by Celina Criss
Ever feel like everyone wants a piece of you? Like, literally everyone and pieces of your actual physical body? You’ve got an infant on a boob, a toddler climbing you like a tree, and a partner casting “you never touch me anymore” bedroom eyes your way. But what if you took a moment to not worry about what they want and to consider what you need? A quick walk? An hour for yoga? Some quiet time and a good boo—
This is not another extreme self care, put your own oxygen mask on first post.
Let’s get real
Just because you are a mother does not mean you stop being sexy or having desires. Your desires may have changed: it’s entirely possible that the only sensual fantasy you entertain involves a hot bath, a six-hand massage, and room service. It might involve silence, lots of it. Or a time machine to take you back to that one spring break and all those “bad” ideas. Why not?
Our sexuality evolves as we do. What is exciting and interesting when we are in our early twenties is not likely to be the same thing we’re looking for when we’re fifty, right? Same with being a newlywed or a new parent. We change. Our bodies change, age, babies, fitness, stress: they all change us. Our emotional lives change. How secure do I feel in this relationship? How am I feeling about this parenting gig?
Expecting our sexual desires and responses and sex lives to be consistent is as absurd as expecting the same response from our toddler every time we offer cheese (it could be best thing ever, or it could be disgusting on a level normally reserved for – let’s not go there). Despite all the development we anticipate and celebrate in our children, we forget that all humans continue to develop with time and experience. This includes moms. There is no “end date” to growth and development without a certain degree of willfulness to stop it.
So, where does that leave me?
The questions to ask (post-baby or anytime) are:
Who am I now?
What do I want now?
What feels good right now?
For example, before tossing all your “old” sexy lingerie on the insistence of your mom/best friend/aunt/housekeeper who “helpfully” tells you this part of your life is over, ask yourself: do I feel good in this? Does it arouse me? Perhaps something doesn’t fit anymore, but has your body had a chance to recover from baby-making? If not, there’s no harm in giving yourself time. You can always declutter that item in six months. It’ll wait. Alternatively, perhaps this is your opportunity to find something new! A nightgown, some pretty bras and pants, a new LBD (little black dress). Explore. Try new patterns, new fabrics, a different look. There are no limits, aside from those you establish.
Don’t forget to explore your body. Appreciate new curves as well as the strength and endurance your body has bravely shown. Love your ability to create and sustain new life. Masturbate. Discover what all those muscles you’re flexing in Rückbuildungsgymnastik can do. Find new moves that feel good.
When you’re ready, invite your partner to join the fun. Try new toys and new positions together. Book a sitter and get away for an evening or a weekend and reconnect. Revisit favorites from your wild days together, make a bucket list and use it, try that restaurant that opened up down the street. Make up a game together or play a round of your favorite drinking game, using a massage candle in place of beer. Allow the quickie massage to develop into something else.
Appreciating you now
You are not who you were one, two, or five years ago, and that’s a good thing. You are more and you will continue to change and evolve as your life and responsibilities do. When thinking about “bringing sexy back,” be gentle with yourself and remember that sexy never left, it just evolved.
Be you. Be sexy you—as sexy as you dare, as sexy as you want to be, and exactly as you want!
Celina Criss is a Certified Sex Coach credentialed by Sex Coach U (SCU) and the World Association of Sex Coaches (WASC). She holds a PhD in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality as well as degrees in Art History and Classical Civilizations from the University of Michigan. She is fascinated by the history of sex and sexology, and is delighted every time she learns about a new sex practice.
A former elementary school teacher and inclusive learning specialist, Celina brings a sense of playfulness and curiosity to her work as a sex educator. She believes that sexual expression and well-being are our birthright, and encourages clients to explore their fantasies and desires at their own pace.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Celina lives in Munich, Germany, together with her partner and their children. She favors the Oxford comma and coffee, is powered by cookies, and is known for her giggle, which is regularly described as cute and sparkly by those who enjoy it. Determined to have it all, she pursues a balance of family, career, and sexual freedom everyday.