A new dad talks about his own experience and gives you some hope...
Here’s a question you need to ask yourself upon reading this: Did I click on this link because the word ‘sex’ was screaming out at me like a giant neon billboard in the middle of Tokyo?
If you answered ‘Yes’, then you are in good company. If you answered ‘No’, then you are a liar.
However, don’t go painting the town red just yet. Before you get too excited, this article isn’t about sex at all. Far from it.
It’s about how much sex New Dads receive after New Mums gives birth.
I did mull over the appropriateness of ‘receive’ but since one has to give (reluctantly or not) to receive and receiving being defined sexually as ‘I’ll take anything as long as I taste the sweet peach’ I could not dispute the validity of the word anymore.
But enough about technicalities! Let’s just talk about sex! Or the lack of it!
How many of you readers are New Dads? I wouldn’t be embarrassed to talk about it at all, as we New Dads are bound together by a common enemy who before birth, greet us each day as if we’ve done them the greatest disservice. Hey, it’s not entirely our fault you had to “suffer through” the nine months! We weren’t the only ones who played the roles of passive victims to perfection!
New Dads always claim the birth of their child was the happiest moment of their lives. That’s because they think with the child now out of the way some semblance of a sex life will resume.
Oh what deluded people these New Dads are.
Coitus Non Exitus
Sex between Michele and I stopped sometime in December 2009. She was around 26 weeks, experiencing lower back pains and constant fatigued. That along with mobility issues made sex an extremely uncomfortable and unattractive proposition for any pregnant women. I guess it may be different for other women, but no amount of foreplay or wooing would have sufficed. No means no.
I was extremely understanding and often played the scenario through my head. How utterly selfish am I to demand sex when she’s running for the bathroom half the time, looking for a chair to sit down or just wanting some weird food cravings at three in the morning?!
Probably the only week I went without thinking about sex was the week immediately following Levi’s birth on 17 March 2010. I had already gone sexless for over three months but believe me all I could think of was sex! I was so barren it was like my sex life had encountered a drought and I was dying a slow, flaccid death. The vultures were mocking me from above as they sensed another prey and I could almost hear their belittling laughs.
“John! You’re dying a virgin! You’ll die a virgin!”
Yes! That’s exactly how I felt! It’s like I’ve never been kissed, pulled a bra strap or seen cleavage before.
For many New Dads, the arrival of Baby is one big car accident that has already happened. Financially stretched, emotionally drained, overloaded with anxiety and throw in months without sex and it’s a wonder why there aren’t more self-help books or rehabilitation camps for New Dads out there. Help for New Dads truly is under-represented in the media.
The truth is all men truly respect women’s threshold for pain. I’ll speak for all men and say we could never imagine having to force a grapefruit out of our privates; just the thought of it makes us squirm in our seats.
We constantly try to put ourselves in their shoes and would hate to look at ourselves in the mirror and see a waddling duck who is about to explode. I can’t speak for all men across all cultures, but generally men really empathise with their partners or wives and if it means giving up some primitive needs.
Such as hugs where our hands actually meet when we wrap ourselves around you, the feeling of your bosoms against our chest and eh, yeah sex.
That said there is a limit to how long men want to go without sex. The character of Chuck Noland in Castaway – played very convincingly by Tom Hanks – went without sex for over four years. Sex was probably the last thing on his mind. Assuming most men don’t go missing for four years of their lives, sex is constantly on their minds.
A few weeks after Levi’s birth I remember sharing a rather casual conversation with Michele over dinner.
“Babe I look fat,” she quipped.
“It’s just post-baby fat. You’ll lose it before the next one comes along.” I reassured her with my mouth full of baked beans.
“I can’t even imagine having another one. I feel so yucky right now.” Michele retorted.
“Of course not, you hate your body. You know I love you regardless yes?” I twisted my words. Perhaps she did not detect my vague hint for sex.
“I know you do, but I can’t believe some women are able to have sex soon after giving birth. I take my hats off to them.” she said casually without stopping to notice the shattered look on my face. I might have even swallowed the baked beans whole without chewing.
The dam didn’t burst until Levi was past 12 weeks. If my math hasn’t failed me, that’s over half a year I went without sex.
All is not lost for the majority of New Dads out there. Remember every birth is different and I have learnt (rather harshly) we as partners or husbands have an important role in making our loved one feel womanly again. There simply is no benchmark for how quickly a New Mum would be interested in sex again.
For all New Dads out there who are running on empty at the moment, I salute you. Someone has to keep up the war effort back home after all.
I’m just glad it isn’t me at the moment!