Sex During & After Pregnancy

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Pregnancy is a special and fleeting time — although I remember while I was pregnant I felt like it would last forever! Looking back I can better appreciate how short a chapter of my life it was. During pregnancy, there are a lot of ups and downs in your sex life, and each trimester needs it’s own adjustments to keep a happy sexy time. Then after baby is born, there are even more adjustments to be made!

1st Trimester

  • When you find out that you and your spouse have made a life together, it is an incredibly intimate feeling. I felt connected to EF in a way I never had before. We shared something together that is at the most primal level of humanity, and that feeling extended into our sex.
  • Shortly after you become pregnant you start to realize that you won’t have your period for a while. This was one of my favorite parts!
  • Also shortly after you become pregnant, the hormones really kick in. For me, this is when I really started to pay attention to how I felt at different times of day. I was fortunate to not feel sick all day. Each pregnancy was different, but with each one there was a time of day that worked best for sex. So that is when we had sex! If you can be flexible and communicate you should be able to maintain an enjoyable sex life even through the more unpleasant parts of pregnancy.
  • Enjoy all the positions that you like, you aren’t really limited by your size.

2nd Trimester

  • Ah, the golden trimester for sex. El Fury loved this trimester. My libido was so high, I think I wore him out! Have sex as much as you can in this trimester.
  • For most of this trimester different positions are still comfortable. We tried to enjoy the Jockey position because we knew soon we wouldn’t be able to do it that way.
  • There isn’t a whole lot to say on this trimester, except have lots of sex and enjoy it!

3rd Trimester

  • Sex gets a little challenging during these few months. This is where I felt like I would be pregnant forever. Husbands, encourage your wives as much as you can during these months. I was super crabby the last two months of pregnancy and needed all the encouragement I could get!
  • Exercise if you are able. At this point I was only able to walk, and I think my level of activity made sex more enjoyable.
  • During this trimester we were pretty much limited sex to two positions: me on top and spooning. Sex while spooning is very comfortable when you are pregnant. The last month especially this was my favorite way to have sex. If you are unfamiliar with this position, it is exactly as it sounds: having sex while the husband spoons the wife.
  • Although it can be difficult, try to enjoy sex because after baby is born most people have to wait a little while until your body is recovered.

Postpartum

  • The first time you have sex after baby is born is pretty monumental. You haven’t had sex for a while, so both of you are pretty worked up. For the wife, it is also pretty scary (at least for me it was). Go slow and spend a lot of time on foreplay. When the husband is entering the wife, go especially slow and make sure she doesn’t have any pain through the process. EF was so gentle, and it meant the world to me that I could trust him in that way.
  • This is yet another time that you have to notice what time of day you want to have sex. Then have sex at that time! This can change rapidly, so listen to your body and embrace it when you want to have sex. Those first few months after our babies were born we had sex at all hours of the day. There were times I would come in from feeding in the middle of the night and be ready to go. EF was flexible enough that he didn’t mind waking up in the middle of the night.
  • Boob sensitivity. Before having kids, my boobs weren’t really an exciting area for me. For EF they were, but I didn’t get much pleasure out of them. I don’t know if anyone else has experienced this, but after having babies and breastfeeding, by boobs became much more sensitive. Now I get very turned on when EF touches me there.

I love looking back and remembering our experience of pregnancy and childbirth together. EF was the only person I wanted to have in that room with me. Going through all that together brought our relationship to a new level of intimacy. I love sharing this journey with him. There are times I feel like our kids are absolutely crazy, and I can look up and catch his eye. We give each other a knowing smile. He is the only person in the world that can understand our life together, and what we’ve been through with adding these little lives to our world: their quirkiness, and the intense love we have for them. Then, when those crazy moments have turned to quiet moments after they go to bed (or in the morning before they wake up), it’s amazing to look into those same eyes while we make love. That, I believe, is how God wanted us to experience this great gift of sex and intimacy.

