In his first edition of “Ask Mike,” Michael Fiore talks about the benefits of making love… even when you’re too exhausted to even think about it.
What’s the secret to keeping your man “happy” and to prevent the “Expectation Of Rejection” from poisoning your relationship?
It’s learning how to say these two simple words…
Hey folks, it’s Digital Romance founder, CEO and Grand Poobah (officially. I’ve got a plaque with “Grand Poobah” on it that I keep on my desk so I feel important) Michael Fiore here with your first-ever edition of “Ask Mike.”
What the heck is “Ask Mike?,” you say?
It’s a new feature we’re starting up where I answer YOUR specific questions about love, sex, relationships, politics (not politics,) legos (not legos) etc. etc. etc…
So you can stop laying awake at night wondering WHAT TO DO and take my expert advice instead.
Two Motivational Words to Keep Your Relationship Sexy (Even When You Have Kids)
JoAnn from my Facebook Page asks Mike…
“Hey Mike! I am 32 and have been with my S/O for almost 7 years now (he’s 28). We have 2 children together and have custody of his son from a previous marriage. My question is how do we keep the intimacy alive. I have seemed to have lost my sex drive after a long day of 3 kids and everything that comes with it. I’m exhausted and barley hit the bed before I’m out. I want to keep my man happy!! PLEASE HELP!!”
Hi JoAnn, thanks for your question.
First off, let me say you’ve got my sympathy for the horrifying, crippling exhaustion that comes along with the smiling (and sometimes screaming) angelic faces of children.
I sometimes wonder if the sheer relentless and exhausting need of kids is nature’s way of keeping sane and rational people who value sleep from having 19 kids like those people on TV.
A couple things to unpack from your question (and we’ll do it in REVERSE order)
First, wanting to keep your man happy is awesome, but that can’t be the only reason you want to have sex with him. Sex is awesome (when done right) and is a big and important part of keeping the romance and love alive in your relationship (especially when you’ve spent all day wiping up vomit from a sick kid. Sexy, huh?)
Actually, studies have shown that for most people satisfaction in a relationship is directly correlated to the quality (though not necessarily quantity) of sex they have and that the happiest couples manage to have sex at least once a week. (Having sex more than once a week is great but doesn’t tend to have a huge impact on relationship satisfaction.)
According to WebMD, some shocking benefits of having sex regularly are:
- Keeps your immune system humming (so you’re less likely to get sick when the kids bring some terrible virus home from school.)
- Lowers stress (so you don’t break down and try to sell your beautiful children to the circus.)
- Lowers your blood pressure and reduces heart attack risk (so you’re less likely to have a heart attack and die before your kids are grown.)
- Burns a TON of calories (which is great because getting to the gym as a parent is HARD.)
- Improves women’s bladder control (by exercising the muscles involved).
- Lessens PAIN (seriously, orgasms release a chemical that can raise your pain threshold and reduce everything from back pain to arthritis.)
- Increases your libido (sex is like chocolate, the more you have the more you want.)
- May reduce the risk of prostate cancer in men (so it could actually save his life.)
* Improves your sleep (so, weirdly enough, having sex with your man may actually make you LESS exhausted overall because even though you might get an hour less sleep the sleep you do get will be deeper and BETTER.)
On top of all that, sex can also improve your self esteem (giving and receiving pleasure is great for your battered ego and reminds you you’re a sexy, beautiful, desirable WOMAN instead of just a Mom.)
And finally, when done correctly SEX FEELS REALLY GOOD and releases a chemical called oxytocin in your brain which causes you and your man to bond (or stay bonded) through all the stresses of life and parenthood.
So yeah, sex is awesome and sex is important and it’s something both women and men should prioritize if you want your relationship to be happy and “go the distance.” (By the way, want to know a great way to handle arguments in your relationship? When you feel like you’re about to have a fight, grab each other, make out and have sex instead. Then you can discuss the issue later. The “anger” can actually be a great way to turn up the heat.)
So How Do You Bring the Romance and Intimacy (And Hot, Hot Sex) Back Into Your Relationship When You’re Burned Out and Exhausted From Being A Mom?
You didn’t mention what your man’s attitude towards your sex life is at this point (I’m guessing he’s understanding but not thrilled which is where most good guys end up on this issue) but one of the biggest issues around sex in relationships isn’t actually exhaustion or low libido…
It’s what I call “The Expectation Of Rejection” (Which Destroys Intimacy And Cripples Love)
What’s the Expectation of Rejection?
