Sex therapists often need to provide advice for parents, who struggle with their sex life. Whether it is because of a new-born child, or perhaps a toddler that cannot stop crying at night, parenthood brings changes to a couple’s sex dynamics and not always for the better. To those who feel their sex lives are flatlining, sex therapists have a few useful recommendations:
- One partner is exhausted and achieving a sexy frame of mind is impossible – parents of small children and babies often experience such challenges. When one parent feels so worn out, their need for sleep and rest outranks the need for sex. The idea is that the person should not feel bad for desiring the former more than the latter. When parents are doing their thing – dealing with children, managing the new tasks, etc., it can be hard to switch to an erotic state. It is just hard to enjoy sex in such a situation. What makes a big difference then is a partner’s ability to empathise and help out the other person. If one of the partners feels that the other is not sharing the burden, it can lead to resentment and push them apart. This is a solvable riddle, which both partners can work on, possibly with the help of a sex therapist.
- Parenthood changes the human body – it is completely natural to feel less comfortable about your body after having a baby. Women are especially vulnerable to feeling depressed over the extra weight they put on. This can often lead to both parents feeling stuck. Communication is key, and assumptions are a killer. The idea is that parents should communicate their newfound feelings of discomfort and work around them. Yes, there are a lot of insecurities parents develop after having a baby. But with some proper work, both parents can view each other the same way they did before having a child.
- Don’t be so sure you know everything sex-related about your partner – everyone learns a lot about sex throughout their life – from their family and early relationships. This forms many expectations on a subconscious level, which we then bring into our relationships and marriages. And even if you think you know your partner, keep in mind no attitude towards sex is fixed. It can easily change, most notably after having a child. That is when one partner can reveal sex is much less of a priority for them, compared to the other person. The goal should always be to dig deeper into the beliefs your partner holds about sex, and show understanding. Only then will you be able to build a more satisfying sex life together, even after having a child.
- Two people can't desire the same amount of sex all the time – one of the reasons why people seek the aid of a sex therapist is discrepancies in desire. Sometimes one partner might not desire to engage in sexual acts, and only feel pressured into doing them. But this makes it feel more like an obligation, which will sooner or later backfire. Parents often fall into the trap of believing there is a certain amount of sex that they should have. The reality is that more often than not, there will be some sex desire discrepancies. At those times, it is important to remember that instead of troubling over how often partners should have sex, they should focus on enjoying the sex that they have. That way they will achieve the perfect balance.
These are just a few of the most common issues that sex therapists deal with in regards to parents.
© Zoe Clews & Associates