Get Some Sun, Have Better Sex

sunlight

Here’s a fascinating study about using light therapy to increase the libido of men with low sex drives. Don’t worry, it’s not some hippy thing!

Exposure to bright light – similar to daylight – boosts levels of the male hormone testosterone and can triple sexual satisfaction, the research found.

“Before treatment, both groups averaged a sexual satisfaction score of around two out of 10, but after treatment the group exposed to the bright light was scoring sexual satisfaction scores of around 6.3 – a more than three-fold increase on the scale we used. In contrast, the control group only showed an average score of around 2.7 after treatment.”

While average blood levels of testosterone in the “control” group remained at around 2.3 nanograms per millilitre (ng/ml) before and after the study, those of the men receiving active light treatment rose from 2.1 ng/ml to 3.6 ng/ml.

“The increased levels of testosterone explain the greater reported sexual satisfaction,” said Prof Fagiolini. “In the northern hemisphere, the body’s testosterone production naturally declines from November through April, and then rises steadily through the spring and summer with a peak in October. You see the effect of this in reproductive rates, with the month of June showing the highest rate of conception. The use of the light box really mimics what nature does.”

The article doesn’t mention it, but testosterone is also essential for women’s libido. (Though, of course, at lower levels of the hormone than men require.)

And best of all, you don’t need a fancy “light box”! Just go outside and bare some skin to that giant ball of fire in the sky that God helpfully provided — for free! The study quoted above indicates that as little as 30 minutes per day in the sun will have an effect, so go get some exercise.

Jockey Sex Position

galloping-horse

We mentioned the Jockey position in an earlier post about variations on Doggy Style, but since this is one of our favorite go-to positions I thought it would be worthwhile saying a bit more about it.

First, what is the Jockey position? The basics are simple: the wife lays down on her stomach and the husband lays on top of her and enters her from behind. Beyond that, there are innumerable ways to experiment with the position.

  • Entry. If we’re starting with Jockey we’ll often use lube — the position is tight and has a lot of friction. Often we’ll move into Jockey after starting with something else, and then lube isn’t required. For easiest entry, the husband can kneel while wife lifts her hips, then they can lower themselves into a lying position after he’s inside.
  • Legs. There are two ways you can position your legs: her legs closed and his outside, or her legs open and his inside. The wife will probably have to spread her legs at least a little to facilitate entry, but after that we generally prefer for her legs to be closed and her knees and feet together. Then the husband can surround the wife’s legs with his, which creates a very intimate whole-body embrace as well as a very tight penetration.
  • Arms. There are at least three positions that you can use for the wife’s arms, and the husband’s arms will follow. (1) The wife can lay her arms straight down the length of her body and lay her face on the mattress (probably no head pillow in this position). (2) The wife can bend her arms at the elbows, tuck her elbows into her sides, and put her hands under her shoulders. (3) The wife can put her arms above her head in a diamond-like shape. With positions (1) and (2) the husband can wrap his arms around the wife and completely envelop her body. With option (3), the husband can tuck his arms under his wife’s, lay on her back, and hold her hands above their heads.
  • Pillow. Putting a pillow under the wife’s hips will elevate her lady bits, making entry easier and increasing the depth of penetration. The pillow also gives the wife something to push against, helping her to move a little in what is otherwise a fairly passive position for her. The wife can push up with her hips, wiggle from side to side, and squeeze her pelvic muscles — and moan with pleasure!
  • Kissing. Jockey is a great position for him to smother her with kisses! The husband can easily kiss the wife’s face, ears, shoulders, neck, and back, and Sexy Corte really enjoys it when I kiss down between her shoulder blades.
  • Spanking. As with all rear entry positions, Jockey is great for giving the wife a little spank on her butt! (Until the husband lays down, of course.)

