A few weeks back I met Intimacy Coach, Tracy Ziman Jacobs, at an event where she was super open and honest about her life helping people through intimacy problems.
After sharing some of her tips via InstaStories I realised that there were definitely some unanswered questions from y’all in this area…
The truth is that intimacy CHANGES after marriage and babies. It can’t NOT because WE CHANGE. The only constant in life is change so how can we assume that our relationships and intimate lives won’t be affected by our circumstances and personal growth journeys?
So I put it out to you, my readers, and gave you the opportunity to ask Tracy all your intimacy questions anonymously. (For some reason this topic is still treated as such as secret one… no one ever wants to put their name to a question about this topic!!!)
And the questions came pouring in… and many of them touched on EXACTLY the same issues!
So I approached Tracy to answer them with her valuable advice and years of experience as an Intimacy Coach. I hope you’ll find the following insights and answers interesting and helpful for your own life!
Firstly, a little bit more about Tracy Ziman Jacobs…
Tracy is a qualified social worker and therapeutic counsellor who works as a specialized intimacy and relationship coach within her consultancy, Totally Me. She is also a registered practitioner with Intimacy Coaching International (ICI). She was married for 14 years and has 3 children, 2 girls and a boy. After her marriage ended, she went on her own process of intimacy coaching and healing, and discovered that intimacy coaching has become her passion and her calling. She is enthusiastic about helping couples and individuals who wish to go beyond their current intimacy level and rekindle the passion they once had for each other and for themselves. Her path is to re-establish intimacy and connection, in all types of couples, which is so important in today’s very disconnected society.
Let’s Talk – Your Questions Answered
What is an Intimacy Coach? How do you help people in this area? Who would benefit from seeing an Intimacy Coach?
Just as one would seek the guidance of a Life Coach to reach certain life-goals, so would a person consult with an intimacy coach to achieve certain intimacy goals. Healthy couples who are having regular intercourse (3-4 times a week), may wish to add some spice to their activities.
Couples who are having little, or no intercourse at all, will see an intimacy coach to work out the issues in their marriage.
Whether one is single, straight, gay, young or old, all are welcome to experience intimacy coaching.
You speak about four types of intimacy within relationships – can you explain a bit more about these and how they are all connected?
There are actually five types of intimacy.
Sexual intimacy, spiritual intimacy, physical intimacy, emotional intimacy and intellectual intimacy.
Sexual is the most important, as it glues the relationship together. Without sexual intimacy, you could be business partners and experience great intellectual intimacy. You can be gym buddies and can share physical intimacy. You can both be devout worshippers or have the same spiritual outlook on life, therefore, share spiritual intimacy. But if there is no sexual intimacy, there can be no true connection between a couple.
Sexual intimacy is the couple’s way of binding themselves together in an intimate way, otherwise they just live side by side.
Can you advise how to get “back in the saddle” after the arrival of a new baby. How soon after baby should you try to have intercourse again? What steps can you take to make it feel “normal” again? Both physically and emotionally.
When a mother holds her new born baby, whether she is breastfeeding or not, her need for touch and comfort is being met by the release of the hormone, serotonin, the feel-good drug, from which one receives from touch. The father however, is not having his touch needs met. His encounter with the baby, especially in the early days, are short and not as intense as the mothers’. It is therefore important that the mother is understanding to her husband’s needs. After 6 weeks her body has begun to heal physically. However, when you do try jump back into the saddle again, make it fun.
Tips for Getting Intimate Again After the Arrival of a New Baby
• Plan it, don’t make it stressful.
• Make it something exciting and new.
• Remember that if you had a vaginal birth, take it slow and gentle.
• Make it easy, drink some bubbly and really make an occasion out of it.
• Ladies, go for a wax and a pedicure.
• Men, buy her flowers and romance her.
• Get a babysitter or a night nurse.
• On an emotional level, prepare your mind and body for connection.
• Accept that your body has changed but you are with a man that loves you and your body and if he didn’t love you, he would be with someone else.
Picture this, you’re in bed after having a baby. You’re post-baby body is loose and overweight, your breasts are swollen and tender, your hair hasn’t been washed for a few days, and you smell of breast milk and vomit. Your husband reaches for you. He STILL reaches for you. He pulls in for a hug and you know what’s coming. Now, why? Because he loves you. You are the mother of his child. You are his future. Undeniably, he wants you to get back your pre-baby body, but it does not change the way he feels about you. He is less critical of you than you are of yourself. So accept that he loves you unconditionally, put on a negligee and enjoy your husband, and allow him to enjoy you.
What is unconditional love?
Romance is key to marriage
Is it normal to have zero drive for intimate relations after having kids? What would you advise a couple who are BOTH struggling with getting intimate again?
It is normal to have zero desire after having kids as the pressures of life such as financial stress, physical stress and emotional stress kick in. One will feel depleted and tired as it is difficult to balance everything.
However, desire can also be a state of mind or a choice… You can decide to feel turned on or not.
