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Sex and Pregnancy: A Short Guide to Getting Off When You’re Knocked Up

Sex and Pregnancy:  A Short Guide to Getting Off When You’re Knocked Up
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So, you’re pregnant! Don’t let your mother-in-law tell you that you can’t have sex during the next nine months—chances are that not only can you have sex, it might just be the best sex of your life.

  It Works!

At the beginning of your pregnancy, you should be able to enjoy your favorite sexual positions in pretty much the same way you always have. As your body changes, though, you might need or want to change things up so that you’ll be comfortable. If your breasts are sore, the way they bounce when you’re on top might go from sexy to painful; a third-trimester belly might make missionary difficult. Many pregnant women with a male partner (or a female partner with a dildo) swear by doggie-style. Supporting yourself on your hands and knees, or bending while holding onto a steady piece of furniture, can get your belly out of the way. There are also support ramps designed especially for this purpose. This position also allows your partner more control over the depth of penetration. Some pregnant women enjoy deep, hard strokes, while others have a sensitive cervix and like to keep penetration shallow. Figure out what works for you, and make sure that you’re vocal about letting your partner know what you like!

Oral sex is a great alternative for pregnant women—and despite the urban legends you may have heard, it is safe. Your taste and smell might change along with your body, but this doesn’t have to be unpleasant. If you’re having trouble getting used to how you look and feel, oral sex can be a wonderful, intimate way to start feeling at home in your body.

Toys can also be a great way to experiment. If traditional penetration isn’t working for you, try a bullet vibrator that centers pleasure on your clitoris. If you’re craving deep penetration, a dildo might be the answer. Whatever you decide to play with, just make sure to keep it clean and use plenty of lube. Don’t forget to pleasure yourself, too—you don’t need a partner for sexual satisfaction. (And even if you have one, he or she might not be able to keep up with you!)

Orgasms during pregnancy can be a lot more intense than you’re used to. Sometimes they’re harder to achieve, but when they happen they can be mind-blowing. You might experience cramps or Braxton-Hicks contractions for about half an hour after you come—this is normal, and may be related to the increased blood flow in your uterus. It’s nothing to worry about—ask your partner to snuggle you and warm your belly with his or her hands. Some women even find that orgasms during labor can help ease pain and bring labor more quickly.

  Postpartum Sex

After the baby comes, ask your doctor when you’ll be ready to have sex again. Depending on what your body went through during childbirth, it may take you a while to heal. And with a newborn baby waking you up at all hours, you might be too sleep-deprived to even think about sex. It’s a good idea to keep communicating with your partner about sex—if you’re tired or sore, you can make your partner feel loved and cared for with other tactics, like a surprise handjob while the baby’s napping, or even just kissing and caressing him while he gets himself off. He can massage your nipples, or for that matter your whole body, with healing oils or balms. You or your partner might struggle with feeling differently about your body, so it’s important to give each other some time. Sometimes a relaxing night in a hotel room is all new parents need to remember how much fun they had making their baby in the first place!

You don’t have to give up sex because you’re pregnant. In fact, if you can relax and enjoy your changing body, you might discover new kinds of sexual pleasure. Listen to your body, experiment with what feels good, and keep talking to your partner—and prepare for a whole new chapter in your sexual life.

A word to partners: Sex during pregnancy is a big change for you, too. You might find yourself unsure of how to approach your partner, viewing her differently, or worrying about hurting the baby. It’s important to be as open and as supportive as you can be with your partner. She might be feeling self-conscious about her expanding body—try to let her know that you still find her sexy. If you’re aroused by her, let her know about it! If you’re a man, try to remember that your penis can’t hurt the baby—her cervix, uterus and a whole layer of fluid are protecting it, so all you have to focus on is making your partner feel good. If she’s feeling horny, pleasure her in whatever ways are working for her, even though they might be different than your usual routine. If she’s uncomfortable or cranky, you can make the difference for her with a massage or a delicious meal. She is the same person she always was, but with new depths and dimensions, and if you are there for her now, your relationship—and your sex life—can reach new levels of intimacy.

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