Well, it’s like this:
Let’s say we’ve got a couple named Dave and Kara who have three kids. Dave and Kara used to have a pretty great sex life (which is where the kids came from) but with the stresses of parenthood and work Kara is freaking exhausted all the time and even though intellectually she misses sex and the fun bond she used to have with Dave, her drive for sex is at an all time low.
Dave (whether because of the testosterone pumping through his veins or because he’s slacking on helping with the kids. Dick) still has a healthy sex drive. At first Dave continues to make overtures to Kara, nibbling her neck, giving her that look, caressing her while in bed at night…
You know, doing those things guys do to let their woman know they want to get laid.
At first when Dave “makes his moves” he has hope. He does the math in his head and even though he knows Kara is really tired he figures Kara might want sex as much as he does and will push her hips back against him, let out a little sigh or otherwise give him the “yes, let’s do this signal.”
But Kara is tired and Kara’s sex drive is dormant. So she says “Baby, I love you but I’m so tired.”
Dave understands. He’s a good guy, really. He rolls over. He masturbates furtively in the night. He still has hope.
But then the next time he makes a move the same thing happens. “Oh, baby, not tonight. I have to get up early.”
And the time after that it turns into “Don’t you understand how tired I am?”
And eventually instead of feeling hope and excitement when he gets close to Kara, the regular rejection from Kara (even when it’s completely understandable because she’s exhausted. And even when she’s really nice about it) causes Dave to start feeling anxiety and even fear around the idea of having sex with the woman he loves.
Because Dave is human, some part of him internalizes the exhaustion-based rejection as “You don’t find me attractive” or “There’s something wrong with me for wanting to have sex with you” and something that should be joyful in his mind (sex with Kara) instead becomes complicated and potentially painful.
And eventually Dave stops even trying to initiate sex with Kara because he does the math in his head and figures there’s at least a 75% chance that he’ll be rejected. And given the choice between trying and being frustrated and feeling rejection and not trying at all, most folks eventually kind of give up.
Which is lame, because sex is awesome and important. And because this rejection and fear of rejection causes resentment to creep into the relationship until you start having fights over how to load the dishwasher that are actually about love, intimacy and sex.
(Note: I use Dave and Kara above as an example because it mirrors JoAnn’s situation but the same is true the other way around too. I get LOTS of emails and questions from women who feel rejected and unattractive because their men don’t want to have sex with them.)
OK, Now That We Covered All That Here’s EXACTLY What to Do to Bring the Sex Back Into Your Relationship:
Step 1: Learn These Two Magic Words
(Man, finally, huh? Sorry, I had a lot of ground to cover before getting here).
JoAnn, if you read everything above, you know that sex is awesome and has incredible benefits for your psychological and physical health (not to mention what it does for your relationship.)
In fact, having sex regularly is going to help you sleep better, give you more energy AND increase your libido (assuming your lack of sex drive isn’t hormonally driven. An endocrinologist can check your hormone levels and tell you if this is a problem.)
Next time your man tries to initiate sex, instead of saying “No” or that you’re too tired (even when you are too tired) try saying “Convince Me” (preferably in a soft and kind of coy voice.)
Because when you say “Convince Me” your man won’t hear “no” and won’t feel rejected. He’ll feel hope rushing back into him and will feel motivated to stroke you, kiss you, whisper nice things to you, massage you, go down on you and do whatever else he can to turn sex from a chore you feel like you have to do to “keep him happy” to a wonderful experience the two of you can share together.
Going back to Dave and Kara…
Dave wraps his arms around Kara in the kitchen after the kids are in bed. Kara’s brow is furrowed as she scrapes the dishes. Dave nibbles her neck. Kara feels Dave’s growing excitement against her butt. Instead of stiffening in fear that Dave wants her to be “on” and “ready to go” right away she takes a deep breath, looks him in the eye and says:
“It’s been a long day and I’m really tired but . . . convince me.”
Dave’s eyes light up, he runs his fingers down Kara’s neck lightly and pulls her in for a kiss.
Isn’t that better?
If you’ve already gotten to the point where your partner is on eggshells around initiating sex, YOU can initiate things and still get what you want by going up to him (or her) and saying “Seduce me.”
Again, the key here is to give your partner hope and show him SUCCESS is possible.
Step 2: Use Text Messages to Create Intimacy and Passion With Your Man Wherever You Are, Whenever You Want
OK, first off before somebody goes on Facebook and says “This incredibly detailed and content-packed article is CRAP because after telling me all this stuff for free Michael Fiore then told me about something I have to PAY for…”
Let me just say . . .
SHAMELESS PLUG: I’ve got a very popular (we have literally thousands of testimonials from men and women) program called “Text The Romance Back”which teaches you the exact done-for-you TEXT MESSAGES to use to bring the love, romance, passion and even LUST back into your relationship just by tapping a few buttons on your cell phone.
