Sex and Pregnancy: A Husband’s Reflection
The following is a written reflection received from a marriage counselor’s client’s spouse about sex and pregnancy. This is a husband’s account of his experience of sex and pregnancy with his pregnant wife:
“Personally, I have not experienced any decrease in physical attraction to my wife since we became pregnant. If anything, my sexual attraction to her has slightly increased during this time. I think there are a few reasons for this.
First, knowing that we are having a baby together has greatly increased my emotional connection to my wife, which I think has brought more intimacy to our relationship. The closeness that comes from knowing that something that is part of me is growing inside of her has made me want to be closer to her in general, in the bedroom and otherwise.
Second, my wife’s sex drive has gone up noticeably during her pregnancy, and in addition she has become sensitive to my touch in different ways than before. Her increased desire for sex as well as the unpredictability of her responses to arousal has been an enormous turn on for me. She has been initiating sex more frequently than before, displaying a level of confidence that I find extremely sexy. Occasionally (though not every time) she has required less foreplay in order to be ready for sex than before pregnancy, which has made sex seem slightly more spontaneous and exciting.
Third and lastly, I have found my wife’s body to be very aesthetically pleasing and sexy as the pregnancy progresses. Her belly seems to make other features of her body that I enjoy even more pronounced and attractive than before. For me, sex and pregnancy go together”
This husband’s perspective on sex and pregnancy is the ideal approach to growing and adjusting to the changes and unpredictability that pregnancy brings to a couples’ sex life. This particular couple clearly has grown from their experience with pregnancy; taking the changes and viewing them as positive and natural, rather than strange and unappealing.
Pregnancy and change go hand-in-hand, in every aspect of your life, and most definitely happens in one’s sex-life. Physically, the body is changing and growing daily: the belly is growing, breasts are likely growing, weight gain is happening, etc. These changes can impact flexibility, balance/gracefulness when it comes to sex and feeling/being sexy, and most importantly, these changes can impact physical comfort. Pregnant women more prone to leg cramps, back pains, etc. Awareness of these changes is essential when working with your partner to find out what is needed to best accommodate your body, from exploring new positions and places to have sex (bed v. chair, or while standing, etc.) to use of extra pillows/different placement of pillows. To expect the quality and type of sex life to stay 100 percent the same throughout your pregnancy is unrealistic, and will leave you disappointed in the end. Our sexual preferences and responses change, and can vary day by day. What feels today, could do absolutely nothing for us tomorrow. Trial and error is necessary. Pregnancy is a chance to view your partner in a new light, to find new things to appreciate about him/her, and a new connection. Pregnancy gives you and your spouse the opportunity to be more creative sexually and to try different positions and ideas, because honestly if you want to keep having sex and enjoying sex with your spouse, you have no choice but to work with your partner and adapt to the changes.
Communication is an absolute necessity when trying to grow from the changes that pregnancy brings to our sex life. Asking your pregnant spouse what she needs from you to feel comfortable during sex can help her feel safe and feel that the two of you are in this pregnancy together. As mentioned earlier, changes to the body and and changes in needs and sexual preferences are changing constantly, which is why constant communication around the issue of sex and pregnancy is needed to keep up. A couple can learn a lot from each other by talking to each other after sex, discussing what felt the best, what differences they noticed, or what was most surprising to them about that specific sexual experience. Communicating about sex and the changes that come with pregnancy can help the two of you find your way to gel and compliment each other’s needs during this time.
The pregnant partner isn’t the only one experiencing change during sex. For the husband, how he views his wife, and what attracts him to his wife can change, and ideally for the positive. In the above letter, this specific husband now sees his wife as sexier with her new curves, and with more confidence. He has also developed new meaning of what his wife’s body represents to him: he sees her body as symbolism of their shared creation, and because of that he feels more connected to her and wants to be closer to his wife. Sex and pregnancy is often a time of transitions.
For some husbands, the physical changes their wife is going through are not always perceived as sexy, or exciting. Some respond to the physical and sexual changes of their pregnant spouse as unappealing, overwhelming, and even scary. Without the communication around the changes and acceptance of these physical and sexual changes, this can lead to a breakdown in a couples’ sex-life, causing avoidance of sex, and a decrease in connection and intimacy. Pregnancy can be uncomfortable and scary for women, often leaving them feeling vulnerable and confused about all of the changes and challenges. Additional affection, increased attention and sex can help decrease feelings of fear and loneliness. However, if there is a decrease in sex and intimacy this can exacerbate a woman’s negative emotions during her pregnancy.
If you are a husband, and you’re expecting your sex-life to stay exactly as it’s been pre-pregnancy, you will be disappointed.Without adapting to and trying to work with the changes with your wife’s emotional needs, sexual responses, and physical changes, sex will be challenging, uncomfortable for your wife, and awkward and unsatisfying for both of you. If you find yourself avoiding sex, or sex has been a struggling between you and your spouse since the pregnancy, there is help, call (267) 324-9564 to schedule a marriage counseling / sex therapy appointment today.