“I just pushed out a human! So no, I don’t want to talk about having sex”

Posted in Relationships.

Sex after childbirth is a vexing topic. And to be perfectly honest, it’s something women wouldn’t be talking about at all, if not for their husbands.

For men, sex and childbirth are just bookends of a wonderful equation to be enjoyed in equal measure: this went in and it was fun, then that came out and LOOK AT WHAT I MADE!

But for most women, sex and childbirth are just plain polar opposites

Both poles involve the same passageway and yet with sex, something goes in, in an entirely pleasurable way and then with childbirth, something comes out in a decidedly not pleasurable, often painful and definitely functional way that leaves us feeling like our insides have been rubbed down with a cheese grater.

So forgive me while I put my angry Generation X feminist hat on here, but the whole “sex after childbirth” thing is pretty much a conversation driven by men and their needs.

In my experience, the conversation only existed because my then-husband initiated it. And while I agree that it’s prudent to have the conversation … could there not be a degree, let’s say, a modicum of understanding and acceptance?

After I’d pushed something out of my ladyparts and was in so much pain I had to sit on a blow-up donut for three weeks, I really wasn’t feeling it. But my then-husband was fixated on when we would be able to have sex again.

To him, our sex life was a direct expression of how much we loved each other

For me, it was not. For him, sex was something he needed from me in order to feel like our relationship was still functioning properly. And so, within that, I was made to feel like I was somehow depriving him of some essential emotional component of our relationship if I “let it go too long.”

I think a lot of women feel this pressure

They love their husband and they don’t want to lose that intimate connection with him in the weeks after childbirth. This is all fair enough, but let’s put it in perspective.

It’s maybe six to eight weeks, where you won’t have sex, against an entire lifetime when you will be able to have sex.

In that six to eight weeks, your female partner will be:

  • recovering from one of the most intense physiological experiences of her life
  • learning how to keep a tiny, vulnerable human being alive

It’s fair to say, she will have a lot of things on your mind and sex is probably not one of them.

This does not mean that becoming a mother has made her “frigid.” It does not mean that childbirth has “ruined” your sex life. It does not mean that her husband now “comes second”.

It simply means there’s been a major disruption to transmission and things will take a while to return to their usual programming. But with the right understanding from both parties, usual programming will resume, in time.

In fact, once you have had children, you will be amazed by how elastic your life is. It will be pushed and pulled to breaking point at regular intervals and when the “misshapen” period has subsided, the same life, more or less, will be returned to you each time.

Childbirth and its aftermath is just one of those times when things will go pear-shaped for a while.

Two feet poking out the end of bedsheets

The “sex after childbirth” thing is becoming such a talking point

You can find a lot of advice about it on the internet. Within this advice, there’s a lot of talk about how you can “go slow” and “use lube” and “be careful of your stitches, ladies.”

Well, to this I say: What. The. Fuck?

“Go slow”? How about “Just don’t worry about it for a while”.

After giving birth for the first time, most women are pretty much in an emotional and physical state of shock. Our vagina, that erstwhile pleasure hole, just became Pitt Street: so many things went up and down it during the birth we feel like we should have installed some traffic lights as part of the prenatal process.

What I’m saying is: a woman’s body really takes a beating during childbirth, so why are we even talking about when you will have sex again?

At this point, let me address the men directly

Fellas, it’s a bit like this: imagine you just got kicked in the nuts, like, really kicked in the nuts in that way that makes you feel like your insides have just tied themselves in a knot and the knot is now about to burst through your lower abdomen like that scene in Alien. And then, as you are still recovering from the blow, your wife starts grabbing at your balls because she’s feeling frisky and wants you to show her how much you love her.

You would probably think, “That’s a bit much, can’t she see I just got kicked in the nuts here?”

Now, I don’t know much about having balls and a penis, but I’m pretty sure no one wants to be grabbed by the balls – no matter how gentle and sensual the touch – once they’ve just taken a king hit to the area.

What I do understand is that for many men, the idea of six to eight weeks without sex, is the very definition of cruel and unusual punishment.

But if it’s okay with you fellas, can this six to eight weeks perhaps be about our needs and the needs of the tiny person in the corner who has to be fed at regular intervals and cannot, for the moment, fend for themselves?

I mean, is that okay?

There will be more sex, but for the time being, life, a tiny new life, might just get in the way a little.

This post was written anonymously due to the personal nature of the topic.


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