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Hump Day: Sex After Motherhood

Welcome to Hump Day, TrèsSugar's sex advice column. If you have questions about sex, send them to TrèsSugar, and our friend Dr. Charlie Glickman from Good Vibrations will offer his sound advice!

Today's question:
Being a mother of a young child is exhausting and it’s hurting my sex drive even more. The more overweight I get, the worse my sexual desire becomes, the more modest I become. My husband turns to videos to keep him satisfied in between our low sex runs, because he knows I am tired and stressed and that I don't always feel like it. How do I become someone that has sexual confidence in the way I look and feel and become more ambitious in the bedroom?

To read Dr. Glickman's answer,


Thank you for being so upfront about this — it’s a very common experience. While I’m not a mother myself, I’ve heard from quite a few so I’ll pass their wisdom along.


There are lots of different types of physical touch. Since you’re probably getting plenty of opportunities to give it to your child, you might enjoy being on the receiving end. Would your husband be up for giving you a backrub? Or a footrub? If his technique needs some help, the books Sensual Massage and Lovers' Massage: Soothing Touch For Two have lots of great tips. If a DVD is more your speed, The Joy of Erotic Massage is a great one.

You might want to have the first few sessions not be about sex. Take it easy and simply enjoy the experience. Your husband might also enjoy it — while many men won’t admit it, sometimes they propose sex when they really just want physical touch.

As far as your self-confidence in body goes and your sexual ambition is concerned, there can be lots of root causes at play, so I’m hesitant to make a specific suggestion without knowing more about your situation. But don’t worry — I’m not going to leave you hanging. Check out Kristen Chase’s book, The Mominatrix's Guide to Sex. She offers a lot of open, frank talk about sex, bodies, relationships, and sex. Yes, I said sex, twice, because she talks about it a lot. She also talks about a lot of the different things that can come up on her blog.

I’m also wondering if any of your concerns about your appearance have anything to do with the fact that your husband’s watching porn. The vast majority of the women in porn are perky young things and you might feel like he’s comparing you to them, whether he is or not. That’s something that can certainly add to the difficulties and the two of you might need to talk about that.

I also wonder how much your husband helps you out. You don’t mention the specifics, so I don’t want to jump to conclusions. But it’s quite common for childcare and housework to not be evenly divided. Even mothers who work full-time put in more hours on housework than fathers. If that’s contributing to the situation, not only is that going to make you more tired, but it can also lead to feelings of resentment, which is a serious libido-killer.

If your husband’s porn use or contribution to the household chores are causing difficulties, I strongly suggest that the two of you talk about it. If you find that it’s hard to get the conversation started, or that it veers off course, a couple's therapist might be helpful. Their job is to help make it easier to talk with each other by making sure that neither of you feels attacked or gets spun out. If you can find someone who you can both talk with, it can make a big difference.

Whatever you decide to do, I hope that the two of you find your way through this.

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
kurniakasih kurniakasih 7 years
I agree with pop. I forced myself to 'get back out there' (sex-wise) b/c I've been where OP has been :) No matter how I felt unattractive, I have to remind myself, my hub does find me sexually attractive and I 'faked it until I made it.' And you will. And if you felt overweight (weighed down), I suggest that you snap out and start doing things that make you feel physically better about yourself instead of wallowing in that state of mind. I gained a lot of weight due to pregnancy and I had to force myself to be motivated to get back to my pre-pregnancy shape which is no easy feat when you're juggling work, household and kid. If you're that overwhelmed, start asking your husband for help around the house too (without nagging him), it'll make him feel better to help out and make your life easier. Basically, start making the steps to better your situation. And yes, do read Kristen Chase's, she's AWESOME. I love her blog too "Motherhood Uncensored," you'll see that you're not alone feeling that way and yes, you can get back out there. :) Good luck.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 7 years
If the guy needs porn to get through a sexual dry spell, let him watch it. Porn and masturbation are a good alternative to say, cheating, and most guys need some sort of sexual release. Someone mentioned the quote "fake it 'til you make it" to me the other day and that might apply here. I think that you might just need to force yourself to get back out there until you actually feel like doing it. Good luck.
starbucks2 starbucks2 7 years
My daughter is now 5 months old and after she was born, sex was the last thing on my mind. I was actually terrified. I felt fat, exhausted and I thought where my vagina used to be there must be a huge hole (sorry for the TMI). My tip (what worked for me anyway). First, just let it happen. It might feel awkward at first, but you'll soon realized nothing's really changed. If anything, it gets better. We both have a great appreciation for what my body has done. Second, exercise and diet. After only a week of regular exercise and eating right I felt great about myself (although I've still got a long way to go). And, the most important part, talk to your husband and let him know exactly what is going on with you!
cirrus1701 cirrus1701 7 years
I have no real advice, other than your doctor's office might be able to point you in the direction of a counselor. I'm just so very sorry for your loss. :(
bransugar79 bransugar79 7 years
This article was of particular interest to me since I'm facing a somewhat similar problem. I had a miscarriage in November and after being on bed-rest for months and not being able to have sex I thought I would be extremely ready for sex. The problem is I find myself not interested nearly as much as before all this happened. My husband has been amazing and he has helped me through emotional and physical recovery. I'm still going through some issues with the loss but I really want to revive my sex life, I just don't know how. I've tried taking it slowly and not pressuring myself to do it just to do it. My husband understands that I'm not as into it and he knows why, but I feel bad about separating myself from him this way. If anyone has any idea how to get past this and start to feel confident sexually please let me know. I'm not ashamed of my body physically, but part of me feels like it has failed me and I can't trust it anymore.
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 7 years
This is fantastic advice! I would also suggest that your husband stop watching the video's, and helps out around the house. With the spare time you'll have on your hands you can relax and treat yourself a little. If you're feeling awesome and relaxed the rest will come naturally.
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