For those going through a divorce; you didn’t ‘fail’ as a couple, you were set up to fail by society’s unrealistic expectations.
My boyfriend and I have vanilla sex, and you know what? I like that flavor.
May is Masturbation Month, and it’s reminding me just how much I miss alone time since shacking up with my partner.
Shake up your bedroom routine and take it to the next level with these made-to-share toys.
Capriciorns are up for just about anything between the sheets.
If you’re old enough to remember a topless Fergie’s 1992 toe-sucking Texan scandal in St-Tropez – while the Duchess of York was still married to Prince Andrew – you’ll recall the somewhat cringe-worthy tabloid photos of said hot foot lovin’.
The photos, which showed American financial manager John Bryan with a mouth full of one of Fergster’s feet while they holidays and canoodled by the pool in full view of the world (and Fergie and Andrew’s toddler daughters) in southern France, were first splashed across British tabloids.
And the Queen was not amused – the Duchess is said to have been at Balmoral with the rest of the royal family when the story broke, with Her Majesty effectively banishing Fergie from the royal household henceforth.
Whether this was due to the Duchess’ refusal to toe the line (pardon the pun) or the royals’ horror at the said foot fetishism, I guess we’ll never know, but public toe-sucking has arguably suffered a tarnished public image ever since.
However, fast forward some 20 plus years and foot fetishism (er, arguably best celebrated in the privacy of your own home) is seemingly now so popular, it’s virtually cool. However, it does seem to be more popular among men.
Famous foot fetishists who’ve gone on the record of late include perennial-cool singer/songwriter Pharrell Williams, actor Jack Black, singer Ricky Martin and director Quentin Tarantino.
What’s more, Elvis himself is arguably one of the best known foot fetishists, with a well-documented obsession, allegedly as a result of having to massage his mother’s feet as a child – shudder. There’s some serious Oedipus complex going on there! And The King’s handlers are even said to have screened the rock’n’roll icon’s female love interests on the basis of their feet attractiveness, er as you do.
While foot fetishism is nothing new – indeed, it’s the most common form of sexual fetish related to the body – it’s certainly not something I’d personally encountered prior to the advent of social media. You see, I recently joined Instagram and wow, what an eye-opener it was for me when I recently innocently posted several random pictures of my feet post-pedicure, one of my favourite beauty indulgences.
A recent such pic I posted got a lot of attention from said foot fetishists in Insta-land: countless pervy comments and requests this time to both share and repost said pic to others in the foot-worshipping community. In addition, it gained me no less than nine new foot fetishist followers?! What rock had I been living under? Was foot fetishism really that much of a thing? Apparently so!
Foot worship, or podophilia, is a pronounced sexual interest in feet. For a foot fetishist, attractive traits include the shape and size of the foot and toes; foot jewellery, such as toe rings and ankle bracelets; treatments, such as pedicures or massaging; state of dress, such as barefoot and/or thongs; odour, and/or sensory interaction such as smelling, licking, kissing, tickling and biting the foot.
As we all know, it takes a lot of different types to make the world go ‘round and if feet (mine included) blow your hair back, I say go for it, as long as it doesn’t harm anyone.
The hilarious part for me though, and I mean no disrespect to said foot fetishists, is that my feet are my least favourite body part; indeed my right foot has been damaged beyond repair by years of high-heel abuse. I’ve even got a small bunion, for God’s sake! Are bunions hot?!
Sydney sexologist, Dr Michelle Mars (pictured), who specialises in the sociology of sex gender and sexual well-being, says foot fetishism is so popular, in part, because feet are fairly non-offensive.
“One reason we hear about foot fetishes so much is that as far as fetishes go they are quite vanilla; it’s okay to admit you have a foot fetish in comparison to BDSM [bondage and discipline, domination and submission, sadism and masochism] or being into golden showers, for example,” Dr Mars says.
“It can be a submissive act for men and they can enact that without going too far down the submissive path and compromising their masculinity.
“Feet are accessible. There are lots of options, toes, shoes, stockings… And the options are often elegant.
“In addition, feet are an area of the body with lots of nerve endings!”
