There are so many things in life we’re heavily schooled on. But, when it comes to our postpartum sex life, what we’ve been taught makes us feel like there’s something wrong with us.
And the little we do learn about our sexuality from parents, teachers, friends, and cousins is 90% about men anyway.
So what about the women, the mamas? What are you to make of your sexuality in a world that doesn’t teach you correct facts about it? Especially after having a baby…
For most of us, it’s doom and gloom because we absorb the cultural message which says that women should have spontaneous desire, orgasm from penetration, that we should get wet when we’re turned on, and that we should be totally up for sex by 6 weeks postpartum.
Lemme tell ya a lil somethin about this message – it’s ruining your postpartum sex life.
Phew, now that we’ve got that out the way, I want you to take everything you learned about what your postpartum sex life should be like and throw it out the window. Got it? Good. Go do it now.
To start on a clean slate is to learn the facts first then make what you want out of the rest.
Because, everything your culture taught you to believe about your sexuality is probably untrue.
And recognizing instead, that you’re actually normal and not broken is step one to having a rocking postpartum sex life. (To get notified of the next blog coming out on “How to Have a Rocking Postpartum Sex Life”, put in your name and email anywhere on the website or right here!!!)
In my overly church-going, your-body-is-sinful-and-you-should-be-ashamed-of-yourself-for-feeling-pleasure upbringing, I was secretly fascinated with understanding the science behind everything sensual and erotic because I’m a total science geek and a rebel.
So by the time I was in 7th grade, I opted out of taking sex-ed with my class so that I could read the text book instead and hopefully gain more insight than listening to pubescent teenagers snicker at the word “penis” and “vagina”.
I was very disappointed that the text book only taught me about my reproductive system and nothing about my sexuality.
So by the time I turned 31, I stepped up and took matters into my own hands and read and studied every book in the library on female sexuality and started a daily practice to heal myself of the guilt and shame I grew up with around it.
The result? I learned a TON and healed myself of all that.
I really couldn’t believe how under-educated we women are about our bodies and our sexuality. It’s not that the science isn’t there. I mean, yeah, science is ahead of understanding male sexuality over female, but if we women only knew the science that ALREADY exists, we would feel so much more confidence and joy within our bodies just knowing that we’re all normal!
So let’s clear up a few things and teach you 5 sexy facts about sex that are true and will help you have a better postpartum sex life just knowing about them. Sound good? Cool. Here we go:
1) Sex isn’t a drive, like hunger or thirst.
You’re not going to die if you don’t have sex. It’s an incentive motivation system instead.
Hunger and thirst push you to seek out what you need to not be hungry or thirsty. So when you hear “drive”, think “survive”.
Unlike hunger and thirst, sex pulls you to want it by sexy external stimuli. So really, sex as an “incentive motivation system” as opposed to a drive is a fancy word for “thrive.”
The idea that sex is a drive is important to end because it sends out the message to many women, especially postpartum women, that if sex is a hunger and you never get hungry, then there’s something wrong with you and you’re sick.
Which leads us to sexy fact #2 that shows us why sex as a drive isn’t true:
2) Only 15% of women want sex out of the blue. 30% want it only when something sexual and erotic is already happening. The rest of women experience a mix between this spontaneous and responsive desire depending on the context.
Wow. Did you get that? So basically, the cultural message we’ve been taught is that there’s something wrong with us, we’re not normal, and we’re sick if we don’t experience spontaneous desire (sex out of the blue) yet only 15% of women actually experience that kind of desire.
So guess what? You’re normal if you don’t spontaneously want sex! There’s nothing wrong with that. How you feel about you not wanting it is another thing. And there are ways to improve how you feel about it as well as ways to improve your desire for your partner but that’s the next blog. So, put in your name and email here or anywhere on the website to get notified when that comes out.
3) Orgasm isn’t a genital response and there’s only one type of orgasm.
“OMG, what did you just say?”
Yeah, I said that. Or rather, I didn’t say it, researchers did.
Most people think that orgasm is marked by pelvic floor contractions and that you can have different types of orgasms. But, technically speaking, neither is necessarily true.
According to the science, genital physiological markers of orgasm aren’t always predictive of a woman’s subjective experience of orgasm. So, it isn’t what happens in your genitals, it’s about what happens in your brain.
Which is why orgasm is so hard to explain, just like contractions in birth.
And secondly, orgasm is defined as a sudden release of sexual tension generated in different ways.
So, despite the cultural message that there are a bazillion different “kinds” of orgasms, they’re all the same thing but may feel different depending on where they’re generated.
And if we try to categorize orgasms by how they feel, there’d be a different category for every orgasm a woman has. (This one is new for me too!)
So stop being so hard on yourself if you don’t experience orgasm the way your friends do. Or if not at all. It’s all subjective anyway.
4) Only 30% of women reliably orgasm through penetration alone. 70% sometimes, rarely, or never orgasm from penetration alone.
The most common way for women to orgasm is from clitoral stimulation.
As Freud would have you think, you’re not less of a woman if you’ve never had an orgasm from penetration.
It doesn’t matter how it happens. And making orgasm the goal as opposed to pleasure is a sure-fire way to never have one.
5) Women are only 10% concordant – meaning, only 10% of the time are most women wet and turned on at the same time.
For men, there’s a 50% overlap between blood flow to his genitals and how turned on he feels.
For us women, we can be turned on and not wet and we can be wet and not turned on 90% of the time.
The best way for your partner to tell if you’re aroused and ready for sex is to listen to your words, not look at your genitals.
So, now that I’ve just squashed everything you thought you knew about sex , you’re probably going to start experiencing some resentment, maybe some anger, maybe some frustration over the next week.
I surely did.
Learning all of this had me super angry at a society and culture that only taught me what’s true for VERY FEW women regarding their sexuality.
Regardless, know that learning about your sexuality has a way of bringing up your shit as well as some deep rooted ancestral pain, so be gentle with yourself and know that you are normal, perfect, and whole just as you are right now.
I hope these 5 sexy facts help you to understand that you are normal. If you’re experiencing a postpartum lack of desire, know that you’re not alone and there are ways to get your grove back. I’m going to talk to you about that next week. Stay tuned!
*Most of the facts presented here are from the book, “Come As You Are” by Emily Nagoski. If this information was fascinating to you, do yourself and your partner a favor and pick up a copy and read it.
With so much love,
p.s. Don’t forget to sign up with your name and email anywhere on the site to get “How to Have a Rocking Postpartum Sex Life” coming out soon!