Q: Help! I’m an expectant father and something’s happening to my libido. I used to be one of those guys who loved to have sex anytime. But now that my wife is pregnant, I’ve completely lost interest. What’s wrong with me?
A: For some men, sex during pregnancy is an incredible turn-on. But for others, it borders on the revolting. Where you stand on the issue depends on a lot of factors, but one thing is pretty much guaranteed: When your partner is pregnant your sex life will change.
In the first trimester your partner’s pregnancy might make you hornier than ever. For many men, getting a woman pregnant is a kind of confirmation of their masculinity (before becoming expectant fathers, a lot of us secretly fear that we’re sterile, and there’s nothing like getting a woman pregnant to make you feel like, well, a fully functional man). In addition, a lot of expectant fathers feel closer to their wives than ever before, and that closeness is often expressed erotically.
For others, the first trimester (and, possibly, the entire pregnancy) is a time of decreased sexual desire. Before your partner got pregnant, for example, she was your wife, the beautiful, sexy woman you loved, and her breasts and vagina were fun. But now that she’s pregnant, her body is less fun and more functional. Even worse, when the pregnancy’s over, you know she’s going to be a mother. And mothers are not always seen as sexy. And if you believe that sex is purely for procreation, now that she’s pregnant there’s no sense in doing it anymore.
As the pregnancy progresses, the differences between the wanna-have-sex’s and the don’t-wanna-have-sex’s continues. Most men, for example, find their partner’s growing body to be the essence of femininity and, therefore, quite attractive. Others don’t. Their partner’s growing abdomen and leaking breasts may seem more messy than enticing.
But perhaps the most common reason men (and women) cut back on their sex life during pregnancy is a fear that they’ll hurt the baby. If you’re concerned about this, you can stop worrying right now. The baby is safely cushioned in an amniotic fluid-filled sac and unless you’re having very rough sex you have almost no chance of injuring anyone.
Your partner’s ideas about sex during pregnancy can also run the gamut. She may feel more connected to you than ever, and may be much less inhibited now that you don’t have to use birth control anymore. She may find the idea of having created a life with you to be wildly erotic and she may be delighted with her swelling, more feminine body.
On the other hand, she may be spending a lot of the first trimester vomiting from morning sickness–hardly an aphrodisiac. She may be thinking that mothers aren’t supposed to have sex, she may be worried about hurting the baby, or she may just be feeling fat.
When it comes to sex, for many couples the expectant mother’s changing body is the source of a lot of conflict, misunderstanding, and confusion. You may find the pregnant female form arousing but not want to do anything sexual because you’re worried that she’s feeling unattractive. On the other hand, your partner may be feeling sexier than ever but may not want to initiate anything sexual because she’s afraid that you don’t like her body anymore.
The solution here, not surprisingly, is to talk to each other openly about how you feel and about your desires and needs. Chances are you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how similarly you feel. You’ll also need to think about expanding your sexual horizons–especially during the last few months of the pregnancy, when your partner may find the missionary position rather uncomfortable or even impossible.
If you haven’t thought of them already, you have plenty of other ways to both get sexual satisfaction. Rear entry, side-by-side, or with her on top are always good. If those don’t do the job, there’s always mutual masturbation, oral sex, or vibrators.