Not That You Asked: Sex When You’re Pregnant

Have you ever read Samantha Irby’s blog Bitches Gotta Eat? Yes, obviously you have. And if you haven’t, stop what you’re doing right now and go there. Now. Do it.

OK, anyway, she hasn’t posted in awhile, but there is plenty of archival posts to go through, so don’t you worry.

Sometimes I live and die by her posts. Mostly because they make me feel things, especially laughter. I love her for that.

She’s not without her super sad moments either. Times when I’m absolutely struck down by the weight of her words and feelings. This is what great writers do.

For the 90% of you who do know her style, you know she’s not shy about sex, or at the very least, not afraid to give you some Real Talk on the matter. It comes from a very unique and subjective experience, one that is influenced greatly by her health conditions.

I won’t get into the details, because they’re not for me to speak on, but I do want to focus on some of the limitations she talks about.

Or rather, how much more I appreciate the difficulties she’s gone through now that I’m in a fairly compromised position myself. And no, I am in no way comparing pregnancy with chronic illness. What I’m saying is that no matter how much I could empathize before becoming pregnant I feel like I understand her just a TINY bit more than I did before.

I’m going to explain what I’m going through and again, am not making direct comparisons. Merely saying this all kind of sucks and I’m lucky that it’s temporary.

First, my libido is hovering around a 2 out of 10. It used to be around 9 – 9 1/2. My desire is probably directly related to how I feel, physically and about myself. It makes my boyfriend feel bad, which makes me feel worse. I don’t mean that he makes me feel guilty for not wanting to have sex as much as I used to. It’s just hard to feel attractive and desirable when your partner would rather sleep.

Second, my first trimester I felt like I was going to puke basically everyday. That means everything was a turn off, from saliva to smells to just thinking about being intimate.

By the time I managed to get past that, I was bigger and less coordinated. I read I shouldn’t do it missionary style and obviously not lying on my stomach.

I feel like one huge obstacle course, a giant, frustrating puzzle that absolutely kills spontaneity.

And I’ve only gotten bigger and more uncomfortable.

Throw in some pregnancy carpal tunnel and now I’m unable to hold myself up in certain positions. Or even when we find a decent one, my right hand will go completely numb. The kind of numb that’s painful and feels like blood is going to shoot out of my fingertips from pressure. The last thing I want to do is yell “OW” mid-coitus, so I try to ignore it.

Oh, I also have random dribbles of urine coming out of me and I fart way more than normal. I feel dirty and smelly because of this.

I’m always thinking about how exactly this is going to work and if it’s going to enjoyable for me AND for him. I cannot stop thinking. I cannot be in the moment.

It is a real fucking buzzkill, folks.

But this is the reality of the situation. There is about four more months of it and then a good four to six weeks (depending how smoothly or not so smoothly my pregnancy goes) before things will even start to remotely look like they used to.

I want to see the light at the end of the tunnel, to focus on the fact that this truly isn’t a lifetime sentence.

In the meantime, I’m learning how to be someone’s girlfriend when sex isn’t really part of the equation. It’s new and weird territory, but I hope we come out stronger for it.

And I could definitely see how if I were trying to date and be in this position at the same time, it would be hard to stay optimistic.



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