Sex without the sexy

5 MONTHS POST-PARTUM

In various Asian and South American countries, women are made to stay at home for at least a month after giving birth, avoiding housework, sex and visitors so their bodies can heal while they lie with their babies. But here, we try to do it all and often become slightly unhinged. If you have any physical affection left to give when you’ve been holding a baby for 18 hours, how does sex change and what does it feel like? How does the dynamic change and how does abstaining affect your relationship? How does it feel to shelve your sexual side, and how long does that feeling last? What does it do to your sexual swagger to have to bare a body that’s battered and scarred, fetid with milk sweats and baby sick?

Sex used to be fun, passionate, sexy. Now it’s painful and kind of a drag, and can only be achieved with the help of various plastic implements. All the classic erogenous zones have been modified, as if the DIY SOS team have done a botch-job on my insides and outsides. My vagina is a bloody mess, my tits are like udders, and my belly is numb and hangs low between my hips. The only bodily fluid I excrete is milk. I’m spending 24 hours a day being a mum and I don’t see where sex fits into this new identity. Well, it absolutely doesn’t fit actually, because I’ve been stitched up too neatly.

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