Family life

The sex lives of Canadian parents

By Today's Parent and Todays Parent
The sex lives of Canadian parents

The sex lives of Canadian parents

And the survey says...

We asked, you answered. More than 4,500 moms and dads took our online quiz and told us about their sex lives post-kids.

Wondering how your sex life stacks up with what other parents are doing in the bedroom (and other places)?

Read on!

This article originally appeared in our February 2013 issue with the headline "2013 Sex Survey," pp.67-70.

The sex lives of Canadian parentsIllustrations: Carmen Mok


Beyond the obvious reasons — too tired; no time — moms and dads aren't getting it on because the busiest parenting years often coincide with the career-building years; there’s suddenly less privacy; and because parenthood and sexual desire aren’t synonymous. "Conceptualizing yourself as a parent and as a sexual being is inconsistent for some,” says Guy Grenier, a psychologist, marital and sex therapist.

The good news? You can have great sex again...

“Sex doesn’t have to be about frequency, but it does have to be about feeling close,” says Laurie Betito, a psychologist and sex therapist in Montreal. “You might think that spontaneous sex is more exciting, but that’s not necessarily true. Isn’t scheduled sex better than no sex?”

The sex lives of Canadian parentsIllustrations: Carmen Mok


Post-baby body

“Your body is a new shape, sometimes with saggy skin and excess weight that’s unfamiliar, and many new moms feel unattractive,” says Mirosh. 

But what might get you in the mood more than anything else is how you view your post-baby self. “I think new moms need lots of reassurance that they’re still attractive and loved as a sexual being — as opposed to a provider for the children — and their partner is a critical source for that support. Once a woman feels comfortable in her own skin again, it’s easier to start to feel sexually attractive and fully enjoy that aspect of her life."

The sex lives of Canadian parentsIllustrations: Carmen Mok


If you’re like some of us here, you had a pretty hot sex life pre-kids. (We too remember backseat nookie before the car seats were installed!) So when we asked if you’re satisfied, we weren’t super-surprised to learn that only a quarter said things were hunky-dory with their hanky-panky.

The sex lives of Canadian parentsIllustrations: Carmen Mok


To help keep your relationship strong (and prevent anyone from straying), avoid efficiency sex. “Efficiency sex is knowing exactly how to get each other to orgasm, then doing it in the most efficient way possible,” says Grenier.

Sure, sometimes a quick wham-bam is all we have time (and energy) for, but Grenier calls this sex the “mac and cheese” of the intimacy world: “It’s comforting, hits the spot and has its place, but few would call it exciting, and even fewer would want it as the only thing on the menu.”

The sex lives of Canadian parentsIllustrations: Carmen Mox


What would you change?

Our readers came clean about how they'd switch up their sex life:

“My wife’s confidence. She feels less sexy after three babies, even though she’s sexier than ever!" — Kevin

“I wish there was more time for foreplay instead of rushing because the baby is finally asleep.” — Christine

“Maybe she could initiate it a little more often, and sometimes choose me over sleep!” — Darryl

"I would like it to be more experimental. I’m bored as hell.” — Amanda

The sex lives of Canadian parentsIllustrations: Carmen Mok

Sex schedule?

Here's what readers have to say about scheduling sex:

“We have to plan for sex. We literally enter it into our family calendar.” — Vanessa

“We often have to make appointments with each other, but it works out and the effort makes both of us feel valued.” — Chelsey

“Sex is now delegated to the same time and place: our bed, door closed, 11 p.m.” — Tammy

“The only time we can really stay up and have sex is if it’s scheduled, and our kid is sleeping over at his grandparent’s house!” — Leah

“Sex requires planning.” — Marianna

The sex lives of Canadian parentsIllustrations: Carmen Mok

Back in the saddle

Not everyone’s getting busy quite as quickly post-baby: Fifteen percent of our readers waited a year to do it. And if you’re an adoptive parent, even though you may not have had the physical healing to deal with, you’ll no doubt be just as pooped as any new mom — feeding around the clock, sleep deprived and not exactly feeling like a sex kitten.

"The majority of women I see haven’t had intercourse by their six-week checkup, but most couples are sexually active within six months postpartum,” says Melissa Mirosh, an OB/GYN and professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. “There are some who are back at it sooner, but that’s likely a reflection of their birth experience and how the first weeks at home with the baby goes.”

The sex lives of Canadian parentsIllustrations: Carmen Mok


How much?

Ever wondered how your sex life shapes up to the other parents' on the playground?

Turns out there are only a few couples who are getting busy all the time.

Check out the stats. What percentile are you in?

The sex lives of Canadian parentsIllustrations: Carmen Mok


Now we get to the good stuff!

More of you are using toys to spice things up than you'd expect.

The sex lives of Canadian parentsIllustrations: Carmen Mok

What's more important?

Are you surprised that most moms and dads would choose shut-eye over sexy time?

We aren't. Sigh.

The sex lives of Canadian parentsIllustrations: Carmen Mok


Birth Control

The big reveal from our birth control question is that 30 percent of you are fixed. On the other end of the family-planning spectrum, 15 percent of you are getting busy and just hoping you won't get knocked up.

Check out the other stats when it comes to birth control methods.

The sex lives of Canadian parentsIllustrations: Carmen Mok


Lori, a mom of three who does the deed daily, says parenthood has most definitely revved up her mojo.

“My sex drive has increased since becoming a parent. Crazy, I know, but when I see my husband playing and interacting with the kids, it makes me love him — and want to show it — even more. Having kids has also increased our creativity and spontaneity. You’ve got to make the most of the time you get.”

The sex lives of Canadian parentsIllustrations: Carmen Mok

More kids means more sex?

Doing it like rabbits isn’t unheard of to the folks who have enough young ’uns to fill a dugout. According to our survey, those of you who have three or more in your brood are doing the horizontal mambo significantly more than parents who have fewer kids: 56 percent told us they’re doing it daily or several times a week.

We also discovered that the more kids you have — wait for it — the better the sex is.

The sex lives of Canadian parentsIllustrations: Carmen Mok


More sex talk!

The sex lives of Canadian parentsPhoto: franckreporter/iStockPhoto

Get the results of our completely uncensored and totally true 2013 reader sex survey!

This article was originally published on Feb 07, 2013

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