And while feet aren’t my thing, shoes are another story altogether…
What do you think? Have you ever encountered foot fetishism in a partner?
Images, in order, via www.popsugar.com; theurbanrooms.co.uk; topnailideas.com and supplied.
Is it fair to say that sometimes your satisfaction levels in the bedroom are less than 50 per cent? It is fair because these days we work longer hours, we’ve got kids to raise before and after those longer work hours and no one wants to be that woman that their husband has a moan about to his mates because sex is now an annual delight. Or maybe you have sex once a week, but it’s only to stop the nagging and rogue groping that comes with prolonged periods of sexlessness.
And I’m not pointing fingers here, but sometimes there are some common sex mistakes that women make that could be preventing them from having better sex, which sometimes can be the fix to all your troubles.
1. Not having enough
I’m not even just talking about not having enough sex, I’m also talking about not having enough time with yourself to feel good. When you don’t have much sex, you don’t really feel like more, especially if it’s seen as a chore. Setting healthy time aside for yourself, whether it’s for masturbation or painting your nails, whatever makes you feel good about yourself, is a great way to make yourself want more sex and enthusiasm and a good attitude, much like the key ingredient to all things in life, are the pathway to great sex.
2. Not asking for what you want
Come on ladies! It’s 2015! Women have the power to get any job, not have a teen marriage and ask our man to bake us an apple pie; surely we can ask for what we want in the bedroom. Whether it’s a casual encounter or ten years of marriage, sex isn’t all about the man and if you’re not getting what you want, then ask for it. If you’re too afraid to verbally communicate, the power of touch shouldn’t be underestimated. Move your body, your hands or your partners hands to where you would like them to be – you don’t have to say the words, the satisfied moans and sighs will say it all.
3. Thinking that sex starts in the bedroom
The deed may be done under the cover of your Egyptian cotton sheets, but sex really doesn’t begin in the bedroom. Showing affection to your partner throughout the day is a key factor in, not only wanting to have sex, but also enjoying it. Simple gestures like giving him a cuddle or sending him a suggestive text, or even just connecting through conversation will you get your brain ready for the bedroom. For women at least, we really need that brain warmup – it’s like the foreplay before the foreplay.
4. Feeling ashamed of your body
Just stop. You’re gorgeous! We all get insecure, but loving yourself is part of loving someone else, and trust me, they absolutely love your body, especially the parts that you don’t.
5. Faking it
An orgasm is not the be all and end all of sex. You get so many other benefits like a heightened connection with your partner and all those feel good hormones, but having an orgasm would just be the icing on the sexy cake, wouldn’t it? Well, faking an orgasm is not the way to get it. Besides being hurtful to yourself, your partner and your relationship, faking an orgasm is not going to get you a real one. Whether you’re faking it to have the sex end quickly so you can sleep, or because you feel like you’ve tried so hard, it’s best to take the time and work together to get you a real orgasm so that future sexual encounters are extra satisfying.
The eHarmony Dating Index is forecasting some of the lowest levels of dating activity this year, with the least romantic day of the year predicted to fall on Wednesday, July 15.
The eHarmony Dating Index measured interest in dating from 2012-2014 using Google search data for relevant terms like ‘date venues’, social media mentions of phrases like ‘date tonight’, and traffic to eHarmony.com.au, to plot daily interest in dating on a scale of 0 to 100.
Over the past three years, the third Wednesday of July has averaged 35 points on the Index, 15 per cent below the average daily score of 41 and 56 per cent lower than Valentine’s Day – the most romantic day of the year which sees an average score of 80. More peaks are usually seen around Christmas and the summer season.
As for a typical week, the Index shows Saturday as the most romantic day, and Wednesday the least romantic.
With eastern Australia in the midst of a cold front, this July looks to be no exception to the typically unromantic period. Studies commissioned by eHarmony show that 46 per cent of local members and 61 per cent of Australians find it challenging to plan exciting dates during winter, and a further 1 in 4 Aussies say their dating frequency won’t rise until the mercury does.
eHarmony dating and relationship expert, Melanie Schilling, says: “While our energy levels are lower during the cold weather, winter is full of opportunities for romance with the intimacy that comes with cosy winter dates! We can’t beat Mother Nature but we can change our dating mindset to not let the weather be a barrier, otherwise we risk missing good opportunities to meet potential partners.”
