The problem with getting your sex life back on track once you’re a parent is that you can’t even remember what normal sex is supposed to be anymore. Is it the spontaneous stuff that used to happen in the olden days? When life was just one long prance in a cornfield, and no one had any place to be. She’d have flowers in her hair, you’d have lipstick around your nipples, then you’d lay down and shag under the stars for hours at a time. Is that what it was like? Was foreplay you singing a song on a ukulele?

I’ll tell you what it wasn’t like. It wasn’t like the weeks/months/years you spent trying for a baby. That doesn’t even count as sex at all. That’s just two businessmen meeting in a featureless hotel room and signing a contract with their genitals. That’s a science seminar that no one enjoyed as much as was advertised. Two lovers phoning it in, making the right amount of noise to ensure spirits aren’t completely broken. It’s actually a well-known fact that all children are conceived in the missionary position by two people thinking about work.

Normal sex isn’t “pregnant sex” either. You self-consciously trying not to enjoy yourself for fear of coming off as a fetishist, her doing everything she can not to fart. Also, you’re a dad now, which means you once confessed your paranoia about hurting the foetus with your penis, only to be met with a chorus of hysterical, mocking laughter. That still stings a bit doesn’t it? Was she laughing because it’s biologically impossible to have a dick big enough to reach the womb? Or because you’ve got a small willy? Either way, none of that could be described as normal sex.

Pornography isn’t normal sex. That’s just cartoon characters having cartoon shags. And while we’re at it, your old version of normal sex isn’t even normal sex anymore anyway. Sex has consequence. You’ve seen what happens when sex takes on its pure biology and becomes merely about planting a seed, and watching it grow. It’s almost an absurd thing to do now, a pantomime. Sex without making a baby is surely just masturbation, so what does that make masturbation? It’s all very confusing.

But here’s the thing. You will have sex again. Even within the shackled confines of legal conjoinment (is a word!), the famous Kinsey Institute states that almost half of married couples have sex 3-4 times/month (with the rest doing it more, or less, or, for a tiny minority, not at all), so statistically, your engine is set to rev once more. This might take some time. If you’re new parents, lore dictates that you must leave it for around three months before any boning recommences, and it MUST strictly be on her terms. After all, you’re not the one who pushed an orange through your penis.

It may be less frequent than you remember, you may start to value sleep over shagging, her boobs might be largely off-limits because she’s breastfeeding. You might even need to schedule it in, literally find a time in the diary when you can both commit to a quick leg-over. You may need to grow a thicker skin, to understand that sex doesn’t always equate to how she/he really feels about you. You might need to learn that there’s no such thing as a “right”, nor a “wrong” amount of sex to have when you’re parents. That however much sex you’re having, be it once a day, or twice a year, is the right amount.

The key thing is to talk about it. Keep communication lines open at all times.

Oh, and use protection. Because remember what happened last time?