Like anything having to do with sexuality or even humanity, there is no single experience when it comes to the effect that having a baby can have on your sex life. The commonly heard story is that parents don't have very much sex, due to chaotic hormones, exhaustion and lowered body confidence. But there's more than one narrative and infinite dimensions to this life changing experience so we asked some members of the Nox Community to share theirs;
One of the interesting challenges about sex after having kids is getting comfortable with the less sexy dimensions of sex. But this can really bring you closer to your partner, which is great for your sex life in the long term. Basically what I'm saying is, it's hard to be spontaneous, and it's hard to feel sexy, in the months after having a baby (or even, truthfully, the years.) But you don't have to be afraid of that loss of spontaneity -- you can embrace it. Scheduling your sex seems like such a buzzkill but it really doesn't have to be. There's always the initial dorkiness of "Ah yes, it is now the hour that we agreed upon, we shall now have sex," but if you can laugh through that part, before you know it you'll be actually getting it on, and hopefully actually enjoying yourself.
I found it useful to schedule sex when I was a new mom because it gave me time in advance to get into my sexual brain. My mind was so far from sex pretty much all the time while taking care of my young kids that I needed a few hours to prepare myself, to re-embody my sexual self.
I was feeling myself, maybe for the first time.
I know my experience may not be what people are used to hearing about sex after baby, but for me it was actually an awakening. That's not to say I was raring to go right after our baby was born, I certainly was not. I went through the more typical experience of being afraid it would be painful, feeling a general disinterest and complete and total exhaustion. But as some time passed and scars healed, I became in awe of my body. The same body that had felt inferior in small but nagging ways before now felt totally new and perfect in its supposed flaws. I was feeling myself, maybe for the first time.
The actual sex was better too. Hesitation towards penetrative sex forced me and my partner to slow way, way down. We explored oral sex more and focused on good ol' fashioned hand jobs. After years of sex with the same person, sometimes you forget to slow down and explore each other. This was a perfect reminder to do just that. My orgasms became much more intense and much easier to come by and once we started having sex again it was actually much more comfortable that before. The moments when the babe was sleeping and we could get it on, put us into a goofy overdrive that reminded me of getting it on as soon as your parents left the house as a teen. Five years down the road and I'm happy to say it hasn't worn off ;)
I had a C Section, so sex after baby didn’t come with all of the typical pain that some people experience after a baby. From a physical standpoint, it mostly felt the same.
I had a lot of round ligament pain and pelvic prolapse during pregnancy, so I sought out a post-natal physiotherapist who not only helped me heal physically from the surgery, but also helped me uncover a whole slew of problems that had been making sex pretty painful for me for the past few years. It turned out I needed to do reverse kegels and actually find a way to relax my pelvic floor — literally the exact opposite of what every Goop article ever told me. Since then, sex has actually been really enjoyable for the first time in a long time, despite the fact that I am super lucky to have a long-term partner who has always been patient and slow and worked with me based on my pain and comfort levels. I would highly recommend a pelvic floor specialist if you’re experiencing any kind of pain or discomfort during sex.
From an emotional standpoint, that’s a whole other ball of wax! I’m so proud of my body for what it was able to achieve during pregnancy — growing a human is pretty miraculous — but I still don’t totally feel like myself four months later. I feel flabby and soft. My bras don’t fit well, and lingerie feels more utilitarian than sexpot these days. There’s usually some combination of baby spit up and dry shampoo in my hair. I don’t feel pretty, and sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever feel attractive again. But, I’m trying to take this opportunity to take things slowly, to rediscover what I like and use the vulnerabilities to open up new possibilities and experimentation in the bedroom. I realize that love, patience and understanding are my greatest turn ons these days.