"Should I have sex with my wife while she's asleep?"
I’m a happily married man with two small children. I still love having sex with my wife but, sadly, the chances are few and far between with the kids around. At the end of the day, she’s exhausted.
About two months ago, we had some foreplay and my wife seemed well into it. We started having sex but then I realised after a few minutes that she’d fallen asleep. I feel a really bad person for admitting this but I kept going for another few minutes and finished the job while she was asleep. I felt bad about it but when I told my wife in the morning, she just laughed and thought it was funny. She said she didn’t blame me since we have sex so rarely.
Since then she’s jokingly said ‘Feel free to have your wicked way while I’m snoring’ before we go to sleep. Do you think she’s serious? And if she is, isn’t there something wrong with doing this? I just want our sex life back to how it used to be, before the kids came along. When will it go back to normal?
Why don’t you ask your wife outright if she’s serious? Believe me, this isn’t as unusual as it sounds, though it does tend to happen most with couples in your situation (with babies or young children). There are people who find it more arousing to sleep with their partners when they’re asleep, but this is a completely different scenario. What you’re talking about here is essentially a practical solution to the ‘no sex please, I’ve got a toddler’ problem.
Is it ‘wrong’? If you only ever had sex with your wife under these circumstances, it would be extremely unhealthy. If you were jumping on her the second she closed her eyes without her complete permission and consent, it would be totally wrong (and possibly illegal). But what you’re suggesting - if indeed your wife is serious - is a mutually agreed on solution to a real problem of how to stay sexual when one of you is sleep deprived.
The reason why this isn’t a commonly suggested solution is because lots of couples would see it as unthinkable. When I reported in one of my books that some couples have a ‘sleepy sex’ pact, I had a few letters from women saying they found it appalling that I was suggesting they grant their husbands license to ‘take advantage of them’ while asleep. That certainly is not what I meant - or what you’re talking about here. I know more than a few leading sex therapists who do suggest it to clients in personal sessions, though they freely admit it’s something that’s acceptable to some, not all. “I like the idea of my husband taking me while I’m asleep,” one new mum told me. “I’m too exhausted to be sexual in real life but we’ve done this once or twice and I quite liked half waking up with him inside me.”
As for your other question - when will we get our sex life back? - it’s good and bad news. Statistics vary but this is an idea of what’s ahead: about four months after the birth of a baby, couples usually return to however often they were having sex mid-pregnancy. Six months after the birth, most are clocking up three to five times a month. One year in, couples say sex is starting to feel good again, though few say it’s as good as it was pre-kids. Post one year, 95 percent of couples say they’re still having less sex than before the pregnancy.
Yes, this is all a bit grim but bearable once you balance it up with the joy that having children brings you. Thing is, most couples with small kids battle through as best they can sex wise, finding their own ways to deal with the situation. You clearly have a great relationship with your wife. You communicate well, you’re practical and tackle things with a sense of humour. Regardless of whether she meant her jokey suggestion or not, I’m confident you can look forward to resuming a ‘normal’ and good sex life in the not too distant future.