Reproduction Ruined My Sex Life

From the file “Water is Wet, Also” comes this news: Happier Relationships for Couples Without Children,  a headline to which all the fruitful and multiplying couples in the world collectively responded, “No shit.”

If you click on the linky-link you’ll find out that the Open University interviewed over 5,000 people to come to this not-so-startling conclusion.  The Open University, by the way, sounds like a totally made up name for a fake school, which it sort of is.  You can check out their website here if you want.  Anyway, in 100 years, we’ll all probably be speaking of Open University in revered tones and praying that our great-great-great grandchildren get accepted there.  People probably snickered about Cambridge and Yale and the Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy when they were new, too.

Let’s see what the 5,000 folks at the Open University had to say about relationships and happiness and everything.

For both men and women, those who did not have children ranked the quality of their relationship more highly than those who did. They also did significantly more to “maintain” their relationship, such as taking time to go out together or talk, than those with children.

By “taking time to go out together or talk” they mean “have sex”, right?  Because that’s what I would mean by it.

I think that was just the cat using the litterbox!

Did you just hear one of the kids cough?

My own robust marital sex life took a downward turn the night our four year old wandered into our bedroom looking for a glass of water.  The experience so scarred my husband he was still shaking about it three days later.  Luckily, his psyche (and his penis) eventually recovered and we resumed our sexual relationship, only now sex was quiet, quick and furtive.  Also, my husband added this tantalizing question to his foreplay routine:

“Are you sure they’re asleep?”

I don’t know what he expected me to do to ensure our kids were soundly asleep.  Maybe spike their juice boxes with Vicks® Nyquil®?

Since the phenomenon of coitus interruptus de filii (or whatever we want to call it) is so widespread,

Mommy put on her nice underwear tonight.  Time to come down with a stomach virus!

Mommy put on her nice underwear tonight. Time to come down with a stomach virus!

there must be some advantage to children having evolved this ability to disrupt their parents’ sex lives.  Now that I think about it, it’s quite obvious: family resources are limited and the more children there are the thinner those resources get spread around, so it makes sense for the existing children to not want more children.  It’s the same reason why baby birds peck their siblings (sometimes to death) in the nest: they want a bigger share of that worm.  Since humans don’t have beaks, we had to develop another technique to limit the number of competitors within the family.  I imagine it works something like this, just as Daddy puts a little Marvin Gaye on the stereo and Mommy slips out of her pair of good underwear.

INT. Children’s Bedroom. Night.

Older Sister: (throwing a shoe across the room at Younger Sister asleep in bed)  Wake up!  I think they’re trying to have sex again!

Younger Sister: Huh?  What?

Older Sister:  They’re trying to have sex!  You better go in there and tell them you had a scary dream or something.

Younger Sister: Why?

Older Sister: To stop them from having sex!

Younger Sister: Why do I want them to stop having sex?  What do I care?  I don’t even know what sex is!

Older Sister: Sex is how you make babies, stupid.  If only I’d known what they were up to the night you were conceived.  Oh, well.  Now it’s in both our interest to stop anymore babies from coming into this house!   As it is, my future is already full of Friday nights waiting tables to pay for college.  And you better start taking kindergarten more seriously! They’re not going to throw away our limited financial resources on someone who gets a “Needs to Improve” in Listens Attentively!  Now go on, get in there.  Tell them your tummy hurts and I’ll go downstairs and start a fire in the microwave with a piece of aluminum foil.

Royalty free stock photos including the images in this post can be found at Stock.XCHNG.

21 thoughts on “Reproduction Ruined My Sex Life

  1. Michelle at The Green Study says:

    Your blog title alone merited a “No shit!” I saw that news story on the study on CNN and read the comments following it. Just what everybody needs – another excuse for commenters to bitch about people choosing to have kids and mother earths to talk about what happy breeding machines they are. I figure if you need a study to explain why you’re a miserable shit or a gleeful world traveler, you’re going about life wrong.


