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Sex Advice From New Parents

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Kevin, 35

How can new parents keep their sex lives active with all the exhaustion, responsibilities, bodily changes and spit-up that comes with a new baby?
A lot of it is just remembering. You almost become more like a company: who’s making the coffee, who’s doing the faxes, who got breakfast, who’s got this, who’s got that. It’s a bit of just remembering to stop and give each other a hug and kiss. The first six weeks after the baby is born, the wife is not going to let you go near her sexually anyway.

I have a friend who’s pregnant and she’s worried that her husband is becoming less attracted to her the bigger she gets. I’m trying to tell her that if he’s acting more reticent toward her, there are probably legitimate reasons. What are some reasons I could give her?
You definitely feel like the woman becomes more fragile. My wife and I had kind of a rough-and-tumble relationship, almost tomboyish. But in the first three months, so many women have miscarriages, you can’t do that. To tell you the truth, I think women become extremely attractive when they’re pregnant. I don’t know if it’s chemical or what, but for some reason, especially in the first four or five months, the sex would be incredibly heightened. If you’ve ever done nitrous balloons, it’s like that. It’s not your standard-issue orgasm. It could be because the texture of the insides change, or because there’s a lot more blood going to their pelvic area.


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We keep our two month old’s crib in our bedroom. My wife says we can’t ever have sex while the baby is in the room, even if he’s sleeping. She’s worried the memory will stay with him and land him in therapy later. I say he’s not nearly aware enough of the world or human behavior to know what we’re doing. What do you think?
I definitely don’t think it’s a big deal. Until they’re one-and-a-half or so, they have no idea what’s going on. You can snap your fingers in front of them and they won’t even follow the sound. They’re like little space cadets. When the kid gets older, you maybe have to be a little more discreet. I have a friend whose parents would have sex in front of her when she was eight or nine years old, and it freaked her out. She was emotionally scarred.

My boyfriend and I have always liked to slap each other around in bed. As our relationship has matured, however, the sex has cooled a bit, as is bound to happen, and I’m not so into the really rough sex anymore. How can I tell my boyfriend this without making it sound like I’m losing interest in him? Is this a sign of our sex life dwindling?
I don’t think your sex life is dwindling. The best approach is to focus on the positive. Rather than saying, "I’m not really into this," say, "You know what, I’m really starting to feel like I’m into this." Substitute something different, a new fantasy. Because honestly, you’re probably just not mixing it up enough. It’s not that you want vanilla sex, you just need some variety so it doesn’t get monotonous.

Jhoanna, 34
I’m thinking about moving in with my boyfriend. We’ve been together for two years, we’re committed and we love each other. The main reason I’d move in, however, is that I lost my job and it will be cheaper to split the rent. Is this a reckless use of our relationship? What advice do you have for couples moving in together in general?
You should not move in unless you really want to, period. Although it may be cheaper to live together, it’ll be emotionally expensive to extract yourself if it doesn’t work out. If you move in together, make sure you give each other enough space, if not physically, then emotionally and time-wise. You don’t need to spend every moment of your free time together.

We keep our two-month-old’s crib in our bedroom. My wife says we can’t ever have sex while the baby is in the room, even if he’s sleeping. She’s worried the memory will stay with him and land him in therapy later. I say he’s not nearly aware enough of the world or human behavior to know what we’re doing. What do you think we should do?
Have sex on top of the dishwasher. Yes, the baby probably doesn’t notice any of this stuff, but if you wife has a hang up about it, why force it? Work with it. Capitalize on it. You always have sex in the bedroom. Take this opportunity to have sex elsewhere in the house.

My boyfriend and I play softball on opposing teams. He’s a pitcher, and I routinely hit doubles, triples and home runs off his pitches. Though he hasn’t said anything directly, I suspect this is beginning to make him feel emasculated. Should I quit playing for the sake of our relationship? Let him occasionally strike me out? Or just keep hitting home runs and figure it’s his responsibility to get over it?
He should grow up. Not only should he grow up, he should be proud that his girlfriend can hit, that she’s so athletic and fun. And if he wants to seem impressive, he should play better.

I have a friend who’s pregnant, and she’s worried that her husband is becoming less attracted to her the bigger she gets. I’m trying to tell her that if he’s acting more reticent toward her, there are probably legitimate reasons. What are some reasons I could give her?
It’s the whole Madonna/whore complex. It’s difficult think about the mother of your child being in certain positions and doing certain things. Also, there’s a fear of hurting the baby. Guys are really separate from the process. As a woman, you can feel beautiful and wonder why he isn’t responding, but the truth is that he sees you becoming more unwieldy, he hears your complaints, and he’s thinking, I don’t want to add to her burden. She already looks so uncomfortable, so why should I jump on her?

How can new parents keep their sex lives active with all the exhaustion, responsibilities, bodily changes and spit-up that comes with a new baby?
You need to redefine what a sex life is. If a sex life means intercourse with happy endings every time, you’re going to be frustrated. Biologically, the woman’s body doesn’t rev up as quickly anymore. If you’re nursing, you don’t get lubricated as easily. You need to make it like high school again, where the anticipation and talking about it is part of the dance. Like, I’ll say, "I know there’s no possible way of this happening right now, but I really wish we could do X." It’s about reframing.

