Between killing spontaneity, playing favourites, and ruining the mood with room-clearing farts, pets can be a real boner-killer. We all know that adopting a pet comes with a lot of responsibility, but few people consider the effects that a furry friend can have on one's sex life. Here's how to deal with some of the most common complaints.
Picture: Javier Brosch/Shutterstock
Problem #1: Your Partner Pays More Attention To Your Pet Than To You
This is far and away the most common complaint I get from my sex therapy clients. I hear things like, "She spends all evening cuddling the cat but says she's too tired to spend any time with me" and "he tells me I'm being 'mean' if I ask to put the dog in the kennel so we can be alone." Pets are adorable, and are easier to dote upon than their more emotionally complex owners. But feeling like you're lower on the totem pole than your animal stings.
It's important to talk to your partner about the role that your pet plays in your household. Share the specific ways that your partner's relationship with your pet is hurting your feelings, and talk about how you can make each other feel like the priority. Simple things, like greeting each other before saying hi to your pet, or doing activities together without your furry friend, can go a long way.
Problem #2: You Can't Get Alone Time
It's hard to get alone time away from a creature that can't walk over to it's friends house for a few hours, and doesn't understand what a sock on the doorknob means. Lots of couples spend all of their time together also being shadowed by their pet. Sexual spontaneity with a pet in the house in hard!
Ask your partner to spend quality alone time with you, with your pet closed in the other room, secured in the backyard, or in a kennel. Make sure you have regular date nights away from your pet. You can also try to find a reliable pet sitter who can get your pet out of the house for hours or even an entire weekend. Staycation, anyone?
Problem #3: Your Pet Is A Cock-Blocker
It's great to have a pet who is cuddly and affectionate, but some pets can get overly attached to being right by your side. Pets that sleep in your bed can make it physically and mentally difficult to initiate sex. Some pets can even get protective or jealous, and can try to jump in between the two of you when you're trying to hug or kiss. I've even heard stories of animals going on the attack when their owners are mid-coitus.
If you want to save your genitals from claw and bite marks, you must close the door when you have sex! I know it sounds harsh, but a no-furniture rule can be a life-saver. You can work with a trainer or follow instructions on YouTube training videos. Ignore your pet's attempts to get in between the two of you, and give it a toy or treat to play with as a distraction.
Problem #4: Your Pet Cries Or Whines When It's Alone
Some pet owners close the bedroom door when they want to get down to business, only to have their pet start scratching or whining at the door. Thanks Fido! Nothing sets the mood quite like hearing you go apeshit just a few feet away.
This happens most often with dogs, so try crate training your pooch to help it be more comfortable alone. Crate training can be rough, especially if you didn't start early with your pup, but it's what's best for all of you. It's OK to take a moment with your partner to acknowledge your frustration or sadness, but try your best to ignore what's going on on the other side of the door. Crank up some music if it helps!
Problem #5: Your Pet Gives You "Judgy" Looks After You Have Sex
This is an actual complaint I have heard from multiple clients. I have a pug, so I know that pets can give some serious meaning-laden side-eye. But listen, you're the adult in the household, and you're going to have sex regardless of how Bella feels about it. She'll survive.
Problem #6: Your Pet Doesn't Like Your Partner
Your pet might not be so keen on sharing your attention with someone else, whether it be someone you just brought home for the night, or a serious new partner. It may retaliate by eating or destroying their clothes, growling, hissing, or even scratching or biting.
This is perhaps one of the most difficult situations to work with, so it might be best to bring in the assistance of a pro. A trainer can teach you how to handle your pet's jealousy or teach it that you don't need "protecting", and can help longer-term partners develop better relationship with your furball.
Make sure you take these factors into consideration before making the long-term commitment to pet ownership! (That hamster sure is starting to look a lot more tempting, isn't it?)