Sex and Motherhood: Reclaiming Your Body
The messages are everywhere: sex is for men, women are for men’s sexual pleasure… and what about sex and motherhood? Do mothers feature at all?
Lots of men and women still struggle – at least on some level – to integrate the idea of a woman as both a mother and a sexual being.
We expect mothers to be dutiful, and lustfulness and duty don’t really go together!
Some of us come from backgrounds where women’s sexuality has even felt like some big, dirty secret.
When a man becomes a father, it’s seen as an addition to his existing roles.
When a woman becomes a mother, it’s seen as overtaking hers.
For some women, pregnancy and motherhood bring a new sense of womanliness and sexual confidence.
But it’s not like that for everyone. Lots of mothers (and some fathers) get in the habit of refusing sex. Sometimes this happens before they’ve had a chance to get in the mood, or even think about what might make them want to.
There are plenty of reasons to say no: fatigue, rage, resentment at feeling unsupported, carrying the mental load, doing more than your fair share of the work.
Mothers of young children often give all day in very physical ways. Feeding and carrying babies, changing nappies, cooking, and endlessly tidying up after everyone.
Does sex feel like something your partner wants from you? Something they give to you? Or something you share?
When sex feels like it’s for you, it can be a way of reclaiming your body from your children at the end of a long day.
When they go to bed, the motherly part of you can go with them.
The evening can be yours again, to rediscover what it is to desire and be desired, and to focus on what brings you pleasure.
Sex And Motherhood: When She Wants It More Than Him
For women in relationships with men, being the one who is more up for having sex can sometimes feel isolating, confusing, and painful.
The idea that sex is something that women grudgingly give to men (who are always up for it) is unhealthy and untrue. But it’s all around us. And these stereotypes have an impact.
If you’re a woman who feels sexual desire more readily and/or more often than your partner, you might find yourself feeling undesirable, insecure, and isolated, especially if you’ve been rejected often.
Initiating sex is a vulnerable move for everyone. And expectations around gender roles can make it particularly difficult for women, who sometimes feel embarrassed or worry about it being unfeminine.
Concern about putting pressure on your partner can be particularly acute for women, especially where sexual dysfunction is an issue.
When a woman craves her partner, his touch, and to feel intimacy with him, rejection hurts. You might feel like withdrawing.
And communication around this topic can be difficult, with gender norms again playing into it.
Cultural expectations around masculinity can leave men who feel less desire than their partners feeling anxiety, guilt, pressure, and stress. They often worry that they’re not good enough, not manly enough, or not meeting their partner’s needs.
Honest, open communication is the best path to alleviating that pressure and feeling close again.
Speak to your partner from a place of empathy, acknowledging and validating their feelings and experience.
If you’re struggling to have this conversation on your own, couples counselling can really help.
Sex And Motherhood: Reclaiming Your Sex Life After Baby
Have you been struggling with sex and motherhood? In Back In The Sack, you’ll find all the most useful information you need to find a way back to having regular, satisfying sex, all in one place, simply laid out.
This workbook will support you to make the changes you want to your sex life, whether you work through it on your own or with your partner.
It’s packed full of super clear information on:
- The typical pattern that couples get into that limits physical and emotional intimacy, and how to break it
- Why going from “Mum” or “Dad” to lover feels so difficult sometimes, and what you might need to think about and do to make it easier
- How to get out of your head and into your body – where pleasure happens
- Breaking patterns of initiation and rejection that leave you both feeling bad
Plus over 30 reflection questions to help you to think through:
- Why sex matters to you, and how you’ll benefit from having more of it
- What’s holding you back, and how you can overcome your blocks
- How your body has changed and your needs might have done too
- What you need to start feeling sexy and enjoying sex again, and how you can get those needs met
And finally, there’s a section on talking about sex, with plenty of tips and those crucial examples to help you to start the conversation.
Download the workbook today and discover how you can shift your mindset, make sex a priority again, and get back in the habit of enjoying each other.