It’s a cliché because it’s true: Men think about sex a lot— every seven seconds, according to one oft-repeated estimate. But just because we women have a few other things on our minds — the soccer-practice schedule, what to make for dinner, and where did I leave that brown sweater? — doesn’t mean we don’t have our own rich internal sexual lives. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t take a candlelit dinner or a bodice-ripping romance novel to get the average female thinking lusty thoughts. In fact, some of us are contemplating X-rated interludes while on the elliptical at the gym, while stuck in traffic, or even while on the couch during our favorite TV shows. And that’s a very good thing. Go ahead, indulge in a quick fantasy about the bag boy while you’re waiting on line at the grocery store — exploring your own imaginative hot zone keeps you connected to your sexual self, even when your real sex life is in a cool phase. REDBOOK asked three women to keep a journal for one week and honestly document their most intimate thoughts as they occurred. We hope these sneak peeks into other women’s sex lives will give you permission to think about sex just as often (or maybe even as little) as you want.
THE EXPECTANT MOTHER
Tracy,* 35, is a stay-at-home mom from San Antonio who is seven months pregnant. She and her husband have been married for 12 years and have a 3-year-old son.
• 6:45 a.m. Husband’s alarm goes off. He hits the snooze button and rolls toward me, arm draping over my pregnant belly. I think about whether or not there’s enough time to have sex. Then I remember him getting up at 2 in the morning to soothe our crying 3-year-old, so I decide to be still and just think about a morning quickie instead of having one. He’s snoring again anyway.
• 8:35 a.m. Feel slightly disappointed when husband says he will not be home at lunch today due to a meeting. Realize that I have been toying with the idea of a possible midday quickie to replace the lost one from this morning.
• 11:50 p.m. Taking a shower with new body wash that smells like gardenias. Suddenly, I’m in Maui on vacation again and can practically hear the waves off our lanai…remembering a back massage on the chaise lounge late one night and the vacation sex that followed. After my shower, we end up having nice, married, sleepy sex.
• 7:10 a.m. Three-year-old standing next to bed asking for pancakes. No quickie today!
• 10:15 a.m. I’m in the car with my husband and son on the way to the beach for the weekend. We’re waiting to drive through the car wash, and my shirt gets caught in the seat belt, exposing an unusual amount of cleavage. My husband asks if he’s about to get a little show while in the car wash. Before I can answer, our son starts singing, and that reminds my husband why there will be no show today. I’m remembering a few car wash escapades from the past, however. We both sit silently watching the water streams. I imagine that we are both remembering the same things.
• 10:20 p.m. Contemplating the options of our bedtime while we are sharing a room with a completely zonked-out little one. Hmm. Not gonna happen.
• 5:45 a.m. Awake for the umpteenth time…can’t get comfortable. Thinking about the 11 hot, long weeks left in this pregnancy. Husband stirs and rolls closer to rub my back. I wonder whether this is an I-can-tell-she’s-uncomfortable-so-I’m-going-to-be-nice back rub, or if it’s the other kind and he thinks it’s going to go somewhere. ‘Cause it’s not.
• 10 p.m. Little one finally asleep. Thinking I’ll probably need to take care of business on my own tonight if I’m going to have a chance at a better night’s sleep. Sometimes it’s just about me, and I like it to take exactly two minutes. One upside to pregnancy: The orgasms come more quickly and intensely — that is, if I can even get into a position that’s comfortable enough for me to masturbate!
• 7:15 a.m. Back home and still lounging in pajamas while the little one heads next door to Grandma’s condo. Husband and I might be alone for more than a few moments. I wonder if it will matter. I think briefly about getting back under the covers to see what happens, but there’s something in his voice, a little annoyed or something, so I don’t try to seduce him.
• 9:40 p.m. Husband is showering and claiming he’s going to bed right away. Well, that’s just too early. But I am anxious to get into my super-nice sheets after two nights on those cheap, rough ones from the hotel. I could be enticed. Surely he won’t mind if we don’t actually go to sleep for another hour or so? And I’m right!
• 6:35 a.m. Husband awake and reaching to hold my hand as our cat tries to snuggle up in between us. Thinking about the sex we had last night. He’s better now than he was in his 20s in so many ways. Time to get up and shower.