Amy, 32
I have a friend who’s pregnant and she’s worried that her husband is becoming less attracted to her the bigger she gets. I’m trying to tell her that if he’s acting more reticent toward her, there are probably legitimate reasons. What are some reasons I could give her?
A lot of men worry that their penis is going to bump the baby’s head, which is physiologically not possible. The baby is protected by amniotic fluid, and the cervix’s job is to protect the womb. But you have to let your spouse do what makes him comfortable. I think a good compromise is a lot of third-trimester blowjobs.

How can new parents keep their sex lives active with all the exhaustion, responsibilities, bodily changes and spit-up that comes with a new baby?
Do it in the bouncy swing. Also, don’t feel like you have to only do it at night, or only when the baby is sleeping. You need to redefine how you think about timing.

Our eight-year-old just walked in on my wife and I having sex. She saw it happening for a minute or so before we noticed she was there, so we can’t just explain it away as a pillow fight. What do we tell her?
You’re going to have to lie. I’ve heard too many stories where parents tried to explain and it just made it worse. If dad was on top, say he was looking for something behind the headboard, like mommy’s earring. The problem with a child witnessing sex is that it looks violent to a kid. It looks scary. So if you say, "This is what mommy and daddy do to show they love each other," the kid’s going to equate this negative looking, violent thing with how people show love for each other.

My girlfriend always smokes weed before we have sex. She says she can’t orgasm otherwise. It’s beginning to make me feel inadequate. Should I ask her to stop, or is that unfair?
You should try to convince her not to use them because she shouldn’t have to rely on a drug to have an orgasm. Turn it into an opportunity for flirtation. Say, "If you don’t roll a joint, I’ll give you oral sex for an hour." There are some women who just don’t have orgasms, in which case you should just stimulate her in whatever way works best for her, whether it leads to an orgasm or not. Also, the best way to orgasm is to try not to have an orgasm. That’s a classic technique sex therapists use.

I’m thinking about moving in with my boyfriend. The main reason I’m moving in, however, is that it will be cheaper to split the rent. Is this a reckless use of our relationship?
Don’t move in for financial reasons. The relationship is too precious, living with someone is hard, and the last thing you want is a post-cohabitation breakup. If you’re going to move in with your significant other, move into a place with separate bathrooms. I have a friend whose parents are divorced, and the mom said the thing that stopped them from separating ten years earlier was separate bathrooms. I think ninety percent of relationship issues could be solved with more space and more money. So get as big a place as you can possibly afford, and have separate rooms in addition to your shared bedroom so each of you has a place to live the way you want to.

I’m a guy who did a little porn in college for money, and I just found some pictures of myself on the internet. I’m afraid my current girfriend will somehow come across them and be angry. Do I tell her or just hope she never sees them?
Don’t tell her. Just hope for the best. It’s guaranteed breakup material. Just pray they don’t get out there. And if they do, say they were doctored.

Heidi, 32
Is there anything your husband can do with your breasts while they’re sore from breastfeeding, or are they totally off-limits?
Well, the titty-fucking was far from the nipple so it wasn’t so painful. You get these porno boobs, which is so bittersweet because my husband just wanted to grab them and play with them but they were so painful, it was like this cruel joke. So I just let him look at them while I masturbate him.

I have a friend who’s pregnant and she’s worried that her husband is becoming less attracted to her the bigger she gets. I’m trying to tell her that if he’s acting more reticent toward her, there are probably legitimate reasons. What are some reasons I could give her?
He might be a little distracted by the pressure of being a dad and by financial pressures. It’s stressful for the dad because they don’t really know what to do while the mother is going through this process. He should totally be thinking that she’s the sexiest thing ever, the bigger she gets the sexier she gets, because she’s about to have their love child, a product of their beautiful sex.

Should one try to dress sexy while pregnant?
If you just wear baggy clothes and throw on whatever, you won’t feel great about being pregnant and that could translate to motherhood. I thought to myself, "I have bigger boobs now," so I bought some stuff that accented my breasts and my cleavage, and got some necklaces that hung down into the cleavage. You’ve never had boobs before, so celebrate them now.

I’m a girl who wants her boyfriend to perform anal sex on me, but he thinks it’s gross. How can I make him more comfortable with that part of my body?
After a shower or a bath, while you’re going down on him, go down there a little with your tongue, introduce him to it. Start with fondling with your fingers and tongue, and then, in the heat of passion with a lot of lube, put your finger in and see if he likes that. He probably will because most people do, as long as you’re gentle. Get him used to it being performed on him. Then, if he knows how good it feels, he might be more interested in trying it on you. The key is don’t tell him you’re going to do it. Just do it.

How can new parents keep their sex lives active with all the exhaustion, responsibilities, bodily changes and spit-up that comes with a new baby?
A lot of tender hugging and kissing, if you’re too tired to have sex. Maintain that affection. And oral sex is a good thing to do, man on woman obviously, because it’s really healing. Porn. We definitely watch a lot of porn. And when you first start breastfeeding, your boobs get humongous, so do some titty-fucking.

I’m thinking about moving in with my boyfriend. We’ve been together for two years, we’re committed and we love each other. The main reason I’m moving in, however, is that it will be cheaper to split the rent. Is this a reckless use of our relationship? What advice do you have for couples moving in together in general?
One way to look at it this is to assume things happen for a reason. You can view losing your job is an opportunity to look at your lives together. It’s an opening to discuss your lives together. Rather than thinking, "We wouldn’t be moving in together if not for the job loss," look at it as, "If not for the job loss, we wouldn’t have had this opportunity to have a conversation about our relationship and how happy we are together." Just decide that you’re moving in because you’re in love with the person and you want to live with them.
 


Interviews by Will Doig.
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