Discover more from Pussy Talk by La Chatte de Françoise
Dear Diary: Tifenn-Tiana
The mother and the whore. Translation by Melissa Kathryn
We rarely talk about sexuality during pregnancy.
We’ve only heard that for some, it can be more intense, and for others, nonexistent. We vaguely know that some couples are afraid to hurt their baby, whereas others follow the adage that the more orgasms one has during pregnancy, the calmer and happier the baby will be when it’s born.
This illustrates how, since sexuality during pregnancy (even in medical settings) is rarely discussed, it leads to false representations and beliefs that can impact future parents’ sexuality.
“ During pregnancy, my body and its desires took me on a sexual rollercoaster. ”
Here, I’ll discuss only my own personal experience, and thus the context of a heterosexual duo. However, I’m certain that couples of all configurations experience similar problems.
So, in my case, I just listened to my body and my desires as I tend to do normally. I didn’t put pressure on myself and rejected any sexual norms, even more during this intense period than I usually do. During pregnancy, my body and its desires took me on a sexual rollercoaster.
After 12 years together, Yoann and I are expecting our second child. Our sex life, like in any long-term relationship I imagine, has had its up and downs. There have been periods of intense activity and those of flatline, particularly during my first post-partum period, when sex was quite frankly painful and unpleasant. My breasts had taken up their original function, I experienced intimate dryness from breastfeeding hormones, vaginismus caused by the trauma of childbirth, fatigue, among other issues. But I’ll get back to that, and try not to scare any future mothers reading this…
That said, I can confidently say that in a little over a decade, we’ve always had desire for one another even in the most challenging moments. And that’s certainly why we were able to keep the spark alive, even during pregnancy.
“ Very often, you are either the mother or the whore. I decided, just as I approach the rest of my life, that I would no longer compromise. I decided to be both. ”
When a woman is with child, a duality is created between her identity as a sexualized woman and future mother. These two identities overlap, which can have an impact on the couple’s libido. Our perception and relationship to the body changes, both for the person carrying the child and his or her partner.
Very often, you are either the mother or the whore. I decided, just as I approach the rest of my life, that I would no longer compromise. I decided to be both.
Well, not right away, because the first trimester was mainly dedicated to naps and nausea. Physical activity was impossible, every odor unpleasant, and let me tell you, so was the idea of putting anything in my mouth. The hormone cocktail took away all desire to do anything except lay down for several hours doing nothing.
On the other hand, the second trimester is when things got interesting. My libido made a resounding comeback. That is, if you’re lucky enough to have a partner that continues to see you. Luckily, I do. My man wants me. Whether I’m pregnant or not, whether I gain or lose weight, I’ve always seen in his eyes the power I have over him. And believe me, at this stage in my pregnancy I took full advantage. First, to boost my self-confidence, and then restart the machine.
It's fortunate that we’re both independent. It doesn’t disrupt us when one of us comes home late, or another wakes up at dawn, leaving only a brief moment to tap belly buttons even if we’d rather rest, read, or watch a light series on Netflix. And since we’re all for making love in the afternoon. Really, I think it’s the best time in the day, when we’ve got plenty of energy, there’s no children around, and I think I enjoy to see and be seen. A ray of sunshine passing through, or rain pattering against the skylight is enough to spark an intimate moment.
Did you know that orgasms cause the uterus to contract? Of course, it isn’t noticeable when the uterus is the size of a clementine, but when it expands to the size of a melon, the sensation is surprising. I admit I was scared of any negative repercussions the first time, such as triggering a premature birth. But don’t worry, after careful research, it turns out that there isn’t much risk at this stage of pregnancy, except that your future baby is intensely relaxed!
“ Penetration is not an end in and of itself. We’ve been conscious of this for a while now. Still, even though we’ve worked to deconstruct our sexuality, sexuality in heterosexual relationships remains male-centric, even if only subconsciously. “
I’m writing my lines while in my third trimester. My sex drive is still there but my body no longer cooperates. I’m losing more and more control over my sex-appeal. I feel less attractive, and more and more fatigued from this changing body. Contractions are increasingly frequent; my movements are labored and I have the real feeling of being handicapped.
All this has led to some rather comical, amusing situations, given our tight bond and that laughter is already a big part of our relationship. But it’s not really something one wants to joke about. I don’t know how to use this body any more or how to move it. It’s clearly time to reinvent myself. I prefer to see it as an opportunity to make love differently.
Penetration is not an end in and of itself. We’ve been conscious of this for a while now. Still, even though we’ve worked to deconstruct our sexuality, sexuality in heterosexual relationships remains male-centric, even if only subconsciously. As it turns out, this third trimester is an opportunity to play a more sensual partition, to give our sexuality a new meaning in this patriarchal and phallocentric society. I invite you to read Au delà de la pénétration (Beyond Penetration) by Martin Page.
My solo sexuality, which largely took over, was also impacted. Thanks to a friend’s recommendation, I discovered Biird – OMG, what is this witchcraft? I won’t go into too much detail, instead I’ll let you see for yourself. It will take you 5 minutes to order it, and hardly more to come: (link).
This is a very particular period; an interlude that I plan on enjoying before the fateful moment of childbirth and thus the beginning of a new existential phase. As I mentioned earlier, I still have strong memories of my first experience. But as luck would have it, all things change and nothing lasts forever. The moment I felt back in the game was just as memorable.
After the birth of our first child, Marlow, I asked myself If vaginal delivery resulted in a change in sensation for my partner. I wondered if what was a small passageway became a three-lane highway. But according to him, (and he promised to be 100% honest), he didn’t notice any difference.
From my perspective, it did change, and will certainly change even more after this second birth. But, again, I see this as an opportunity to reinvite my sexuality again and always!