The thing I mostly remember about sex during pregnancy is how spectacularly unfair it seemed that while I was in the midst of this uncomfortable, ungainly, and totally selfless physical endeavor; this mammalian blimpfest that was all about the gift of life, which, by the way, was not exactly a gift for ME in the sense of, say, a nice new pair of earrings or shoes or something; this slow expansion that I had to carry out all by myself while my husband merrily walked around unfettered by distorted belly and wobbling upper arms and humiliatingly inflamed tissue erupting from his pooping region; I would also be expected to give it up.

Out of all the stacks of maternity books littering every surface of our house at that time (I read them obsessively during my first pregnancy with a dry-mouthed nervous fervor, positive I’d eventually discover the chapter that discussed how sometimes babies would simply explode in utero and that the first sign of such an unspeakable catastrophe was an inexplicable craving for liverwurst) which JB delicately ignored, the one piece of so-called “information” he somehow managed to retain was that after the gaggy exhaustion of the first trimester, pregnant women got really horny.

“Not necessarily true,” I told him.



“I bet you just—”


“But the book said—” he’d start, and I’d wildly flap a hand around my body, both to indicate that he observe and recognize my general state of disrepair, and also to dissipate the odor of my most recent bodily emission. Liverwurst, jesus.

Between the aching boobs, overtaxed bladder, digestive issues, unpleasantly-located skin tags, creepily visible blue veins, puffy cankles, and sinuses that essentially sealed completely shut for eight straight months and forced me to breathe through my mouth with tongue slightly extended, I didn’t exactly feel as though my body was a wonderland. A loaf of Wonderbread, maybe. I couldn’t identify with the soft-focus gently-smiling women in the maternity books (inevitably sporting, it must be said, a protuberant mass of retro-styled pubic hair) who cradled their ripe bellies and were probably up for some meaningful side-position spousal action whenever their loving husbands so much as lowered an eyelid in their direction.

I also had vague concerns about the collateral damage the baby might sustain during a vigorous bout of lovemaking on our parts. I realized the absurdity of my thinking, yet I couldn’t help picturing our future child and the permanent indentation in his skull. Perfect for holding a small handful of M&Ms, but difficult to explain, this malformation would draw stares from the other children and grow unpleasantly moist during rainy days—all because Mom and Dad were watching True Blood one night and got carried away by all the smutty vampire scenes.

“That’s . . . uh, flattering,” said JB when I confessed my fear of Fetal Battering Ram Syndrome. “Also, insane. But if you’re really worried about it, I have a perfect solution.”

“This isn’t the thing where you offer to take my temperature, is it?” I said.

“Of course not, honey,” he soothed. “I was just going to say that I know you’re tired and I know how much work this is, and I want you to know that I’m here for you.” He reached out and held my hand, stroking my fingers.

A hormonal surge welled up inside me, and I sniffled in gratitude. “Thanks.”

“I want you to know,” he said, staring deeply into my eyes while I basked in the purity of the moment, feeling our newfound bond as partners and soon-to-be-parents. My lover, my best friend, the father of my child. “That a blow job is always a welcome option.”


92 Responses to “Not like the books”

  1. Kate on August 6th, 2009 4:30 pm

    I confess, I was one of those horny pregnant women. Couldn’t get enough, which was unfortunate the 1st time around because hubby wouldn’t come hear me after the 5th month. Second time around, he was much more desperate, I mean, WILLING, so all was good.

    Now if only I could get some of those pregnancy hormones back NOW (and not be actually pregnant) we’d be golden.

  2. Kim S. on August 6th, 2009 5:01 pm

    What a perfectly paced story! It is so damn funny, you should submit this to Babble or somewhere. It would get published in a heartbeat.

  3. Ess Dub on August 6th, 2009 5:22 pm

    I was *ahem* a super sex machine starting at week 14 of pregnancy. Hubby was all for it until riiiiiight up at the end. He relaxed enough during The Act to put his hand on my very pregnant belly. The baby kicked, aaaaaaand my husband um……..turtled. GONE. I had to whole ‘when the car is in the garage, it’s still not in the house’ conversation with him. Didn’t work, lol!

  4. Ess Dub on August 6th, 2009 5:22 pm

    Oops. I meant I had THE whole ‘When the car….’

  5. Carrie @ Who Knew? on August 6th, 2009 5:58 pm

    Thank you for helping to dispel this myth. Despite what Jenny McCarthy would have us all believe, not all pregnant ladies are horn balls having mind-blowing orgasms. And nobody is more disappointed by this than said pregnant ladies.

  6. Shawna on August 6th, 2009 6:09 pm

    I was willing but not exactly a go-getter for sex during my first pregnancy. The constant toddler presence definitely put a damper on the second.

