Are you pregnant? Are you more than 6 weeks postpartum?
When it comes to sex, which are you feeling like? “Get on me!” or “Get off me!”
Sex is such a weird and personal thing, isn’t it? But if you (or your partner) think growing a baby and becoming a mother doesn’t rock the sex boat, you are gravely mistaken!
As women, we have what I like to refer to as, a “sexual spreadsheet” embedded deep in our minds. It is filled with small details that reflect various times in our lives, feelings of control, loss of control, happiness, loneliness, empowerment, weakness, fulfillment, despair and so much more.
Sex for women is not always about “getting our rocks off,” although occasionally we add those encounters to our sexual spreadsheets as well (even if they happen without our partners). Sometimes it is an expression of an emotion, but sometimes we are just plain horny!
Imagine how confusing this must be to our partners, especially when our partners are men. I have often wondered if having a woman partner makes sex less complicated and then I consider that there are probably just different complications.
As a doula for the past 18 years, I have talked to hundreds of women about the intimate details of their pregnant lives and sex is certainly not off limits.
There are 2 things that come up often, and if you want my opinion, they don’t have much to do with pregnancy…
The first is that women don’t want their partners to know when they are feeling extra horny, because they are afraid their partner will judge them.
And the second is that if they completely let go and “swing from the chandelier,” their partner will expect them to do that every time. They know that they can’t deliver that every time so they don’t do it all, depriving themselves of an explosive encounter.
Can you identify with either of those concepts?
After 25 years of marriage, 2 pregnancies, tons of financial and emotional transitions and of course, my own “sexual spreadsheet”, what I have learned is that we must work harder. We must communicate better and we must do our best to let go of our past sexual restraints (no pun intended).
We must work harder by letting ourselves relax, giving ourselves permission to enjoy it and allowing ourselves to indulge in it.
We must communicate better by discussing our “sexual mood swings” with our partners. Sometimes we totally want to be picked up, thrown down and… well, you know. Sometimes we feel like we would be fine to never have a sexual encounter again as long as we live. They don’t get that because IT DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE! We must help them understand our fear of judgment and give them the opportunity to affirm and validate us. They love us, right?
Lastly, we must release ourselves from our “sexual spreadsheets”. They are holding us back and preventing us from being healthy sexual beings. For each of us, letting go of this is different. My hope is that just acknowledging it is enough to lead us in the right direction.
During pregnancy if there are no contraindications, women can enjoy sex throughout the entire gestational period.
But… will you? That is the question. Will you allow yourself to? Will you do what it takes to let yourself enjoy it? And I suppose more importantly, do you want to?
Remember: The number 1 reason to never have sex is always, simply put – because you don’t want to.
Hanging from the chandelier,
Randy “The Rock n’ Roll Doula” Patterson