Not Much Intimacy and Not How I Like It

© PENELOPE PEZ

I’ve just had a baby 5 months ago and since she was born we’ve barely had sex. My partner and I had lots of problems and arguments while I was pregnant but that didn’t stop him from wanting sex before work, after work and once in bed. Since having the baby, we said things in anger to each other that hurt both our self esteem and we’ve barely had sex. I confronted him about our sex life – why doesn’t he do what I like in the bedroom? Why is  his orgasm always the first and only? How can I make him touch me how I’d like him to and how can I get him to be more attracted to or want more sex with me? I’m not your average sexy person, I’m too uncoordinated to be sexy and have no confidence in my body after what he’s said to me, so how can I fix this?

Dear Fran,

Your self-confidence seems to be in shreds which is a great pity when you have just brought a life into the world, which is a wonderful feat. Iconic singer Chaka Khan wore crop tops when she was pregnant, painting suns and moons on her bump to celebrate the life growing inside her. She wore crop tops again after giving birth showing off her flabby tummy – she was proud to have given birth and gladly showed it off.

That’s not to say that giving birth and raising a baby is not challenging and stressful. It involves several changes, and adapting to these changes, on different levels – for both parents.

From what I can gather, you would like to repair the rift that has grown between you and your husband. The problem does not seem to be that he doesn’t find you attractive after giving birth. There were problems before – that still need to be resolved. Or you must find a new way of relating to each other to bring more harmony into the way you both communicate your needs.

Sometimes we end up saying hurtful things to each other in a bid to get across our frustrations, or our own hurt feelings that we may have been storing inside for a long time. It seems to come out all wrong and instead of making the situation better, it actually gets worse. But it may all be part of the process – there is more than one way home, right?

Your sexual satisfaction needs to be addressed in a non-confrontational way. You can’t be blamed for feeling hurt that your husband is satisfying only his own needs during sex. It is only natural to expect your husband to be considerate of your own sexual needs and desires and to want him to want to please you. There may be more to this then him being selfish. He may have been unaware of his role as a lover to gauge your responsiveness to his love-making and the extent to which heights he could take you to by acting in a way you find stimulating. Or he may have thought that what he was doing is enough. Your confrontation may have stung his pride and his confidence got knocked down. If he is feeling helpless not knowing what to actually do to please you, you may have to take the reigns in your own hands and lead the situation gently.

It starts by you starting to feel sexy and banishing negative thoughts about yourself, no matter what anyone else may have said. Feel good for yourself first and foremost. Remember that when someone is critical, unless it is constructive criticism, it is about their own agenda, not about you.

Sexy is about how you feel not what you look like. You may want to direct your focus away from your husband for the time being and focus on building up your confidence. Try taking up yoga or pilates – anything you enjoy that will make you feel graceful and put a spring in your step. Once you’re feeling balanced you can find it in you to deal with this issue confidently with kindness, patience and understanding to achieve what you want from your marriage without going into attack or defence mode. Of course, your husband must be willing and open to learning too.

If you need further guidance making an appointment with a sex/relationship therapist may be helpful. Cana Movement also offer marriage counselling (Tel: 22039300/315).

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