You’ve seen the T-shirts. You may even own one. “Sexually Deprived for Your Freedom!” they proclaim and you are feeling it.
It’s a lesser talked about side effect of boot camp, deployments, TDYs, geo-baching and other separations courtesy of our spouses’ commitments to things like our national security and the continuation of our very democracy (you’re welcome, America).
But seriously. Six months to a year without sex? On purpose?
No wonder military spouses are so high strung at the end of deployment. They need a little “tenderness.”
If you’re almost through the separation and you’re feeling a little anxious about your reunion in the bedroom, here are our 5 tips for making sweet, sweet love after a long, long time.
1. Prep the Playing Field
I’m not just talking about getting things in order “down there” (although, come on, you HAVE to do that. Make your waxing appointment for at least 4 days before homecoming or you’ll be as red as my mother while reading this post).
I’m talking about laying the groundwork so that you haven’t totally ignored that at one point the two of you had a sex life. There are some great tips here for getting emotionally ready for the return. So do those 5 things and then get physically ready too.
You know, stretch. Shower. Shave. Nap. Those types of things. Do those.
2. Expectations Are a Cruel Mistress
You have to talk beforehand about what the other person wants, needs and is hoping will happen between the sheets before you’re in the same ZIP code.
The whole world assumes you literally go straight from picking up your spouse from the airport/hangar/pier/wherever to the bedroom. We know the truth.
I had to stop and get a cheeseburger because I hadn’t eaten in 4 days in order to fit into my dress. And if it’s not a drive-thru, it’s kids. It’s parents. It’s those in-laws that just HAD TO BE THERE. Talk about that beforehand.
If your significant other is planning on ripping your clothes off in your entryway and making sweet, sweet love on the kitchen counter and you have friends coming over for a surprise backyard barbecue, well, you should probably work that out beforehand so it’s not awkward for everyone.
The most common friction (pun intended) in homecoming sex is mismatched expectations. I told my husband I was going to slip into something more comfortable (I had to get those spanx off in private) and he came upstairs to find me spread out on the bed, in yoga pants, snoring. My bad. #exhausted #reallife
3. Pass on the Pressure
Homecoming sex is like the high school prom of military life.
There is just.so.much.pressure for everything to be perfect. The greatest sex we ever had was when we put so much pressure on ourselves to make it great, SAID NO ONE EVER. Relax! The goal is to get back to feeling like the two of you did before your partner in crime left.
Homecoming sex might be the best 5 minutes of your life (Ha! Aim for 10…). It might be mind-blowing amazing. Or, it might be so bad that you’re wondering if you two “lost it.” You didn’t.
It can take a few days (or weeks) to get reacquainted with this person who is suddenly sleeping in your bed and making decisions about what Netflix shows you’re watching.
Don’t get so caught up in making it perfect that it becomes a pressure cooker or you will both be disappointed. Which leads us to our next tip:
4. You Do You
Purchased new lingerie? Awesome.
Want to do a strip tease to every pop-hit your partner missed in his/her absence? Go for it.
Does just thinking about lace make you uncomfortable? Then skip it!
If you would rather schedule your intimacy on a shared Google calendar than spontaneously make out, then do that!
Having sex after such a long absence can be daunting. But if you’re envisioning a long night of lovemaking on a bearskin rug by the fire surrounded by rose petals, then download your Boys to Men Pandora Station now and you do you babe (and do your spouse! See what I did there?).
If all you’ve been picturing for the last year is quiet “boring” sex with the door locked and your kids asleep at 8 p.m., then that is just as perfect too.
You have to do what works for you. And whatever that looks like, is exactly what it should be.
5. Your Libido Loves Laughter
If you unintentionally light your curtains on fire with your 1,000 candles, kick your partner in the face during the strip tease or wake up the kids, nothing brings a couple literally and figuratively closer than some good old-fashioned giggling between the sheets.
Don’t be afraid to laugh when it’s awkward. It might be and that is completely normal. Don’t get frustrated by a fumble, rather, find a way to laugh together.
If lingerie and lighting candles aren’t your thing, might I recommend the How I Met Your Mother “Naked Man” approach. Season 4, episode 9, in which a date strips down naked in hopes that the other person will put out based on pity, a sense of humor or the spontaneity of it all. It’s one of our favorite shows, so consequently, it’s one of our favorite moves to break the ice. And, according to the show, it’s guaranteed to work 2/3 of the time.
Whether it’s the greatest sex of your life or you laugh your way through it (or somewhere in between), repeat after me:
Cut yourself some slack when jumping in the sack.
Your spouse is home. Enjoy the reunion, snuggle on up, strip off that “Sexually Deprived for Your Freedom” tee and go make some sweet, sweet love.