My husband and I used to have a great sex life. He joined the Navy a few months after he graduated college so we would have to go months without seeing each other the first 12 years of our marriage. While he was gone I had to *ahem* take matters into my own hands. When he came home from being deployed, it was all I could do to not rip his clothes off right there.
“There” being on a military base in front of the other wives watching and waiting for their men on the dock. I have to admit my sex drive has never been that high except for in high school, but my mom is probably reading this so shhh. When my husband was gone for several months at a time, sex was frequently on my mind.
We’ve been married for over 16 years and during that time, things on my body have stretched and sagged. I know I’m not perky in all the right places like I used to be when I was 20-something girl. My husband assures me that there’s nothing wrong with my body (awww, what a sweet liar), but I would still be self-conscious. Over the years our sex life has gone down because of it. Nearly 3 years ago I had my daughter and there was more stretching and sagging.
My post-pregnancy body brought on more insecurity. Sex became exhausting, but not for the right reasons. Before our clothes came off, I would make sure the lights were out. His hands would roam all over my body and I would suck my stomach in. I would also do a move to make my boobs look perky. You might know the one. Arms laying at my side and lifting my breasts up so they wouldn’t fall into my armpits. Instant perkiness. I would lay down in the most uncomfortable positions so I would look better.
There I was on the bed, stomach sucked in as far as it would go, arms to my side holding up my boobs, head turned a certain way on the off chance that there would be light, he would get my good side, all while trying to guide my husband’s hands to a place on my body that I wasn’t self-conscious about, like my hair. I know, totally wild and sexy. RAWR!
I had an emergency cesarean and never had an issue with the scar, but I had complications with my cesarean which caused us to have less sex because of the pain I was in. Eleven months later I had to have another abdominal surgery to fix the problem. I was left with four small scars on my stomach. Four small, raised, red scars. It took me a few weeks to even look at my stomach and when I did I felt like some kind of Frankenstein. I have other scars, but for the most part, they’re not as noticeable.
When I finally recovered and my husband and I started having sex again, I would leave my shirt on. Sure I became a pro at being a contortionist, but the scars are like a big flashing neon sign to me. It’s been 2 years since I’ve had surgery and the scars haven’t gotten much better, even after using over the counter treatments that promise to reduce them.
Fortunately, I am becoming more confident although it’s been slow going. I no longer feel the need to wear a shirt, but I still don’t feel like I’m at a place where I can fully enjoy sex like I used to. Also as I’ve written before, my antidepressant likes to make my sex drive non-existent.
Every now and then my husband makes fun of his love handles or a little thinning along his hairline and I hate to hear him talk that way about himself. If only I could get it in my head that he feels the same way when I put myself down.