    BUT, in both cases it was so much work to GET pregnant that my initial reaction at acheiving said pregnancies was, whew, we can take a break now.

  7. Kathy on August 6th, 2009 8:31 pm


    Your husband and mine must be related, I swear! “Dear” hubby still pulls this one when I’m tired.

  8. Sarah Lena on August 6th, 2009 9:01 pm

    Carrie nailed it; I was ALL FOR THE CRAZY PREGNANT Os, and guess what? Nothing. NADA. Flatulence, discomfort, and the antithesis of feeling sexy. No payoff at all.

  9. Sarah on August 7th, 2009 6:19 am

    I’m coming up on five months pregnant now and, yep, this about sums up my current state of affairs.

  10. Jeanette on August 7th, 2009 7:27 am


  11. Anon on August 7th, 2009 7:31 am

    The women who are interested in sex during pregnancy are the same women who probably like bjs in the first place.

    Men are so predictable – I got the same “there’s so much else we can do” lines after delivery, but pre-go-ahead-and-resume. My response was I’m sure I’d be interested in making sure you were satisfied during this (alarmingly short) doctor-ordered sex break if I weren’t so selfishly caught up in the fact that my nipples and hoo-haa have been bleeding for what surely must be an excessive amount of time…

  12. Violet on August 7th, 2009 8:28 am

    I’m one of those rare women who got really horny during pregnancy. Unfortunately, my husband did not share that feeling. He would just say “sorry, I just can’t do it”, but then want a BJ because “he wants the closeness and affection”. Ha! That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard a man say. And really… honey, I know you’re horny, but you’re fat and repulsive to me, so just blow me instead. You really thought that would work?

  13. Jules on August 7th, 2009 9:00 am

    How quickly did you smack him? I also got a huge laugh at the six week check-up when the doctor asked what we were using for birth control. Um, a newborn?

  14. Audrey on August 7th, 2009 9:01 am

    Still waiting for the overwhelming horniness of my last last pregnancy – feel it may never arrive this time.

    Also: why is it, exactly, that I feel like my upper arms have most certainly doubled in size? Gross!!

  15. Audrey on August 7th, 2009 9:08 am

    Also – when I complain of being tired, aching, pregnant, my husband’s response is “I have a pill you can take for that.”

  16. bokker on August 7th, 2009 9:21 am

    Oh, I hear you. I thought I’d feel all voluptuous and attractive when I was pregnant.

    But goddamit I don’t even have a proper bump (am only 15 weeks but everyone and their cousin “is the same as you and is really showing!”)- instead I have a weird belly shaped like a capital B, and I swear my stomach has moved up and out so it looks like I have an avocado nestling above my belly button after I have eaten.

    Plus I’ve had a UTI for two weeks, so, yah. Sexy.

  17. Sarah on August 7th, 2009 9:31 am

    LMFAO!!! What a totally typical male response…you’ve got me busting a gut now. I might have smacked my husband for it..but it’s still funny to read about. ;)

  18. schmutzie on August 7th, 2009 10:00 am
  19. kcornett on August 7th, 2009 11:10 am

    BA HA HA HA!!! I just blew coffee out of my nose! I think your husband and my husband must be long lost brothers!!!

  20. Cades Mom on August 7th, 2009 11:56 am

    I thought I was the only one that got that reassurance when she was pregnant. Thank goodness!

  21. JWOAP on August 7th, 2009 12:04 pm

    and that would have been about the time I puked all over my husbands lap as I suffered from 9 months of morning sickness:)

  22. erica on August 7th, 2009 12:49 pm

    you must have been at our house when i was pregnant. perfect description of everything! and I’m with JWOAP on the puking for 9 months part… definitely added a dimension of “sexiness” to my pregnancy. ugh.

  23. acorndreaming on August 7th, 2009 2:46 pm

    Just to prove that we do exist – kinda like unicorns – you know, we’re both horny and all . . . . I was a super-horny pregnant woman. Both times. My hormones were on a rampage and they did not care about the giant belly and the flatulence and the waddling and the exhaustion.

  24. Michal on August 7th, 2009 3:04 pm

    I am 33 weeks pregnant right now and I can’t even begin to thank you for this post. Trying to stifle laughter right now at my desk.

  25. Traci on August 7th, 2009 5:03 pm

    My husband and I still laugh about your picture of JB spelling out his request in letter-shaped tater tots…

  26. Swistle on August 8th, 2009 5:32 am

    OMG. I think it’s like, 1 in 10,000 pregnant women who feel all sexy and horny during pregnancy, but they USE EVERY OPPORTUNITY to tell EVERYONE IN THE WORLD about it, and so it seems as if it’s a normal thing when in fact it is an ABERRATION.

