When it comes to sex after a new baby, adoptive parents have the upper hand. While they will later have slightly different identity issues to wrestle with than biological parents, at least when they are handed their child, they are not also bleeding and sore between the legs (probably, or for different reasons). Anyone who has been pregnant has to deal with multiplied body image or gender issues and the glamor of stagnant, soured blood dripping from their nether regions for a few weeks. Yeah, not just a couple of days. Not a light period. Not a little spotting. No, I mean the remains of a spare organ leftover from an alien invasion are oozing from a terribly distorted and uncomfortable area that has just wrenched a watermelon into the world.
There is a real and valid fear that sex will hurt after pregnancy. I didn’t even give vaginal, bonus hole birth, and I was still terrified of how it was going to feel to have anything tickling around the sensitive tissues that had been so recently pulped. And c-section scars aren’t exactly unrelated to boning. Try to have sex without using your abs. I dare you. Obsess for a few hours about whether or not it’s going to hurt, and then, in addition to all of your bodily fluids being re-directed to your tits, try not to be so nervous that you can’t self-lubricate.
But the fear of pain is better than the fear that sex won’t happen at all. I don’t know anyone whose sex life hasn’t changed during pregnancy. Even those who manage a more graceful shift to altered sex than Partner and I did have wildly different desires, concerns and body shapes for ten months. When those shapes are suddenly gone, there are just two adults who have completely new roles relative to each other. Will they still have desire for each other? Will they still fit together? Will we have any energy left for each other after the infant is cared for? YES.
Omg, take a deep breath. Yes, the answer is yes. Sex will happen again after pregnancy. Honestly, it did hurt a little, but not super a lot, considering how much unrelated pummeling had happened in the region. One afternoon, weeks after birth, the baby had passed out, Partner and I had both showered recently enough to be passable and we both mustered the courage to register – sheepishly, tentatively – interest in, ahem, adult activities. Woo! We were both interested. And nervous. But excited.
Dorkily, awkwardly, giddily – we undressed and gathered the bravery to stick it in. No fingers or mouths first, just a desperate dash to reclaim the assurance that peg A in slot B could still feel awesome for both of us. It hurt a little. Every single drop of water in a nursing body is sent directly to the mammaries. The sensitive tissues were relying solely on synthetic lube that we were too distracted and fitful to use as thoroughly a usual. But it went well. Getting off was had, and, I, for one, verbally over-emphasized how awesome it was, to make sure that it would happen again.
And it did happen again. Positive reinforcement works! Not every day. Not all the time. But occasionally, as a lucky treat, off and on we totally get laid – together! We parents have enough sex that we are not *constantly * despairing our loss of adult time. Every week, or every other week, orrrrr, occasionally, a little more or less frequently, we totally get it on. Not as often as we would like, because having a child and jobs and new levels of stress do interfere with going heels to Jesus. But, as often as we are capable of articulating longing and availability, we become a monster with two backs. Woo!
By far the best way to get laid for new parents, is to have a babysitter take the tot out of the house. When the tot is out of the house, you can use your own platforms, equiptment, toys and shower. Nap times are a nice runner up – less exhausting than bedtime or, heaven forbid attempting to wake up before a baby in the morning. And for the love of everything, turn the baby monitor off! Soooooo not sexy to hear plaintive squalling as you approach what could have been a happy ending.
We have not yet managed to become secure or un-occupied enough to go thirty or forty toes instead of just twenty, but we’re working on it, and I look forward to someday getting an adult-only hotel room, or attending a sex party where we can go at it without waking any kind of small creature or neighbor. In the meantime, it’s nice to know that we’ve still got it. “It” being interest in booty slapping and the will to carry it out every once in a while. Often enough to recycle the paperbacks about sexless marriages.