Thursday, June 5, 2008

Reclaiming Sex After Birth

I was on the phone to one of my closest friends in late 2006. We were talking about sex, and what birthing and becoming mothers had meant to that dimension of our lives. It had been on my mind a lot, and I was starting to seek out the voices and experiences of other women. At the time I was the editor of Down to Birth and Karen ‘dared’ me to do a whole edition around the issue of sex after birth. Never one to back down from an intellectual dare I said ‘yes’.

In first six months of 2007 I spoke to lots of women, but the one most passionate about writing about this issue was my close friend Annie Evett. Not only did she write her own personal experiences but sought out friends and work colleagues in person or via email to collect their experiences. She created spaces in which women felt comfortable and safe to share their experiences with others, opening the dialogue and breaking down the silence taboo around the topic.

In February 2008 the ‘Sex After Birth’ edition was birthed and immediately struck a chord with all who read it. I still get emails now with comments about this issue even though I am not longer editor of Down to Birth.

The issue provided a forum for women to speak honestly and openly about their experiences of sex after having children. They wrote about how good sex could be, and how difficult and painful it could be. They spoke about how sex worked to polarise their relationship, or to strengthen and deepen it. They spoke about the challenges of marrying the sexual and nurturing aspects of themselves. The issues they faced were complicated by emotional and psychological changes in themselves in addition to changes in relationship dynamics with themselves and their partners

Kerri Witt, who is the technical and business whiz behind our eBook project, felt strongly enough about this subject to approach Annie Evett and I after a business brunch to suggest we create an eBook with the articles we had already written. Kerri is yet to have children, but the amount of disinformation and horror stories on the internet disturbed and shocked her – to the point of commenting, ‘I don’t think I want to have kids now.’

When Annie was researching her original article for Down to Birth – she was appalled to discover how the subject was either glossed over or completely omitted from all the popular and best selling parenting and relationship books, even Dr Ruth’s “Guide to Sex”. Creating 'Reclaiming Sex After Birth' is our humble effort to redress that void.

In creating this eBook we are not seeking to fix, lecture or take the moral high ground. This isnot a ‘how to’ eBook. We want to dispell and defuse the deeply embedded belief that women should ‘Just get over themselves and get back on the job’ when it comes to sex - it is far more complex than that. We want women to stop carrying the guilt that it is ‘their fault’ that a couple’s sex life is not like it once was. This is unfair. It is our desire to show that many assumptions around initiating and maintaining a sex life after birth (such as the six week marker) are either erroneous, simplistic or both.

Our intention is to create a resource which is easily and readily accessible, that gathers in one place, a collection of personal experiences and wisdom as a beginning point to reclaim sex
after birth. The women who share their stories here are experts, in the truest sense of the word – wise through experience. We hope that you go on to open dialogue with friends and family
members about sex in this vulnerable period in couples’ lives, after reading this eBook. We also hope all women and men who read this, will understand that where they are currently on their journey, wherever that may be, they are not alone. And that they need not remain stuck there.
That each journey although it is unique,carries elements similar to every other journey. It is our sincerest wish that this strikes a chord with everyone who reads it - just as that original edition
of Down to Birth did.

'Reclaiming Sex After Birth' is due for birthing July 1st and will be available exclusively here.

1 comment:

Kerri Witt said...

Hi Jodi

There's now a blog especially for Sex after Childbirth

So we can ask questions and share experiences.