• 10:45 a.m. Get an IM from husband complaining that he can’t concentrate on his current project due to the images from last night flashing through his head. He wants to know if I’ll be home for lunch (wink, wink). Sadly, I won’t.
• 11:50 a.m. Sitting in a coffee shop, and a cute guy at the table next to me strikes up a conversation. He asks what I’m doing for lunch; would I like to join him? I decline and tell him that I have to go pick up my son. He seems a little surprised. I stand up and say good-bye, and he glances from my belly to my face and kind of half-laughs and nods his head.
• 11:50 p.m. Feeling very sick from pregnancy. Husband is rubbing my shoulders and trying to help me not throw up. I’m thinking I’m glad we had sex last night so I don’t feel guilty about feeling so unsexy right now. Some nights you get to have “college sex,” and some nights you just try not to throw up.
• 7:15 a.m. Still in bed. I can hear my husband in the kitchen figuring out breakfast for Little Mr. Starving-the-Minute-He-Wakes-Up. All I can think about is how great it would be to just stay in bed all day. There was a time in our lives when we could do that — and we did! There was a trip to the East Coast once when we didn’t leave the hotel room for almost 36 hours straight. Somewhere in there a pizza was delivered.
• 4:25 a.m. Awake. The dream I was having was really bizarre. Pregnancy dreams can be so weird. There was this odd kind of swinger situation going on. Now I’ll never get back to sleep.
• 2:15 p.m. Sitting in midwife’s office waiting room. Hard not to think about sex a little bit when surrounded by pregnant people and their partners.
• 9:30 p.m. Husband and I decide to get ready for bed and then watch the video of the ultrasound he missed today…but the DVD is blank. So much for semiromantic plans of getting snuggly and enjoying fuzzy black-and-white video of our next child. I clean the kitchen instead and put away some laundry. By the time I finish and get into bed, he’s asleep. As I nestle into bed next to him, I rub my belly. I’m hoping that we each bring our best selves to these first few months with a newborn. When you have a little person screaming at you every couple of hours, it’s easy to lose sight of the other people in your life who also need you…until they decide to start screaming too. I trust there will be a new sexual rhythm waiting to be discovered on the other side — and it will no doubt have a new layer of intensity to it that I’m looking forward to.
*All names have been changed.
THE MOODY MOMMY
Laurel, 37, is an office manager from Denver who is having trouble keeping the spark in her 14-year marriage. She has a 7-year-old daughter.
• 5:45 a.m. Wake up and contemplate dragging my listless body to the shower. I debate if a shower is really necessary or if extra sleep is needed. Then I think, What if we want to have sex tonight?! So, I drag myself to the shower.
• 7 a.m. I tell my husband about this journal I’m keeping, and he starts getting much more affectionate with me. He plants a big smooch on me, and I ask him if he’s trying to make me think of sex. He just smiles at me.
• 9 p.m. We’re in the living room watching True Blood on HBO, and I think about climbing on top of my husband. It’s been about two weeks since we’ve had any intimate time together. The kiddo is in bed, and the dogs are passed out on the floor. True Blood is a fairly racy show, and it really gets my blood pumping. I decide to just wait until we get to bed. How sad is that?! I was actually really into watching the show, and our TV room was freezing. Oy, vey, I am lame!!!
• 11:30 p.m. I fall asleep before my head hits the pillow.
• 7 a.m. Getting ready for work, I look at my birth control pills and realize that this is my last week before my period. Note to self: Must tell hubby that he has one week left to seduce me before Aunt Flo arrives.
• 12:30 p.m. Eating my lunch, thinking that I have been so tired and worn out that hubby and I are in the brother/sister stage again. I have no desire to be touched at all. It didn’t help that my hubby had the stomach flu all last week and I was scared to death he’d get me sick. I slept on the couch with the dogs and wouldn’t let him come near me.
• 6 a.m. Hubby wakes me this morning by kissing me on the cheek, but I’m still a little worried he’ll get me sick. Ugh, no desire yet again. And he needs to trim his beard which is scratchy. It’s not his fault I’m not aroused — I am pre-period bloated. I am puffy, irritable, craving Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls by the dozen. I feel totally unsexy. The zits on my face don’t help either.