Great things about Jockey:

  • Intimacy. This position really lets the husband surround the wife from every direction. You can hold hands, hug, and kiss. It’s a great position for warming up on a cold night. You can snuggle in this position for as long as you want, and even fall asleep after sex without getting up.
  • Tightness. Like other variations on Doggy Style, Jockey is a pretty tight position — especially if the wife keeps her legs together.
  • Comfort. Jockey is a pretty relaxed position that doesn’t require too much energy — perfect for early mornings or late nights.

Potential downsides:

  • Her orgasm. Jockey is a difficult position for a wife to reach orgasm. The position does allow the husband to stimulate the wife’s anterior vaginal wall and g-spot with downward thrusts, but there is very little clitoral stimulation. When Sexy Corte wants an orgasm we always make sure to do it before going to Jockey.
  • Depth. The geometry of Jockey leads to shallow penetration — less depth than Missionary, and much less than basic Doggy Style. Depth can be improved by putting a pillow under the wife’s hips.
  • Too hot! With so much skin-to-skin contact, Jockey may not be the best position for the hottest days of summer! Throw off those sheets and turn on a fan before you start.

What do you think about the Jockey position? Got any tips to share? Leave a comment!

Co-Sleeping with Babies Increases Stress and Reduces Sex

crying-in-bed

The results from this study on co-sleeping aren’t surprising in the least!

While some parents find co-sleeping helps to make nights with a baby more manageable, others find the constant caregiving and interrupted sleep to be exhausting.

Beth Day and her husband, of Seattle, slept in the same room with their son and found he started waking more and more frequently around 12 months. As soon as they moved him to his own room, he started sleeping through the night.

“Once I got my personal space back, my relationship with my kid and my husband improved immensely. I don’t think I realized how I had such a feeling of invaded personal space until it wasn’t any more,” Ms. Day said. Getting better sleep helped, too. With the fragmented nights of co-sleeping, “I was really irritable with my son and my husband, and didn’t have the energy to really play or interact” with her baby, she said.

Your master bedroom should be reserved for marital intimacy, which includes sex but so much more!

One of the most common questions about co-sleeping is how it impacts a couple’s sex life. Parents say that when a baby is sleeping in the same room, maintaining intimacy can require creativity.

“We don’t have sex in our bed anymore, but there are other places to have sex,” said Leah Nilson of Vancouver, British Columbia. She and her husband have co-slept with their 2-year-old son from birth. “It has not negatively impacted our relationship in the slightest. Parenting in general has, but bed-sharing is one of the more pleasant aspects of parenting.”

Yes, there are lots of places to have sex besides your bed, but be honest — if you remove your bed from the equation, the frequency of sex is going to go way down.

When you have a new baby it’s easy to become completely focused on that wonderful new life. Babies are awesome! But your marriage relationship should always be your top priority, and it’s hard to prioritize it when you have an infant sleeping in your bed.

Despite how much you love your baby, you need to give yourself and your spouse permission to have your own space. You need to put the kids to bed and make time for yourselves. Keeping Mom and Dad healthy is the best thing for baby, and protecting your marriage will pay dividends for years.

“It’s Important To Stay Skinny For My Husband”

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There’s an attention-grabbing headline! Of course, “skinny” isn’t really optimal, and whatever can be said for wives can be said for husbands, too. Let’s see what Ginny Hartley says.

After the birth of our third child, I was clinging onto extra weight far longer than I did after my first two pregnancies.

My husband definitely noticed my more ample features, and while he didn’t seem to mind one bit, my insecurity about my postpartum body quickly started to get in the way of our love life.

As someone who had spent most of her life being defined by athleticism, I was at a total loss when I realized I was no longer the lean girl my husband fell in love with.

When I married my husband, I was barely out of my teenage years and a rail-thin 102 lbs. I couldn’t fathom a day would come when I would gain considerable weight or have trouble staying fit. Fast forward seven years and three kids, and it’s a whole different story.