And JoAnn, situations like yours are EXACTLY why I created TRB in the first place. See, what I love about using texts in this kind of situation is that it allows you and your man to romance, tease, appreciate and flat out seduce each other even when your miles and miles apart.
The reason that’s so cool is because it creates a private, almost “telepathic” channel between you and your man where you can use your imagination to turn up the heat in whatever spare moments you get during the day, instead of having to start from “zero” late at night when you’re already burned out and exhausted.
My favorite section of TRB is the “Digital Foreplay” section which teaches you the exact words to say to a man over text to inspire him to say truly wonderful and astonishing things to you… things that remind you that you’re a woman with womanly needs and have you actually LOOKING FORWARD to seeing your man instead of viewing it as a chore.
You can learn all about Text The Romance Back 2.0 (I expanded the program quite a bit) and see a video of me using some of the tamer texts live on “The Rachael Ray” show by clicking here…
(Oh, if you go watch that video and decide you’re not ready to invest in TRB you’ll get a chance to download my 100% free “3 Magic Texts” report which gives you three tested and proven texts you can use on your man right now. It’s like a “free sample” to see if the program is for you.)
Step 3: Don’t Schedule Sex, Schedule INTIMACY
I’m sure you’ve heard all sorts of things about couples who schedule sex (Thursday is sex night! How sexy to have a scheduled sex night!)
Now, there’s nothing wrong with scheduling sex in your busy life at all. In fact, putting it on the schedule shows that you understand that sex is important to your relationship and that it’s something you should prioritize…
But the problem with scheduling sex is that it puts a lot of pressure on both of you to “perform” usually in a relatively small time window.
If your sex drive isn’t ripping and roaring (yet) having a night when you feel like you “have to” have sex is a recipe for disaster.
So instead of scheduling SEX with your man, schedule time for INTIMACY. Even better, schedule a bunch of short intimate moments instead of (or in addition to) your “date night” (or “sex night”) every week.
What does that mean?
It means setting aside time where you’re 100% focused on each other (no kids around, no cell phones) and (here’s the tricky part) without expectations about what’s going to happen in that time except you are going to be physically (and hopefully emotionally) close and appreciative of each other.
Maybe Thursday night is the night your mom can take the kids. Schedule two hours for you and your man where you’ll get to spend that time alone. During that time, instead of grabbing at each other’s belts try things like:
* Making out like teenagers. Set a rule that clothes stay on and nothing happens below the waist. Taking the pressure of “sex” off the table will free you to let go of anxiety and may lead to you getting really turned on.
- Get naked and lay skin to skin while taking turns telling each other what you appreciate and admire about each other (I talk about appreciation a lot in “Text The Romance Back.”)
- Take turns giving each other massages.
- Play “I want you to.” This is a little game where you take turns asking each other to do something for you – from kissing up and down your neck to turning on music and dancing. At least at first it’s best if you keep your genitals off the table as you’ll get WAY more creative that way.
- Masturbate with each other. Show each other how you like to be touched.
Finally, on top of that, carve out 15 minutes every single day that are only about you and your man. No phones. No kids. No BS. 15 minutes where you’ll cuddle and talk and kiss.
The cool part about making it 15 minutes is that it’s short enough that you can do it even when you’re exhausted knowing you’ll get to go to sleep soon.
OK, that got way longer than I meant it to. I mean, I meant to answer at least 2 or 3 questions in this first installment but… I guess I had a lot to say.
Go check out the special video I made for you where you can see my shiny bald head on “The Rachael Ray Show” AND learn all about “Text The Romance Back 2.0.” (It’s really an awesome program and I’m extremely proud of it and the results folks have gotten with it.)
And tune in next time for more “Ask Mike”
P.S. Here’s what a few folks have to say about “Text The Romance Back.”
“It’s incredible how helpful your lessons have been. I’m not even halfway through listening and I’ve already seen a huge response to my increase in expressive texting.” -Kasper
“I was hesitant about all the marketing hype but I’m now a believer in these
communication strategies. I feel it will help my relationship go to a
deeper level and am buying everything. Thank you so much :)”
“I am soooo super excited to have found this gem of a book! It is amazing how a simple little text can put a huge grin on my face and make me feel like a giddy little school girl again!” – Angela
“Your work is incredible! John and I have been dating for going on three years and we lost that ‘spark’. After just one day of sending an appreciation and a curiosity magnet, the outcome was outstanding.” – Hannah
It’s up to you whether you want to invest in the program but if anything I’ve said here today resonates with you you owe it to yourself to check out the video and learn about what I’ve got to offer.