Moms in Babeland

How To Get Pregnant When Your Sex Life Is Sub-Par

We’ve all heard how sex lives can suffer once you have kids.

First, because of the damage that occurs to a woman’s nether regions during childbirth. Then, because of the tenderness of a woman’s vaginal lining—in addition to hormonal fluctuations—in the months after childbirth. And then? Well, there’s the lack of time, and the exhaustion that comes from being a parent (and a spouse, and a fully functioning individual). There’s the magnification of the madonna/whore complex that can occur after you pop one out. There’s the reshuffling of your affections, and the sometimes attendant resentments that can result from this. There’s the inexorable pull of month after month of sexless nights, that can spin out into a complete loss of libido.

This doesn’t worry me. After all, our sex life already sucks.

“You know,” my husband said the other week, “in order to get pregnant, we have to have sex.”

It’s not what you think.

I didn’t start withholding sex once I got him to say “I do.” No. My problems with sex started way before then, with a sexually abusive relationship, and a complex that, since then, just won’t quit. Now, I experience pain during sex, and have major problems with both arousal and libido levels. It’s a chicken-and-egg sort of thing. Do I experience pain because I have psychological issues with sex, or do I have an aversion to sex because I experience pain during intercourse?

If I was still single, I would simply ignore my problems with intimacy, and engage in a number of short-term, romantic relationships. These relationships would be filled with lots of cuddling and dry humping, and I would be satisfied with that, and they would end before things got too serious. Somehow, however, my husband dragged me kicking and screaming past that point, and now I’m with someone I love. And, more than wanting to enjoy sex for the purposes of procreation, I want to enjoy sex for the sake of my marriage.
So I’ve had years of therapy. I’ve used gallons of lube. I’ve gotten an ultrasound in order to determine whether my pain was physical or psychological. I’ve then questioned the results of that clean-bill-of-health ultrasound upon learning that pain during intercourse has been linked to chronic fatigue syndrome (which I have). I even became a sex writer, delving into the world of vibrators, exhibitionism and sexual experimentation as a means of self-medicating. Sex still hurts. And now, with both of us wanting to become parents, I have to have it anyway.

Pre- or post-kids, if you’re experiencing similar problems with your sex life, for the love of god, address the issue. Together. Because, at this point, it’s not just a personal problem. It’s a couple problem. What can you try?

Communicate. Be open with your partner about what you’re experiencing, and how it makes you feel. Talk about the pain. The guilt. The frustration. And hear him out, too. Because it affects him, as well. Once you’re both on the same page, you can tackle the issue together.

Try some no-pressure intimacy. Sex play does not have to be about intercourse alone. If you’re feeling too much pressure to enjoy intercourse, go back to basics. Revisit the excitement the two of you once experienced during your courtship, when it was all about hours-long makeout sessions, dry humping and heavy petting. Concentrate on touch, and explore which types of touch feel best. Concentrate on your pleasure, rather than worrying about the pain that typically comes later. Swear off intercourse for awhile in order to eliminate the stress from your sex play, and allow yourselves to regain that initial sense of intimacy and lust.

Use lube. Or a new sex position. Or a new sex toy. Sometimes, being open to trying something new can work wonders.

Go see your gynecologist. It may be that the problems you’re experiencing are due to some sort of physical condition, that can easily be remedied by the miracles of modern science. Such possible sexual dysfunctions include low sexual desire, sexual aversion or arousal disorder, dyspareunia or vaginismus.

Go see your shrink. And bring your partner with you. After all, as I mentioned above, this is a problem you should be working through together. A sex therapist may be able to uncover the roots of your problem, and/or give the two of you sexual exercises that could get things back on track.

Become a sex writer. Just kidding!

Readers, any advice for getting a waning sex life back on track?

This post by Steph Auteri, originally appeared on Your Tango. Steph is a freelance writer with a nasty blogging habit. At the moment, she is an Assistant Editor for YourTango, a sex blogger for AOL’s Lemondrop blog, and maintains her own freelance lifestyle blog at Freelancedom. She has also been published in Time Out New York, New York Press, Playgirl, Nerve, and other bastions of fine writing. You can read more of her published pieces at her professional site, and keep up with her day-to-day by visiting her Twitter page.

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  4. Work Out for a Better Sex Life
  5. Q: What should I do when my 12-year-old asks me invasive questions about my sex life?

One Response to “How To Get Pregnant When Your Sex Life Is Sub-Par”

  1. J says:

    I’ve also experienced loss of libido and a waning sex life for a variety of reasons, and though I haven’t 100% – or even 50% kicked the problem, it has gotten better. Here are some of my suggestions:

    If you only experience pain during penetration, maybe try almost only having sex without penetration, to make sex fun and more carefree again, and then slowly start to integrate penetration in sometimes, when you feel more up for it.
    Try different positions – sometimes being on top can feel more empowering to women who have experienced sexual abuse or otherwise feel out of control during sex.
    Have sex when you’re laughing and feeling playful – sometimes the seriousness of sex and the questions that come with it – “are we really going to do this? is it going to hurt? what if I can’t achieve orgasm?” etc. – can really make things feel forced and tense.
    Read erotica or sexy literature to each other or watch porn or a sexy movie together to get into the mood.
    If you experience chronic fatigue or depression or other similar emotional states, try having sex when you are most alert and happy – maybe in the morning instead of at night, or in the middle of the day during weekends.

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