How I changed my view of my sexuality after children.
In my teens and early twenties, I had struggled with an eating disorder.
On the other hand, pregnancy, for me, was a very positive experience. I liked my extra curves and found peace in my body. However, I started to question my own sexual narrative.
Motherhood is a very introspective time, especially when you have a daughter – a tiny, innocent version of yourself.
Over the past five years, I’ve had three children in total (currently, 1, 3, and 5) and with each baby I’ve gained a new perspective on my past.
I have had sex for many reasons in my life; for fun, as a distraction, for power, to please someone else, to please myself, out of grief and guilt (during my eating disorder I had sex after drinking to try and burn calories.)
In my mind, I’ve always been the dominatrix in my sexual resume; under control and in my comfort zone. But, is it really true?
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After motherhood, some memories started to come back. As a teenager, saying “yes” to my then-boyfriend after saying “no” five times because the car doors were locked.
In my twenties, I sobbed on my wedding night, because my husband couldn’t play due to his terminal illness.
In the months that followed, sleep with anyone rather than sleeping alone.
With motherhood can come heartbreak, for the times you’ve neglected your own needs – for the times you haven’t mothered yourself.
Suddenly, I found myself triggered by sex or, worse, saddened by it.
My husband, the father of my children, was confused when my libido plummeted – and who can blame him?
It wasn’t as simple as explaining, “I need some sleep and a good lube.” How to explain that twenty years of sex education take place in real time?
I am not the only mother to find myself in this space. With my closest mom friends, sex is a hot topic of conversation, discussed like newbies rather than adults who have given birth to humans.
Our honesty binds us, but it also breaks my heart to hear how much “not enough” enters into our sex lives.
We know that we have less sex than we do without children. Our partners feel neglected and we want to make them happy. However, we also want to honor ourselves – perhaps for the first time in our sex lives since puberty.
Looking back on my sex life feels like watching a movie made in the 70s.