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To look at blonde knockout Dr. Victoria Zdrok (sexysexpert.com), 2004 Penthouse Pet of the Year and current advice columnist (full disclosure: I'm a Penthouse contributing editor), you'd never know she's the mother of a two-year-old. The Czech-born, busty babe whispers urgently into my ear in her sexy accent, then follows up with a lengthy e-mail, eager to share the often hidden facts about mommy sex. The best thing to Zdrok about post-baby sex is "that special sense of connection I feel to my partner now, which makes sex less trivial and more lofty. I also have more vaginal responsiveness and vaginal orgasms. Before becoming pregnant, I was only capable of clitoral orgasms." However, she's also experienced vaginal dryness and sore nipples, and she says her sex life hasn't returned to its peak pre-baby frequency.
My friend Liza Sabater (culturekitchen.com) has had similar bodily woes. "The sensation in my nipples was literally gone for about five years," she confides, but with diligence and dedication she's gained a new erotic outlook. "I had to learn how to have sex again, to literally work my vagina in different ways to get those muscles back in shape. It was an opportunity to become more aware of what brings me sexual pleasure."
Susie Bright (susiebright.com), author of Mommy's Little Girl (Thunder's Mouth Press, 2004) and perhaps the grande dame of smart, sexy moms (her daughter is now a teenager), was surprised at how randy she became after giving birth. "Sex felt nurturing and fun and, actually, extra-special. I felt like the most womanly person on earth, which for me was practically kinky."
For some women, a reduced sex drive and time constraints aren't such a hardship. Elise Miller, who runs the racy reading series "East Side Oral," tells me she shied away from sex right after giving birth to her son. "I was afraid to put anything near the opening of my vagina, let alone my husband's erect penis." Despite her reputation as a dirty girl (her memoir is called Cock-Crazy! after all), for Elise, "Sex wasn't a huge priority to begin with, which may be ironic. Now sex is a rare treat."
Deb, a friend of a friend, recalls being hornier then usual while pregnant, but later experienced body image issues and a dip in her libido. "All that sex drive I had during pregnancy disappeared. I felt like my body was a farm, there purely for producing a little human. When we tried to have sex, every little sound distracted me because I thought the baby was waking up." Lesley, a stay-at-home mom, waited the required seven weeks after giving birth before attempting to get it on, but then faced a new problem: Her baby slept in the room too. She felt squeamish about being intimate with her husband with her daughter so close by. "It was hard to feel sexy at first, but after a while you're so starved for each other, you wouldn't care if a news team were in your bedroom."
Laura, a 27-year-old travel agent, hasn't let motherhood stop her from enjoying sex to the fullest. In fact, she was thrilled that all her body image hang-ups flew out the window. She credits her increased sex drive to her age. "Ever since turning 25, I have found myself more in tune with my sexuality, and it's still building."
The very act of being a mom can be tinged with sexual overtones. Christen Clifford, author of the autobiographical play 17 Guys I Fucked (which she memorably performed in the last stages of her pregnancy), just wrote an impassioned essay for nerve.com in which she bravely admits to feelings of lust and desire toward her child. "I realized that I love my son more than I love my husband." For Clifford, the best thing about her post-baby sex life is "the eroticism of breast-feeding," but she was surprised that, despite being "so sexed up" while pregnant, she wasn't that horny afterward.
For moms struggling with their new roles, there is hope. Sabater's early dry spell has given way to a sexual free-for-all. "Now I'm hornier than ever," says the mother of two. "I've worked hard to get my body back into sexual health, and it's paid off. My orgasms are 10 times more intense than before, and I've found the key to opening my body to multiple orgasms. All it really takes is practice. Once I was done nursing, one day I just woke up and fucked the brains out of my husband."
And how do the guys in these women's lives feel? Zdrok's husband often tells her he feels like her breasts belong to her daughter after having seen her breast-feed. "But I think his sex drive has been more affected by his role as a father than my role as a mother," she muses. Sabater welcomes the change parenthood has brought to her husband. "He's hornier, but more affectionate as well. He does little things to me throughout the day to remind me of what's coming. That keeps the sexual tension alive."
In addition to the physical ailments, most of the women I contacted cited lack of time and energy as major obstacles to sexual fulfillment. Anne Semans (anneandcathy.com), author of Sexy Mamas (Inner Ocean Publishing, 2004), has some helpful tips. " 'Necessity is the mother of invention' applies particularly well. While researching my book, I heard from a few moms who had sex in the shower or on the balcony, because that's where they got the most privacy. Another mom said that during road trips, if the kids were asleep, she and her partner would pull over and engage in oral sex!"
Carving out space for sensuality, alone or with your partner, is crucial. Bright says, "I feel the most sexy when I get to have a life outside my kid and my job. Those two preoccupations can suck every drop of libidinous energy out of me. I went out to a bar the other night and sat around with my friends, talking and flirting. I couldn't remember the last time I did that! I felt very sexy, like I could have just about walked off with anyone."
Please visit rachelkramerbussel.com.