Love In The Time Of Colic
This straightforward, humorous guide tackles the tender subject of sex after baby and how to start having (enjoyable!) sex again. Authors and parents Ian Kerner, Ph.D. and Heidi Raykeil bring their perspectives on dealing with this transition in life gracefully, drawing from their own experiences negotiating love, sex and parenting.
Heidi and Ian provide practical ideas to help cultivate more sensuality and pleasure for even the busiest of couples. Many of the chapters include a "Sex Rx" that includes mindfulness exercises to try and strategies for maintaining sexual health and wellness.
Chapter 1 begins with the immediate physical and mental changes that accompany childbirth and caring for a newborn. This is a helpful chapter for those wanting to reintegrate touch and intimacy (i.e. intimacy that doesn't revolve around the baby). This chapter also contains additional information on lubricants and kegel exercises.
Chapter 2 explores the infamous baby blues and the more serious condition of postpartum depression. This chapter does a nice job of taking a balanced approach, equally incorporating male and female perspectives on intimacy overload with the baby, frustrations in the relationship, and how to best support your partner.
Chapter 3 discusses the concepts of "pity sex" and "charity sex," and how the entrenched routine of parenting can seriously blunt libido. This chapter features more on miscommunication and hurt feelings and how to avoid them. It also contains a helpful Sex Rx on being present and doing more with your partner, even if it means getting less done.
Chapter 4 brings the focus back to self-awareness and self-care, and how sexual health reflects overall health. Ian and Heidi discuss body image and how to constructively address weight gain. They also cover topics in men's sexuality, including erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation, as well as postpartum depression for fathers.
Chapter 5 covers the once magical but now ill-fated date night (and how to revive it), how to connect with your partner outside of bedroom, and "how to make everyday a little more like date night". It also includes helpful ideas for taking yourself on a date and how to encourage your partner to do the same.
Chapter 6 takes a look at fantasy as a way to spark libido, and offers tips on how to meet your partner halfway with their interests and desires. This chapter discusses role play and exhibitionism as well as dominance & submission and heavier sensation play. This chapter works well as a conversation-starter and as a source of inspiration for creating your own fantasies.
Chapter 7 is oriented for those who are "dangerously turned off, looking elsewhere, withdrawing, or withholding". It discusses resources for those who feel they're having difficulty or no progress communicating and suggests ways to argue constructively. The book concludes with a brief appendix of questions on libido and talking to kids about sex and more.
This book works nicely as a resource for both couples to read together. The "What Moms Want Dads to Know" and "What Dads Want Moms to Know" are particularly illuminating and help to address common miscommunication pitfalls.
You can pick up the book wherever you want and read the chapters you feel are most relevant to your own experience. You may even choose to skip to the between-chapter diagnostics that include quizzes to help get you thinking about your libido & desire, how you feel about it, and how to communicate your needs and desires to your partner.
This book focuses on heterosexual partnerships, and so is recommended for heterosexual couples looking for information on how to reconnect with their partners and ways to explore new paths to pleasure and sexual satisfaction. Because it sheds a lot of light on the physical and emotional changes in store with newborns, it's also a nice resource for those expecting a baby.