If back in the day, anyone had tried to tell me my husband and I would sometimes go weeks without sex, I’d have said they were bonkers. Back then, I was a horny adolescent who was doing her best to avoid God’s wrath and fight an insatiable desire to feel and be felt by his hot bod. Having less sex wasn’t a realistic consideration back then. And, needless to say, we tried almost every method of outercourse that existed.
Spoiler alert: we failed and had premarital sex several times and the fruit tasted even better since it was forbidden.
I know what you’re thinking: Why is this lady telling me tales of yesteryear and youthful lust? Because there was a time I couldn’t imagine a world where my free time wasn’t centered around sex plots.
But after nearly eight years of togetherness and almost five years of marriage, you realize you won’t crave sex forever. When that day comes, it’s important your relationship is strong enough to push through. For us, that roadblock continues to be pregnancy and parenthood.
In the mornings, it takes me almost three minutes including breaks to put on my pants. I use the term “pants” lightly, because these days, all I can fit in is leggings. At 37 weeks pregnant, putting on any clothes at all is an accomplishment. Add that to being a work-from-home workaholic and chasing a near three-year-old around the house begging him to go potty 40 times a day, and I am tired as hell. But somehow, in spite of all this, I still manage to wonder if I should feel bad about my sex life. We’re not having a lot of sex at our house, and it’s not likely to change anytime soon. And I’ve decided that’s okay.
I’m juggling a lot right now, and just because I don’t work long hours outside of the home like he does doesn’t mean I’m not exhausted.
It’s hard growing a person. Some folks see it as a passive thing, but there is nothing passive about the exhaustion that comes along with pregnancy. It hits full force and lasts for pretty much an entire year. But when you add growing a person to the challenge of mothering a ball of energy, being a wife, and growing a small business — it feels damn near impossible.
I’m shocked that we have time for sex at all. I was repulsed by sex during my first pregnancy — despite my hub’s hot bod. Just the thought of physical contact made me want to run away screaming. This time, I’m a lot more “meh” and there are even times when I initiate sex. It’s scary to think that over the next few years, having sex once or twice a month will become our norm, if we’re lucky. So much of what I’d been taught about marriage when I was growing up centered around the importance of fulling your husband’s desires. It’s been a challenge to shed the Southern patriarchal understanding I had of sex in the past. But I’m working on it.
Instead of focusing on the huge dip on the horizon as we re-enter the newborn stage, I’m focusing on the positives. It’s comforting to know I married a man who still finds me sexy enough to give me that look despite having gained a shit ton of weight and hefting around a huge belly. But it’s even more awesome to know that he can be this person who is sexually attracted to me during what I would consider a low point and understanding enough to know that his needs have to go on the backburner while I grow our tiny human. Especially since I hear so many horror stories of worst-case scenario husbands who either whine about not getting enough sex or make their partners feel completely repulsive during pregnancy.
We’ve got to change the way we talk about sex, especially in the context of long-term relationships. Neither party in a relationship should feel like they owe their body to their partner to prove they’re in a loving relationship. Sex isn’t a contingency for a healthy relationship.
We’ve also got to stop talking about men like they need sex to survive. My husband isn’t a child, and despite depictions of males in media, he’s not some sex-obsessed demon who can’t survive without sex. He likes sex a lot, but he is also understanding enough to know that relationships come with ebbs and flows. I don’t exist to fulfill his every carnal need. Along the same lines, he is fully capable of handling his desires on his own. If he wants sex that bad, he knows where the laptop and the coconut oil are, and he knows how to use them.
We have some hard times ahead of us, but if we’re unified on what matters most, I think we’ll be stronger for it and appreciate our sex time even more.