I like "bits." I wish Americans knew that one— it's egalitarian.
Your family will have humorous and pet names for "penis" and "clitoris"— that's the nature of language and the most familiar parts of our lives. Your kids will also bring home schoolyard inventions you couldn't dream of. Enjoy the learning curve.
It's all good, as long as they feel free to ask "What does ______ mean?" and know that you'll have a curious and forth-coming attitude, a context to put it in.
Why are couples' libidos so affected after having children? Is it hormonal? Sheer exhaustion, shifted priorities, or something else? What can help to snap out of it?
The answer is a), b), c), and all of the above.
There is no snapping out or into it!
It's more like careful stitching. Turn to your adult wisdom— put the knowledge you have into practice.
Set up regular babysitter dates, ahead of time.
Money isn't the issue, planning is. Set up multi-family childcare nights where one set of parents hosts the all the kids for pizza and movie while the other parents get to do WHATEVER THEY WANT.
Read her entire blog on the subject and weep with gratitude.
Your children catch you in the act— now what?
It's not: Now what?
It's: So what?
Good-humored non-chalance is the desirable reaction. It's a moment to reinforce a privacy lesson, not a sex lesson.
"Are you ok?" you might say. "Good. Close the door and always knock before you barge in."
Answer questions later, when you're spending time with them, not during private time in your bedroom. The same goes for whether you're jilling off, reading a book, daydreaming, or writing in your journal. Privacy is so important for them, for you. Be a consistent role model on both sides of the door.
At what age do you do what? I would be hard pressed to say at what age kids are starting to have sex.
When do you need to have a proper heart-to-heart with them to discuss the responsibilities?
Are you encouraging them or pressuring them if you introduce this topic too early? Or, is it worse to approach it too late?
There's no numerical answer to this— we all develop differently. We're born with sexual curiousity and sensation— there isn't one talk or one moment that defines us.
Sex is about a lot more than pregnancy and disease-prevention. My favorite book in that regard— the only sex book for young people about the other parts of sexuality— is A Kid's First Book About Sexby Joani Blank.
If your family is committed to fact-based education, you're already miles ahead of the superstition that plagues most sex education.
If you talk about current events and pop culture in your family, what's going on in the natural world around you; if you have intimate and wide-ranging conversations at the dinner table, in the car, fooling around— these conversations will come easily. Sex is an integrated part of life— it's not the bogeyman.
When parents finally get a night to themselves without the babes, I feel like dinner is the easy choice. "Let's go for dinner, honey!"
Screw dinner. What's the sexiest thing parents can do on date night, and how often should it be scheduled?
Go straight to your bliss, whatever that may be.
What makes you feel sexy again is having fun. Fun leads to enjoyable sex; hormones and exhaustion be damned. I don't know what your idea of fun is, but you need to make the empty space where it can happen.
Variety is everything. You may plan your escapes on the calendar, but what happens each time is part of the fun. Whether it's careful maps, spontaneous inspirations, or surprises— you've set aside the time to find out.
"Date night" for the two parents enjoying each other's company isn't the only date you need.
You want "alone time," dates with dear friends, as well as escapes with your lover.
All pistons firing is what makes life sexy. Maybe you crave a nap; maybe you want to make out in the back of the car— you'll find out soon enough if you make the time. You'll be such a better, more patient, nurturer for your efforts!
Illustration: from my favorite 20th century sex manual, "Is Sex Necessary?" by James Thurber and E.B. White.