Maintaining a healthy sex life can be a challenge, with lifestyle factors generally determining when we’re in the mood to get down and dirty. Well, ladies, a new survey has revealed just how different our libidos are from the opposite sex, with men wanting sex for breakfast and women for dessert.
According to the findings, a women’s libido peaks between 11pm-2pm, or 11:21pm to be exact, while a male is more inclined to feel sexy between 6am-9am, with 7.54am their ideal time to get hot and heavy.
Nearly two thirds of females and 50 per cent of men said they wanted sex just as much as their current partner, but surprisingly only 11 per cent of women said they wanted to rise and grind (pardon the pun), while a mere 16 per cent of males felt like getting frisky late at night. Talk about being at polar opposites of the sexy-time spectrum!
The Lovehoney study, which surveyed 2300 people, also looked at how couples’ sex drives varied throughout the week. Most men said their sexual desire was fairly constant, however 36 per cent of women said their moods affected when, and if, they were feeling turned on. There’s something to be said for a women’s hormones!
The only consistent finding amongst both sexes was that between 4 and 6pm, sex was far from mind, with an average of only 3.5 per cent admitting that they still wanted to be passionate.
Lovehoney co-owner Richard Longhurst told the Daily Mail: “This shows that there are big differences in sex o’clock between the sexes… What is encouraging is that most people tend to find sexual happiness in the end with a partner with similar needs.”
Image via Shutterstock
I was recently told that people should forget about being a better tennis player or golfer and concentrate on being better lovers. It made a lot of sense – people are forever complaining about their sex lives, but the overall consensus is that it will somehow take care of itself. In reality, how can it?
Many couples have a 12 month, 5 or 10 year plan of things they want to achieve – things like education, career, home, family, kids and fiance. Yet sex, which we all recognise as being a basic human need, is the one element of our lives we leave to chance.
When you stop and think and about it, it’s quite bizarre, isn’t it? Just like with everything else couples want to accomplish, a better sex life should be an essential goal.
The key to an exhilarating sex life relies heavily on the physical connection – this basically takes care of everything else. During the honeymoon phase (when sex is awesome) the connection experienced by most people is primarily physical. Understandably this is where the concentration of energy is, in bedroom bliss!
As time passes, other forms of intimacy grow and therefore the physical concentration isn’t as dense. Your energies are essentially divided as other factors are introduced or take over. It can be stress, kids, parents, finance, or whatever demands your attention.
Having a Better Sex Life
Reinstating a passionate physical connection won’t be easy – nothing worthwhile ever is! Life will throw it’s challenges at you and sustaining the passion long-term is a challenge many of us experience. Unfortunately, that spark won’t ignite itself and magically appear either.
Talk together about what you want your sex life to resemble, similar to what couples do every day about every other topic. Include elements of quantity and quality and set an action plan in place and make it happen. Here’s a few suggestions to make a start:
- Make sex a priority – the more sex you have the more you’ll want.
- Schedule sex into your day or week (depending on your preference).
- Make alone time a priority. If you have young kids, make sure they got to bed early so you can have that time alone together. It will be good for you and for them.
- If other stresses like finance have become a focus, you’ll need to address them. Often people worry and don’t act. When you have an action plan, this often reduces the stress and lifts the libido. Plus solves a few issues in the meantime.
- Be physically intimate outside the bedroom. Hold hands, touch, caress, kiss, hug, and when the day is done, sit together not apart.
- Try new things, new places, new toys and keep your sex life interesting. No one wants to sustain an activity which bores them.
- Laugh together and try to make your sex life fun.
- Create a sexual bucket list.
- Set new sex related goals for one another or each other.
- Make foreplay a priority.
- Avoid criticism of sexual performance. This will sever your emotional and physical connection.
- If either of you is experiencing low libido or other sex related issues, talk openly about it. This is where many sexual problems start. Follow up with a GP if necessary and any referrals.
