For most of my twenties, I've feared several red flags that I felt signaled I had unfortunately left the "young, fresh and fly" building and had my swipe card ready for the boring bus to adulting.
Some of these warning signs included not being able to tell the difference between rappers like Lil' Yachty and Travis Scott (are they a part of The Migos?), starting sentences with, "Back in my day…", and finally scheduling sex with my spouse.
First off, scheduling sex means you're clearly not having enough of it. You don't hear people who are bumping up more than a teenage boy with a Proactive regimen talking about scheduling oral for Thursday at 3:00 pm. Also, sex drives aren't quite that cooperative. At 2:55, it's not like your body is like, "Time to get horny. Sex is about to happen."
But juggling sex with marriage, parenting, and career is hella hard and social media star Devalle Ellis recently got real on his Instagram about why he and his wife Khadeen choose to focus on the quality of intimacy as opposed to the frequency. The couple are parents to three boys and are featured on the second season of OWN's Black Love. In his post, Devalle shares that real intimacy in any relationship is about taking time to genuinely connect and that even if you are having sex 24/7, it's not necessarily an indicator you're winning at love:
"Spouses owe it to each other to remain present sexually. And so often people believe intimacy is defined by frequency. So wrong."
Devalle shares even if it's five seconds of grabbing his wife's booty, maintaining a sexual connection doesn't always have to be solidified with a the grand act of penetration. It was a statement that resonated with me, especially given the guilt I've experienced lately at the realization that having sex with my own husband has become a novelty itself.
Believe me, when you get married, you swear you're going to be that same woman your husband fell in love with. The same one with her hands in his pants not even five minutes into the previews in the latest Marvel movie. The same one who actually made an effort to match her lacy black panties with an accompanying bra and shave her whole damn body because you just know it's about to go down.
But then, something happens called parenthood.
And you better believe that the same Ciara that was slithering, twerking, and having a whole "Body Party" in front of Future shortly before her first child is born, now two kids later is turning over in bed in a durag some nights and telling her hubby Russell Wilson "not tonight" because she's too tired.
It's because toddlers are the ultimate birth control.
While deep inside of me there still lives a woman that literally would suck on my husband's finger to indicate I wanted some, a whole c**k-blocking three-year-old later, and he can't look at my draws without her crying, "Mommy!" from the next bedroom. With this said, parents who are in the same boat as me, or on the sinking Titanic of sex because they have more than one child, might see scheduling sex as the only way to ensure that their genitals don't dry up and completely fall off.
Honestly, it's not even that you don't want to have sex, but when you become a parent, sleep will win over sex drive on the hierarchy of needs every damn time. And let's not forget that most days, especially as a mom, there's a toddler whose mission in life is to make sure their limbs are touching you in some way at all times. So when you do get a few moments to yourself, the last thing you want is to be touched. But Devalle is right. There is something about scheduled sex that just nails the coffin shut on my idea of what being grown and sexy would be like.
As I said before, my libido can't be scheduled.
And much of being sexually active while married with kids has to do with reinventing your idea of what sex has to look like. I had to abandon the idea that every hair had to be plucked from my body for sex to be enjoyable. It even took constant reassuring from my husband that sex with my hair wrapped in a scarf was just as sexy as "fresh from the salon" sex. As a result, we may not get our Skinemax on as regularly, but every few weeks, there's a moment when the kid is asleep or away and we realize that we still have some damn energy and the sexual urge to match. And to be honest, that sex is way better than any session that starts with an Outlook reminder because it's organic and based on passion and not a need to check something off on a list because we think that's what a perfect marriage involves.
A healthy sexual connection doesn't always have to come courtesy of some bomb penetration complete with the perfect climax.
Shoutout to the people that can maintain Grade A sex while juggling full-time jobs AND parenting. For the record, I don't know anyone that works 40 hours a week with toddlers that still get it on like a season of Power, but when it comes to sex, I truly believe that it's better when your heart is in it.
The other parts of your anatomy are nice, but if you're having sex just to say you did it, in my opinion, it's not really worth having.
That goes for whether your sex drive has you constantly pulling over to bump and grind in the backseat or for spouses like me who are forced to put it in park so you can do things like pick up salmon for dinner and pay bills. However, a girl always appreciates a nice booty slap while frying chicken, a lewd comment on the ride home from work that goes completely over the kids' heads but right between your thighs, and just any genuine reminder that her husband thinks she looks like Beyoncé in booty shorts even when she's in sweats and bubble facial.
Because when it comes to making a real sexual connection, if the body party can't get started without an Outlook invitation or before my clothes even come off, what are we really doing?