Getting Back To Sex After Giving Birth
Most Love & Hip Hop New York fans either cringed or laughed when new mom Cyn Santana referred to Joe Budden as having “senior citizen a– d-ck.” Cyn was pissed off about the lack of sex they’ve been having since having their son and she was open about the fact that she’s been seeking validation from Joe because she isn’t comfortable with the changes of her postpartum body. Joe, on the other hand, tired from working and parenting, just wants to sleep and even told Cyn he’d be cool if they never had sex again. Their situation is unique in that it’s the new mom in the relationship who wants sex but isn’t getting her needs met. However, a lack of sex isn’t uncommon for a lot of couples who have new babies, but it’s possible to get your groove back with time.
When we reached out to Dr. Gail Wyatt, a clinical psychologist, sex therapist and professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UCLA for insight, she let out a shocked and palpable, “WHOA!” after hearing about the comment Joe made on the Breakfast Club about not needing to have sex with his partner anymore. His response, she said, is most definitely on the extreme end of the spectrum.
“Sometimes rappers put out the image that they’re having a lot of sex but they may not be or they may not be enjoying sex,” Dr. Wyatt explained. “There may be some dysfunction there with how they view sex or even women, so that’s something that would need to be explored with therapy.”
Most couples, however, are able to get back in the saddle—pun intended—before therapy becomes necessary. According to Dr. Wyatt, most often, the woman isn’t comfortable with her body and may not be interested in having sex, while men are sometimes afraid of hurting their partner. There’s also the exhaustion factor or even nervousness about the baby being near you, or even in another room, which can lead to sex falling completely off the table. Rediscovering the intimate bond that connected you in the first place is a good way to reestablish sex as a possibility.
Touch is a great first step to rebuilding intimacy, Dr. Wyatt said. Create a relaxing setting with soothing oils, music, dim lighting and work your way slowly around each other’s bodies until both people feel aroused and ready for intercourse.
“If it’s too painful, there’s too much pressure, there’s not enough time, or not adequate privacy, starting back with massage again and starting slowly until both partners are ready is ideal,” she explained.
Speaking of adequate time, couples who can should consider baecations or staycations. It could be a day, a week, or even a weekend away without distractions and as much sex as you can manage.
“Couples need to know the value of taking what my husband and I used to call a honeymoon. Those would be weekends away and, somehow, that word became acceptable to our children. When we needed to have a honeymoon they didn’t protest, and when my mother came to stay with them, they were okay,” Dr. Wyatt said. “You’ve got to find a way of talking about the need for grown-up people to be away and to have time to relax, sleep, and to try to have sex with each other. Don’t let those weekends go by with nothing that goes on.”
Starrene Rhett Rocque is the author of Bloggers Can’t Be Trusted, and a Brooklyn-based digital content producer who has worked with Hello Beautiful, Teen Vogue, IMAN Cosmetics, Complex and more. She is two years deep into life as a mom.