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Hey, Parents: The Closet Quickie Is Your Friend

8 must-try tips for sexy times when there isn’t much time at all.

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illustration of couple making love in closet by alicia rihko
Alicia Rihko
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This parenting life is no joke. It can be full of ups, downs, twists and turns. Parents of babies, school-age kiddos and teenagers alike are feeling the busyness burn. We have a billion commitments to squeeze into a meager 24-hour day. Work, school, extracurriculars, cleaning and fitness — plus maintaining romantic, familial and platonic relationships. Not to mention sleep, because that’s sort of important, too.

I definitely underestimated how frantic life can get as a parent. And here I am, a late-30-something-year-old mom to a preschooler andtrying for another baby. I barely have enough time during the day to chew, let alone make time for sex. Most of us would rather be sleeping anyway, right? Right?

Turns out, having sex can be good for more than just the body: It can boost your confidence, boost your mood, help decrease stress and more.Even with all the possible benefits, lots of busy parents are still wondering: How, exactly, are we supposed to make room in our hectic lives for sex?

By no means am I an expert on juggling parenting and sex, but here are a few tips that have made for a fairly decent sex life for a multitasking parent.

Have a quickie — or two. Why limit yourself to one set place to have sex? With children roaming the halls of your humble abode, an out-of-the-way closet, powder room or other secret space could be the place to hide out for a quick session. Sure, some spaces can be constricting, especially if you’re tall, wide or claustrophobic like I am. But if you use a sturdy chair, or lean against the wall, you can get in a few moments of ecstasy while your kiddos are still in the house. (A locked bedroom, the old standby, works too.)

Go for middle-of-the-night self-love. You read that right: Just sneak off and please yourself. Keep a stash of sexy toys, visuals or whatever you need to get to “the big O.” Everyone else is sleeping, so it’s the perfect time for some unadulterated pleasure.

Lower your expectations. All sex isn’t going to be mind-blowing — and that’s OK. We all have fantasies filled with out-of-this-world foreplay and amazing positions, but sometimes it’s best for us busy parents to go straight for the “hitter and quitter.” You know what that is for you.

Be creative. Spicing things up in the bedroom (closet, kitchen counter or washroom) requires some spontaneity and thinking outside the box. Don’t limit yourself to sexual pleasure only in one particular place at a specific time. Be flexible in when, how and where you have sex. Also, incorporate lustful acts with your partner throughout the day like sexting, sending suggestive images or passing love notes.

Plan for sex, if you must. Although this is the opposite of spontaneous, we know how many parents like to live life according to schedules. We use planners, digital calendars and phone alarms for just about anything. Why not pencil in time for romping?

Schedule a medical examination. Sometimes, a lackluster sex life can be rooted in a medical or psychological issue. (Sexual side effects, for instance, can be common for people taking antidepressants). Even if you’re busy during the day, get an appointment on the calendar with a licensed health care professional if you’re concerned about lack of desire or if you have pain.

Prioritize getting Z’s. While the National Sleep Foundationrecommends an average of seven to nine hours of sleep per night for adults, busy parents can fall short. And a lack of sleep can affect sex in many ways. According to one 2015 pilot study of 171 women not on antidepressants in theJournal of Sexual Medicine,“longer sleep duration is directly correlated to greater next-day sexual desire. Sleep difficulties suppress the production of sex hormones, replacing these hormones with the stress hormone, cortisol, instead.” Plus, if you’re not getting enough sleep, how will you have energy to get frisky?

Remember that intimacy matters. Sexual satisfaction is linked to intimacy, but the two terms are not synonymous. If you’d rather sleep in than have wild sex — or, if oral sex or penetration is not pleasurable — there are many other ways to be intimate. Kissing, cuddling, giving or receiving massages and deep conversation (where my sapiosexuals at?) are just a few ways to connect.