The night I got asked to write this article I was lying in bed trying to get my child to go to sleep so that I could go and get laid.
I’d driven an hour and a half for this date, changed appointments around, sacrificed a much-needed nap, and washed my hair. This was not how I’d hoped it would go.
In my plan my child would go to bed at eight, I would then have three hours of hot sex and snuggling, and still get to sleep at a decent enough hour to wake up feeling refreshed the next morning. Of course, as usual, my optimism was completely misled.
Getting laid as a solo parent is SO much work.
There’s no ex to ship the kids off to every other weekend, so you’re completely reliant on friends and family to babysit. Most of my dates come from apps like Tinder, which is handy for people like me who don’t have the time to go out and meet people organically in bars. But you also don’t have the luxury of time (or of plentiful babysitters) to be able to meet these people for a casual coffee first, to suss them out and take it slow.
Usually, in order to optimise your precious child-free time, if it goes well you have to be prepared to cut straight to the chase the first time you meet. Then there’s the whole issue of where to…er… do the deed. If you live rurally, as I do, there’s no taxi to catch from the pub back to my place, and besides, personally I don’t like to invite new lovers into my child’s home. This means you either need to only date people who live near the pub (and who live alone) or you need to find a dodgy $40 a night Airbnb place around the corner from your babysitter’s house.
And this is all assuming you even manage to get to the meeting up point at all. Getting laid as a solo parent takes seven essential steps:
1. Establish when both you and the other person are free.
2. Ask your mum if she can babysit on that night. She of course can’t, but suggests another date when she can.
3. Get back to your hot date with the alternative date. They can’t do that day but suggest another day, which doesn’t work for you. Finally find a new date you are both free.
4. Ask your mum if she can do that night instead. She can’t. Repeat steps 3 and 4 several more times.
5. If the hot date is still interested by this point, marry them. Kidding. But definitely go out and buy some sexy new lingerie, 'coz this person is worth it.
6. On the day of the date, your child will definitely get sick. Cancel the date, and repeats steps 1 to 4 several more times.
7. Make it to the date, two months later, but better late than never.
You’re two hours late because your kid took way longer than usual to fall asleep. You’re so tired you’d rather be in bed, but you persevere. Drink too much wine to keep up the illusion that you are fun and full of energy.
Eventually make it to the bedroom and look longingly at the bed, but instead do a sexy striptease, taking pains to keep your soft post-pregnancy belly in the shadows.
Get down to business.
Realise very quickly that this person is really bad in bed.
Suppress rage that you wasted a child-free night on this when you could have been sleeping.
Wake up in the morning with a hangover and drive home to relieve your mum of your sweet but VERY energetic toddler.
We need to talk about blokes and orgasms: A sex column has gone viral after a guy asked for advice as to why his girlfriend was masturbating AFTER sex, that’s why it is time to talk about men and orgasms. The Mamamia Out Loud team discuss.
With more longer-term lovers you might start to get comfortable with having them visit you at home, child in tow. But as illustrated earlier, children are renowned for refusing to sleep at crucial horny moments.
This means you need to get creative.
You can put Peppa Pig on and then disappear into the bedroom for a really quick ****, but be warned that one episode lasts exactly five minutes.
While the ABC app is designed for each new episode to roll on seamlessly from the last, for some reason when you are trying to have sex this feature often stalls. I know there’s the age-old adage that all one needs is three minutes from go to YO! But in reality the whole thing takes a little more.
You need to get in the mood. Snuggle. Kiss. Whisper dirty words. Untangle the handcuffs and the strap-on harness and find the lube. These things take time. And it’s not easy switching between “sexy” and “mummy” every five minutes when your kid toddles in with your phone asking you plaintively “where’s Peppa gone?”.
But as hard as this all might seem, as a single parent, filmmaker friend of mine advised this is one time where having young kids is easier than older ones. For one, toddlers can be distracted with Peppa Pig. For another, they don’t bat an eye if mummy has a chain around her neck and a riding crop in her hand. They don’t know the difference between a groan and a moan, and they’re so self-centred that they will generally think any lover you have over is there to play trains, not to make mummy feel good.
Teenagers, I have been assured, are a very different story.
Just because you’re a solo parent doesn’t mean you can’t get laid. In fact, chances are you’re getting laid far more than your partnered parent friends are. Sure, dating won’t be the carefree experience it used to be, but then again, was it ever really that carefree?
At least now you’re so busy you don’t have the time to waste on dropkicks and bad sex. In my experience at least, thanks to all the hurdles of dating as a solo parent, once you do actually get there you’re actually far more likely to get the good-quality shags, even if there may be less of them in quantity.
And having a toddler who’s an early riser is the perfect way to get the bad ones out the door quickly the next morning, too.