Let’s talk about (pregnancy) sex, baby!

Let’s talk about (pregnancy) sex, baby!

Welcome to the chaotic world of pregnancy!  Sure, your body undergoes profound changes, but with these changes comes shifts in  sexual desire, sensation, and comfort. Constant fluctuations leave us in a state of learning and relearning what feels good in the bedroom.  As a clinical psychotherapist who specializes in both sex therapy and perinatal care, I am here to share practical tips to help you have a thriving sex life during pregnancy. I promise it is possible.

Prioritize Pleasure

This is the season to reevaluate the goal of sex. I encourage couples to think beyond the classical stereotype of sex (i.e. penetrative with both parties requiring orgasm). Once you can let go of this standard, you can open your world to a variety of experiences! This concept known as the Good Enough Sex Model developed by Barry McCarthy is revolutionary for those struggling with the pressure of performing. I find it wildly helpful in navigating sex during the pregnancy (and postpartum) season. The goal is simply to experience pleasure with your partner (or alone). Perhaps you play with how to connect in an intimate way that is different than your norm.  Have you tried intentionally focusing on only one partner’s pleasure? Exploring alternative forms of intimacy, such as sensual massages, oral sex, or mutual masturbation, can be enjoyable and satisfying for both partners. These activities can provide pleasure without putting pressure on your changing body or requiring strenuous physical activity.


I apologize for the cliche therapist advice, but I will double down on the importance of communication. Each trimester has a completely different hormone profiles, meaning every few weeks or months, your body is physiologically different. For example, you may feel a huge increase in desire in the 2nd trimester, only to have it tank a few weeks later. Talk to your partner about what feels good in the moment and start the practice of chatting about what worked and didn’t during those post-sex cuddles. The key to this communication not feeling critical for the non-pregnant partner is for both parties to understand that this is a season of exploration. There is no way to just magically know what will feel good or what will not. You don’t know. They don’t know. The only way to learn is to give it a try!

Be Prepared

Now that our minds are curious and non judgemental in the bedroom, let’s make life a bit easier with a few preparations. If you typically use lube on a “as needed” basis, lube is now your new best friend. Your hormones may impact lubrication and the goal is to eliminate unpredictable variables. Make lube the new normal, and problem  is solved. If you hate lube, odds are high you are just using awful products. I recommend Good Clean Love  because I know you love bad ass woman owned businesses like Saucy Mama! Pillows are also your new best friend, for both sex and for sleep. Pillows can be stacked and arranged to support your hips, or keep pressure off of your belly.. You can purchase fancy wedge pillows but honestly, grab a variety of pillows around your house, keep them in your bedroom and you can arrange as needed to keep you supported.

During pregnancy, certain sexual positions may be more comfortable than others. Here are some recommended positions:

  • Side-lying positions: Lie on your side facing your partner, which can help alleviate pressure on the abdomen and provide comfort, especially in later stages of pregnancy.
  • Spooning: Both partners lie on their sides, facing the same direction, with the penetrating partner from behind. This position allows for intimacy while minimizing strain on the body.
  • Woman on top: This position gives the pregnant partner control over depth and penetration, allowing them to adjust based on comfort levels. It also reduces pressure on the abdomen.

I am inevitably asked about sex and safety. Sex is very safe during pregnancy. Generally speaking, if you are comfortable, baby is comfortable. Don’t forget that baby is perfectly insulated so don’t stress about thrusting or bouncing. Just do what feels good! It is so easy to loose your sense of self during pregnancy. You make so many sacrifices for your growing baby but its always a great reminder that you don’t have to sacrifice pleasure and intimacy. An open mind, communication with your partner and some practical tricks can pave the way for you to continue having a happy, thriving sex life during pregnancy.

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