Trina Read Sex and relationships

Q I’ve been with my husband for three years and had a very good sex life. We had a baby boy five months ago and haven’t had sex once. I have tried many times to get my partner into bed. At first he made excuses but last week he blurted he sees me as a mum and respects me too much to have sex.

A
This is classic ‘mother-lover’ complex. Some men see women in two ways: before she was the mother of his child she was his lover; once baby arrives he now sees her as a mother and finds it hard to mix the two roles.

Did your husband grow up with a mother who was traditional and frowned on sex? If yes, this is probably where he got the idea sex and motherhood are completely separate.

This attitude can change with tender persuasion. Set up a date and have someone babysit your son for a few hours. Don’t talk about anything to do with nappies and feeding times.

Instead engage him in fun and flirty adult conversation. Start snuggling up. Ask if he’d like a back massage and then turn it sensual with your hands moving all over his body.

Great Relationship Tips
When you show him that other sexual side of you, without baby coming into his mind – he will slowly accept you’re a woman of many roles.

Q I get really turned on when my partner kisses me during sex. Do you have any ideas?

A
You’re absolutely on the mark. A study out of the University of Albany showed men initiate open-mouth kissing to transfer libido-boosting testosterone to their partner.

Most people think their genitals are the only erogenous zone when in fact our entire body craves touch. Kissing different body parts during sex takes your sexual satisfaction to the moon.

An easy tip for many sex positions is while in the middle of things, pause to give light kisses on each other’s cheeks, forehead, jaw line, nose and closed eyelids. Not only is this unbelievably sexy, it also feels incredibly intimate.

Another hot idea is “The Medieval Necklet,” which is not meant for kissing lips, rather stimulating the tender skin around his or her collarbone
and neckline.
Begin nuzzling your partner’s neckline and then slowly plant small kisses from one side of their neck to the other. Pause between kisses so they can feel your breath along their collarbone. This is extremely erotic, because you are taking your time and savouring the moment.

Great Sex Tip
Not only does kissing help get you in the mood for sex; passionately kissing elevates your blood pressure and causes your heart to beat faster, getting you more excited, and making it easier for you to reach orgasm.

Q. Is it normal for a happily married woman to fantasise?

A It is very normal and yet women fantasising is a touchy topic. To put fantasy into perspective, it’s okay for women to daydream about chocolate or a new outfit … but the morality police have somehow convinced her that daydreaming about ‘getting it on’ is not acceptable.
The truth is women have very colourful and active imaginations and when given permission can dream up extremely hot, erotic scenarios. This is definitely something women should use to their sexual advantage.
Perhaps it’s because women have such wonderful imaginations that they hesitate to share their fantasies with their partners. Some are afraid of the judgment or worse yet being called a slut. Some are anxious their friends might think less of them even though, ironically, they’re probably just as imaginative.

In the hopes of normalising fantasy, here is a list of women’s most common fantasies:
> Sex with a celebrity
> Sex with a woman
> Sex with the barista at Starbucks who is of indeterminate gender
> A threesome with George Clooney and Angelina Jolie
> Sex with a stranger
> Being dominated
> Dominating your partner
> Sex in a public place
> Group sex

Great Sex Tip
Fantasies don’t mean you are closeted lesbians or bisexual or into BDSM or looking for new, edgier experiences. As women age and evolve so do their fantasies.

Q. I’ve noticed my teenage son has ‘sticky’ sheets. Does this mean he’s having wet dreams and should I talk to him about it?

