Sex drive runs the gamut during pregnancy. There are those who find it a huge turn on and want sex more than ever. There are those who would be just fine waiting until the whole shebang is way over. And there are those for whom the belly makes little difference whatsoever. The problem is that in a lot of relationships, partners are on opposite ends of the sex spectrum. The version of this that gets all the press is the one where mom’s never in the mood and dad’s left out in the cold. But it’s not so rare for the situation to be switched.
A woman’s sex drive can ramp up during pregnancy for lots of reasons. But why does a man’s sometimes slow down, or grind to a halt?
Today on Thestir.com, Megan Van Schaik investigates the question of why men (sometimes) don’t like pregnant sex. Here’s four reasons why she thinks it’s happening:
- He doesn’t like your belly. This isn’t about him thinking you’re fat or unattractive, it’s about the belly itself. Some guys think it’s like having sex with the baby in the bed. Some guys feel (especially if you’re carrying a girl) that it’s weirdly close to incest. When the baby kicks in the middle of getting it on? Weirds them out. When you orgasm and your entire belly tightens up? Weirds them out.
- He’s scared. No, seriously. Explain it to them all you want, with charts and graphs and experts, and sometimes your dude is just going to be convinced that he’s going to hurt the baby if you two have sex. And sometimes he’s afraid of hurting you.
- He’s disengaged. Especially if this is your first child, chances are good that he’s sooo consumed with his own fears, anxieties, and stresses that sex isn’t even on his radar. Strange, I know, but it does happen.
- He’s clueless. He thinks his semen will send you into labor. He doesn’t know you’re going to have the best orgasm like, EVER, if only he would get over himself. (Or that you’re going to get there, with or without him!) He’s just completely in the dark, and if this is the case, he’d better be with you on the next trip to the baby doc.
I think there might be something a little deeper at play, too, though probably not consciously. On some level, the urge for sex is intrinsically tied to the urge to reproduce. The seed-spreading imperative is a well-known motivator of men’s sexual impulses. The big belly might be sending some kind of subconscious signal of the uselessness of this pursuit for reproductive reasons. In other words, his Darwin brain is saying: If you can’t make a baby with me, what’s the point?
This may be a stretch considering how much recreational sex vs reproductive sex we’re all engaged in. But this theory is the same one that’s behind the universal preference for the hourglass figure, which signifies a fertile vessel, while a big-bellied one implies that the vessel’s already occupied.
In any case, if you happen to be one of the sexually inclined pregnant women whose man is not up to the task, you can get some ideas about how to handle your situation at thestir.com. Basically, your options are: discuss, seduce, or take matters into your own hands. And if your desire is such that you feel inclined to try all three in succession, so be it.
photo: Emery Co Photo / J.K. Califf