- Tell your partner you love them at least once a day.
Of course having a better sex life comes down to far more than a physical connection. However, for most couples, it’s an essential place to start. Once it’s re-established, everything else sex related can, and often, will fall into place.
Image via slideshare.net
Picture this: It’s holiday season, you’ve been happily single for a year now (by choice, obvs) as you’re far too busy being fabulous, successful and carefree to want a serious relationship just now, but you’ve developed an urgent need for some hot lovin’.
a) Invest in yet another vibrator (yawn)
b) Eat more chocolate cake (like, a lot more)
c) Take up kickboxing to vent your sexual frustration and/or
d) Contemplate a holiday romance, fling or casual sex encounter, whatever term your fancy.
If you answered d), take a deep breath and let’s talk about the “rules”, girlfriend.
Sexologists and relationship experts alike say you’ll want to strongly consider the following hot topics below and/or include them for possible discussion with Mr-Perfect-For-Now if and when you decide to take up a short-term “fuck buddy” over the summer break. Of course, if it’s a one-night night you’d prefer, there probably won’t be a lot of deep and meaningful dialogue.
- Don’t expect cuddling, basking or canoodling after sex. If he bolts straight for the door after the big event, and you’re sure you’re just after casual sex, you need to learn to be OK with this, lady.
- You can’t expect to introduce your booty call to your friends, family or pets. Dude ain’t yours for the keeping (and you don’t want him long-term anyway).
- Be upfront about your expectations and feelings, or lack thereof: sure, relationships can grow out of casual sex, but you’ve got to make sure you’re both on the same page when it comes to love and commitment. Honesty is absolutely key.
- Do not act like a girlfriend and develop a strong emotional attachment to hot casual sex man if you don’t want a relationship. Save yourself (and him) the complication and possible heartbreak; leave your emotions at the door.
- Don’t be greedy and selfish in the bedroom: this is the time to be adventurous, find out what truly blows your hair back and experiment with new sexual positions and/or role play. Just be sure that he’s into it, too.
- Ensure you’re in control of both your emotions and your actions to avoid unsafe scenarios.
- Always, always practice safe sex. Always. Did I mention always? No ifs, ands or buts, if he won’t wear a condom, abort!
What do you think? What are your casual sex rules?
Images via www.someecards.com.
Did you know some smells increase sexual pleasure and are better to use during an erotic massage? Much like the Ultimate Oral Sex Guide, this isn’t a step-by-step instructional guide to performing an erotic massage. No one can tell you what your partner likes better than your partner. Instead, we want to give you some tips on setting the scene, oil selection and the power of scent, plus a couple of performance tips to make the experience better.
Setting the scene
Now when setting the scene for an erotic massage, there are certain things you need to take care of BEFORE you begin.
Make time – Erotic massage isn’t something you should rush. If you are a busy couple, make a date for it to happen. If you have little kids, who still wake up during the night, send them to grandma’s/aunty’s/a friend’s place or you might have to get an overnight sitter and go to a hotel for the night. Don’t feel guilty about it. An erotic massage is an investment in your relationship so don’t make excuses, just make it happen!
Picking the location – You want the experience to be pleasurable. That can be hard to achieve if you are lying or kneeling on the floor for any length of time, particularly as you get older. If you use protective bedding, like a waterproof mattress protector, draped with high thread count sheets, you will both be much more comfortable. Yes, they will stain, so wash them after and keep them for these occasions. Just make sure you don’t end up having to sleep in a puddle of oils and body fluids later.
Lighting – Dim lighting is best because it induces relaxation and pleasure. Candle lighting is perfect, so aim for that effect.
Technology – Turn it off. That includes mobile phones and TVs. You might want some nice calming music playing quietly in the background but that’s about the only technology you should have around you.
Clothing – None. If you wear expensive lingerie, it will get stained when you are using oils. Plus, the bonus of being naked is knowing you will be free to use every part of your body to massage him. The sensation of skin on skin, especially if you slip and slide around together, will be much better without clothing restraints.