A. Even though both teenage boys and girls experience this, wet dreams are more prevalent in boys as puberty increases his testosterone production.
While sleeping our dreams can conjure up images, which are pleasant, nasty or why-did-I-eat-that-pizza-before-bed confusing. When we experience pleasure in our dreams, our mind tells our body to feel it too. As our sexy dream reaches orgasm, sometimes our bodies experience the sensations as well.
Even though this is an extremely awkward topic to bring up with your son, it is important to discuss it with him. Your first step is to give him the, ‘your body is changing’ talk. Wet dreams can be alarming for some and he needs to know he is normal.
Next, if you’re “literally cracking the blankets in half” (thank you Bridesmaids), it’s time to talk with your teen about his wet dreams, masturbation and the changes going on in his body.
If this type of sex-ed conversation is simply too overwhelming then make sure to buy an age appropriate book and leave it in his room. The better educated teenagers are about sex, the better choices they will make.

Great Sex Tip
Adult men and women can also experience an ‘orgasm dream’ too…the trick is to not sleep through it.

Q My husband and I have a fantastic relationship, except I’ve never orgasmed with him and it’s starting to bother me. Should I be happy orgasming on my own and not with my husband?

A
Thank you for bringing up this very important topic. It’s often more complicated for women to orgasm during intercourse than men but often very little is done to change this sexual bedroom dynamic.
It doesn’t sound like you are among the 10% of women who can’t orgasm due to physical conditions, medication or illness.
Still only about 30% of women are able to reach orgasm simply from intercourse alone. Which means you’re perfectly normal!
It also means if you want to orgasm during intercourse, you need to focus on having a clitoral orgasm…which, for many women, leads to a big psychological roadblock: namely showing… your husband your sexual preferences.
If you’re uncomfortable showing how you achieve orgasm on your own – remember he’s not a mind reader and he will be incredibly happy to get this information – it’s time to come to terms with the omnipresent good girl/bad girl messages and why you may feel ashamed for him to witness your orgasm.

Sex Fact
Good sex should never be limited to it always ending with orgasms for both partners. Just as important is the emotional and physical closeness, warmth, and caring.

Q I opened our family computer and discovered my 14-year-old has visited several porn sites. I have no idea what to do. I’m worried about viruses and predators, but mostly dread talking to him.

A
A big reason this is a difficult topic is we never say ‘porn’ around kids. Yet, it is now a modern truth: once your kid has unsupervised access to the internet, they will eventually see porn.
Understand your stance on porn and, more importantly, why. It’s not good enough to ban porn from your computer; you need to explain your personal and family values.
Whatever your values, your son’s sexual curiosity is a normal part of his development and he shouldn’t be shamed because of this exploration.
The best place to bring up this conversation is in the car, where nobody has to make eye contact (and he is trapped). Begin the conversation close to home so he can count on an imminent escape.
Give your teenager fair warning, something like, “We need to talk about internet pornography; there are a few things I want you to know.”
Don’t expect your teenager to ask a lot of questions. Rather leave it as the start of the conversation and when he is ready, he can come back and talk some more.

Sex Ed Tip
You don’t need to be an expert. Sex educators agree it’s more important to be the ‘askable parent’ than the parent with all the answers.

Q I am due to have a C-section and I was wondering will I get the opportunity to have skin-to-skin contact with my new baby straight away or will I have to wait until I am out of recovery?

A
Every hospital has different policies and unfortunately despite the compelling evidence to keep mums and babies together after a surgical birth some hospitals continue to separate new mothers and their babies. Skin-to- skin is so important for all mums and babies whether mum is planning on breastfeeding or not. Your baby has just ‘moved house’ very suddenly and that time spent skin to skin with your baby calms his nervous system, regulates his temperature, blood sugar levels and breathing. Have a conversation with the midwife at your next appointment to find out what the policy is at your maternity unit and be sure to have written caesarean section birth preferences. If your maternity unit is not providing this option you can always change to a hospital where you and your baby can stay together. If you prefer not to change hospitals you can expect to be separated from your baby for up to two hours – this is a great opportunity for your partner to do skin-to-skin with your newborn and arrange for the staff to help you initiate breastfeeding as soon as you get back to the postnatal ward.

Q
I am eight months pregnant with my first baby. I’m quite nervous about the beginning of the labour process. What is the difference between true labour and false labour?

