sex diaries

The Editor Wondering Where Her Sex Drive Went

Photo-Illustration: James Gallagher

This week, a mom who loves her boyfriend and wonders if sex is all that important: 40, digital editor, in a relationship, Cobble Hill.


8 a.m. It’s almost New Year’s Eve. We — my partner, T, and I — are hosting a huge party, so the next few days are all about crossing shit off lists while finishing my work before a short holiday break. I’m the digital editor of a popular website.

8:30 a.m. I drop my toddler at his day care. It’s a great place that feels nicer than any nanny situation, not that we could afford that. I’ve been with T for five years and we are both in creative fields, so we don’t have a ton of money, and most days feel like we’re hanging on, financially speaking, by a thread.

2 p.m. Luckily I can work mostly from home, so I spend most of the day on my computer, eating toast and making pots of fresh coffee.

3 p.m. T and I have a problem. T is working on becoming a music supervisor and I think — while he won’t say it — he’s feeling anxious about it. But though that might contribute to things, it’s not the real problem — the real problem is that we never have sex anymore. Once a month, maybe, and I don’t particularly enjoy it. I’m truly unsure of what the issue is. I used to love sex.

These days I often feel like Samantha Jones when she lost her sex drive or broke her clit or whatever the spin was. It was so tragic for her, though, and I can relate! I used to be so sexual. Now I’d rather do anything else. I’m literally never horny. Never in the mood. But I love my partner and don’t want to have an affair. This is definitely an issue.

5 p.m. T and our son are home, so I put the computer down and make a pasta with meat sauce for all of us. We are a happy little family. We’ve decided to only have one child and give everything we have to him. Dinner is delicious, and T and I each have a glass of wine.

8:30 p.m. Baby is asleep and TV is on. This is when things always feel tense for me, because we should probably be cuddling or kissing on the couch, or at least thinking about it. But me? I just want to watch an hour of TV and then go to sleep. It’s that simple. It’s that straightforward.

10 p.m. I say good night to T — and the unspoken thing happens where he knows and I know that it’s another night where sex is off the table.


9:30 a.m. I have breakfast with my “mentor,” R, and tell her about my sexless relationship. It’s been since the baby, two years now. She asks what T is doing to turn me on more, or get us in the mood. The truth is, he’s doing nothing. I mean, he’ll be sweet and affectionate, but I think he’s mostly trying to follow my lead. He’s a very respectful guy, possibly too respectful, and I don’t think he’s the type to push me into anything I don’t want to do. But R says he should push me … in fact, he should push my head down. (In a sexy way, not a violent way of course.) Or I should push his head down! She’s probably right. That might turn me on.

11:30 a.m. After breakfast, I take the bus to Fairway to get things for our New Year’s Eve dinner party tomorrow night. I’m pretty good about shopping with a budget. I was raised by a single mother and we never had money, but we always had fun. I decide to make a one-pot, stir-fry dish and serve it with white rice. That, plus some crowd-pleaser apps like homemade guacamole, will be perfect party food. Someone else is bringing dessert. I requested anything with chocolate. For me, chocolate is better than any orgasm — especially these days.

6 p.m. The three of us are out getting pizza. I tell T about my breakfast with R and how she said our New Year’s resolution should be to work on our sex life. T perks up and we all (clueless son included) toast to that.

9:30 p.m. No sex, but a sweet and extra long kiss good night before I leave T to crawl into bed.


9 a.m. We take our son swimming on Sunday mornings. It’s the cutest thing. I watch T splash in the pool with him and my heart swells. It’s so weird to love my partner so much yet not want him to touch me sexually.

10 a.m. While they get changed in the locker room, I sit quietly on a bench, trying to recount the best sex I’ve ever had. I didn’t meet T until I was 35 so I definitely had a lot of boyfriends before him. The guy who kind of haunts my dreams was a huge, 6’5” guy who had a girlfriend. We slept together for about a year. I was addicted to him … to his cock. It was enormous, yes, but more than that — our parts were magnetically pulled toward each other. I was like a dog in heat. I’d practically hump him the minute I saw him. I remember trying not to come within seconds of hooking up with him, but it was usually impossible.

Was it because I couldn’t have him? He was never leaving his girlfriend. Was it simply our pheromones? I don’t know. I’m wet thinking about him, which I take as a positive sign. At least I still get wet. Did I mention it’s not even fun masturbating anymore? I do it out of habit, and I get off, but my orgasms are weak and it takes a lot more manual wetness from spitting on my fingers and stuff.

4 p.m. I spend the rest of the day working so that I can spend all of tomorrow cleaning and cooking for the party.

10 p.m. I kiss T good night and take my book to bed. He gives me the same sweet but slightly sad look as I walk toward our bedroom.


8:30 a.m. I’m lucky that there’s day care today. T and I go crazy cleaning our place. He puts on some good music (he knows all the good music) and we tear the place down in order to clean it deep and then put it all back together.

