I’m Zachary Zane, a sex writer, author, and ethical Boyslut (a fancy way of saying I sleep with a lot of people, and I’m very, very open about it). Over the years, I’ve had my fair share of sexual experiences, dating and sleeping with hundreds of people of all genders and orientations. In doing so, I’ve learned a thing or two about navigating issues in the bedroom (and a bunch of other places, TBH). I’m here to answer your most pressing sex questions with thorough, actionable advice that isn’t just “communicate with your partner” because you know that already. Ask me anything—literally, anything—and I will gladly Sexplain It.
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Dear Sexplain It,
My wife gave birth about six months ago, and her sex drive is now back up to where it used to be. The issue is I don’t want to have sex with her. While I still find her beautiful and love her deeply, before we had a child, our sex life involved lots of impact play, with me being the Dom and her being my sub. Now, I can’t bring myself to spank her, slap her, or do any of the kinky stuff we used to. Psychologically, it’s messing with me that she’s the mother of my child. But she really wants to. Should I try to do it even though it feels weird to me now? Maybe once we’ve started, I’ll get into it again. Or if you don’t think I should do that, what should I tell her?
I think you should tell her exactly what you told me. She might be worried that you no longer want to have sex because her body has changed since birth, and that you don’t find her sexually desirable. The truth will hurt her feelings a whole lot less!
Don’t take the “fake it ’til you make it” approach. Your wife knows you well, and I’m sure she’ll be able to tell if you’re gritting your teeth and bearing it during your next impact play session. That’s no fun for anyone. Javay Frye-Nekrasova, a certified sex educator for Lovehoney, agrees with me. “I wouldn’t suggest you try and do things as you usually do, because it won’t be pleasurable for you or your wife,” she said when I showed her your question.
Instead of trying to do impact play when it feels weird to you, tell your wife: “I want you to know how much I love you and how hot I think you are, but I’ve been having a mental block around, well, doing impact play with the mother of my child.” When you say it like that, you two will probably end up laughing together.
From there, work together as a team to come up with some other sexy activities you’re both excited about. I refuse to believe there’s no middle ground between celibacy and a full-on impact scene. How about role play? Sex toys? Or a Dom/sub scene that doesn’t involve any impact play, but lots of dirty talk instead? Maybe you can tie motherhood into your dirty talk to eroticize her as a mother. Call her a “slutty mommy,” or explore a breastfeeding kink. (Take advantage; she won’t be lactating forever!)
As you’re exploring, make sure to laugh and have fun with it. The more you pressure yourselves to recreate exactly what you had before, the less likely you’ll be to enjoy the experience. If you call her a “slutty mommy,” it it turns out you don’t like it, you can say, “Nope. Nope!! That felt weird. Not doing that again.” Then try something else.
Daddy, one final thing: Even if you didn’t just have a kid, you still may have reached this sexual crossroads. Our kinks often evolve as we get older; Justin Lehmiller, Ph.D., a researcher at the Kinsey Institute and member of the Men’s Health advisory panel, hypothesizes that changes in our sexual desires may be related to changes in our personality as we age.
So, really, I wouldn’t sweat it too much that your kinks are evolving. Consider this good practice for whenever it happens again in the future.