Q & A

Question

Since the birth of our son 6 months ago, I have lost nearly all my interest in sexuality. At the end of the day I just feel so worn out an exhausted that it’s the last thing on my mind when my husband gets home from work. At the beginning he was very understanding but he is now reaching a point where he feels he is missing something and I don’t want him to be unhappy with me. Is there anything I can do to get my libido back on track?

Answer

First of all I would like to let you know that it is very common, if not even “normal” for a woman to lose her sexual interest after the birth of a child.

The demands of having to take care of a little baby all day as well as the physical closeness are physically very exhausting. New mothers are mostly in the “giving” position, constantly having to give something to the little one, be it food, attention, love, milk, clean clothes….. At the end of the day, sex can be viewed just as another thing that needs to be “given”, and that there is just not enough energy left for anymore.

But what new mothers often enjoy is receiving physical attention, maybe a massage, a cuddle or just being held and not having to do anything.

Maybe you could talk to your husband about your situation and feelings. If he gets a better understanding for your situation he is more likely not to become too frustrated or demanding about it. And if you let him know what you would like or would enjoy, even if this isn’t sex, this can be the first step of reconnecting on a physical level again. And maybe if you learn to relax into this new form of non-sexual intimacy you might feel a desire someday to transform it into something sexual. Give yourself some time and acknowledge the demands of motherhood on your present life situation. But also give yourself some time and space to express and experience the forms of intimacy you feel you are able and would like to share with your partner.

Question

My husband and I just found out that our 13 year old daughter has been sexually abused by the neighbour living next door to her grandparents.

We have already been to the police and pressed charges and have also been to our GP with her. But she does not want to talk about what happened and gets angry and aggressive when I try to comfort her or speak to her about it.

I am very worried about her and feel so bad, that I can´t do anything to help her feel better. I also feel terrible for not having noticed anything sooner and being able to prevent this from happening.

I would do anything to help my child get over this, but at the moment she just won´t let me. Do you have any advice?

Answer

People who experienced sexual traumatisation often need some time before they feel able to talk about what happened to them. I would recommend you don’t put any pressure on your daughter, but give her the time she needs until she is ready to confide in someone. Do not be worried or hurt if this person turns out not to be you. It is very difficult for children and teenagers to talk to their own parents about sexuality in general, and even more so, about something like sexual abuse.

You can be the biggest help to your daughter by letting her know that you are there for her when she needs you and that you can organize or arrange any kind of professional help and support if she feels ready for it.

In cases of sexual abuse of children I always recommend the parents to also seek some professional help – even if it is only once or for a short time. It can help parents to get a better understanding of their child’s situation and behaviour, but also give them an opportunity to talk about their own feelings and concerns, too.

Question

I am a 27 year old gay man and I find it very difficult to find a partner. I live in a small town where everybody seems to know each others business. Although I don`t feel ashamed about my sexual orientation I havn’t come out to my parents and family about it yet. They are very religious and traditional and would most certainly react very badly to it.

I feel very isolated and having to keep such an essential part of myself secret really gets me down at times. Do you have any advice what I could do?

Answer

The feeling of being isolated is very common among gay women and men, especially in rural Ireland. There are no meeting points, no places to go where you could find likeminded people and therefor hardly any way of finding a potential partner either.

I would recommend using the internet as a way to connect with other gay people in Ireland. In big cities like Cork, Dublin or Galway there are very well organised LGBT (LesbianGayBisexualTransgender) communities that organise events, support groups, meetings and parties. Maybe there is one not too far away from your hometown.

Especially if you are not in the open about your sexual orientation the internet can be a great way of getting in contact with other people, especially those who might be in a very similar situation as you. And they might be able to give you some advice or share some of their experience regarding “coming out” towards family and friends that can be helpful to you.