I am 32, loving wife, mother of one gorgeous boy and 12 weeks pregnant. I’m desperate because I feel so incredibly sad that I’m struggling to be interested in sex the way I used to be – and I think my husband is the same. This has been an ongoing and increasingly pressing issue even before our son was born. My orgasm has slowly become less and less intense and harder to achieve and quite frankly I’m bored with sex. I’ve been watching porn and fantasizing/ masturbating and now I think maybe that’s made things worse, as it’s like I’ve become dependent on those images to become aroused. My husband is distant and I feel insecure (or just undesirable, I guess). When we have sex I want it to be over, and lucky for me I think my husband feels the same and so it’s quite mechanical and short lived. I’ve been reading about tantric sex – maybe that would help but my husband is reluctant to change anything in our ‘routine’ and he won’t talk to me!!!!!! Just finished reading a terrible book! ’50 shades of repetitive’ – but I must admit I’m jealous of the characters’ “drive” and “passion” for eachother. I want that. And I feel like any drive that I do have left is slowly diminishing until one day I’ll be a frigid old shriveled sultana . Please help?
Dear Afraid of Losing Your Sexual Connection,
First off, good for you for your willingness to ask hard questions and not give in to what so many believe is fate. Your issue is more common than not. Most women go through a dramatic shift in their sexuality as they become mothers. You are living in a completely new hormonal soup and it makes a difference to how you respond sexually. On top of that, it sounds like your intimate relationship is also being impacted by these new roles, which is also completely common. There are dozens of books you can read about how parenting kills your sex life.
As a married woman with four grown kids I can assure you it doesn’t have to be that way, although I do have vivid memories of a period of time when my sexuality with my husband was limited to very few activities that we both felt “worked” for us. The routine did get boring and all hell broke loose when it didn’t work. Moving beyond mechanical sex is about more than just the sex. You write that your husband won’t talk to you… How can you expect to light a fire with someone where there is no air to feed it?
Fantasy and pornography can be healthy additions to a sex life that wants to grow- in fact, I would argue that sex without fantasy most often reverts to routine. Learning how to share this activity and bring it into the intimate dynamics of coupling is how we grow up sexually. It takes time, curiousity and a willingness to become more naked together. A great book for some exercises to help you is Tammy Nelson’s Getting the Sex You Want.