• 7:30 a.m. Got a good night’s sleep and feeling cheery and chipper this morning. It must show because hubby is certainly paying lots of attention to me. I receive several kisses on the neck and a couple of great compliments from him on how cute I’m looking today.
• 6 p.m. Driving home and wondering if love is in the air. It’s spring break, and we have the kiddo home from school with us for the rest of the week. She is a heavy sleeper — if you get my drift! Yeah, I’d say the brother/sister feeling has fled. THANK GOD!!!
• 9:30 p.m. We get into bed, but I am so not in the mood. Hubby goes to hug me right before hopping into bed, and I’m like, eek!! I hope he doesn’t want to have sex tonight. I am not sure what is wrong with me. I blame PMS. This actually happens quite a bit. Like I get too overwhelmed by the thought of having sex, so I don’t want to get anywhere near him — not even for a hug. I am not sure how to describe it. It is sort of like his expectations overwhelm me and I retreat….
• 10 a.m. There is a blizzard going on outside, and we are house-bound as a family. No blizzard of lovin’ though — so sad. But thankfully, I went grocery shopping and have some Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls. Those are way better than sex. Well, not really, but the next best thing? Definitely!
• 5 p.m. We go bowling with my sister-in-law and her boyfriend, and it’s fun. My daughter loves to bowl. Every time I return from throwing a ball down the lane, my husband gets a funny look on his face. I realize he is checking out my butt when I bowl. I think it’s sexy. He makes sure to sit right where he can see me, and when I turn around, I get that knowing smile and eyebrow raise…. Not that I am a good bowler or anything, but it totally affects my game. All I can think about is that he is watching my butt! It makes me so happy to know that he still thinks I have a cute butt.
• 8 p.m. After the kiddo finally goes to bed, hubby and I sit down, open some wine, and end up having a little too much to drink. We then grab the camera and start taking silly drunk pictures of ourselves. We’re both laughing so hard, tears are running down our faces. I think this sparks our love senses or something, and we end up in the throes of drunken passion. It is fairly humorous, but much needed for our relationship.
• 12 p.m. Cleaning house. If that doesn’t kill the sex drive, I don’t know what will. Well, a crying child does too. My father-in-law comes over and brings Guitar Hero World Tour for my daughter. It comes with a mic, drums, and a guitar. The three of us rock the house. My husband is on guitar and does his best Jimi Hendrix impression. Then he has a go at playing the drums. He’s my sexy middle-aged rocker, and I think, Oh, yeah!
• 10 p.m. Hubby and I have both been extremely busy these past two months, and I have been a bit unreachable emotionally. I am working two part-time jobs, running my jewelry business, and raising an almost 8-year-old. Sex has been put on the back burner. We both feel out of sync with each other, and it shows in how we deal with each other in stressful situations. My husband and I really love each other and love to have sex. When we have sex more often, we get along really well. We both want more of it in our lives. It’s just hard sometimes to focus on that when so much is going on. At some point we’ll have to just say, “SCREW THE STRESS!” and, well, screw!
THE DARING DIVORCÉE
Bianca is a 40-year-old divorcée with two kids: a 21-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old son. This graphic designer from Clarkston, WA, found out how satisfying sex could be the second time around with a boyfriend who encourages her to explore.
• 5:45 a.m. Wake up from a dream about having lesbian sex. I couldn’t recognize any of the faces in the dream, but I’m turned on. I can hear my boyfriend, Matthew, breathing next to me. I think about waking him up but decide to let him sleep and masturbate instead. This wakes him up! We get out of bed and have breakfast.
• 8 a.m. Matthew leaves, and I take a bath so I can shave my legs. Begin fantasizing about letting Matthew watch while I masturbate for him.
• 8 p.m. Very busy day, ending with watching Ultimate Fighting Championship at a friend’s house. Watch opening to Keith Jardine fight and wonder, a few times, what it would be like to have sex with a man with that much self-control and focus.
