Magazine article Working Mother

Hot Mama

Magazine article Working Mother

Hot Mama

Article excerpt

A month or so ago, at my friend Mary's wedding, my inner circle of college gal pals came ti pals came together from across the country to do what we've come to do best: sit on hotel beds and talk. It had *been a decade since our pioneering member had tied the knot. Back then, all in our twenties, we dished about sex and not just because a friend of the groom had accepted a dare to streak through our room. We compared techniques, triumphs, disasters, multiples, handcuffs. We shared what we did, where, when, with whom, how often, for howlong, how many times; we tallied how many of us had actually slept with Water Polo Guy, and then we scored his performance as if he were an Olympic contender (8.2).

We talked about sex this time, too. But with five husbands, five demanding careers and nine children among us, the "triumphs" included feeling unhurried enough to have sex lying down. "Multiples," this time, referred to the potential risks of fertility drugs; "handcuffs" played a role in fleeting fantasies involving the restraint of active toddlers. We were exhausted, overloaded and voracious no more. "If we somehow, suddenly, have twenty minutes free," said Penny, mother of three, "I'm like, 'Hey, honey! We could unload the dishwasher!"'

But the thing is, we talked about it. Even with everything else in our BlackBerrys, sex is still on our radar. We may not be the hot have-it-all celebrity moms with airbrushed faces and impossible figures (and 25 unseen assistants), but neither are we their opposite media stereotype: the frazzled, frumptastic stress case with a fine coating of Cheerios dust and a permanent "not tonight" headache. Okay, so we wish we had more (sex, not to mention assistants) and that it took less "work" to make it happen. But still. While we may not have it every day, in our own way, we've still got it.

That's the refreshing message Working Mother got from our recent reader survey. So much for that sexless stereotype: Turns out sex really matters to working moms - nearly three quarters of you ranked it as important. In fact, 71 percent of you are managing to have sex at least two or three times a month. Even more impressive: 51 percent of you reported having it at least once a week - somewhere between softball practice, late meetings, potty training and time on the elliptical. Not too shabby. And, no matter how much you're already having, 63 percent of you sayyou want more. That, too, is news. "What do you think is the biggest misconception about sex and working moms?" we asked in an open-ended question. An overwhelming majority of responses echoed this: "People think just because we're moms, we're not sexy and don't like sex anymore. Not true!"

Experts agree - and applaud. "That is an excellent sign that women are not content to be doting caregivers and powerful professionals at the expense of their sexual selves," says Elyse Goldstein, PhD, a psychologist in private practice in New York City who specializes in sex and relationships. So yes: We can bring home the reduced-fat turkey bacon, fry it up in a pan and never let him (or ourselves) forget that we can be lusty (and not just for the latest Louboutin peep-toe pumps).

Of course, that doesn't mean our sex lives are always the stuff of womanfriendly porn. There are issues. Time runs out, desire wanes, sleep calls, babies beckon - and boom, sex crashes to the bottom of the to-do list, maybe even falls right off it. Despite the clear . interest in sex, a majority of respondents (51 percent) said they initiated it less than half the time.

"Sex used to be a feeling that came over you. Now, it's a choice between sleep and sex, kids and sex, working late and sex," says Manhattan-based psychotherapist and relationships expert Sharyn Wolf, author of This Old Spouse: Tips and Tools far Keeping the Honeymoon Glow. "Sexcompletelyreshapes itself for a working mother."

What else did the survey find, and how might it help you reshape your life (or at least your iCal) to include more of the sex you want - maybe even tonight? …

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