I know for some people they may go through a sexual drought after being single for a long time, but for me it was after being in a relationship for a long time. I was still attracted to my partner, but I think amongst other things maybe I wasn’t attracted to me, I just didn’t feel like a sexual being. Circumstance and lack of opportunity were also a factor, but when you are not in the mood lack of opportunity is just a good excuse.
So how long was this drought? – about a year.
After our second baby was born life just kicked the shit out of me. Our first baby slept in our bed and I got lots of sleep, recovered quickly, was high on life and my cute new little buddy. Other mothers complained of sleeping issues but that just passed me by. I had time for walks, relaxing, I still looked young. After about 9 months my body looked the same as it did before, not that I was even bothered, it was a novelty to watch my body grow for this baby. My baby was healthy and all the fears and unknowns I had about birth and what my child would be like were answered. But of course I wanted this baby to have sibling, cue baby number two.
Baby number one was not a planned conception, but when it happened we were at a time in our lives when it was now or never. Baby number two however was not as keen to arrive. Months of disappointment, working out their potential birth date, deciding it would be perfect, and then to not be pregnant. Looking for tell-tale symptoms that didn’t come to fruition. Interestingly the month I did get pregnant I went on a dog walk and every sign I noticed seemed to be telling me yes, and they were right. The previous month I had walked the same dog route and the signs were pointing out a ‘no’ to me. The answers are often there if we look for them, if this concept interests you see my blog post Give me a sign!
So from the get go, a different experience for me. The second pregnancy was more uncomfortable, I felt sick when I didn’t the first time, I got stretch marks that I didn’t the first time, and after the initial joy at finally getting pregnant I was not happy with my changing body, it was inconvenient, it was hard to pick up my other child, it was awkward to clean the house, and overall I wasn’t getting as much rest as I did first time round due to already being a mum.
The birth was quicker but much more painful, both were water births about the same amount of time overdue, but first time round I would have called it discomfort, second time I would definitely call it pain. Having had baby number two born at 9am I was home by lunchtime, straight back to it, not much of a break but at least I could get settled in at home.
Now of course I already knew what I was doing right? I’d do exactly the same as I did with my first baby, everything went so smoothly the first time it would be easy. Well baby number two wasn’t on board with this plan. And funnily enough baby number one still needed looking after too, although now aged 3 they had different needs at different times and nothing felt easy or fun.
I seem to have gone off topic here, but the point is I wasnt getting enough sleep, the baby was colicky and hard to settle, wasn’t interested in sleeping next to me and woke every couple of hours. Older child would wake baby and need occupying and feeding too of course. I was screwed. Looking back at pictures of myself with my first baby I now looked like I’d aged ten years since and I laughed at the nativity of my former self enjoying motherhood.
A few months in I tried to get ‘back on the wagon’ sexually and sent my husband a sex date request. Physically I don’t think I was ready and this put me off for a while longer. We always used to be sex in the morning kind of people, but when you are woken by small people before you are ready to be awake, those relaxed encounters between us were no more. If there was any free time in the day it would be spent catching up on sleep. It was Christmas about 6 months after the baby was born, my husband bought me a sex toy – it was not welcomed.
There has been times in our relationship when I was the one nagging for action, he was more sympathetic than I was but his needs are easily dealt with in the garden shed whereas I wanted the emotional contact rather than just a sexual release. I’d actually tried touching myself a few times in that year to see if there was any spark, but nothing, I thought I was actually broken. It wasn’t until my baby gave up breastfeeding (all of a sudden with no warning) at 11 months that any kind of sexual sensation began to return to me, maybe I wasn’t broken after all. Breastfeeding didn’t affect my body that way first time round, so even the same body can react differently at different times.
So now I felt physically ready, but ahh how do I approach this now, I had no idea how to initiate sex after such a long break. I don’t think we had sex much during that second pregnancy either I was so uncomfortable (first pregnancy I was enjoying my curves and we were trying old wives tales to bring on the baby – different world). When you are not used to communicating with each other physically but you have been living together, it actually becomes awkward to change the status quo. We needed a training course, or a sex workshop, but we didn’t even have a babysitter nevermind the luxury of romantic retreats or a night out.
I’m pleased to report we are back in action, on the same page, the same wavelength and even though we are not having sex as much as say when we first met, when we do it is good! And after ten years together I still fancy my husband (even though he equally annoys the crap out of me at other times, see my other blog post I’ve realised what I blame him for).
So what is the cure to a sexual drought when you are in a relationship? The deep end approach didn’t work for me, but here is a back to basics, ten step guide to help you journey from zero to sexual hero: Ten Days Back to Love, it’s a few dollars on kindle, have a look, and if you’re in the sharing mood let us know how you go in the comments.