Bring kids into the picture, and often, one’s sex drive takes a nose dive. Especially for mothers.
Low libido is a very common issue for new mothers as they are healing from childbirth, grappling with fluctuating hormones and extreme sleep deprivation.
While we know adjusting to a new baby can profoundly impact a couple’s life (including sexual intimacy), we, as a society, act like it shouldn’t. We act like there’s something wrong with a new mother needing a timeout from sex.
New mothers who admit to having less sex drive are often met with people urging, “Just do it anyway,” and “You’ll get in the mood.”
But what if you don’t get in the mood, even when you take this advice? What then?
Why aren’t the feelings of the woman valid? Shouldn’t she be listening to her body? Her mind?
I’m not sure where we got this idea that a husband owns his wife’s vagina. Or that he is entitled to intercourse, MouthAction, handling, or groping. I’m pretty sure I didn’t see that covenant in the paperwork. But I have an inkling that this entitlement is very much based in misogyny and male privilege.
Men are led to believe, often since they are young boys, that women should have sex with them when they want it. Even when their wives are not “in the mood.” Because sex is the way he feels intimate. Sex is the way he connects. Because putting your husband’s sexual desires first is supposedly the best way to avoid divorce.
These antiquated and sexist designs for marriage are damaging to women.
When a married mom doesn’t put out, she’s called “cold” and “selfish” and the dreaded “bitch.” She’s told she must have “something else going on” mentally. Outsiders to the marriage, and maybe even therapists, will question if the wife was ever sexually assaulted. Does she have a history of trauma? They’ll try to make connections that aren’t there. Because how could a wife possibly not want to have sex with her husband?
It is sickening and horrific to think of a woman having sex against her will, married or not. It’s disgusting that we automatically assume something must be “wrong” with a woman who is having a gap in her groove. Beyond all that, it’s dangerous.
Suggesting that married women and mothers should just “do it anyway” is sexual bullying and coercion. If a husband acts on the “just do it anyway” cliché and forces it — that’s called rape.
When we attack married mothers for not putting out, we’re reaffirming once again what’s important in this society.
A man’s needs, not a woman’s. A man’s voice, not a woman’s voice.