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Wendy Widom Headshot

Mommy Wants Her Libido Back -- Pronto

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Dear Libido,

My sweet, loving, oversensitive, temperamental, drives-me-up-a-wall-sometimes libido. In the decades that you and I have gotten to know each other, we've enjoyed some great times. There was the first (and second and third) time we read Judy Blume's Forever; one very fun Brazilian guy named Freddie; a quick yet satisfying elevator ride in Poland; and who can ever forget watching Keanu Reeves in the movie Speed? We had a ball.

Then we met the guy I'd eventually marry. Boy oh boy, those were some heady times. Dinner in bed, followed by dessert in bed, followed by, yes, breakfast in bed. You know that joke about how at Chinese restaurants, when you get the cookie, you're supposed to add in "in bed" to your fortune? You could say we took that advice quite literally. And it was nothing short of magnificent.

Then, Libido, we got married and the bedroom became the most confusing place in my whole life. Talk about oversensitive. One benign comment by hubby had you hiding for days. I can't believe how many nights I slept on the couch because of the angry and fearful thoughts that swirled though my head and all the way down to you. The deep intimacy of marriage took me, and even you, by surprise. When I felt really close to hubby emotionally, that's when you decided to flee. And I got scared, so scared, that you'd never come back.

When you, hubby and I finally start to get this all figured out -- POW -- along comes pregnancy and motherhood. Sure, we had a blast during the second trimester, but did you really have to disappear for a full two years after the kid was born? Seriously, Libido, where the hell did you go? I wrote and it said your inbox was full. I called and it said your number had been disconnected. I still can't believe you abandoned me like that. I thought we were pals, Libido.

When I eventually found you, thanks to that Search and Rescue mission that involved me changing to a different birth control pill, it was like you were a whole new Libido. You were moody, controlling and I have never in my life seen a dryer sense of humor. And could you be any rougher on hubby? Sometimes I'm floored by how much you push him. You know he doesn't mean any harm when he makes silly comments or gives me those puppy dog eyes. He just wants to spend time with me. Have fun. Feel close, adventurous and happy to be together and in love.

But noooooo, you have to go and make it all about sexpectations. All about pressure and duty. Why? Libido, this isn't some caricatured version of a 1950's marriage. You know it's about our wants and desires, too. We get to explore and enjoy, not because it's expected of us, but because we want it just as much, and sometimes even more, than hubby does. I never thought you and I would buy into the stupid stereotype of the husband needing it and the wife withholding or feeling overwhelmed by guilt and a sense of obligation. Libido, I have to tell you the truth, you are driving me absolutely crazy.

I don't know about you, Big L, but I am so ready for things to change. And since desperate times call for desperate measures, I recently hatched a plan. And as I'm sure you've noticed, it's working, spectacularly.

Here's what I did. I told hubby that you and I need a little extra help to feel empowered. To be a little more specific, Libido, I kind of blamed the whole thing on you. I said you'd emerge, stronger than ever, if you could focus on your desires rather than how you might be letting him or me down. I told him how each week I'm counting, counting the days since the last time, hoping he's not feeling disappointed or frustrated. I told him about my deepest darkest fears, which is that if I don't meet his physical needs, the needs he expresses either directly or indirectly, that he won't love me anymore.

So he and I made a decision. For thirty days, it's all about us. No demands and no expectations. Just you and me, kid. And, holy sexual revolution, have I noticed a difference. You are on fire. I can hardly contain you. Day and night, night and day, I haven't seen you like this in years. Since our little experiment began, I don't feel pressure, or guilt, or sexpectations. Instead, do you know what I've discovered? You are alive, Libido. You are alive!

We've got another three weeks of this arrangement, where I'm the initiator and we're focusing on my needs and wants rather than worrying about hubby's. Though I don't know what'll happen once this experiment is over, I do know this. I love you, Libido. Whether you're bringing me tremendous pleasure or torturing me with indescribable pain, just remember we're in this together, forever. So stick around. We've got plans for tonight. Any maybe even tomorrow night, too. Who knows what can happen when my sweet little Libido gets going.

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