The Death Of Sweetums

It hath come to pass that I am madeth aware, yet again, of a marital sex epiphany.

Henry will, from time to ignominious time, refer to me as, and I quote, “SWEETUMS.” This is what Sweetums looks like:

Little old ladypic

  • Sweetums bakes things.
  • She crochets tea cozies.
  • Cats adorn her.
  • Her vagina resembles the dry, sun-baked, inhospitable terrain that greeted Clint Eastwood in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.


I’m parched just lookin’ at it!

“If you call me Sweetums again,” I said to Henry, as I drained the spaghetti in the kitchen sink, “or refer to Dinner as Supper like John Boy Walton with that huge mole on his face, we will never have sex again.”

“If you refer to me as Babe again,” replied Henry, emptying the kitty litter box in full view of the kitchen, “I’m going to grow a Porn Stache, Muttonchops and start wearing striped, velour bellbottoms, which means we’ll never have sex again.”

What I realized, in that moment, is that domestic life is deeply unsexy.

By day, and now that our kids are older, much later into the night, we are asexual Disney parent-bots. We say things to them like, “Don’t forget to brush your choppers!” or, “You seem a little tye tye (tired),” or “Can I get some snuggle buggles over here?”

There is no better father than Henry.

When the girls kiss him goodnight he does a happy, little gnome dance, which literally sends me into early onset menopause.

The other night, Henry and I managed to get in bed together by 10 p.m. which meant we might actually be awake long enough to have sex.

But Sweetums and Supper danced like little cockblocking gnomes in my head.

I suppose it’s possible I’d whipped up a cockblocking souffle of my own; lifting up my shirt to reveal nude Spanx, flossing my teeth with the bathroom door open.

We lay there in the dark in our pajamas, sleep beckoning like the Sirens, hoping to crash our marital vessel upon the rocks.

It dawned on me that I understood why people have affairs. Couples become so inured in their domestic personas that they see one another quite differently than from BK – before kids.

Suddenly you’re calling each other Mother and Father and anyone outside of the domestic realm seems more sexy and appealing than your spouse.

Fortunately, Henry and I work from home so there’s scant temptation.

Still, it’s good to be aware of the fact that domesticity is doing it’s very best to kill the married couple’s sexual fire, aka fuego sexual in Spanish and feu sexuel in the language of Love.

To recognize that, no matter who you marry and raise children with, you’re going to see them in red long johns on Christmas morning because it’s a humorous nod to Santa and it won’t be hot.

The trick, I’m realizing, is learning to transition from parents to lovers. 

Let’s call that transition the DMZ (De-maritalized Zone). Two things to do in the DMZ to bring sexy back:

1.  Talk about anything besides domestic issues.

The other night, Henry and I started talking about our favorite war books.

Mine is War by Sebastian Junger about his time embedded with troops in the Korengal Valley — and it’s not lost upon me that I’ve managed to get the word “bed” into the same sentence as Sebastian Junger.

Henry’s favorite war tome is, The Price of Glory, by Sir Alistair Home about Verdun in 1916.

This led to a conversation about literature.

I told him how startled I was to discover how funny the suicidal Sylvia Plath was when I read The Bell Jar, which caused Henry to recommend another brilliant female author, Shirley Jackson, who wrote macabre treatises on the evils in a small town.

And suddenly I remembered how irresistibly smart and curious Henry is.

2.  Re-establish a physical connection in a non-sexual way.

Often Henry and I jump into bed and it seems like we just get sex out of the way.

It’s kiss kiss, wham bam and zzzz. We’re tired, disconnected, grouchy from our parental ministrations to our child succubi.

The other night, when we were in our sexual doldrums, we took off our clothes and just touched each other.

Under my fingers I felt evidence that Henry had been going to the gym, which piqued my interest like a bloodhound getting a whiff of the hare.

Then I felt the hair on his chest. I don’t get the man-waxing that’s all the rage these days. I love a hairy chest, especially one that’s been to the gym.

Then I breathed him in. He smelled like Sandalwood, one of my favorites scents; masculine and yummy.

It took one hour. One whole hour of talking and touching to forget Sweetums and Supper.

Sex wasn’t the goal, but it flowered naturally between us, and having taken the time to get into that head space and leave our parent personas behind, we no longer wanted to just get sex out of the way. We wanted to actually experience and enjoy it.

Marriage is work people. Strap on some boots and fight your way into the DMZ. It’s worth it.
Sweetums my ass!
Sweetums my ass!

If you liked this article you’re going to love Shannon’s book, “Married Sex: Fact & Fiction.” You can order it RIGHT HERE!

20 thoughts on “The Death Of Sweetums”

  1. So right on. NOTHING about marriage with children is hot (I suppose that’s why the show was such a hit). I’m always pleasantly surprised when the man and I are alone on a rare date and we suddenly feel like our old selves again. Makes me downright giddy!

  2. I want to send this to every married couple I know (without pissing them off).

    I wish my ex- and I had taken more time to remember who we are outside of our roles. We used to be people, before we were parents.

    Good for you!

  3. My husband had a bad habit of referring to me as “mother” when talking to our kids when they were growing up (as in “help mother clear the dishes off the table). There was nothing more un-sexy, EVER. Nice picture, BTW.

    1. “Mother” is right up there with “Sweetums” for cockblocking. It’s a non-starter. But now you’ve got your hubbby to yourself again. I promise to knock before entering your house.

  4. You nailed it! We all need to remember that, before we had kids and chores and bills, we were lovers who couldn’t wait to get together at the end of the day, anytime, anyplace.

    We make a point to not talk about work (since we work together) or any other ‘unsexy’ topics in the evenings, especially around bedtime.

    Random sexy text photos definitely help. Also, try opening the door in nothing but 5″ heels and a red lace lingerie on the once-in-awhile evening when the kids are gone when he gets home. Yep…it comes right back, lol. 😀

  5. Consensual non monogamy is popular for a reason 🙂 it lets u have fun and actually puts spark back into your own marriage 🙂

  6. We have two toddlers, so the doldrums are definitely our domain. For now. I hope.

    Our last anniversary, we had sex in the third row of our minivan at the top level of a parking garage after a stand-up comedy show. It was HOT!

    1. Meredith! We had sex in our minivan on the roof of the parking structure at the Grove and it wasn’t hot. I kept craning my neck around looking for security. The fact you have two TODDLERS (for fucks’ sake) and you’re even CONSIDERING sex is a testament to your marriage.

  7. First I agree with the caption on the photo. But, that probably just re-enforces some of the things you said. I will say though that all that you describe does not require having children. There is always the danger of going down that path, children or no children. Marriage is work and well worth it.

    1. Hi Doug –you know I hadn’t thought about couples minus kids, but it’s true that over time that fresh sexual novelty wears off. And yes, marriage is well worth the work. Especially if you’re married to a love.

  8. Men are easy.

    Just plop into bed and tell him what you want him to do to you.
    How you want to be pleasured.

    That is all it takes.

    If you have that one out of 10 guy who occasionally says “I am not interested right now”, you and he will need to talk about it for an hour. If he is really that tired, and you have told him (not “hinted”) “sex, or talk for an hour” he will choose wisely.

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