Sex and the Pregnant Girl

No sooner did I find out I was pregnant than I started to feel pregnant too.

How does that work? I was perfectly fine the day before I took the test. And then, a mere 24 hours later, I was feeling a little bit weak at the knees. Two days on, I felt like The Gods had located my ‘off’ switch, and were using it at random for their own amusement. On Saturday, for example, I got into bed for a lunchtime nap, reached down to take my socks off, and woke up an hour later with both socks still in my hand.

What’s more, I am treading the tightrope between feeling sick because my stomach is empty, and feeling sick because I’ve eaten something. Yesterday, I had to take to the sofa in groaning nausea because I’d eaten a salad. It’s a wonder I’m finding the time to continually take pregnancy tests, just to check it’s still there.

Anyway, amongst all of this, I have been reminded that I’m supposed to be a sex blogger. People keep telling me how rampant I’ll feel after these trying first thirteen weeks (THIRTEEN WEEKS?!?), but for now it’s hard to see the appeal. Still, it was Herbert’s 40th birthday on Monday, and seeing as the matter of sex hadn’t even been mentioned since that second red line appeared (a whole fortnight ago), I thought I ought to make him an offer.

Sex in pregnancy is a complicated matter. One gets the sense that it’s not really supposed to be at the forefront of your mind. After all, as soon as egg meets sperm, we’re supposed to turn into sanctified beings – all martyrdom and delicacy. Some of the (many) books I’ve bought tell you not to have sex at all in the first trimester – although most tell you to go right ahead.

What’s more, it feels a bit counterintuitive to generally prod, squash and jiggle the container that holds your precious embryo (which, this week, is the size of a blueberry and is busy growing a face, arms and legs, a bit like a Ribena berry). How come you’re not allowed to eat soft cheese, take a hot bath or roller skate (I imagine), but you’re allowed to do that?

But it is his birthday. He kindly volunteers to have a shower before he gets into bed (given that my sense of smell is currently so sensitive that I am tormented by the odour of other people’s hair, this is wise), and then snuggles in beside me. I am watching telly in my new voluminous Victorian nightie.

‘Shall I take this off?’ I say.

‘No, leave it on. It’s got a kind of Hammer House of Horror vibe.’

‘Is that good?’

‘Yeah. Sure. Why not.’ I can’t help but feel pleased that he’s never seen Rosemary’s Baby.

We begin to kiss. Then we stop. ‘That’s making me feel sick,’ I say.

H winces. ‘I’m guessing a blow job’s out of the question then.’

Too right, Herbert. Right at this moment, you activate my gag reflex at your peril. He’s looking distinctly put-off. ‘Look!’ I say by means of distraction, ‘You can entertain yourself with my enormous boobs.’

‘When do they start producing milk?’

‘When the baby comes. Don’t worry, they’re not full of anything. They won’t leak. They’re just big because…I don’t know. Because they are.’

I can’t tell whether he’s reassured or disappointed. Actually, I think he’s mainly scared. I don’t blame him. Neither of us are particularly convinced that this little berry has stuck fast yet. We’re doing all we can. But suddenly my body has become a great deal more mysterious to both of us. I’m sure we’ll get the hang of this eventually, but in the meantime, it feels a bit like learning all over again.

 

 

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Don’t Tell the Children

I am peeing in a plastic cup. H is in the bath, probably deciding whether he should watch or not. I’d like to say we’re the kind of couple who retain our erotic mystique by not performing bodily functions in front of each other, but we only have one bathroom so sometimes needs must. I should make it clear, though, that we both draw the line at pooing. This occasionally means we run into the bathroom and yell at the other party to get the hell out of the bath, but it’s a boundary worth drawing, I think.

Today, it’s in aid of an ovulation test, and, frankly, I’m attempting to share my pain. I last caught myself ovulating two months ago, and that was on day 9 of my cycle. Not a peep last month. Today it’s day 14, and I suspect this means I’ve missed the boat again. There’s something miserable about dunking your little stick in a pot of your own urine every day, only to get the single control line, day in, day out. It’s such a non-event that it doesn’t really merit a conversation; but its effect is cumulative misery. Still nothing.

‘I’m beginning to wonder if I haven’t bought a duff set of sticks,’ I say to H. ‘The ones that registered an LH surge cost £35 from Boots. These ones were a fiver for 50 from eBay. Maybe they’re just shit.’

‘Cheaper though,’ says H.

‘Yeah,’ I say. I count under my breath as I watch the stick turn gradually pink, and see the familiar control line appear.

‘Why don’t you try both at the same time next month?’ he suggests. ‘That way, you could see if both types say the same thing.’

It’s a good idea, particularly seeing as I have a whole drawer full of the cheap tests remaining. I balance the test stick on the sink and begin to put on my makeup. Then I glance down.

‘Bloody hell,’ I say. ‘Would you bloody believe it? It must have heard me!’