We’re really in sync cleaning and cooking — and it makes me think that we put too much pressure on sex. Like good sex means a good relationship and there’s no other way. Maybe sex is just not that important. Maybe sex is just one of the many things, no more or less important, that can make you great with each other. God, I just wish sex would go away. I’m sick of thinking about it and worrying about what’s wrong with me, or us.

3 p.m. The apartment looks great. Food is prepped. I decide to treat myself and get a haircut and blowdry before the party.

4:30 p.m. At the hair place I decide to spontaneously get bangs. New look, new sex drive? We’ll see.

5 p.m. Bangs are too short and I feel kind of ridiculous. Oh well, I’ll warm up to them.

5:30 p.m. T loves the bangs. He gives me a big hug and kisses my neck and says I look super sexy. It’s nice being in his arms. I let myself relax and indeed feel sexy.

7 p.m. Our son is asleep and two of the four couples we invited trickle in. T and I are feeling good. He looks great (did I mention I think my boyfriend is hot? That might not have come across in my anti-sex-ness), and I’m wearing a long silky dress. When I walk past T, he sorta grazes my ass with his hand. Not going to lie — I get tingles.

11:30 p.m. The party was a hit even though it was pretty much over by 11. We all have kids and don’t care about making it to midnight. I’m tipsy and determined to fuck my boyfriend.

Midnight Happy New Year! We go to our bed and I tell him to kiss my stomach. And then I instruct him to go lower … and lower … T’s pretty good at oral sex, good enough to get me ready for sex. He crawls on top of me and puts his dick inside and it hurts a little bit because it’s been a few weeks, but then it feels really, really, really good.


5:45 a.m. Well, that’s what you get for putting your kid to bed at 6:30 p.m. Happy New Year to us.

8 a.m. We all go to a local diner and have a fun holiday breakfast. T and I are extra glow-y because of the sex, probably, and our great party together. And great life together! Things feel nice.

10 a.m. We clean up the apartment while our son watches Sesame Street. My parents are coming over for lunch and leftovers soon.

12:30 p.m. My parents live in New Jersey and we see them about once a week. They’re wonderful grandparents. Things can get tense between us, though, because they’re not exactly anti-Trump. They don’t love him, obviously, but they’re working-class people who buy into some of his crap. T is a diehard liberal, so I always have to pray that the conversation doesn’t get too political. Luckily, this time, it doesn’t.

7 p.m. We put our son to bed and try to finish off a bottle of wine from last night. I tell T that it felt great to fall asleep in his arms. Without getting too serious, we have a short conversation about working on our sex life in 2019. I tell him I’d like him to work on turning me on more — even if that means starting with communication, or even something little like when he grazed my ass. He listens to me, and I think he really hears me.

10:30 p.m. We don’t have sex tonight, but it’s just because we’re so beat.


9:20 a.m. Back to reality! I’m working from a local coffee shop and these moms around me are so annoying. One has this loud, overly confident voice and she won’t stop talking about yoga classes and some life-changing retreat. She and her friend then switch to talking about some private-school fundraiser. These women are rich like all the moms in Brooklyn seem to be. I wonder if I even belong here anymore. Could this nagging sense that yuppy Brooklyn is wrong for me be the reason I never feel quite natural at home anymore? Hmm. Okay, I gotta focus on work …

3:30 p.m. T is working from home today too. Most of the guys in our neighborhood are very successful. And here he is, in his boxers. Is that the reason I feel less sexually charged than I want to? Ugh. I have to stop with these questions and self-doubt.

6:30 p.m. Back at the coffee shop to finish up my workday since it’s too chaotic at home. Another batch of moms now loudly and over-confidently talking about their kids testing for G&T (gifted and talented). Shut up, bitches.


10 a.m. I’m in the office today. My boss left a holiday present on my desk so I open it — it’s a box of super expensive chocolates. The note is very sweet and appreciative of my work. I eat the chocolates and call it breakfast.

1:30 p.m. I sneak out of work to get a cheap massage at some manicure place. As I sit in the massage chair, I try to consciously think more about the sex I’ve had in the past. I’m trying to locate what it is/was that made me so insatiable back then. What I come up with is that all the hot, steamy sexual memories involve hard-to-get and impossible-to-keep men who I sort of worshipped. Men with whom the anticipation of seeing them was foreplay in itself. How can I make that happen with someone I live with, somehow who loves me, someone who I’m raising a child with? That is the question.

6:30 p.m. Family dinner of pasta and a little wine.

9 p.m. We’re on the couch watching a really bad movie because we’ve gone through all the good stuff over the holidays. I tell T we should just go to bed. And then I can’t help but give him a look that says, It’s sexytime. He hops right up. We lie in bed, taking our time. We haven’t had a long, slow night of “lovemaking” like this in years. It’s really nice.

10 p.m. As I fall asleep I wonder if we’re getting back on track, what tonight really means in terms of the future of our sex life. And then I try not to think too hard about it — I love him, I love our son, and I love our life together.

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The Editor Wondering Where Her Sex Drive Went