Liebling & Schatz (darling & sweetheart), are the two journalists and couples therapists Birgitt Hölzel and Stefan Ruzas. They have been happily married for 19 years, have two children and are authors of the advice book “Höchste Paarungszeit – Erotisches für Eltern im Alltagschaos”.
Liebling & Schatz – which one of you is which?
We are both “Liebling” and “Schatz”, like most couples in Germany. These are two of the most common pet names, much like “Darling” and “Sweetheart” and that’s why we gave ourselves these names. Also the protagonists in our book “Höchste Paarungszeit” have these names. It is a sex tips guide for parents and we want to say – the everyday chaos and experiences of Frau Liebling and Herr Schatz represent that of many parents.
Before “Liebling & Schatz” you did something else. Why did you decide to start something new?
We come from the media branch, we’ve been married for 19 years and live with our two children in Munich. The book changed a lot for us. Not only because the experiences that we discussed helped advance our sexual relationship but because it helped so many other pairs. We then made “helping” our profession and became couples therapists.
And are you happy with your decision?
Since we are talking about happiness: you have two kids – you still have sex?
You bet! Maybe not as often or loud or long as we would like to, but still even just as pleasurable…
And what was it like when your children were smaller? Did you grow apart?
Not so much apart, but side-by-side. As is often the case with small kids. Everyone has their needs and the exhaustion and mood swings are considerable. There is often more trouble and tears, and less sex. What helped to get beyond this was to talk and have“sex light”. The desire for wild, new adventures came later. It was a hard time, but we managed.
Actually the perfect credentials to offer coaching couple to couple, right?
Exactly. You can really do a lot to prevent losing yourself in a relationship or even to rediscover yourself. We are convinced that for couples with problems that it is totally helpful to gain perspectives from us – female and male. And we are convinced that a partnership without sex can’t last. We want to help couples to solve their problems. We want to give them an incentive to rediscover themselves – physically as well.
The couples have already had sex – obviously, because they have a child. But why does it not work so well after the birth?
Because your life is totally derailed, particularly for the women. Pregnancy and giving birth make huge demands on the body. Hormones are going crazy. A woman suddenly finds herself in a completely new role as mother, and in the first several months she is completely absorbed by the newborn, emotionally and physically. So there is not much room left for a man.
How do couples find their way back into bed again? What tips can you give first-time parents?
The most important tip: distribute the body contact more fairly! Meaning the man is allowed to experience the physical closeness which is often missing during this time by cuddling with the baby too. This has an amazing effect. It is good for him and the baby and it relieves the totally “over stimulated” woman. With this freedom that arises then a renewed closeness between woman and man frequently follows on its own. Both sides can help a little bit by simply making a date to have sex.
We are full on LOVE, …
because we don’t want to stop rediscovering ourselves. We love challenging each other.
Liebling & Schatz