That once effortlessly skinny physique is now a thing of the past. But so what if I have to work for it? I’m willing to put in the extra effort to stay fit for the sake of my marriage.

I think there are two important and related concepts here: health and attractiveness.

First, we have a responsibility to God, ourselves, and our family to be as healthy as possible.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Being fit is an essential component of being physically healthy, but health is more than just fitness. Mental, spiritual, and social health are as important as physical health, and we should pursue them all — just like Jesus did as he grew up.

Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.

Those four elements of health are fodder for a post of their own someday.

Second, we have a responsibility to our spouse to be as attractive as possible. Fortunately, attractiveness tends to follow health — if you focus on health, you get attractiveness almost for free! (It’s still worthwhile to put some energy into your wardrobe, of course.)

Health and attractiveness get more difficult to maintain as we get older, for both men and women — but women feel more pressure for cultural and biological reasons. Having babies is really difficult, and most men don’t work at jobs that are as physically demanding as pregnancy and childbirth are.

And so, as with all things in life, we need to do our best and trust God. I really like what Mrs. Hartley says here:

We want to raise our kids to respect their bodies and physical health. I have to practice what I preach. I need to workout for my mental health. I need to stay physically fit to keep up with the demands of raising three kids.

I need to maintain my weight so I feel confident in my body — not because I’m vain, but because I want to be the best version of myself.

God, your spouse, and your family deserve the best version of you! Being the best you takes intention, effort, time, and energy. It isn’t easy.

What do you do to be your best you, physically or otherwise? Leave a comment!

Portable Door Locks Create Privacy While Traveling

addalock

If you spend the night with family while vacationing then you may have encountered a frustrating situation: doors with no locks! It’s hard to have sexy time if you’re worried that your kids or family will burst in on you at any moment, but c’mon, you can’t skip sex just because you’re traveling! Fortunately for all of us, there are several kinds of portable locks that can be easily mounted onto any inward-opening door. The best one I’ve found is the Addalock (pictured above).

  • Discrete: No one on the other side of the door can tell you’re using one.
  • Portable: Weighs less than a pound and fits easily into a suitcase.
  • Effective: The door cannot be opened with the lock installed — short of breaking it down with an ax.

Here’s a longer post about preparing for sex on vacation. Have you got any tips for improving sexy time while traveling?

Marriage Sex Tips from a Reader

female professor

We get a lot of emails from readers asking questions, but I wanted to share an email from Ellie with a list of tips that work for her and her husband. Every marriage is different, but I always find it encouraging to hear from people who have healthy, exciting sex lives. Maybe something in here will give you an idea for edifying your marriage!

Here’s Ellie’s email, with light editing and a few links back to related posts.

These are just my opinions and what works best for me and my husband. We have been married for 12 years and are intimate literally everyday! And usually at least three times a day!

Overall

  1. You are husband and wife. Don’t be afraid to voice your desires. After all his penis has already been in you, I mean how more intimate can it get than that?
  2. Women are like ovens, it takes a while for us to warm up. Do something out of the ordinary, talk about what you’re going to do to her later, or just pull her to the closet and give her a passionate kiss. Girls, wear some sexy underwear or none throughout the day!
  3. Be conscious of her monthly hormones. Women are more likely to try more things when we’re fertile and hormones are raging.
  4. When you have sex, leave on a light! (Men are visual and love to watch.)
  5. Be vocal! Nothing sounds better the sounds of pleasure from your spouse.
  6. Try new positions! After 12 years of marriage we find new ones on accident! This past week his foot ended on my head pressing me to the mattress and believe or not it was amazing.
  7. Make date night or lunch a priority, especially if you have kids! If the kids can crash at the grandparents house take them up on EVERY opportunity!

