Dr. Trina Read: Beyond the Bedroom


I Went Underwear Shopping...With My Two Toddlers

I thought buying a cute bra and panty set would help me feel sexy again. It did just the opposite.

Week #10—Six Month Sex Challenge

Ode to my Lingerie Draw
Since university—while living on spaghetti and adrenaline—I’ve always had a drawer full of beautiful, expensive lingerie. It cusped on obsession. And this was before the Victoria Secret took the world by storm.

In my twenties, I swore up, down and sideways that unless it had to do with period-panties, I would NEVER under any conditions, ever, wear cotton undies.

I would hand wash the underwear, place it gently on a line to dry, fold it precisely and set it lovingly in the drawer. There were always lavender bags scattered throughout to give a lovely fresh scent. It felt delicious every time I opened the draw.

When I first got married it was incredibly fun to parade out the bra and panty sets. Sometimes in the morning I would ask my husband, “Which set would you like to see on me tonight?” Knowing he would go to work and daydream about the underwear.

And Then I Got Pregnant
Then I got pregnant with our first child. The little wisps of lace panties quickly stopped fitting properly. I’m too pragmatic to buy expensive maternity lacy underwear to keep up with my temporarily expanding body, so I bought a ten pack of cotton pregnancy underwear.

After my son was born, even though I went back to my original weight my body shape had changed. Most notably, my already tiny breasts became saggy-raisins (ugh!) and most of my beautiful bras no longer fit. Slowly and with much angst, I started to toss them in the garbage. I started buying more cotton underwear because it was more convenient to wash and wear with a little baby.

Since baby number two, my once pristine underwear drawer is now a dumping place. No gentle wash. No precise folding. No scented satchels. I take the underwear straight from the laundry hamper and dump it into the drawer. Every time I open the draw my guts clench because it’s such a mess.

Can the Underwear Drawer be a Metaphor?
Not to read too much into this, but I would say the underwear drawer is a perfect metaphor for how I feel about myself and my body sexually. I used to take care of myself and take pride in my appearance. Now feel I’m doing well by not walking out the door in a ratty pair of sweatpants.

Buying Underwear Should Be a Fun Experience
I bit the bullet and went shopping for the underwear…with my two children. Bad idea. Very bad idea indeed. As my toddler lunged at each and every bra rack grabbing things off and throwing them onto the floor, I didn’t really have a chance to get a good look. Instead I grabbed something that looked my size.

Got Home and Looked in the Mirror…
Got home and tried it on. It was difficult looking at myself in the mirror. At first I thought it was because I’m still a few pounds over my normal weight and look marshmallow soft.

But I realized while trying on the bra—while simultaneously picking crusty snot off my breast from where my newborn was breastfeeding, and listening as my toddler excitedly pointed out, “There’s mummy’s vulva!”—that I’ve got a weird asexual mommy vibe happening.

In the end…
The bra didn’t fit well and the panties were too tight and scratchy—or maybe the panties did fit well but I’m now used to how cotton panties stretch.

So this week’s challenge was almost a bust. I did clean up my underwear drawer and it felt good to open it and not see mess. Maybe this is the first step in the slow process of feeling sexual again.

My Husband’s Rating on the Underwear
I was so discouraged while trying on the underwear that I haphazardly tossed it into a nearby laundry basket (and promptly forgot about it). My husband, naturally, found it. He came and happily asked, “Did you do that on purpose? Just so I could find it ‘by accident.’” Men! Never did end up doing a fashion show for my husband. Too insecure.

More Six Month Sex Challenge
Sex in the Middle of Post Partum Depression
Hot Oil Massage? Yes Please!
My Sexual Needs Versus The Football Game