You mentioned your kid having an impact on your sex life and I was wondering if you could help me with a bit of an issue with me and my wife.
We both identify as switches and our play often encompasses a wide spectrum of different kinds of power dynamics. Most people don’t get it but we’ve been together almost five years and it’s always worked great for us.
Six months ago we had a baby. Our first. And I couldn’t be happier.
But my wife’s sex drive tanked after she had the baby. It still hasn’t come back even a little bit. And nothing I do seems to help. I’ve been taking on more and more of a Dominant role hoping to get interest and it really hasn’t worked. About half the time she just isn’t interested at all. The other half she’ll engage but the play is always really short and just sort of bland.
We’re definitely in a rut. I don’t want to pressure her or anything. I know she has a lot on her plate but I just don’t know how best to help her. Any advice you may have would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance.
Well, I don’t know your wife, so I can only speak for myself, but you’re not going to like my answer. Hell, even I don’t like my answer.
And the answer is…..
There ain’t shit you can do but wait it out.
After I had the kid, my libido outright disappeared. From what I understand of other women’s experiences, that’s relatively normal.
Because think about it. Take away the physical crap, and the fact that it takes months to feel yourself again physically, but let’s just look at the hormonal stuff.
Because hormones play a pretty big role in libido.
For months, her body was affected by the baby. And most guys don’t really get just how much the baby affects the mother. I mean, a lot of people have heard that if the mother is injured or sick, the fetus will send stem cells to the affected area of her body (this is horrendously oversimplified, btw, but that’s the gist of it), but that’s just one thing, and that doesn’t really affect her in the day-to-day.
She’s literally got foreign DNA in her body. The body, as a general rule, doesn’t like foreign shit in it. Which is why rejection is such a big deal for organs or implants or literally anything put in it that was not in it when we were born.
Of course we have progesterone to help deal with that, but the higher amounts of hormones in our bodies, coupled with the hormones produced by the fetus, is a big burden.
Over 9 months, those hormones build and fluctuate as needed. It’s a gradual thing, and it adjusts depending on how far along the pregnancy is and a number of other things.
But then, she has the baby, and it’s the sudden absence of the baby’s hormones, plus the more or less sudden cessation of the production of her hormones, and just as it took months for the hormones to build and help her body normalize while she was pregnant, it’s going to take months for her to adjust now that the baby is born and go back to normal levels.
There’s nothing you, or she, or anyone can do about it. There does not exist a quick pill she can pop, there does not exist a sex therapist or psychiatrist or whatever who can fix her hormones.
I know what she’s feeling right now. Pretty much every woman who’s had a kid knows what your wife is feeling now. It’s not great.
Because we’re not idiots, and neither is your wife. We know that there’s something off, we know that we have no libido, we know that our partner isn’t happy with what’s going on, and we know that there’s nothing we can do about it.
What sucked sweaty, hairy rhinoceros balls was how long it took for my libido to come back. Granted, there were a couple of other things that contributed (one or two of which I’ll get into here), but it was a good solid year, maybe even a year and a half, before my libido started getting back to normal.
Don’t want to wait that long? Tough.
Well, there may be some things you can do. But I make no promises.
First of all, stop trying to get her interested. Stop it. Just stop.
Sex is not a part of your life right now. At all. Just accept it and move on.
Why? I’m happy to tell you why.
Because she knows that you’re unhappy, she knows that she’s letting you down, and every time you mention it, every time you come on to her and her stomach turns (because yeah, no matter how hot you are, no matter how much she loves you, that’s about the reaction), and she’s faced with the decision whether to fake it to satisfy you or to be honest and let you down again, it’s going to be a step backward, and it’s going to put her in a bad mood, and it’s going to take longer for her libido to come back.
Because right now, on a subconscious level, she sees sex as a negative thing, because of all the baggage that’s attached to it right now. Because every time you try to engage her, she feels hugely pressured, and it’s just another reminder that she’s not herself and it’s almost like her body is betraying her.
She feels pressured to be the person she used to be, when she’s still trying to figure out how to live in her new body. It’s an unnerving and uncomfortable experience, and it lasts months. The more pressured she feels to be who you want her to be, the longer it’ll take for her to feel normal again.
You want to help her? Take the pressure off of her. Stop focusing on the sex. It sucks that you’ll have to do without, and I get the impression that you’re monogamous, so going outside the marriage isn’t an option (*note* if you are monogamous, do NOT broach the subject of opening the marriage right now. Yeah, she might be open to the idea, but more likely she’ll be hurt. This is temporary. You can go without sex for a couple months. You’ll live, I promise).
Once she feels relief from that constant pressure and negativity associated with disappointing you, she should be able to turn her focus to herself, and figuring out her new “normal.” The sooner she can do that, the sooner her libido will rise.
And help out around the house more. Changing dirty diapers and waking up at 2 am to the sound of a crying hungry baby doesn’t turn anyone on, okay?
I don’t know if she works or stays home, but regardless, it’s exhausting. And I don’t know how active you are as a parent, but just statistically speaking, mothers do most of the work. They also do most of the housework. If your wife is working, she’s got to do all of that with holding down her job.
If she’s not working, then most of the time she doesn’t even get to interact with another adult until you get home. She has no escape. She has no breaks. She has no sick days. She can’t ever step away.
She feels that pressure weighing down on her, and she resents the baby, she resents you, and she hates herself because a “good mother” wouldn’t feel what she feels.
I flat out hated Kazander for the first 5 or 6 months after the spawn was born. He could get up every morning and go to work, and have discussions with grown ups, and for the first couple months I was breastfeeding, so I couldn’t drink, I couldn’t go anywhere without a pump, I couldn’t leave her with a sitter for an evening and just get out and relax, I couldn’t get a break.
And then of course I hated myself for hating him, and for resenting the spawn. I knew I was being ridiculous for blaming him for everything (even though he’s the one who wanted her, while I was leaning toward adoption). I knew intellectually that millions of women feel what I felt, and that it was okay, and it’s normal, and temporary, and everything would eventually be fine.
Intellectually, I knew all that. It didn’t help me in the moment, though.
Working mothers also deal with guilt from a different place. Because after maternity leave, they struggle with leaving the baby to go back to work. Because if they breastfeed, they have to work pumping into their work day. And there are a number of moms I knew who worked and breastfed, and particularly for those who had male bosses, there was always that fear that eventually the boss would decide accommodating her pump schedule was just too inconvenient.
I know a woman who works as a private secretary who would literally pump in the car, while she was driving, doing errands, so her boss wouldn’t decide it was too inconvenient.
Of course, in her case, her boss found out what she was doing and immediately put a stop to it, and firmly let her know that there was never any errand he needed her to run, there was never anything he needed her to do that could not wait twenty minutes. She only had to pump once each shift anyway, so she had nothing to worry about.
And I’d go out on a limb and say that the vast, vast majority of male employers are the same way. People generally aren’t assholes. Chances are there’s nothing to worry about. But there’s still that tiny nagging fear.
Many working mothers also feel guilty for leaving home. They struggle with missing their kid, and missing such a big chunk of their kid’s day.
I mean, regardless of whether your wife works or stays home, it sucks. She deals with all of that, all day, every day, and then she comes home and cooks, cleans, and takes care of the baby, and even without hormonal imbalances, it’s no surprise she has no libido.
So it sucks for you, in that you’ll have to just do without for awhile, but if you can suck it up and wait it out, and help alleviate some of that pressure, you’ll be able to cut down at least some of the time you’ll have to wait before her libido returns to normal.
And trust me, she’ll see the effort you’re putting in, she’ll see how you’re working to help her, and she’s not going to forget it.