• 10:30 p.m. Get home and have great sex with Matthew — much deviation in our technique tonight! I am incredibly lucky in that I’m almost always ready for sex. I think it comes from having 20 years of little to no attention from my husband, finding out what I was missing, and not wanting to lose a second more.
• 6:40 a.m. Decide to wake Matthew up with oral sex, and he’s pleasantly surprised.
• 7:10 a.m. While in the bath-tub, fantasize about having sex later tonight with Matthew.
• 2:15 p.m. Bored at work, I go to the bathroom and fantasize about masturbating after work.
• 8:15 p.m. Matthew and I pick up on our vibe from earlier this morning and have sex before bed. This is our usual routine — to have sex before we fall asleep in each other’s arms.
• 5:30 a.m. Matthew wakes up early to go to the gym. I stay in bed and masturbate thinking about a woman I saw on the street yesterday.
• 11:30 a.m. At my desk, I pass the time by fantasizing about having sex with the boyfriend. He is so good-looking, I feel lucky to be so turned on by him.
9 p.m. Great sex in bed, though it’s a little bit quick. We are both tired from a long day. Also, my son and daughter are both at home tonight. I am very careful about the rate at which I expose my kids to Matthew, and for now, he is not allowed to move in with me.
• 9:20 a.m. Sitting at my desk, I fantasize about masturbating in the bathroom at work, but decide not to do it. It may not be a very good idea — what if someone walks in?
• 5:20 p.m. Matthew and I have quick sex in the kitchen while we’re making dinner. The stir-fry gets a little soggy, but we don’t care. Of course it’s not appropriate to act on my urges when my kids are around, but that makes the times when I can act without thought that much more fun — and leads to great spontaneous things as well. All in all, I’m very happy with the way things are with Matthew.
• 2 a.m. Wake the boyfriend up for middle-of-the-night sex. I get on top, and from his moves and moans, he seems to enjoy it as much as I do.
• 7 a.m. We’re cleaning up the kitchen after breakfast. It’s a small kitchen, so the boyfriend and I are dancing around each other while putting milk in the refrigerator and dishes in the dishwasher. Being this close makes me think about being in bed with him.
• 6 p.m. Watch Transporter 3 and fantasize about having sex with Jason Statham.
• 12 a.m. I’m already asleep when Matthew initiates sex. I wake up, and at first I’m cranky, but once we start I’m glad we did. I did not receive much sexual attention during my 20-year marriage. My husband was otherwise engaged, having affairs with other women. The brief attentions I did receive were what I now know to be subpar. I could take sex or leave it, because what I knew was so unnotable. Imagine my surprise when I discovered with a very patient Matthew how much I truly enjoy sex!
• 8 a.m. Matthew and I have morning sex. It’s tender, and we go back to sleep after.
• 1 p.m. While surfing the Internet, I find myself thinking about what rougher sex might be like. I can’t really pinpoint why these things run through my head, but they do. Matthew is very encouraging when it comes to letting me experiment and express myself. I never feel like what I ask to try is out of bounds or weird. Consequently, we get to experience many different things.
• 1:15 p.m. Matthew comes into the room and sees what I’m looking at. We end up having sex in the living room without bothering to close the shades.
• 7 a.m. Matthew and I have sex for about an hour this morning, but I don’t come. This is very unusual for me.
• 10:30 a.m. Matthew comes into the bedroom where I’m reading quietly and spontaneously gives me oral. I orgasm in a way I haven’t in a long time. It was superintense.
• 3 p.m. After food shopping, I am putting groceries away and thinking about having sex with Matthew, standing up, in my pantry. I think I like the idea of moving our sexual activities out of the bedroom again, just to add some spice.
• 9:30 p.m. I am learning that being honest and open about the all of the things in my life helps me gain a more fulfilling sex life, and that having a partner who encourages and embraces those facets of my personality is essential to my happiness. Luckily, I have found that in Matthew. I’m not as confident as I would like to be yet. I still have feelings of inhibition and shyness, and I often feel that I don’t have what it takes to be “sexy.” I want that type of confidence. I want to feel sexy for me, not for anyone else — not even Matthew, as much as I love him. I want it for me. Every day I get a bit closer — and the journey is definitely enjoyable!