Preparing for the massage
There will be certain things which are needed to perform an erotic massage. Things like towels for cleaning up after and oils you plan to use. You might want to try a blindfold or add some sex toys. Get these ready before you begin. Why, you may ask? Not only will it allow you to concentrate solely on your performance but it can be really dangerous hunting around the house for things covered in oil. You want fun and pleasure, not a trip to the emergency room because you slid over and cracked your skull open! It may sound a bit ridiculous but it does happen. So please, don’t let it happen to you or your partner.
Oil selection and the power of smell
When choosing an oil, please take into consideration the effect smell has on pleasure senses. Erotic massage should be rejuvenating for the mind, body and spirit; so some smells are much better to use than others. For example, the scent of ylang ylang is soothing, a powerful aphrodisiac, increases libido, boosts low energy levels and improves love making. Then there’s cinnamon, which entices heat from within the body, increases sexual appetite and when rubbed sparingly on genitals, produces powerful stimulation.
Now, Lady Sclareol, which has been around since the middle ages, is an essential oil which has been blended using some of nature’s most exotic and aromatic essential oils, including ylang ylang, geranium, rosewood, jasmine, clary sage, sandalwood, and others. Its proprieties are an aphrodisiac for both sexes, claiming to calm, balance, enhance libido and encourage fertility.
Be aware that some essential oils may burn or irritate when they are directly used on the genital skin. If you are unsure, use only edible lubrication rather than an essential oil. Many come in scented flavors. Keep in mind the scent won’t be as powerful as a pure essential oil, so you may want to use some incense, scented candles or oil in a burner, to improve the experience.
There’s a few things to remember when giving an erotic massage:
- It’s a marathon, not a sprint and there’s no finish line. If you begin to get tired or sore, swap over with your partner and take turns. Make it last and don’t be consumed by arriving at the happy ending. It’s all about the journey!
- Use plenty of oil. Don’t be afraid to get messy. The messier the better and that’s why you need to prep BEFORE you begin.
- Use all of your body to perform the massage. If you do the entire massage with your hands, they will get tired. There’s nothing wrong with adding a heap of oil and laying on top of your partner and moving around. It’s all about the sensation of touch and the power of connection.
- Don’t forget about their head and face either. Some people start at the head and work their way down for a few reasons. The first is you need to start somewhere. The second: Starting with the head will instantly relax your partner. Thirdly, you won’t be smothered in oil and get it in their eyes. Finally, by the time you reach the lower half of their body, you will be smothered in oil!
We hope you’ve found these tips useful. The power of smell, when it comes to improving sex and sexual performance, is reasonably in-depth and way more than we can cover here. If you want to know more; we have an article coming up in the next few weeks, on How The Power Of Smell Can Improve Your Sex Life, so look out for that one.
If you want to share anything we have or haven’t covered here, speak up, because we’d love to hear from you!
Image via langtrees.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/erotic_massage1.jpg
Coconut oil is currently the oil on everyone’s lips with the whole world raving about the countless ways it can be used, from cooking ingredient to beauty product to household cleaner. Now our much-loved au naturel product has just crossed over from the kitchen to the bedroom and coconut guru and author of Going Coconuts, Brynley King, is here to enlighten you with her top reasons for why coconut oil for sex something you have to try.
1. Personal lubricant
Free of harmful chemicals and synthetic preservatives that may irritate those sensitive nether regions, coconut oil makes for a great inexpensive personal lubricant. Oil lubricants also provide a hell of lot more staying power than water-based lubes for those more, shall we say, lengthy sessions, and even celebrities such as Miranda Kerr have hinted at using the multi-purpose oil for her bedroom activities.
FYI: In some cases oil-based lubricants can break down latex condoms making them ineffective. Opt for polyurethane condoms instead when using coconut oil for sex!
2. Increases sex drive
If your man is leaving you less than satisfied in this area then it may be time to slip a dash of coconut oil into your specialty Sunday morning smoothies he loves so much. A large portion of men and women coco-nutters swear by the oil for improving their libidos and increasing sexual desire, which may be thanks to antioxidants in the oil which help combat free radicals that can cause a lowered libido. To really up the ante in the bedroom stakes be sure to incorporate at least 3 tablespoons of the good stuff into your diet each day.
