader.

Sea slugs detachable penis | Betty Herbert1. Sea slugs have a detachable penis, which they shed after sex. But fear not, they can grow a new one after just 24 hours (they keep a spare coiled up inside them).

2. An alligator’s penis is permanently erect, and shoots in and out with the help of a bungee.

3. Hummingbirds do pretty much everything mid-air except have sex. It’s one of the rare moments that they land. It only lasts four seconds, though.

Dinosaur sex | Betty Herbert

4. Palaeontologists believe that dinosaurs mated by ‘cloacal kiss’ – a cloaca being an organ that can urinate, defecate AND be a sexual opening. No penis was needed for this operation, but we don’t know whether they had penises or not. If a T Rex did have a penis, it would have been 12 feet long.

5. Rabbit sex is nothing spectacular – it lasts only 40 seconds – but what’s impressive is that female rabbits ovulate in response to sex. Because of this, they’re always fertile, and so one rabbit can produce 1,000 offspring over her lifetime.

Dragon Flies mating | Betty Herbert6. Dragonflies have two sets of sex organs. Before sex, the male self-inseminates, and then grasps the female with spiny claspers that often leave her with holes in the head. However, if the female gets a chance, she will eat the male, which is probably why dragonflies mate in that attractive heart-shape you see on Valentine’s cards: to stay alive.

7. Squid sex involves the male hanging upside down off the female, and injecting capsules containing millions of sperm into her muscle tissue. Scientists have only recently learned that this takes ages.

Orchids pollenate by promising sex to bees

8. Orchids pollenate by promising sex to bees: they mimic the smell, appearance and tactile experience of a female bee.

9. Shark sex is so violent that, come mating season, female nurse sharks stay in shallow waters, keeping their reproductive openings pressed against the ground. Scientists don’t like to talk about this, because they fear it will make sharks look even nastier than they already do.

10. Bonobos are famous for their randy behaviour, and, like us, have sex for pleasure as well as reproduction. They make love not war, using sex to heal social rifts.

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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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