I wave the stick in front of H’s nose, and squints at it. ‘Yup,’ he says, ‘that’s definitely a second line.’

‘We’d better get busy in that case.’

The following evening, I’m still registering a faint second line, so we decide we ought to make a second attempt at the baby-making sex. Seeing as I recently learned that sperm live for up to five days inside your uterus (which, in my view, counts as an infestation), this amounts to sending in reinforcements, which will mass around my fallopian tubes, waiting for one of them to feebly cough out an egg.

We’re both hungry, so we decide to go out for dinner first, and so, inevitably, we’re both feeling sleepy and bloated by the time we get home to bed. H takes off his clothes, and belches loudly.

‘I’m guessing you’re not much in the mood,’ I say.

‘Well, ordinarily no,’ he says, ‘but that doesn’t mean to say we won’t have sex. Maybe you could go on top; I think I’d be sick if I had to bounce around too much.’

‘So romantic,’ I say. ‘Maybe we should try spoons instead?You can’t burp at me from that angle.’

‘Sorry,’ says H. ‘I’ll try to stop.’

I lean in and kiss him. ‘I’ll get my vibrator. I think I might need it.’

‘Fair comment.’

‘Maybe some lube, too.’

‘Oh.’ H’s face scrunches up into something resembling devastation. ‘It’ll take it so much longer for me to come if we use lube.’

‘I tell you what,’ I say, ‘if tonight’s the night we conceive, we’ll tell our offspring that it happened some other way entirely. We’ll pretend that we were having amazing, romantic, spontaneous sex somewhere glamorous.’

‘It’s fine,’ says H. ‘If we conceive this month, we’ll have no idea whether it happened tonight or last night. Last night was fun. We can just push tonight out of our minds.’

‘Agreed,’ I say, smearing myself with lube and firing up the vibrator. ‘And anyway, I believe it’s mostly considered inappropriate to talk to your children about the sex that conceived them.’

‘Yeah,’ says H, ‘that too.’

And then, weirdly, we end up having surprisingly pleasurable sex, free of burping and complaining. Or at least, that’s what we’ll tell the children. When they’re old enough.

 

This post will self-destruct in a fortnight.

The Sex Lives of Neanderthals

A sexy neanderthal?

I hope you enjoy my interview with archaeologist (and great friend) Dr Beccy Scott, who sets us straight on the assumptions made about the sex lives of Neanderthals and early humans.

What you don’t get to hear is five minutes of us giggling and saying, ‘Shut up! You’re making me laugh too much!’ at the beginning. Given this inauspicious start, it’s surprisingly enlightening.

This interview was recorded over Skype, so apologies for the occasionally fuzzy sound.

Click here to listen in Podbean.

Hitting the Spot

I may one day compile a chart of the most common responses I get when I tell people I’m a sex blogger.

Just underneath, ‘Oh….right….’ and, ‘You don’t look like a sex blogger’ (always hard to tell exactly what that means) there would be: ‘So you know how to find the G spot, then!’

Any one of these three responses allows me to launch into my slightly-embarrassed spiel about how I’m actually a completely incompetent sex blogger, and I’ve only ever had sex with four people, each of whom has met my mother.

But it’s true, I can find the G spot – it’s the wrinkly patch an inch or two into your vagina, on the top wall – although I’ll admit that I’m not all that convinced about its usefulness as an independent entity.

The G spot becomes prominent when the spongy tissue around your urethra becomes engorged with fluid.* This means you’ll need to be aroused by other methods before it really comes into its own – for example, by feeling mentally turned on or through clitoral stimulation. It’s also pretty hard to orgasm through G spot stimulation alone – although some women can do this.

Yes, the  G spot can produce some very nice sensations indeed – but given that it only properly reveals itself when a woman is aroused, that’s hardly surprising.

Now, I’m the first one to say that we need to shake the idea that the only object of sex is an orgasm, and G spot stimulation alone can produce some really wonderful, electric sensations (personally, it makes my feet tingle). But I’d argue that it’s part of the broader orchestra of arousal, something that adds a lovely bass note of pleasure to compliment the high notes of the clitoris and the luscious alto of the labia.

So by all means, learn to identify a G spot, and occasionally lavish it with some attention. It likes firm pressure, perhaps a circular massage or a ‘come hither’ beckoning motion (bear in mind that the fluid that’s filling that urethral sponge may seep or squirt out, leaving a bigger wet patch than normal).

But for heaven’s sake, let’s not pretend that anyone invented a new pleasure zone. It’s all part of the wonderful cocktail of female sexual sensation.

I sometimes think that a little knowledge of the female anatomy can be a dangerous thing – god save us from the ‘technique-y’ lover who merely prods at a series of sweet-spots.

* Incidentally, this is why many women feel like they desperately need to pee when their G spot is stimulated. You can combat this by making sure you know your bladder is empty, and then relaxing your PC muscles rather than tensing them. Counterintuitive, but it works.


Read my review of the DeLight G spot toy here