The Dry Spell.
This is how my husband refers to the six or seven months after we have a baby. Illness or surgery can also bring on a dry spell, but at our house, it’s always babies. Whatever brings it on, it’s important not to let The Dry Spell settle in long-term.
I’m talking about sex here. We’re all grown ups right?
(If you’re not, then SHOO! Go ask your mother!)
Dry Spell not only refers to the fact that there’s not much happening in the bedroom, but also to the fact that it’s DRY, you know, physically uncomfortable. And besides feeling, well, crusty, I’m exhausted. I really don’t need another thing to accomplish before I can sleep. And I’m fat. Back to your corner, Champ.
Since my man is a kind-hearted, understanding fellow, he generally doesn’t trouble me much during this time. What a great guy!
The problem is, after six or seven, or however many months of avoiding sex, it can feel awkward to let your guy know when the drought is over.
After all, you’ve spent the better part of a year making every effort not to give him any ideas. Breaking News: It Doesn’t Work. He loves your threadbare yoga pants and messy bun. He can barely even smell your girly funk. He has to make a serious effort to control himself when you bend over to pick up the Lego you just stepped on.
So the baby is finally sleeping well, you’re coming out of the fog and your body is as normal as it will ever be. You want to get close again, but quick pecks good night and hugging the pillow between the two of you in bed have become habits. You squirm around for a few weeks, hoping he’ll make the first move, but dang if you didn’t pick a gentleman.
Finally, you drop a subtle hint that would have been a match to gasoline pre-drought, but it flies right over his head. He has learned to ignore what he once would have considered an engraved invitation.
It feels like you’re standing on opposite sides of the gym at an eighth grade dance and a slow song is playing.
Do you like me, or like-like me?
It has to end.
There are a few approaches that have worked to bring on a shower in my neck of the woods. We’ll call them Rain Dances.
Rain Dance Number One involves letting go of any romantic notions for a moment, and just giggling through the awkwardness. Seriously, you just put the kids to bed and tell him frankly that you expect him naked in the bedroom before one of them wakes back up. I promise he‘ll show up.
Then you just rip the bandage off. This is a quick but not quite painless way to restore your former settings.
Rain Dance Number Two involves some advance planning. You tell him you miss spending time with just him and organize a date night. Knowing he’ll be alone with you ought to get his mind moving in the right direction, and the longer he has to think about it, the more layers of chivalry he will shed before your rendezvous.
If you can’t get an overnight sitter plan to get home after the kiddos are all asleep, and send your sitter on her way as soon as you get home. You may be able to drop one of those subtle hints at this point. But just in case your man is especially unassuming, it would be a good idea to get a new pair of panties or a sexy nighty. Maybe even get really wild and shave your legs.
If this doesn’t do the trick, you’ll have to revert to Rain Dance # 1.
Rain Dance Number Three is what I’ve figured out after three kids, and I think it is what makes the transition easiest. Don’t let a few rainless days turn into a full on drought. Let him know from the outset that you’re not going to be in the mood for awhile and that you want to keep the physical but non-sexual part of your romance alive.
Hold hands while you watch TV. Kiss him like you mean it, and don’t worry too much if he has to cross his legs. I mean seriously, you just bore his child. He can endure a little extra blood in his nether regions until thinking about the mortgage brings it back up to his brain. Talk and laugh together about how weird you both feel.
Finally, you shouldn’t do anything you’re not ready for, but I can’t say enough good things about silicone based lubricants when you get there!
Marriage is a sacrament, and part of what makes it so beautiful is the power that a healthy sex life has to bring us closer and keep us coming back for more.
Go getcha some!