Oral Sex

  1. Hygiene and shave: it will make it more enjoyable for both!
  2. Watch your diet. Fruits and lots of water will lead to better tasting experience for both. Stay away from asparagus and onions.
  3. If you want her to swallow make sure you are not going to give her a full load. More is not always a good thing in this department. And let her know how much you enjoy it.
  4. Women, practice with your fingers and don’t worry if you gag, I don’t think any man would complain! It actually excited my husband more! If you feel as if you might vomit take a break and concentrate on his friends below — some kisses and licks will do the trick. After you recuperate get back to it!
  5. Make eye contact with your spouse to create a very intimate experience.
  6. Sometimes women do not know how amazing giving oral sex to a man can look. Record it and watch it back together later!
  7. Husbands, don’t forget about her! Ask her where she likes it and let her grab your head to steer you in the right direction.

Anal

  1. When my hubby first asked I thought he was crazy. We both have high libidos and “that time of the month” seems like eternity. I never in a million years thought I would enjoy it, but now we both have had some amazing orgasms this way.
  2. Prep! Just like for any other intimate act, cleaning is essential! Eat less that day. About two hours before sex I always feel better with a water enema to make sure every thing is clean. This might be TMI but I also inject about a tablespoon of organic coconut oil in my anus, right before we begin. That way you won’t have to stop during foreplay to lube up. Plus coconut oil is a natural anti-bacterial! We have used it for years, and it’s great lube for the vagina, too!
  3. Foreplay, and lots of it! Take it slow when you are entering. Very slow! And don’t pound as you would in vaginal sex.
  4. Position: Laying face down and bottom up seems to be easiest for beginners.

Accessories!

  1. One word: Magic wand. She will orgasm uncontrollably and you won’t even have to move! Even better to add during sex. My husband says my vaginal contractions are amazing when we use this. She might ejaculate too so don’t be surprised, she is not peeing! Taste it! It actually taste like sweet water.
  2. Straps! No need to spend a lot of money. Get heavy duty ace bandages and tie them to the bed post. Our favorite position is when I lay on my back and he ties my feet above my head.
  3. Ben wa balls and kegels. It will make sex more pleasurable for both of you and the orgasms will be even stronger!
  4. Doggy style tummy strap!
  5. Chairs! Enough said! Let your imagination run wild.

Got a question for Ellie? Want to share some of your own tips? Leave a comment!

How To Decide When To Stop Having Children

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When Sexy Corte and I were struggling with the decision of whether to have another child we asked many of our friends for advice. Some of the couples we asked were very sure of their decision to stop, but their surety wasn’t much help to us because it was often grounded in the specifics of their circumstances (age, health, time, etc.). The couples who hadn’t decided yet were often in the same boat as we were: agonizing indecision.

SC and I prayed a lot about our decision and it could have gone either way — there wasn’t any one determining factor that pushed us to stop. Our inertia was moving us towards having another child — years ago we had agreed on a number, and we were both happy with it. But when it came time to finally decide, we were both uneasy. We took several months to talk with each other, seek advice, and pray. In the end, we decided that either course could honor God and be good for our family, but it was best to stop. This was a very hard decision, but we’re still confident that we made the right choice.

So, how did we decide? This list of questions by Deepak Reju, a Christian counselor, was a great foundation for our discussion. It addresses many Biblical teachings on the topic of children, and then uses those Bible teachings to frame some practical questions. Here are the topics — and our answers — that ultimately led us to our decision.

  • Is your default position to stop or to have more children? Our default position was to have another child. We were struggling because we both felt that inertia was pushing us into a less-wise decision. Not unwise, just less wise.
  • What is your logistical, emotional, and spiritual capacity as parents? Our children are close in age, and we realized together that we were at capacity. If had been younger we would likely have spread our kids out a little farther and reduced the peak workload of young children, but that wasn’t an option. It’s the peak workload that limits your parenting capacity, not the average workload.
  • Are you being responsible to serve and disciple your spouse and children? We wanted to make sure that we’d always have time for each other, and for deep one-on-one relationships with each child. It was already a challenge to find one-on-one time with anyone, and we didn’t want to sacrifice quality for quantity. Our marriage is the most important relationship in the family, and we believed that having another child would add a significantly increased burden. Additionally, each child needs special time alone with each parent, and we love providing that.