Medication, such as Viagra, does turn you on however there are more natural ways to increase your libido, for example, eating certain foods can help increase your desire to get intimate.
So if a couple are struggling, get creative. Open your mind to different modalities that are available, such as intimacy coaching. Make a commitment to each other that this is for your future. Follow my Instagram and Facebook page for tips and interesting articles.
“The seven year itch is something I recognise as there are definitely seven year cycles (7, 14, 21 years etc) where things become a little staid. It is really the impact of children on the marriage that causes the underlying disconnect that leads to the ‘itch’ to get out. A combination of more responsibility, diminished intimacy, a “is that all there is” sense and a lack of time for oneself and each other. Kids dictate what’s going to happen, nobody prepares couples for that. You’re this happy couple, everything going well and then the baby arrives and you see the other side. You have to choose to reconnect and rekindle the romance.” – Tracy Ziman Jacobs
Despite an otherwise healthy relationship, I have a non-existent libido and am never in the mood. I want to want my husband and so something has to change. What advice do you have to help me find my spark and reignite the fire?
Perhaps you need to want yourself first? Perhaps you need to find the fire and passion within yourself? What does turn you on? Do you know how to pleasure yourself?
If the answers to these questions are “no” then you need to find your inner mojo and then you will find your libido and connect to your husband’s.
My husband is not interested in having intercourse and never instigates. How do I approach this without making him feel inadequate?
Depression in men is often disguised, as men do not communicate well about their feelings. They choose to shut down and retreat into their caves. Financial stress, health issues, and work related stresses weigh heavily on the breadwinner’s shoulders.
By communicating to him that you are available and supportive helps him feel a connection towards you.
Perhaps taking the pressure off will be better for both of you. You can both enjoy the pleasures of cuddling, stroking and holding. Sometimes, actions speak louder than words.
Due to the medication I take my libido is not even low, it’s non-existent, which is putting strain on my marriage! What can I do to regain my mojo?
If you want to regain your mojo, try yoga. Medication can be responsible for dulling emotions. Yoga allows you to get in touch with your body through breathing and re-activation of the senses that are alive.
Masturbation (self-pleasure) is another way to entice libido by learning how to excite yourself and turn your own body on in the privacy of your own space and at your own slow pace.
“I want to save marriages. Look at all the characteristics that first drew you to your mate and recreate that chemistry. Instead of looking outside your marriage for an exciting affair, have an affair with your existing partner. It’s far less complicated and you already know the in-laws and love the children!! – Tracy Ziman Jacobs
What is your opinion on toys? Are there any you recommend for beginners (alone or together)? Any you advise to stay away from? Is it possible to become less sensitive to manual clitoral stimulation after using a vibrator?
Toys are a wonderful aid for individual use and in lover space. As an individual you can reach all those little naughty places alone. For couples, you can reach all those naughty places together. For beginners, the cock ring is a nice place to start. It provides a gentle stimulation for the gentleman around his penis as well as an introduction for clitoral stimulation for the lady. A nice small dildo with a vibrating action is also a good toy for lady beginners. Remember to pair your toy with our silicone lube!
The over-use of any external object to create arousal or achieve orgasm does not have positive consequences. Any body part will become de-sensitised to normal sensation if abused, ESPECIALLY the eye!
What are your “must haves” in terms of a satisfying physical relationship. For instance if someone wants to kick start their physical relationship can you suggest a checklist or kit that would help them. e.g. toys, books, honesty, frequency, commitment.
In my intimacy kit I would ensure to have:
- Trusting partner
- Patient partner
- Silicone lube
- Blind fold
- Coconut oil
- Music- with no lyrics
- Massage oils
- Cock ring
One of the biggest issues with intimacy and pleasure is that many women don’t enjoy it due to the fact that they don’t reach orgasm. What advice do you have for women/ couples in this area?
A lot of women and men believe that women must achieve orgasms as a result of penetration. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Most women experience full satisfactory orgasms from clitoral stimulation and sometimes together with penetration. Take time to find out what type of physical touch is good for your lady.
Go back to basics. Start with slow, sensual massage. Find out where her erogenous zones are and what turns her on. Try different positions for deeper penetration. Ask her what her fantasies are. Try role-playing or watch porn together. Learn how to give a vaginal massage, or book an appointment with an intimacy coach for more specific advice.
“When you’re in synergy with the one you love, you are in a good space and you will find that you’ll sleep better, work better, have more patience with your children and be far more productive. Good sexual health is also good for creativity and for our bodies. It boosts circulation as well as oxytocin and serotonin. The bottom line is that connecting with your partner and being in a good space is wonderful for everyone all round!” – Tracy Ziman Jacobs
So there you have it… a few of the most intimate intimacy questions answered by an expert. I hope you found Tracys’ advice and insights helpful. If anything I hope that this post triggers conversation and communication between you and your partner about this most intimate area of your relationship and guides you towards making some positive changes in the bedroom!
Contact Tracy Ziman Jacobs, Intimacy Coach
Naturally Yours Wellness Centre, 453 Main Road, Bryanston