The great sex drought of 2009


When I was pregnant, one of the things that I was warned about was that once the baby came, I would never have sex again. I always met this piece of information with faintly nervous laughter.

I was sure that I wouldn’t become an unwashed, no-time-for-anything-else, asexual harpy after the arrival of my daughter, but with so many people telling me that I would be, I was starting to have my doubts.

I even heard one story about a woman who actually got cross with her husband for making advances on her (in her unwashed state), telling him that he was trying to interfere with the baby’s food source. I was sure that even in the depths of sleep-deprived mania, my loss of perspective would not prove this dramatic.

Baby came, sex went

The baby came, and sex, as predicted, went. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the idea. If I remembered the good old days, I recalled quite enjoying a romp between the sheets. It was just that what with staring in awe at the new being, changing her nappies, waking up through the night to tend to her needs, soothing her through her two-hour bedtime crying ritual and still trying to remember that I was also a person who needed maintenance, just about any recreational activity went out the window.

I didn’t read, I couldn’t cook, I didn’t see movies, I gave up shopping for myself entirely, and I certainly didn’t have sex.

Sometimes I remembered to cut my toenails.

Lost the intimacy?

A friend of mine and I had babies around the same time. She and her husband and I have been friends for years, so we’re fairly candid about most of the gory details of life. I had lunch with them, and she and I were having a good giggle about the post-baby, once-every-two-months shag cycle that now governed our lives.

‘You may be all hormonal and redefined as mothers and whatever,’ her husband said to me, slightly aggrieved. ‘But what about us? We still have needs!’

We laughed some more, but I went home and thought about what he had said. My husband and I had been in this whole baby lark together.

Working out how to balance running around after our baby, and still feeding ourselves and earning money had been a very profound thing to go through. But somewhere in the pandemonium, we’d moved on from ‘no pressure’ and lost the habit of intimacy.

It wasn’t like we didn’t have time any more. Angeline naps periodically throughout the day. She grew less demanding at three months and then again at six. I manage to keep myself well groomed most of the time. I’m a third of the way through ‘The Lost Symbol’.

The shag resolution

So, I resolved that instead of ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’ being the battle cry of the new mother, the more experienced mother will now rally to the banner of ‘shag when the baby sleeps… at least once a weekend’.

It’s a very nice thing to do. Sure, my husband and I need to work on finding time for ourselves and each other in a thousand different ways, to give us the energy to be better and more complete parents for Angeline, but sex is a great way of bonding in a 40-minute nap cycle.

And my husband definitely has more of a spring in his step.

Did you experience a sex drought when your babies were born? Tell us your story by emailing to and we could publish your letter. Do let us know if you'd like to stay anonymous.  

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