3. Massage oil
This is a no-brainer. Smells good, tastes good, super moisturising – why wouldn’t you want to slather it all over yourself and your partner. A sensual massage is the perfect way to create intimacy and relieve stress, and unlike other massage oils, coconut oil won’t stain your sheets. If you really want to get crafty, try mixing coconut oil with raw cacao powder and honey for a deliciously naughty, yet healthy, edible body paint.
4. Fights off yeast infections
This isn’t sexy in the slightest but along with what it can do for you and your main squeeze, coconut oil can also be used to remedy the dreaded candida yeast infection which sometimes shows up “down there”. The powerful antifungal, antiviral and antimicrobial properties in the oil mean it’s a great natural solution that can be used internally, by eating a few tablespoons every day, and externally, by giving that area some extra attention during that massage mentioned earlier. Try the treatment for at least a week for noticeable improvement and you may be able to skip that embarrassing trip to the local pharmacy. Hooray!
For more coconut tips and recipes from Brynley King, check out Brynley’s recently released book, Going Coconuts. To purchase a copy head to www.naturepacific.com.
It’s cold outside, baby! And, if you’re constantly in trackie dacks on the couch, and would much rather cuddle the cat than swing naked from the chandeliers with your significant other; it might be high time you sexed-up your lovelife this winter. After all, it’s easy to get complacent in the colder months when you’re all rugged up, and your white bits have turned albino from lack of sunlight.
Don’t fret – help is at hand, thanks to leading Australian sexologist Dr Nikki Goldstein. Here, Dr G talks us through her top 5 ways to heat up your sex life this winter:
Water sports: Get in the shower! If you’re a time-poor couple, a hot shower together will save time, get you both clean and then hopefully in the mood for some hot lovin! “One of the biggest complaints I hear from couples is that they don’t have time to have sex,” Dr Goldstein says. “This is the perfect chance to create intimacy through caressing – you don’t even necessarily have to have sex. It’s still pleasurable together and fingers can achieve so much.”
Some like it hot: Your local supermarket aisle can be a treasure trove for heating up your love-life, erm, literally! Case in point, the Durex Embrace Pleasure Gels (pictured): two sensual pleasure gels, one which has a cooling sensation and another which heats up with touch. “When rubbed together, these gels are supposed to heighten your arousal and sensation,” Dr Goldstein says. “It’s a fun way to spice up your sex life.”
Durex Embrace Pleasure Gels, $19.99, is at supermarkets, pharmacies and independent grocers.
Bedtime stories: Love a good, seductive bedroom romp? It might be prudent to indulge in some erotica with your partner (or alone, to get you in the mood) before you try porn, says Dr Goldstein. “A lot of women feel feminine and safe reading erotica rather than porn. Women picture the story in their heads, so we become more comfy with erotica because we are in control over what the characters look like.” And if you’re looking for idea on what to read, check out shesaid.com’s erotica special with author Krissy Kneen.
I like to watch: When it comes to porn, it’s important to experiment to find out what you like, says Dr Goldstein. “What is it that turns you on?” she says. “Often women are scared to talk to their partners about what they like, but it’s important that both parties remember porn is about fantasy, not reality.” Like watching S&M? Tell him all about it – chances are, he’ll appreciate your boldness and honesty.
Break out a sweat: Exercise, whether together or alone, is a fantastic way to boost your body image, well-being and self-esteem in winter – oh and to get your loins racing. What’s more, if you opt to do it together, it can be a great way to be intimate, but not sexual together, says Dr Goldstein. “Exercise boosts endorphins and makes you feel more energetic, sexy and happy. What’s more, being fit also helps you in the bedroom when it comes to stamina and blood flow to the body.”
So, there you have it – go get ’em, tiger!
By Nicole Carrington-Sima
Are you so stressed and in need of soul food you’d rather devour a three-course meal than have sex? You’re not alone – a recent survey of up to 1200 Australians has found we’re choosing food over sex. The survey, conducted by leading online food retailer, The Gourmet, has shown 76 per cent of Australians would choose a three-course meal over sex on a Friday night.
