(Image; 'The Boys Are Dreaming Wicked,' by Sir Peter Blake)
Let me just say this: I used to love sex, and now, well, now I don’t care for it much.
My husband and I met nearly 6 years ago. As all new couples we couldn’t keep our hands off each other, the sex was great, fantastic and frequent! We kissed, cuddled, enjoyed foreplay. I’m quite the prude, but once we get down and dirty there was no stopping me. Once the initial lust died down I remember worrying when we’d only had sex once or twice a week, that this just wasn’t enough. We began to talk about having children, and I panicked! If we only had it twice a week now, would we do it even less once we had children? I had a high libido which needed satisfying! Would he ever have as high a sex drive as me?
Oh how I roll on the floor laughing at my naivety.
Fast forward 4 years, a wedding and 2 children later, and sex? Oh god, really, do we have to? Didn’t we do that last month? It’s not just that I’m tired, I am so very tired, but I also have zero libido, nothing, zilch. Sex often feels like someone else wanting something from me physically, emotionally or mentally. By the time I sit down in the evening, I just want some personal space, not to get hot and sweaty again! I’m finally rid of everyone else’s body fluids from the day. The snot, wee, nappies, cuddles, snuggles, tears they are all lovely but they all require a “piece of me” and I don’t want to give anymore of me away after 9pm!
Mornings are long out of the window, I long for the day I get to wake up by myself, without little fingers prying my eyes open, or (rapidly growing) tiny feet kicking me in the already unloved vagina!
It took me a while after the first baby to get my mojo back. A rapid 2 hour labour, ventouse and episiotomy left me a little shell shocked. The only note in my birth plan was to not have an episiotomy but when the time came I wasn’t given a choice. I remember shouting it wasn’t what I wanted, but no one listened. So, with a backside black and blue and stitches that felt too tight, I went home and got on with my new life as a mother. A year later my husband and I got married, we even had sex, and sometimes more than once a month. After our wedding, we had our first night away. A whole night, we drank, had sex, it was great, my god, we thought might even do it again! However, baby number 2 was on his way.
This labour was just as quick (even if it needed help to get underway), and a slight tear with no stitches, meant I practically ran back to the post labour ward, so elated that I could walk unaided or at least hobble. But things weren’t right; after 9 months I queried that things “down there” hurt! The skin kept splitting, sex was unimaginably painful. I was told it would get better when I stopped breast feeding, use lube was the answer. But it didn’t help.
1yr on, I’d stopped breastfeeding. The skin still splits and it’s still painful.
I thought you were supposed to “leave your dignity at the door” when you go into labour, no one told me you don’t get to pick it up when you leave the hospital. That it’s gone forever. Your bits are never your own again! The last few months have been rounds of consultations, and multiple people looking at my lady bits.
18 months on from my second child and I have been diagnosed with an “unsupported skin bridge” which would benefit from a “z-plasty of the introitus”. This means they want to cut my perineum into a z and stitch it back together to provide greater elasticity and prevent the constant splitting and “to improve sexual intercourse”. We do have sex, albeit not very regularly. In fact just this week we’ve had it twice! A miracle! Even if I do wince when I sit down, and won’t be hurrying to go swimming for a while!
So should I go under the knife? Will having a designer vagina improve our sex life? Will it help me find my libido? Or will it just be more pain, more stitches and more scars?
Is a lifetime of discomfort, worth letting someone cut your vagina open and sew it back together just to improve sex?