Moms in Babeland

What Moms Want Their Partners to Know: There Really Is a Connection Between Getting the Kitchen Clean and Getting Nookie

Allow me to wax scientifically for a moment: Researchers in the Netherlands found that “the key to female arousal seems to be deep relaxation and a lack of anxiety.”

In a study in which the brains of men and women were scanned during the process of sexual response using a technique called positron emission tomography (PET), the results showed that the parts of the female brain responsible for processing fear, anxiety and emotion reduce during sexual activity. Men showed far less change in these areas of the brain. Says Dr. Gert Holstege  “What this means is that deactivation, letting go of all fear and anxiety, might be the most important thing, even necessary, to have an orgasm.” So if you’re a woman, getting turned on also means, ironically, letting yourself get turned off. And this means that literally, scientifically, walking past a stack of dirty dishes, or looking at an overwhelming to-do list really does turn a woman off.


Here’s a recent example of mental deactivation from my life: The baby is napping. JB and I start to go at it– I’m distracted but giving it the old college try — when the dog walks in and I bust out laughing. (Note to self: Unexplained laughter in the middle of sex isn’t really cool) I try to make nice by explaining what I thought was so funny: that the poor neglected dog walks in, thinking he has a good chance of going to the park since it’s JB’s lunch break, then sees us doing the deed and says, “guess I’m not going for a walk today.” Now, it’s not that funny but it gave me the giggles. I try to explain how the giggling didn’t mean I wasn’t into it; I just thought the dog was funny. And JB said, “Yeah, but if you were really into the sex you wouldn’t have even heard the dog coming into the room.” Busted.
So now you know it’s true, with science and personal experience to back it up. We can’t get turned on when the dog is watching us, the baby is crying, the dishes are all stacked up, there are dirty diapers everywhere, something is really stinky, lunches need to be made for tomorrow, or the bills are lurking around unpaid. It’s not that we require you to do these things to have sex with us, it’s that we can’t turn off the mom part and turn on the hot part with those things going on.

Excerpted From Love in the Time of Colic: The New Parents’ Guide to Getting it on Again (Collins, 2009) By Ian Kerner, Ph.D, author of She Comes First and Passionista, and Heidi Raykeil, author of Confessions of a Naughty Mommy: How I Found My Lost Libido

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topics: Desire


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