Sex and relationships expert Isiah Mckimmie said stressful lives and competing priorities was the reason behind the preference for gastro-porn over a good bedroom romp. However, she stressed the two can go together. “The anticipation of both sex and food releases dopamine in the body – so both can give us pleasure,” Ms Mckimmie says.
“There are so many health benefits of sex, so a good sex life is just as important as a nutritious diet. Try connecting with your partner over a gourmet meal and you’ll see the benefits in the bedroom.”
The survey was conducted among 1177 Australians, comprised of 54 per cent women and 46 per cent men. The Gourmet general manager Maria Gruttulini says Australians’ access to some of the world’s most amazing produce and best chefs saw us satisfy our tastebuds over our sexual desires. And Ms Gruttulini says popular cooking TV shows such as MasterChef Australia and My Kitchen Rules and the rise of chefs as sex symbols is further proof that fine food has become an instrumental part of our lives.
“Consumers want to recreate the same culinary experience in their own kitchens as they experience while dining out or on cooking shows,” she says. “We’ve noticed a growing demand from consumers for gourmet meat and high-quality fresh produce.”
By Nicole Carrington-Sima
It’s 7pm, your newborn’s finally gone to bed and you catch sight of yourself in the mirror: you’ve got baby vomit on your shoulder, dirty hair and dark circles no amount of YSL/science can fix. You collapse in a heap on the bed, your poor, sleep-deprived mind and body aching for some sleep. Next, your equally delirious and sleep-deprived husband spots you lying on the bed and mistakes your prone form as an open invitation.
You’ve dozed off for a second, but wake with a start at his gentle caresses. “What are you doing?” you screech, all mad banshee. “I just need 10 minutes to myself!” Your rejected lover slinks into the kitchen, with only his beer to make love to. Sound familiar? You’re not alone – it can be extremely hard to locate your libido post-baby, when it’s often packed up along with your long-lost pre-baby abs and size 10 clothes.
And while your man’s deep, primal sexual desires may be largely unchanged post-baby, chances are, like most new mums, you’re suffering body image issues, an identity crisis and would much rather get some precious, much-needed sleep than swing naked from the chandeliers. So, how do couples rekindle the romance and rediscover their mojo, post-baby? Leading Australian sexologist Dr Nikki Goldstein’s top three tips include:
Strike a balance
Reach out to family and friends for help whenever you can, whether it’s to find time to reconnect with your partner sans baby, even if it’s just for a quick meal, or some quality alone time. “You have to really, really work on intimacy post-baby and try to strike a balance between ‘me’, ‘sexy couple’ and ‘baby’ time,” Dr Goldstein says. “Get creative and plan ahead – women need to feel helped and supported to feel sexual. Try to find time to do something that makes you feel nice: a blow dry, manicure or a new outfit. Feeling nourished can switch a woman’s mood and make her feel more sexual – she may even initiate sex.”
Get real, girlfriend
It can be very hard to feel sexual and connected to your post-baby body, especially with armchair motherhood critics and Hollywood celebrities distorting our reality. “There’s incredible pressure on women to lose their baby weight and get sexual very quickly,” Dr Goldstein says. “Look at Kim Kardashian – she went into hiding post-baby so that people weren’t seeing the real Kim, with baby vomit down her front, greasy hair and with someone else looking after her child so she could exercise for hours every day. Post-natal depression is a very real and common problem – many women have a false sense of reality about what motherhood should be. So, get real and be gentle with yourself.”
Slow then fast, baby
Couples looking to set each other on fire between the sheets should start off slow post-baby, Dr Goldstein says. Try snuggling on the couch – reconnecting with your partner through non-penetrative intimacy. Then, once you’re both ready for more – turn up the heat and rediscover your sensuality via bedroom accessories, whether together or alone.
“All relationships should have Tengas: sexual aids,” Dr Goldstein says. “Male masturbation aids like Tengas can come in handy if women are sore post-baby. But sex toys for women are also an invaluable bedroom tool.” Pun very much intended.
By Nicole Carrington