Ask DeAnn: Mom’s Sex Drive Slows to a Crawl

85263425_6409ff16cbDear DeAnn,

I am 33 with 3 kids. Been with my husband for 11 yrs. In my 20’s my sex drive was amazing! It decreased slightly after baby #2. And after baby #3 I feel like most times I have to force myself to have sex. Every now and then I get to urge to have sex but that’s maybe 1-2 times a month. Each kid is 5 years apart. Could it be my hormones? Could it be that after baby #2 I became a stay at home mom, I am over people needing me? I feel terrible for my amazingly patient husband who doesn’t ever push the issue.

– Slow Drive Mama

Hey there, SDM! You’re not alone. A lot of moms notice their sex drives tanking after kids as they enter their 30’s, when a lot of changes happen that can turn a once ravenous sex drive into a lot of early nights and guilt-driven birthday blow jobs. This is one of the top reasons moms come to me for Passion Coaching. Generally, your instincts are where we start, so let’s trust yours on where the problem(s) may lie.

Hormone changes can definitely put the brakes on your sex drive. It might be worth your while to check things out with your doctor, and if possible, ask for a referral to an endocrinologist. Ask to be tested for LH, FSH, prolactin, progesterone, estrogens, androgens, TH, and TSH. This will rule out any problems with your thyroid or reproductive tract. If results are abnormal, your doctor will take it from there. If it’s all normal, we start looking elsewhere.

Parenthood is often a major mood killer. You don’t sleep as much. You don’t own your own body or time. You’re in “caretaker” mode, which will naturally turn off the libido in most people.

You need to get back to your own sense of self. Listen to your urges. Pay very close attention – have you ever had a moment during the middle of the day where you crossed your legs a certain way and suddenly your clitoris was screaming for attention? Have you ever woken up and wished the kids weren’t in your bed so you could masturbate? Your drive may not be as low as you think; you may just not be making time for it. Do you also feel a lot of pressure to perform when your spouse does try to turn you on? It may be worth it to journal and track these feelings.

I am a little worried about what this can do to a marriage that isn’t well-versed in vulnerable communication. The relationship dynamic where there’s a sex drive difference is often full of shame for both partners. You feel guilty you don’t want to. You don’t want to feel violated, but you’ve heard maybe doing it anyway and going through the motions will turn you on (there is some truth to that). He certainly doesn’t want to violate you, and he doesn’t want to cheat on you. He doesn’t have the communication or empathy skills to fix it, and maybe feels like he’s not good enough and that’s why you don’t want him. If that’s where you are, you need to make getting your groove back a priority.

Without knowing exactly where you are, here are some other things you can try:

  • Talking, vulnerably – Be honest about where you are. Start slow, with loving, erotic touches designed only to tantalize. You need to talk clearly and openly about what you want on your sexy pizza, whether it’s only touches and kisses for now, or whether you’re ready to do something else. He’s got to go along with it and respect your boundaries, though, or you’re back to where you started.
  • Take control, or give it up – Tired of being needed? Bring in some BDSM play. Whether it’s losing complete control to your partner or taking control and getting what you want, need isn’t part of the deal. Rules, safe words, and clear consent provide easy-to-follow, outlined boundaries. Start with D/s play (dominance and submission) before getting into too much spanking or tying up. Skip Fifty Shades and opt for something more instructional.
  • Self care – Your body and mind may be screaming for a sense of self, so schedule some time alone to do what YOU want – shopping, driving, a giant cupcake all your own, a hot bath – you need you time, girl!
  • ON Arousal Oil – 1-3 drops directly on the clitoris produces a slight buzzing sensation, without the risks of L-arginine creams or gels. This is not a lube, but a natural oil designed to kickstart the arousal process.
  • Erotica – Sometimes all you need is a little inspiration!
  • Sex toys – Sex toys aren’t just for masturbation, you know! They can stimulate the clitoris and get your arousal process started. Masturbation also helps the brain produce more “I’m horny!” hormones. If you don’t use them, you lose them – the brain won’t waste the energy on making them if it doesn’t think sex will happen any time soon.
  • A good lube – Don’t forget, that often with hormonal changes after children, natural vaginal lubrication can become more watery or dry up, making sex hurt, and you might be subconsciously avoiding it for this reason.
  • Oral sex, orgasm optional – Try giving oral sex to each other every night for a week. No vaginal or anal sex. When it’s your turn, make it clear to each other orgasm is optional. Enjoy the sensations he provides and relish in being taken care of without the pressure. If you don’t orgasm, you still enjoyed it. If you do – great! From there, change it up – fingers, using toys on each other, talking dirty – go where it takes you. The idea is to take the pressure off vaginal sex and change it up a bit.

I also have a couple of books to recommend for you. The first is Come As You Are, by Emily Nagosaki, PhD, and the other is Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel. The two work hand-in-hand to unlock the keys to your body, your mind, and your relationship that can put the pedal to the metal – or at least rev the engine – of your sex drive!

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