    I felt like saying, “You know what sex is REALLY FOR? Reproduction. That’s it. The pleasure/bonding part is just to encourage us to continue/nurture the species. And are currently fulfilling that purpose. SO BACK OFF.”

  27. Kat on August 8th, 2009 6:17 am

    I confess that I was one of those horny women for my first pregnancy. My husband was in absolute heaven! Of course, I had plenty of naps and sleeping in on the weekends and he learned the value of helping around the house (wife not so tired!). The second pregnancy was a little tougher with a toddler running around; the mind was willing but the body didn’t have quite as much energy. Of course, the hubby was still so psyched over the “action” in the first pregnancy that he forgave the slight down-turn in the second one.

  28. LiLu on August 8th, 2009 7:43 am

    Saw that coming a MILE away. They’re so sensitive, aren’t they?

  29. Aunt Becky on August 8th, 2009 5:58 pm

    Ha! He has the perfect solution.

  30. taren on August 9th, 2009 3:08 am

    Okay, i literally laughed-out-loud. I think I love you.

  31. Josh on August 9th, 2009 8:32 pm

    Awesome. JB: you da man. And don’t forget ladies, hand jobs and anal are generally acceptable forms of getting your men off. Foot jobs are weird, but you can always ask if it sounds like a good idea to you. We will usually work with whatever we can get.

  32. Maddie on August 9th, 2009 10:25 pm

    I have just burst out laughing at my desk. Thank you for reminding me that men are full of wonderful ‘solutions’ to life’s problems.

    Just came across your blog after reading ‘A little pregnant’. I think you can safely assume you have one more stalker – I mean reader.

  33. kristi on August 10th, 2009 4:20 am

    I am going through this. as. we. speak. UUUUGGGGHHHH.

  34. kim at allconsuming on August 10th, 2009 6:35 am

    DUDE – at this very moment I’ve got ‘issues’ thanks to two courses of mega antibiotics to deal with sinuses that simply refuse to work and migraine from changing my happy pills and on Wednesday am going into hospital to have my gall bladder removed, but still my husband says, ever so sweetly, but your hands and mouth still work.

    As sure as the sun will rise…

  35. dorrie on August 10th, 2009 8:24 am

    color me unsurprised at that response, because I am also married to, you know, A GUY. PS men, bj’s are work, too. “They don’t call it a job for nothin'”!!! Indeed

  36. Trenches of Mommyhood on August 10th, 2009 10:20 am

    Yes, my husband thinks he’s being witty and amusing when I get my period every month and inform him that it’s not a good time and his response is always, “But your mouth isn’t bleeding…”


  37. Lori O on August 10th, 2009 10:28 am

    Hey, my husband and I had that same conversation! In fact he still offers me that option if I’m just not in the mood/exhausted/stressed out. As if that is a much better option for me. Uh huh.

  38. rebeccaism on August 12th, 2009 12:14 am

    might I add in the whole “swallowing is protien, oh and it’s also great for the hair and a good facial, been known to prevent wrinkles for years!” oooh that’s too far ain’t it…..
    by the way my son doesn’t really mind the whole dent in the head thing, you’d be suprised the things he can store in there so much more then just m&ms…….totally kidding of course :P

  39. Jaidnoire on August 12th, 2009 7:15 am

    This post, and it’s comments (especially Liz’s) have me wiping away tears of laughter at my desk. Awesome.

  40. Ellen on August 12th, 2009 11:39 am

    Have to say that I’m one of those very-into-sex-while-pregnant women. Both pregnancies.

    I don’t understand why everyone feels free to express such bitterness about those of us who feel that way, as if we are cosmically broken or somehow betraying womankind. It’s hormones. Both scenarios (low interest and high interest) can result from hormone upheaval and it’s hardly anyone’s fault which experience they have.

    And at any point, hormonally driven or no (raging desire in pregnancy does not necessarily produce eagerness postpartum), I’ve found there’s a lot of physical and relational pleasure to be found in making your man feel good. Giving that blowjob two weeks post-baby and seeing him feel so good WAS a pleasure, just a different kind of pleasure than the back-to-back orgasms of the pregnancy. This, also, does not make me less feminine, or a traitor.

  41. Karen on August 12th, 2009 6:52 pm

    Oh. Mah. Gawd. That’s exactly what my husband would have said. And then I would have had to tell him what a jackass he was as he laughed at me.

    Luckily for him though, I was horny from day one of the second trimester to the last. The old man had trouble keeping up with the pregnant lady. Poor guy.

  42. Brian on August 19th, 2009 8:02 pm

    Ladies, do you have a great husband? Is he faithful to you? Does he work hard to take care of you, providing a house and safety for you? Then is it such a chore to make him feel like a king a couple of times a month? Lighten up, have a glass of chardonnay and get down there. He will only love you more for it.

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