Having sex when you and your wife are expecting can be a challenge. Morning sickness, an onslaught of hormones, her body growing in all sorts of directions, including a belly the size of a watermelon that poses an obstacle whenever you try to get close. All of it can easily compromise the pleasure and comfort we associate with sex.
Here’s the good news: Pregnancy sex is happening. One recent study found that 82% of women thought sexual activity should occur throughout pregnancy, and only about 10% percent abstain entirely. If you’re part of that 10%, it could be a long nine months. For everyone else, here are a few things you should know:
1. Gauge The Mood
Men, let’s face it. Sex when you’re married often hinges on your wife anyway. Is she or isn’t she in the mood? Meanwhile, we’re almost always ready and willing. The same can be said during your wife’s pregnancy. She might be overwhelmed by all the drastic changes to her body and feel asexual because of it. Certain regions of her body might be wonderfully sensitive and other times too sensitive. A general rule: if she’s in the mood, be grateful, and if not, give her space. She has enough on her plate without you climbing all over her every morning.
2. “For Better Or For Worse” Has Never Been More Relevant
Your wife’s pregnancy can have a huge effect on your sex life in both good and bad ways. New or additional hormones and certain parts of your wife’s anatomy increasing in size might lead to an enhanced sex life. Or maybe the opposite happens and you’re both turned off by some of the changes. Perhaps it wavers back and forth between the good and the bad as the pregnancy progresses. Morning sickness can interfere with sex during the 1st trimester, but a testosterone boost for your wife can lead to an increased sex drive during the 2nd. If your sex life gets better, enjoy it; but don’t get discouraged if it gets worse. Remember that pregnancy is temporary.
3. You Can’t Do Nearly As Much Damage As You Think
If you worry that having sex with your wife while she’s pregnant might somehow hurt the fetus, you’re not alone. It’s a common fear among men. Remember Seth Rogen’s character in Knocked Up: “All I see is our baby getting poked in the face by my penis.” Rest assured that the fetus is well-protected by the amniotic fluid inside the amniotic sac surrounded by the strong muscles of the uterus. Also, remember that our species has propagated for thousands of years and in that time a lot of men and a lot of pregnant women have had a lot of sex. If it caused problems, we would know by now. The womb is remarkably capable of protecting your baby in a variety of conditions, sex being one of them.
4. Position yourself carefully
Attempts at pregnant sex can be confounding. Weight, angles, pressure – it’s like physics class all over again. Sex during a pregnancy should be about comfort, which can be challenging since often times your pregnant wife can seem uncomfortable simply sitting, standing and sleeping. Add the awkwardness of sex to the equation and you have the recipe for a whole lot more confusion in the bedroom.
Feel free to ask the doctor or simply adhere to common sense when determining the most suitable positions. Your wife will probably avoid lying on her back since it can be very uncomfortable, especially late in the pregnancy. A better position might be her on top since it gives her more control. Spooning is popular. You can also have your wife sit on the edge of the bed or the edge of a chair or, if you’re feeling experimental, the edge of the kitchen counter. (Important to remember to clean said counter thoroughly afterwards since it is used for the preparation and ingestion of food – 9 1/2 Weeks set a horrible precedent for kitchen sex).
Finally, pillows are wonderful for providing support. Take the 20 that your wife bought to decorate the bed and use them much like you do Styrofoam peanuts when you ship valuable goods. Remember, it’s about comfort, not aesthetics.
5. It’s Okay To Be A Scientist And Experiment
What’s great about pregnant sex is your opportunity to experiment again. Just when you thought you’d seen and done it all with your wife, her pregnancy introduces an entirely new realm of both possibilities and limitations. Try things out to see what works best. For example, ever tried the T square position (slightly NSFW picture)? It might not be something in your usual sexual stable, but for pregnancy it’s a great option.
Sex during a pregnancy is a dance, a give and a take. Over the course of 9 months, she might be sexual and/or asexual, you might find parts of her body appealing and other parts not so much. It’s a time of change. Embrace it. Soon enough it’ll be footsteps down the hallway and knocks on the bedroom door each morning that will add an entirely new obstacle to your sex life.