Before I got married and had kids, I totally used to judge women who complained about their sex lives. “Oh, we rarely have sex anymore,” they would say. “Once a month, or so. Way too busy.” I thought that was just a really bad excuse. When I was married I was going to have sex every day — maybe even more than that — because a great sex life was the key to a happy relationship. I also knew that I would be one of those pregnant women who didn’t show from the back. I would barely gain any weight, and be back in a bikini weeks after birthing my little munchkin.
Here I am, one husband, two children, fifteen pounds, and daily romps (yeah right) later, scoffing at the naivety of my former self.
Brittany Gibbons, of the blog Brittany Herself, found herself in a similar situation. Shortly after welcoming her third child, she started feeling super insecure about her body — to the point that she didn’t want her husband to see her naked.
The blogger recently penned a poignant essay for Good Housekeeping about how her insecurities with her post-baby body spawned a decision to have sex with her husband every single day for a year, and how it changed not only her relationship with him, but also the relationship with herself and her body.
In the essay she explains that before the experiment she “kept the lights off during sex,” “hid her boobs inside a camisole,” and waited for her husband to leave the bedroom before “barreling from the shower” to her closet to get dressed. After a few years she began to wonder if her husband even knew what she looked like naked anymore.
Three years ago she got an idea to have sex with her husband every day for a year, after a friend of hers shared that she and her husband had sex every day of their marriage. Her husband jumped at the opportunity, and the two did the deed almost every night — even when she was on her period. The only exemptions were if her husband was traveling for work or if one of them was really, really sick.
“My third child broke my body,” Brittany tells Babble about why she started feeling insecure in the first place.
“The first two, fine, I could fake it back into my old clothes, but child three? No way. I carried weight differently, the shape of my body inherently changed, and nothing I did helped me feel like my old self. That is a hard reality to face. Of course you love your kids more than anything, but it’s okay to also be frustrated with having to relearn how to see yourself as a confident woman again in a new body.”
During the year she and her husband were engaging in daily romps, she didn’t send out a press release to her friends and family, but mentioned it casually to a few close friends who, she explained, “looked at me like I was insane.”
“I honestly didn’t think we would ACTUALLY make it a year, so to save face on falling short, we kept pretty quiet about the whole thing,” she explains.
In her GH essay she explained that the experiment started out rough, and the thought of getting busy every night exhausted her, but as the months passed she started looking forward to it.
“Sex begat more sex, and those connected, loved up feelings began to creep outside of the bedroom — or in our case, the laundry room, the closet, and our garage — and into our everyday lives,” she wrote.
She tells Babble, “I’m pretty proud of the way it’s helped to maintain the romance in our marriage. We touch more, we kiss more, and we put the effort in more, because we know it has a positive effect on our relationship.”
As the year progressed she became more and more comfortable with her body, shedding first the camisole, and then a year in, she stopped wearing clothes entirely — even in front of her children.
While Brittany’s relationship with her husband improved, she maintains that it wasn’t because of the act of having sex every night, but due to the cause-and-effect impact of her improved relationship with her own body.
“This experiment was never about sex or our marriage, per say, but about how I felt about myself, which was in turn, effecting a myriad of things,” she tells Babble.
“Of course we were both tired and busy, but he was just as tired of hearing me disparage my body in front of him. The end goal was worth it, and the journey was fun, too.”
Despite her kids having to see her walk around the house naked, she maintains that they also benefitted from her experiment and her increased self-confidence.
“My kids get a more confident version of me,” she explains.
“Do I walk around naked more? Yes. But I’d take them rolling their eyes at me drinking milk from the jug in front of the fridge in my underwear than hearing me call myself disgusting in the mirror.”
While Brittany and her husband aren’t having daily sex anymore, the experiment taught her three valuable lessons: sex is necessary to keep the romance alive, intimacy is not necessarily sex and it’s important to figure out how much you need, and lastly, that to be the best wife, mother, and human she needs to feel good about herself.
“I don’t even expect anyone to have sex with their partner for a year,” she tells Babble.
“But if coming face to face with your body in a safe place is something you are interested in, make a goal to up the frequency and then dive in. I found that even at my most exhausted and distracted, having sex with my husband was something I never regretted doing. In fact, I was glad that I took the time out of my day to have that centered moment of quiet intimacy.”
I love Brittany’s inspiring and body-loving message. Though I’m not sure I could make it through an entire year of daily sex, I think every couple should follow her lead and at least try it out for a week. I plan on it, because who knows what will happen?
Would you try having sex with your spouse every day for a year?
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