“Third trimester: all I did was eat. I ate ice cream at 3 am, an entire pint of it. I ate enormous steaks smothered with Bearnaise sauce three times a week. I sucked down milkshakes, pound cake, chicken wings, hamburgers, whatever. I gained fifty pounds. I was huge, I was bored, I was still scared about birth and mothering, and my hormones shot around like a fifteen-year-old boy’s whose dick is permanently in his fist. All I wanted to do was get off.”
This is from a story called “Knocked Up, Getting Off” by one of my favorite writers, Paula Bomer. It was initially published on Nerve.com (Babble’s smutty older sibling) many years ago. I read it well before I had kids and thought it was so rad I made all my friends read it, pregnant or not. I even printed it out and filed it should I ever become pregnant and need some inspiration.
“The nipples darkened and grew outward. If I pinched them, a burning shock went straight to my groin and brain. I decorated them with glossy red lipstick, walking around our tiny Little Italy apartment with Revlon painted on my nips, giggling to myself, dizzy with hormonal horniness.”
And this is the innocent beginning of the story, just wait till she brings out the butt plugs, porn videos and KY Jelly.
I haven’t read something quite as magnificent as Bomer’s ode to the pregnant libido until yesterday when I happened upon Tracy Moore’s,”Pregnant Sex Was The Best Sex I Ever Had” over at Jezebel.
“Then, in the last trimester, as if activated like some kind of sex-bot sleeper cell, nature reached into my loins and flipped her almighty switch again, and suddenly it was get-up-on-a-D-time again, Maximum Overdrive edition. The world was my Viagra, and I was a rabid she-beast who was filled with pure, insatiable desire. There were weird, vivid sex dreams about old boyfriends, complete strangers, extremely undesirable coworkers, nurses, various functional fruit. I guess it’s like what a real horny dude is like in the 8th grade or what Gene Simmons is like all the time? You tell me.”
Moore wonders why a pregnant woman would want sex so much–it would seem she’s gotten what she needs from an evolutionary POV, right? Well, pregnant women have 40-50% more blood volume during pregnancy and that blood can do all manner of pooling and throbbing in the nether regions, which can make sex and orgasm that much more intense. But there’s likely a hormonal component. (Women, unlike men, tend to need more than *just* engorgement to get things going. This is one reason why Big Pharma is having such a darned time coming up with a female Viagra).
In women, the hormone oxytocin plays a key role in orgasm. Oxytocin is also released during labor and nipple stimulation/breastfeeding. Towards the end of pregnancy maybe it starts to ramp up a little and nipples and genitals become more sensitive. As Bomer describes, “My breasts were like two swollen clitori, positioned for easy manipulation.”
Ideas about sex play into it, too, of course: In Bomer’s story, the sense that pregnant sex is wrong and/or maybe dangerous (it’s not) is a huge turn-on. Moore says she felt liberated by a new found indifference to what she looked like during sex.
But women are as unique when it comes to orgasm as they are when it comes to pregnancy– one woman’s wildly arousing nipple pinch is another’s torture.
The horny knocked-up situation is not guaranteed. For all the women who have enhanced sensation, there are just as many who report a deadened sex drive. Many, like Moore, have zero desire one trimester and a rabid libido in another.
So, ladies…. the comments section is anonymous.
What’s it been like for you?
photo: camera slayer/flickr