Tonight’s the first in our series of ‘Monday Moments’. We’re really excited to have a regular column dedicated to talking about… sex. Yes, really!
Well – not just sex. Relationships too. We’re not looking at dating, though – this is a lighthearted look at life inside a relationship that’s been ticking along for quite some time.
It’s an adult-only read, with a seasonal twist around Summer Loving in a grown up way. We’ll be talking about holidays, date nights… and some sexy massage, toys and grown up pleasures too. I don’t claim to be a relationship expert, but I guess the people at Durex were right when they said that you don’t stay married for 23 years, have four children and manage to maintain a satisfying sex life without picking up a trick or two along the way…
This week we’re doing it on holiday, Janeys.
It’s that time of year when we all start planning our Great Escapes isn’t it? It’s only been a week since we ourselves returned from two gloriously hot and empty weeks in the Dordogne, and already we’re missing the long lazy days of doing not very much of anything at all.
But there’s something about a holiday – it becomes a small melting pot of so much anticipation. You look forward to it for so long, and in your head you build so many expectations of how wonderful it’s going to be.
I was reading a great article about surviving a First Holiday Together. Which is full of fab advice, but did make me smile; when you’ve been together for years, family holidays can be just as fraught as that very first time, but with a whole new set of issues.
Because here’s the thing. The people you live with? They won’t become new people when you go to a different place.
That wonderful break may well turn into you simply doing everything you do at home – only in a strange place where nothing is on hand, and with you feeling resentful and frustrated as a result.
So this year my Janeys, plan ahead a little, and really make it a holiday that you remember for all the right reasons.
No matter where you’re going, or what you’re doing, this needs to be a holiday for everyone. It’s no good the kids having a total blast if you’re both worn out and pissed off with entertaining them all day long. And it’s no good trying to have some peaceful time to yourselves if it’s to the accompaniment of “I’m boo-o-o-ored…”
So plan ahead, and set out a balance that you know will please everyone. Do some stuff for the kids, but let them know there’ll be grown up stuff too, and they’ll be expected to suck it up without a whine. And throw yourself into everything. If you’ve booked an exciting adventure activity – get in there! Don’t let the kids have all the fun – take that trial surfing lesson yourself too. Head down river on the kayaks all together. If you’re at the waterpark, don’t watch from the side ‘like a grown up’ – throw yourself down the slides too.
The point of a holiday is the exhilaration that comes from breaking your normal routine. Shared family memories and time spent together away from ordinary everyday life will ensure strong bonds form that last a lifetime – even in families that are not particularly close.
And when you’re all having fun, something weird can happen. You fall in love – all over again. All of you. You remember how funny and clever and brilliant your kids are. Your kids realise how much they adore the fun you – the Janeys that simply don’t seem to appear so much at home, but who races them to the top, cheating outrageously and then tickles away their shouted objections. And I bet you even love this happier, more relaxed version of yourself a bit more. And your partner… seeing them chilled, smiling, at ease… There’s nothing so physically attractive as someone laughing and having fun, is there? And when that special person is fooling around, roaring with utter abandon with the people you love the most in all the world? That’s just a whole ocean of Happy, way down deep inside.
And I know that if you’re on holiday with the family it can be tricky to carve some grown-up time for yourselves alone. If you have young children, see if you can book yourself a babysitter for at least one night off – or maybe you could share your holiday with grandparents so that childcare can be shared too. They’ll love the opportunity to spend their time with the grandchildren, and you can relish some child-free days to go be yourself.
And when you do carve out that time for yourself, don’t spend it talking over the same old mundanities you do at home. Share a coffee or an ice cream. Go for a stroll through the town, along the beach, across the fields. It doesn’t matter; what’s important is that you and your partner connect and see each other. Really properly see each other – not as the other parent to your children, or the one who refuses to notice when the laundry mountain is starting to creep across the floor to the machine on its own.
But as your partner.
This is the same person who used to make your heart sing just by unexpectedly catching sight of them in a doorway.
The person who you could spend hours just kissing (yeah, when was the last time you did that, eh?). The person who made you shiver when they touched you.
Go find them again. Just for an hour or two. I promise the boy you fell in love with is still there – but you have to show them that the girl is still there too.
If your sex life has been *cough* a bit limp recently, a holiday is a fabulous time to kickstart the motor again. Don’t get too ambitious – you don’t need to set hours apart for a major session. If you’ve only got time for a quickie – well then get to it, Janey!
Sex is, after all, bloody fabulous.
And it’s essential for any couple – it connects you on so many levels. It makes you smile.
And if childcare or nights off are out of the question, that doesn’t mean you can’t share a few moments with each other. A couple who’ve been together for a while can pass a whole conversation in one raised eyebrow. If you’re out, tell them they look nice (look them in the eye and mean it, too). Hold hands, touch their arm as you speak to them; start that physical connection. Affection is so important; even when you’re just passing, plant a light kiss somewhere. You’re not just parents – you’re partners.
If you have your hands full with the children all day, then just enjoy your time with them, but every now and then send a smile or a look just for your partner. Let them know that just because now is not the time, later will be.
And later… make sure it is. If you can’t make time for some sex on holiday, my Janeys, I wash my hands of you.
Honestly – no lame excuses. When you’re out of practice, it’s a bit like the gym; getting started is the hardest bit! When better than on holiday – no alarm clock, a few glasses of wine, maybe sitting out under the stars…
Even if you’re in the same room as the children, they all sleep sometimes. We spent a month in a motorhome last Autumn, all six of us effectively in one tin box. Were we celibate for month? Of course not! We were very quiet, very careful,and far later to sleep than we would have liked… and those intense episodes had all the sniggering joy of illicit teen encounters when your parents might hear you.
If you’ve no immediate plans for a holiday, don’t think I’m letting you off, either. The definition of holiday is ‘a time when someone does not go to work, but is free to do what they want, such as travel or relax’.
So even a day off can be a holiday – it just requires a little planning.
And if you do happen to have carved yourselves a little time and space – well then there’s an awful lot of charm in a well-planned seduction…
So over to you – how will you carve some adult time this summer? Tell me what your holiday plans are, and tell me how easy you find it to make time for yourselves…
And don’t forget that during July you can WIN some Wild Excitement (worth over £100!) with Durex over on the competitions page. Adults Only!