So those were the factors that led to our decision. As with many decisions, we believe that God could have been honored either way — He gave us wisdom and discernment for a reason. After we decided, we wrote an email to our future selves that we could look back on if we ever doubted our choice, but so far we’ve had it affirmed in numerous ways… usually during dinner or bath time. In a later post we’ll write about how we made the decision permanent.

How did you make this decision for your family? Are you pondering it right now?

Be Disciplined with Your Kids at Bedtime

putting kids to bed

Staying disciplined with our kids’ bedtimes has been one of the best habits that Sexy Corte and I have cultivated during our marriage. We’ve written two posts about protecting your master bedroom from your children and making it a haven for your sexual relationship, and it’s just as important to protect your time as your space.

When you have young children it’s easy for them to dominate every waking second of your life, but your sex life is going to suffer if you let that happen. Maintaining a consistent bedtime for your kids is important for their mental and physical health, your sanity, and your sex life. If your kids wake up and go to sleep when you do, it’s no surprise you don’t have time and energy for sex.

Children need structure and consistency, and they need a lot of sleep.

Among the children who were in bed by 8 p.m., 10 percent were obese as teens, compared to 16 percent of those who went to bed between 8 and 9 and 23 percent of those who went to bed after 9, according to the study, published in The Journal of Pediatrics.

Although the study does not prove that early bedtimes protect against obesity, Dr. Anderson said, “there is a great deal of evidence linking poor sleep, and particularly short sleep duration, to obesity, and it’s possible the timing of sleep may be important, above and beyond the duration of sleep.”

“This provides more evidence that having an early regular bedtime and bedtime routine for young children is helpful,” she said.

We try to have our younger kids in bed by seven every evening, and the older ones in bed by eight. They’re not always asleep by then, but they’re in bed and quiet. We stick to this schedule about six days a week, and the other day we’re likely to have some church or social event that keeps us out a later. Our kids are like all other kids: they stall, delay, and beg to stay up later, but they know the routine and are generally compliant.

This schedule gives me and Sexy Corte at least two hours together almost every evening. It’s very easy to have a babysitter watch the sleeping children while we go on a date (which we try to do monthly) but most of the time we spend the evening playing board games together — and having sex! Sexy Corte’s best time of day for orgasm has moved around over the years, and now the golden hour is right after we get the kids to bed. As you can imagine, I’m pretty motivated to tuck them in!

As our kids get older I’m sure they’ll stay up later, but we still plan to enforce a quiet time in the evening starting around eight. We’ll see how that goes!

We’re frequently shocked to learn that many of our friends have their kids in activities several nights per week, let them stay up until ten, or even let them sleep in the master bedroom. I don’t see how such parents ever find time for themselves. If you’re in this position and you can’t imagine how to change things around, check out our post about creating the habit of daily sex — it contains a bunch of good tips for creating good habits in your life and marriage.

Do you have any good ideas for protecting your time, space, and energy for sex?

Bifecta: Café Fellatio

coffee

I love coffee and oral sex, but until now I hadn’t thought of combining them! We’ve written before about one kind of bifecta (television and casual oral sex) and here’s another: Café Fellatio.

A bar set to open in Geneva, Switzerland, later this year will have the most-bizarre offering. It will offer its customers oral sex and coffee, albeit at a high price. Customers will have to shell out a lot more than an average brew to enjoy the cuppa, and at the same time get comfortable at the cafe’s bar. It is believed that customers will be charged £42 (AU$80) for the combo. An additional AU$7 will be charged as surplus for the drink.

Obviously this idea is exploitative and immoral as a business, but it sounds like a fun treat to enjoy with your spouse!