Discussing the birds and the bees with your kids is a nightmare. But it’s even worse when your own urges vanish. It’s a tough (and hardly talked-about) topic. We turned to sexologist and sexuality educator Logan Levkoff for some answers.
How do you deal when you get the six-week “go ahead” after giving birth but you’re not ready to give the green light?
“Go ahead” simply means that physically you can have sex. But your partner won’t (and can’t) hear it that way. Granted, it’s not his fault. He has no idea what it feels like to have a multipound entity emerge out of his penis. So it’s our job to school them.
Class is in session. Opening remarks?
Most of us want nothing to do with sex until long after six weeks. We’re exhausted, we may still be spotting, and we’re most likely terrified of the potential pain. Let him know where your anxiety comes from and come up with solutions together. Don’t have uncomfortable, partner-pacifying sex.
Let’s talk tatas. I feel like my partner and my baby are in a battle for my boobs.
Whether he likes it or not, if you choose to breastfeed, he loses. Breastfeeding can confuse some men — they begin to think that they aren’t “needed” by us or the kids. But they should think of this as an opportunity to experiment. While one erogenous zone may be off limits, there’s plenty of uncharted territory to explore. (Just remind him that going right for the groin isn’t a turn-on.)
After delivering a baby, sex “feels” different, right?
Having a baby is physically traumatic. If you’re anxious and you tense up, sex is going to suck. You won’t be well lubricated, you won’t be emotionally into it, and your partner will probably sense your hesitation.
Stellar. What can we do to improve between-the-sheets action?
Doctors recommend Kegel exercises. Using lubricant during sex is essential. And a little erotica to get you in the mood doesn’t hurt either.
But sometimes all you want to do after the kids go to bed is put on pajamas and watch Top Chef.
I understand the need to tune out the rest of the world, but that can last only for so long. Sometimes doing it first on your own makes it easier to tackle with someone else.
Wait, you don’t mean … ?
Yes. It gives you an opportunity to remember what pleasure feels like without the pressure of having another person there. After a while, you’ll realize that pleasure is possible again and that you want to experience it with your partner.
Then let nature take its course.
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Photos: Christopher Watson / Flickr; Courtesy of Tiny Prints; Courtesy of Little Bean; Courtesy of Filter US Recordings