Motherly has partnered with Hillary Frank and The Longest Shortest Time podcast to bring you insights from their five years of publishing stories from the front lines of parenthood.
In Episode #68, The Parents’ Guide to Doing It Frank chats with Twanna Hines, a.k.a. The Funky Brown Chick an award winning sex educator, and Dr. Hilda Hutcherson who is nationally renowned expert in the field of women’s health and author of What Your Mother Never Told You About Sex and Pleasure: A Woman’s Guide to Getting the Sex You Want, Need and Deserve to get some answers to listeners sex advice questions.
“Don’t let creativity leave your relationships—ever. Stay young, lovers. Keep learning.”—Twanna Hines
Listeners call in with questions ranging from how to get your husband to be a better kisser, how the heck you and your partner can have sex if you co-sleep with your child, and overcoming dry spells.
Check out the podcast to listen in on this racy, honest, and helpful(!) episode. Here are a few things we learned from this one:
Model what you want
If you’re craving something that you’re not getting from your partner—like the listener who asked how she could get her husband to be a better kisser—model what you want. Say, “Tonight I want you to let me do whatever I want to do to you.” We’re thinking this will be very well received indeed.
If you or your partner are dealing with a low libido due to depression, the side effect of an antidepressant, breastfeeding, fatigue, etc. Twanna Hines would like to remind you that, “Everybody has something that’s different for them. Realize there is no such thing as normal.” Our society puts a lot of pressure on couple’s to be having lots of sex—all the time. It’s just not realistic for everyone, and that’s okay.
As for getting back in the saddle, Dr. Hilda Hutcherson said that “When you haven’t had sex for a long time, it can be very awkward to get back into it. How do you just all of a sudden say—let’s go. Tonight’s the night.”
So, what do you do?
“You have to take it slowly,” she says, “first you have to communicate—like always—in a couple, about the importance of sex to the relationship. When you have that conversation, you then probably need to start very slowly with something that’s not so intimate, like a massage, then kissing.” Round those bases again, like you’re teenagers! Build up to the main event.
Tips on conception sex
When you’re trying to have a baby, how do you make it feel less like a chore?
Twanna Hines says, “If it feels like a chore, that’s because right now, it is a chore.” And comparing sex to something like washing the dishes is not sexy. She reminds us to always come back to the question, “Why are you trying to have a child in the first place?” Reminding yourselves of this is a much healthier and happier way to steer your thoughts back to what’s important.
Dr. Hilda shares that she was once the person obsessing over conception sex. She explains how she went through medical school and her residency, and all of a sudden she was 32 and felt that she needed to “get this baby out.”
She goes on to say, “The first time was just impossible. I thought if I stopped taking birth control pills, then I was going to be pregnant the next month—it didn’t work. So there we were taking my temperature, using ovulation predictor kits [checking mucus].” Dr. Hilda talks about how she felt bad for the way she treated her husband during this process, telling him how he had it easy—that he basically only had one, quick job.
She would demand sex the second her ovulation kit changed colors, and eventually realized that putting this sort of pressure on her husband wasn’t fair—and it wasn’t working. That pressure to perform can often have the opposite effect.
How do you take that pressure off? Dr. Hilda eventually stopped letting her husband know when she was ovulating. She would know, and she’d put something sexy on and turn up the heat; she made sex fun again.
Sex + co-sleeping
Dr. Hilda says, “The one thing I always tell my patients when they’re pregnant is—do not put that baby in the bed. My first child was in the bed...it took me three years to get that child out of my bed!” Her and her husband would sneak into the bathroom to have sex.
At this point in the conversation, Frank lets Dr. Hilda and Twanna know that this was a controversial topic on the last parents’ guide to sex episode. Both experts were against co-sleeping, and Frank received a ton of listener emails saying, “But I DO co-sleep and I firmly believe in co-sleeping, so what can you tell me?”
Twanna shared a slightly different opinion than Dr. Hilda, “I still think people can co-sleep with their kid if they want to, because here’s my thinking—sex doesn’t always have to take place in the bedroom. You can shower with your partner, you can have sex in your partner’s office—a bunch of different places. If [co-sleeping] is working for you, if that is important to you—have sex somewhere else.”