Kimberly Ford is an author with a Ph.D. in Spanish and French Literature. After writing about sex and parenting for various publications, she realized these were hot topics for a book ("sex sells!"). The result, Hump: True Tales of Sex After Kids, hit bookshelves last month. The mother of three lives with her husband and kids (ages 6, 8 and 10) in Menlo Park, Calif., but she recently stopped by our NYC office to share some stories about erotic dancing, Brazilian waxing, vibrators, communication, Private Time and how these all contribute to having a healthy sex life after having kids.
From all the stories that you collected in your book, would you say that across the board sex lives get better after kids?
I actually think it's the opposite. I think the jury is still out as to whether or not kids are good for marriages, period. There is a psychological study that says that 83% of couples suffer some sort of moderate to severe crisis after kids come into the picture. So I think the answer, at least initially, is that no, in fact kids are not at all good for your sex life. One of the most important things about the book though, and the final chapter goes into this in some depth, is that the experience of going through pregnancy, childbirth, and later child-rearing with someone else allows for a whole new level of trust and familiarity when your husband is seeing your body going through all sorts of changes and all sort of trauma.
You mentioned that having a child is the official transition from girl to woman. Can you expand on that?
It's just such an enormous experience in terms of what your body is actually physically doing, but also in terms of recognizing that your body really has a purpose. Your body is not there to look attractive; it's not there to be seen; it's not there to be worked out at the gym. In fact, one of its main purposes is to procreate. This sense of knowing your body's worth, and all these amazing things your body can do, I think can enhance women's own self-respect, in terms of "Wow, this is what my body is capable of doing." Certainly bodies take a toll during the course of pregnancy and childbirth, and child-rearing.