    • Karen says:

      I won’t claim to speak for all the miserable shits (or the gleeful world travelers) of the world, but I’m an introspective person (a less kind description would call me a navel-gazer) and I find this sort of stuff (the hows, whats, and whys of human behavior) endlessly fascinating.

      I guess what I’m saying is that if I’m a miserable shit, I want to know why I’m a miserable shit 🙂

      And I especially like to read about human behavior when it leads to unexpected outcomes–e.g. having children weakens (maybe or maybe just temporarily) the pair bond. I’m also waiting to read a study that says eating potato chips makes you lose weight (I haven’t come across that one, yet).


      • Michelle at The Green Study says:

        I tend to be cynical about studies, since “facts” seem to be a rapidly shifting landscape among researchers. I, too, am introspective and am interested in human behavior, but these studies drive me nuts. And I’m pretty sure you could find a study supporting the potato chips = weight loss. In fact, the makers of Olestra likely have one on file.


  2. Snork Maiden says:

    Hmm, I feel I must jump in and defend my old alma mater, The Open University is one we can all get into, because it’s a correspondence course uni available to anyone who can pay its very modest fees, it’s good for mature students and people like me who didn’t do so well at school in our teens.

    But on the other hand it’s hilarious someone’s done a study to show that having small children is crap for your sex life. In other breaking news, the Pope is a dude, Kim Jong Un is a little bit paranoid, and waxing your bikini line may cause discomfort.

    Yet at the same time it’s sad how many people earnestly believe having a child will ‘fix’ a relationship rather than just add extra pressures. It reminds me of a an old friend who once said that she liked being pregnant because her (selfish douche bag) partner was nicer to her when she was expecting. Five children later he still treats her like crap, though thankfully he no longer lives with them.


    • Karen says:

      Aw, I’m just teasing about Open University.

      The reason why folks have children (other than the obvious: the condom broke) is really interesting to me. I never thought much about having kids at all until I met my husband and when I saw him with children (he’s a pediatrician) my uterus just would ache and I wanted to get pregnant right then and there, even though it probably was not appropriate to have sex in front of a group of sick five year olds (which we didn’t. We waited until we go home).



      • sn0rkmaiden says:

        The reason people choose to have kids is an interesting one, one which I’m even further from answering now I have one myself. I think meeting ‘the one’ has a lot to do with it. All the proud dads I know didn’t want kids until they met the woman they wanted to marry.

        Funny, I must have really really wanted one, given all I went through (I’m a choice mum), and I’m working on a second. Maybe I just can’t think straight because I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in three years, and been celibate for the last two and a half. Don’t get me wrong, my life’s 1000% better for having the little monkey in my life, I’m glad I went the route I did instead of waiting until I was fifty and trying to nick one out of a shopping trolley outside Sainsbury’s.


        • Karen says:

          Not sure what a “choice mum” is but it sounds very nice. 🙂 In fact, everything (to my American ears) sounds better in British. “Nick one out of shopping trolley outside Sainsbury’s” sounds way better than “Snatch one out of a grocery cart in front of Ralph’s.” 🙂


          • sn0rkmaiden says:

            Yes, I thought of making that last comment less specific, but then went with Britishing it up. After a few glasses of wine I’ll start channeling PG Wodehouse.

            ‘Choice Mum’ sounds a bit oxymoronic, given one would hope all mum’s choose to be mums. But it refers to a single woman or lesbian couple who’ve gone the donor route, in another words gone the extra mile rather than let nature take its course.


  3. javaj240 says:

    Very funny — and I think you may be onto something. Contacting the folks at Open University to see if they will fund your evolutionary biology study may be in order!


  4. Don Royster says:

    Just want to thank you for following my blog. Not sure I can match your humorosity but I do try. Think you’ve invented a new word. Make sure you send it into the Oxford people. They can always use a new word. Their dictionary don’t seem to have enough.


    • Karen says:

      Well, I’m trying to make “humorosity” happen. I try to work it into my every day conversation as much as possible. So far, I’ve only been getting a lot of weird looks from people, but wish me luck!

      Thanks for the follow. I look forward to reading your stuff.


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