What to Expect from Sex When You’re Expecting

This piece was originally performed at Bedpost Confessions while I was eight months pregnant

This piece was originally performed at Bedpost Confessions while I was eight months pregnant

Sexually satisfying your partner requires intuition and communication. Over time you learn how they respond to a certain touch, how you can position yourself *just right*, “practicing” until you know their body almost as well as your own. So what do you do when your partners body keeps changing on you: shape, form, tolerance for touch, getting broader and wider and rounder and whinier until climaxing to a point where you are not allowed to touch her for SIX weeks?! While you end up with one of the most beautiful things that human beings are capable of creating, pregnancy can mean at least 10 months of romantic challenges that require three things: a sense of humor, a strong stomach and the willingness and ability to adapt and follow orders.

So here I am, round, but still sensual. Sensitive but not lacking desire. Growing a person while maintaining my Self. Can you imagine having an orgasm… that another being experiences? I read somewhere once that when a pregnant woman has an orgasm the baby gets a massage as the uterus contracts with ripples of pleasure. I imagine it’s like one of those Hydromassage beds that they have at the mall. They are like tanning beds that you lay in while it sprays pulsing water on you through a plastic barrier. They are quite powerful, much like the gestational orgasm.

I would like to take this moment to remind everyone that there is a natural barrier between your love canal and your baby, so there is no penis-to-fetus-face contact as a *ridiculous* amount of people assume. Yes, your dick is *huge*, but trust me, if you’re imagining punching your baby in the face with the head of your penis – don’t flatter yourself. There is this magical thing called the “cervix” that keeps baby in until the time is right and protects it from penetrating objects. My magical vagina might not prevent unwanted pregnancy but it sure will “legitimately” protect my growing baby. Studies actually show that consistent sex and orgasms have benefits for both mom and baby, including stronger pelvic walls and an increased chance of carrying to full term.

Interestingly enough If you look at mommy forums about sex during pregnancy you will find posts on posts of frustrated pregos whose husbands won’t touch them, but at the same time plenty of women complaining of the loss of their sex drive altogether because of the hormones. Everyone relates to sex differently during pregnancy.

Sexual preferences during pregnancy can differ not only from woman to woman, but from pregnancy to pregnancy – even month to month. EVERYTHING changes. How deep, how fast, how hard, which positions. My husband and I joked that it was like he was having sex with a different woman every night. One night my sore bulging breasts are off limits, the next I would want him to tease them. Sometimes I wanted every inch of his skin to touch me, and other times I couldn’t stand the feel of his sympathy pooch on the stretched out skin of my swollen belly. He listened intently, satisfied to follow orders while I learned how to better explain, or show, exactly what I wanted. My body and my desires changed so much that I felt like I was becoming a completely different woman, and come to think of it, I was. I was becoming a mother, something I had to balance with the sensual goddess of lust that lie in the same body as this innocent new life.

As a woman’s body moves through this beautiful – and sometimes just plain weird – process of growing a baby, each trimester presents its own issues. Early on, in the first trimester, the nausea and exhaustion that comes with growing a baby that doubles in size every week can make it nearly impossible to muster the desire to give so much as a “good old fashioned”, and it comes as no surprise that sex can be difficult to stomach during this time – literally. I have heard horror stories of women trying – and failing – to simply give their man a blow job without stimulating their already sensitive gag reflex. I am glad to say I did not experience this myself.

Slowly, nausea and exhaustion abide and the amazing “honeymoon” trimester begins. The wonderful time where you finally don’t feel like shit but you aren’t quite so huge that you need a forklift to ride your partner. For me the magic trimester came with some of the most intense, and easily achieved, orgasms. The amount of blood flowing through your body can increase up to 40% during pregnancy, and a good amount of that blood is hanging out doing work in your pelvic region. It makes for a good time in the bedroom. Even when you are asleep.

The dreams induced by the raging hormones are heightened by that lovely increase in pelvic blood flow. A delightful cocktail that results in, for lack of a better term, wet dreams. I have never in my life, aside from during my pregnancies, woken up mid-orgasm. The orgasms were always amazing, and the dreams were always… interesting. Fuck hallucinogens, pregnancy hormones win! From lesbian lovers – sometimes with a surprise penis! – to erotic orgies, even one involving a sea turtle, the dreams were NEVER boring and always woke me up in the best mood. Regardless of why I had such weird pregnancy dreams – or how fucked up I might just be – I wish I could have them all the time, minus the weight gain.830299_498086853588169_1167734650_o

Then, as swiftly as it comes, the honeymoon period abides and in tromps the third trimester. The prepubescent Bigfoot monster emerges with its acne riddled face, hair growing in places where hair should never be, its large belly swallowed into the HUGEness of its breasts, swollen thighs and legs that have not seen a razor in weeks drag waterlogged ankles through painful strides. The third trimester shows no regard for your lofty goals of not gaining more than the “25-35 pounds” suggested during pregnancy and any delusions you had of being that cute “olive on a toothpick” glowing pregnant woman come crashing down. This is when a little sympathy weight on your partner can go a long way… Even the most confident of women can struggle with their body image at this time.

Somehow my hoss of a man still managed to get aroused, even after I lumbered into the room in my sweats and mumu-esque pregnancy top, flopping myself onto the bed as I told him that I would start getting the 50 pillows I needed for support ready if he would help me get my pants off. He happily obliged every time and – if I was lucky – he would go down on me. Pressing his forehead against the lower part of my bulging belly as I tightly close my eyes and imagined beautiful, non-pregnant sex with vigorous penetration. As we started to make love he ignored the uncontrollable gas that came from that which is a pregnant woman’s highly efficient digestive system, enjoying the occasional breeze on his balls. And if I ever asked for a bathroom break he would keep the party going while I was gone. If he has ever thought any of this was gross he never showed it, and has continued to call me beautiful, make love to me and watched me do my yoga poses in the most inappropriate fashion.

As you get closer to giving birth you start to realize that you are prepping for some time without any vaginal access – and don’t even THINK about going near the blood filled, swollen, rear end after that heavy impact from baby and birth, trust me. And, men, I’m sorry but oral just isn’t very high on the priority list when you are in the tornado of exhaustion that is caring for a newborn. You’re on your own for a little while! Don’t worry, you’ll survive.

It took me a few weeks after the marathon of birth to even remember that I used to enjoy this thing called sex. I had this horrible image of my vagina as a black hole, sucking in everything near it, to an unknown place where it would never be seen again! I completely forgot about the sensual goddess. I mean, duh, my miracle organ of a vagina had been stretched to over 200% of it’s previous size! But as time progresses your body returns to normal, pretty much, and you can do almost everything you always did. Although, young children DO have this ability to suck the life out of you, so I’m not sure if I’m just not as adventurous as I used to be, or if I have just been fucking exhausted for three years. Check back with me… in 18 years.

The first time I reached orgasm after birth I was thrilled and terrified all at the same time – relieved that everything still worked. I came back down from the throbbing intensity of my weak pelvic muscles and noticed that my chest was wet. As I sat up I realized that milk was STREAMING from my breasts. I grabbed a shirt from the floor to dam the flood, but nothing I did could get it to stop! WHY DOES NO ONE TALK ABOUT THIS?!

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Pregnancy has been one of the most challenging obstacles my husband and I have overcome together, and we are better people for it. I trust him with my whole being to be able to laugh with me through the hard times, love me through the gross stuff and have patience while we figure out the rest. How bad could it have been if we willingly did it all over again?