A friend once told me that sex during pregnancy was “the best.” She went on and on about the torrid exploits of her, her husband, and her belly without failing to divulge a single detail. The woman had transformed into a walking G Spot. I mean, she used the word “ravenous.” Twice.
To this day, that conversation is as close as I have ever come to reading an erotic novel.
I was mystified, intrigued, and maybe, um, kind of interested in having a baby for the first time.
By the time I found myself expecting—nearly a year later, I had basically decided pregnancy was just going to be ten magnificent months of snacking and shagging and then snacking some more.
My friend wasn’t wrong, but she did leave out a few minor details.
Sex during pregnancy can be amazing, but it can also be terrible and weird.
Even if somebody upstairs pours you the right hormonal cocktail, and you feel like some kind of top-heavy golden goddess, there will still be times when you get more turned on by the sound of pickle jar opening than your beloved. And while these moments are inevitable (and hilarious), here are a few tips that might make the boob flopping, leg cramping, ever-unpredictable quagmire that is expectant love-making a little bit easier to navigate.
DON’T Be Afraid
During intercourse, your unborn child is not clinging to the back wall of your uterus, trembling and dodging your mate’s sinister, swashbuckling member. Really, I promise.
Fears, of course, are natural—especially if you’re a first time parent or if you’ve experienced a previous pregnancy loss like me. During my first pregnancy, I had the utterly humiliating and irrational feeling that the baby somehow knew that his tawdry strumpet of a mother was getting it on, and thus, would be emotionally scarred at birth. During my second, the dark, unsexy cloud hanging over my side of the bed has been the fear of premature labor.
While, it is important to respect your own and your partner’s apprehensions, unless your doctor has specifically told you to avoid intercourse or orgasm, sex is a perfectly safe and perfectly awesome during pregnancy. Bonus: you don’t have to be afraid of getting pregnant when you’re already pregnant. Yippee!
DO Wear a Bra
Your boobs look amazing. They’re round, bouncy, and positively massive. For the first time in your life, you understand why they call them melons, and you’ve started to calculate the number of bead necklaces one with such a gosh-darned sharp looking rack could accrue during a Mardi Gras parade. Hint: How many necklaces can you carry, Jugs?
Sure, those puppies look good, but they feel like they’re going to jump off your chest and set you on fire.
They’re tender, heavy, and willfully unruly, and the idea of hopping into bed with a pair of live missiles bobbing under your chin can be a little bit intimidating. Here’s my solution: Wear a bra.
I’m not talking about that jaundiced Champion sports bra you’ve had since 8th grade soccer tryouts; I’m talking about something supportive that also makes you feel good—nay—great!
It might be a bit of a buzz kill to the motorboatin’ enthusiast in your life, but ultimately, it can make sex more pleasurable for both of you.
DON’T Talk About The Baby (A Cautionary Tale)
SO. One quiet Sunday morning three years ago, my husband and I were lying in bed engaged in a semi-clothed snuggle that was headed toward a (gentle) boob grab that was potentially headed toward sex.
Until this happened:
Me: “I can’t believe that there’s a baby in my belly. Technically, I have TWO hearts right now. How cool is that?!”
(Pause—a pregnant one, of course:)
“Actually I have a bunch of extra organs inside me.”
Husband: “How would you like one more?”
Both: (Deafening silence and eternal remorse.)
And that, ladies and gents, is how you kill the magic.
Why did I have to talk about the stinking baby?! And why did he have to say that horrible thing that can never be unsaid?!, I wondered. We just lay there feeling icky and not touching each other until one of us gave up and ordered Papa John’s.
Talking about the baby preceding, during, or directly following sexual intercourse is like inviting a giant libido vacuum into your bedroom and begging it to suck out of every ounce of romance. Be excited about the baby but not when you’re being excited about each other.
DO Be Creative
Admittedly, when you’re 38 weeks pregnant and have the coordination of a beached orca, it’s probably best that you and your significant other abandon those secret, acrobatic sex moves you’ve been developing (ours is called “The Bolshevik Treehouse”…if it doesn’t work out in bed, I’ll be turning it into a novel), but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun!
In fact, I happen to think the very best thing about pregnant sex is that it forces you to be creative. As your body composition slowly (and then kind of quickly) changes, and every angle on your body melts into roundness, you’ll probably find that you need to switch up the old routine to facilitate things—like breathing—during sex.
After about the 4th month of pregnancy, you’ll probably want to kiss the traditional, flat on your back, missionary position goodbye as the weight of the baby can constrict major blood vessels and be über uncomfortable. Also, from that perspective, you won’t be able to see much other than your weird pregnancy belly button bopping up and down and nearly poking you in the eye. Gal on top, side lying, and rear-entry are all, however, lauded staples of the Mama Sutra.
**If you’d still prefer to stay on the bottom, be sure to stick a couple of pillow under your tush to be safe and take the pressure off your back.
DON’T Under Any Circumstance Let Someone Blow Air Into Your Vagina
Because it can kill you. Seriously.
I’m admittedly a little bit behind the times when it comes to the sex things. I was pretty sure BDSM was a street drug before 50 Shades of Grey came out. But blowing into the vagina?! Really?! Last I checked, there wasn’t a birthday candle up there.
My utter shock and awe aside, if your partner has been performing CPR on your bits and pieces, it’s time to stop. Blowing air into the vagina is never really a good idea, but the risk of developing an air embolism is higher during pregnancy and can be fatal to both mama and baby.
DON’T Attempt to Self Groom
There comes a time in every pregnancy when you realize you can no longer see your feet; and if you can longer see your feet, there are other things you can’t see either. And I’m not talking about your kneecaps.
During pregnancy, I abide by the following rule: If you can’t see it, don’t attack it blindly with a five-blade razor in a tiny box filled with steam. While I have considered the fact that unsighted bikini art could have hilarious consequences, and I’m deeply amused by the possibilities:
It could also lead to a catastrophic shower tumble and/or some nasty cuts.
If you simply cannot release your inner flower child and let your beautiful lady-garden grow wild and free, go to a professional. True, a bikini wax might be a little more painful during pregnancy due to extra sensitive nerve endings, but the likelihood of your puncturing your femoral artery or accidentally giving your nether regions a Fall Out Boy hairdo is significantly decreased.
Sex during pregnancy is not without it’s challenges, but sex after pregnancy? Well, let’s just say that my dear husband has a better chance of solving the Sunday Times crossword in under five minutes than getting laid after 5pm.
Most of the time, I shuffle through life prickly-legged and bleary eyed in the high-cut Walgreen Hanes I purchased because I was just too tired to do laundry that day. I sure do like sex, but I’m not exactly radiating carnal energy over here, I’m just trying to make sure my kid eats his pancakes and doesn’t pee in the dog bowl…again.
Children are wonderful, consuming, and utterly exhausting little creatures. It is fully possible (and so essential!) to make time for sex post-kiddo, and we absolutely d0. However, it is without a doubt, more difficult—logistically, mentally, emotionally, and (after a day of piggyback rides) physically. So my pregnant darlings, if you’re healthy, comfortable enough, and feeling frisky, do your very worst (and best) in the bedroom! Even the weird stuff! Go to flipping town! Enjoy the time you have left to linger in bed and focus solely on each other.
Ok, my sexpertise was exhausted three paragraphs ago, and my Mom is totally going to read this—so I’ll stop for now.