A
As a first-time mum, it can be unnerving when you get into those last few weeks – constantly wondering “is this it?” and “will I really know if this is it?” First off, there’s no such thing as false labour. Your body is not tricking you or playing games with your head – there is a huge amount of ‘behind the scenes’ work happening long before dilation begins, as your body is doing those last few preparations before the big day. Some mums experience what I call ‘warm ups’ during the last trimester. Think of your uterus as this amazing muscle that is warming up – just like you would warm up your muscles before any other athletic activity.
Warm ups will come and go – labour won’t stop when you change position, lie down or have a bath. Warm ups can happen if you’re dehydrated so make sure you’re drinking to thirst in pregnancy. They can also be your body signalling to you that you’re doing too much. Warm ups may be your body helping rotate your baby into a more favourable position before birth.
When labour starts it’s generally accompanied by other signs such as bloody mucous (show) waters releasing and an increasing need to really focus and reduce distractions around you. So until you’re having other signs that baby is making his way to you, rest, rehydrate and look forward to meeting your baby.

ASK LOUISE

Q My son is 18 months old and has just started saying his first words. It is an extremely exciting time in our house and my husband and I are eager to encourage his speaking as much possible. What advice would you give us on how we can foster this without bombarding and confusing him?

AThere is nothing better than hearing your baby begin to talk. All the hard work you have put in over the last two years is coming back tenfold.
Toddlers will vary significantly with ability and speed of which they talk however a guide would be about 50 words by 2 years of age. The most important thing to watch for is that your baby/toddler is cooing and babbling and begins to string sounds together like “Mama/Dada” They should have a wide range of speech sounds and like to imitate you and things they hear.
There are many ways that you can promote Speech and Language development at home:
1. Slowing down your own speech and taking time over conversations with your little one. Every day is a new experience when you are 18 months, nappy changes, bath time, baking a cake brings endless opportunity for you to interact and offer new words for them to hear and repeat. Make eye contact, smile and use exaggerated tones to keep things interesting and fun for your tot.
2. Review the toys that you have on offer to your tot and ensure that they give plenty of open ended play opportunities. Role play is a wonderful way to allow children to take the lead. Kitchens with lots of plates, cups and pots. Fill the pots with dry pasta and allow your child to cook and serve you. Playdoh, painting, gardening and sandpits are also great for allowing your child to take the lead and babble about what they are doing. Read plenty of books together and point and allow them time to answer any questions that you ask.
3. Limit screen time. Overuse of televisions and iPads do not give your child opportunity to interact in a two way manner.
4. Ask your child lots of open ended questions “What’s that?” “Where are we?” Point at things they know the answer to for boosting confidence (Car/ Car, etc.) When they don’t know the answer, explain it to them. Limit baby talk and speak clearly with good pronunciation, remember you are the teacher and they will copy you.
If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, be sure to speak with your GP or developmental Health Nurse. They are very skilled at understanding the difference between speech delays and spotting something that may require professional attention.
Enjoy watching their little brains absorb the world around them and listen to what they have to say. It won’t be too long before they won’t stop talking to you, asking “Why Mummy/ Daddy?” every 5 minutes….

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Ask Tracey

Midwife Tracey Donegan answers your questions about pregnancy and birth

Q When should I have my first pregnancy scan? And how many scans should I get throughout my pregnancy?

A
Your first scan is known as your dating scan and is routine in all hospitals. Most mums will have this scan at their booking visit, which can be anywhere between 12-18 weeks. The earlier the scan the more accurate it will be. If you have experienced recurrent miscarriages some hospitals will scan you earlier. Contact your antenatal clinic for more information. In Ireland, most women will have two scans in a healthy pregnancy – a dating scan and an anomaly scan at around 20 weeks. However, some units provide a dating scan only. Private scans are also available in most cities and many parents use these services for additional reassurance and to find out the sex of their baby.