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Pregnancy

Are Pregnant Women Sexy and Sexual?

How to manage your sex life during pregnancy.

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Source: Pexels

Are pregnant women sexy and sexual during pregnancy? Simply put, the answer is yes. And the simple answer is that sex hormones like estrogen increase during pregnancy in ways that can increase women’s sex drive and enlarge their breasts and bring a radiant glow to their skin that makes them look sexy.

So, it would seem like a no brainer that couples should be having amazing sex during pregnancy. Yet people don’t think of pregnancy as a time to have some of the best sex of a long-term relationship. Why is that?

Unfortunately, pregnancy raises many anxieties, some rational but many irrational, that put a damper on sexual desire. There can be considerable worry that vaginal sex during pregnancy can hurt the baby growing inside the mother’s womb and perhaps induce a miscarriage. Your health care provider can give you the green light as to whether or not it’s OK to have sex during pregnancy. But unless there are problems, sex during pregnancy is perfectly safe, though you still may need to take precautions to avoid the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.

Male Anxieties

Many men fear that thrusting their erect penises inside their wives’ vaginas is an aggressive act that might somehow damage the baby. Somehow the close proximity of the penis to the growing fetus seems almost like some sort of incestuous contact with their own child. So even though men might be quite turned on by the voluptuousness of the pregnant female body, they might also become so anxious about hurting the baby that they can’t maintain their erections.

Another issue that some men might experience is that their wives become too voluptuous during pregnancy, to the point that they begin to feel disgusted by the sight of their pregnant wives. Their wives’ breasts might seem too large, their areolas too dark, and their bulging bellies too fat.

Of course, men’s disgust at the pregnant female body shames pregnant women at a time when they are feeling particularly horny, may be proud of their enlarged breasts, and may wish for more emotional intimacy than ever with their life partner at a time of emotional vulnerability. Thus, men’s anxieties around sexual intimacy with their pregnant wives can make women feel sexually rejected at the very moment when sexual intimacy is most needed.

Female Anxieties

Women can also fear that vaginal intercourse can damage the baby. They might be frightened that their own orgasms can damage the baby. What if their seemingly violent contractions during orgasm induce miscarriage or early labor and the birth of a premature baby?

Some women might prefer to abstain from sex and from orgasms for the duration of the pregnancy because they would rather be safe than sorry, and so err on the side of caution, especially with a first baby after a bout of infertility. Why take a chance?

Men might feel sexually rejected if their pregnant wives choose to abstain from sex for the duration of the pregnancy. Envisioning a long period of sexual deprivation and frustration seems intolerable. And men might feel quite guilty of their sexual resentment because a devoted husband should just make the sacrifice of sexual satisfaction with a good attitude.

What to Do?

We see that sexual anxiety, ambivalence, and inhibition during pregnancy can lead to serious marital problems. There is quite a risk of one or both partners feeling sexually rejected in a shaming way and then having to live with considerable sexual frustration at a time when their need for sexual intimacy is greater than ever. The sexually rejected partner might feel quite guilt-ridden about their resentment at being sexually rejected, as they feel they should be more understanding of their partners’ needs to take a temporary break from sexual relations.

In addition, the partner who doesn’t want to have sex can feel shame and guilt. There can be considerable shame and guilt that their seemingly irrational sexual anxieties and inhibitions are leading them to sexually deprive a partner who only wants to be intimate with them as they embark on bringing a new life into the world together.

The first thing couples must do is talk about their complicated feelings with each other in an accepting way. If acceptance allows couples to overcome their irrational anxieties to resume their sex lives, that’s great. But irrational anxieties are not always so easily talked away, and who knows for sure what is or is not an irrational anxiety?

Sometimes irrational anxieties must be accepted, and no one should feel pressured or guilted into having sex when they don’t feel comfortable being sexual. Men can’t be forced to have erections if they are just not turned on by the prospect of sex with their pregnant wives, and pregnant wives shouldn’t be pressured to have sex despite their fears just to pleasure their pestering husbands. Of course, partners who don’t want to have sex can still pleasure their partners in other ways through manual or oral sex and do it with a loving rather than begrudging attitude. Sometimes that’s the most workable compromise when one partner really doesn’t want to have sex, and the other does.

Final Thoughts

There is no one right way to handle this situation. Each couple must figure out for themselves what works for them. What you do want to ensure is that pregnancy doesn’t become the beginning of the end of couples’ sex lives together.

Some men might initiate an extramarital sex life if they feel sexually rejected by their wives. Some wives might just get used to no longer having a sex life and put all of their emotional energies into their baby. Disgust is particularly pernicious if men now feel disgusted by bodily changes induced by pregnancy and then childbirth, and women feel disgusted that their husbands just view them as sex objects who service them and who can’t tolerate even a temporary break from sex when women most need to be supported.

My final advice is not to become a conflict-avoiding couple when pregnancy complicates your sex life and to try to confront this issue as straightforwardly yet as compassionately as you can.

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