CNN discovers pregnancy fetishism, America says "ew"

You'd think being super pregnant would be the one time in a woman's young life when she wouldn't have to deal with cat calls. Not so much.

When my friend was very pregnant last year, I remember her telling me she'd never been hit on more in her life. At first, I didn't believe it. But then noticed another weird phenomenon: I never got hit on more than when I was pushing around a baby carriage while working as a nanny. Both of my friend and I got a variation of the same line: "Is that my baby, baby? Can it be?"

At the time, I chalked it up to the fact that my friend and I were usually walking around the classy Oakland 'hood known as Ghost Town. But a recent article by CNN's Shanon Cook reveals creepy come-ons know no class boundaries. Cook recalls the first time she was hit on while pregnant. 

"I was in a grocery store checking out avocados when a man approached. He was probably in his early 40s, clean-shaven, dressed in a sharp gray suit.

"Congratulations!" he said, beaming. "How far along are you?"

"Oh, I'm due in three weeks," I replied…Ordinarily an exchange like this would wrap up at that point, especially since I'd found the perfect avocado and was ready to continue shopping. However, my curious new friend refused to budge…

My instincts told me there was more to it and when pregnant, your instincts are pretty darn noisy. There was something behind his charming smile, his lingering and the urgent look in his eyes.This dude thought I was hot."

We've all heard of the pregnant glow. Part of what the "glow" might be referring to is the heightened levels of estrogen in a pregnant woman. It's what makes her boobs bigger, among other things. It makes sense that more estrogen might attract attention.

But the general scientific consensus is that most attraction to women is actually based on her waist to hip ratio, which signals potential fertility. You know, for your potential baby. So evolutionarily, why would it make sense to be attracted to a woman whose womb is already occupied? Neuropsychiatrist Dr. Louann Brizendine gives her highly scientific opinion to CNN's Cook. "When you're very pregnant there is this undeniable evidence you have had sex with a man," Brizendine says. "And that can be titillating. It's like wearing a billboard sign on your body: 'I! Had! Sex!'"

Of course, everything isn't about potential fertility. A friend of mine, who's a lesbian, admits she was attracted to a pregnant woman once. And it kind of freaked her out.

"I wouldn't call it a fetish," my friend says. "It's just that I'd have a crush on her anyway, and the pregnancy didn't get in the way of that. And all I could think was 'I'm either being creepy or progressive or both.'"

If you remain unconvinced by an abundance of anecdotal evidence, you can always turn to the great corroborator of weird fetishes: porn.

Cook goes on:

"An abundance of pregnancy porn online proves there's a contingent of the population with a desire for pregnant women that goes beyond mere curiosity. (We should remind ourselves that fetishes exist for all kinds of things — feet, ponytails, penguins; you name it). Brizendine says some of her patients do express an erotic interest in very pregnant females."

Of course, there's also the Oedipal angle. Being attracted to pregnant women is just one more way to be hot for mommy.

"A study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine in 2011 suggests there's a link between sexual attraction to pregnancy and exposure to pregnancy and lactation in early childhood. The study found that a preference for pregnant or breastfeeding women was more common in individuals who had younger siblings; exposure to a pregnant mother between 18 months and 5 years might leave an imprint that manifests in adulthood."

While I'm all for celebrating how beautiful and sexy pregnant women can be, I have to say my knee-jerk reaction here is to feel a little grossed out. It's not the fetish itself — watch whatever porn floats your boat. What bothers me is the idea that there's literally no time in your life when you're not susceptible to being creepily hit on. 

Tags Pregnancy

Commentarium (23 Comments)

Apr 13 12 - 6:07pm

I really don't see how this is a big deal.

Apr 13 12 - 8:18pm

Yes, like "Oh someone else snatched you up first... you should've waited for me, he got there first"... Ugh, it never ends. We (women) are constantly at risk of unsolicited and inappropriate comments!

Apr 14 12 - 2:14am

It must be such a burden to be desirable...

Apr 14 12 - 5:09am

You, my friend, are missing the point entirely. Congratulations!

Apr 14 12 - 9:32am

No, he's not. You're both just totally unable to see the other side of the fence.

Women are sick of EVERYBODY paying them sexual attention. Men are sick of NOBODY paying them sexual attention. It's such a conundrum.c

Apr 14 12 - 10:22am

Attractive men are paid sexual attention; unattractive women aren't. But when unattractive women don't get attention they usually realize the issue is their own aesthetic appeal. When unattractive men don't get attention they think the problem is women.

Apr 14 12 - 8:15pm

Nope, ALL women are paid sexual attention.

Apr 16 12 - 12:52pm

This is perhaps the stupidest debate I have ever seen on this site. "Nobody" pays men sexual attention? Wha?! Only "attractive" people (by which I assume you mean conventionally attractive, as in people who meet the criteria set out by the mass media) gets sexual attention? If this article proves anything, it's that people have extremely varied sexual preferences.

And what's with all this about young women not getting to enjoy a period of time where they are not, as the author so eloquently puts it: "susceptible to being creepily hit on"? This article just barely touches on a (big) issue. Any form of sexual harassment, even verbal, is a big deal. Catcalls make a lot of women uncomfortable, and can even trigger the pain of past sexual abuse. To boil the problem down to "some us should be free of this harassment for a least a few months" is silly. Should women who are constantly harassed take solace in the fact that they might not be harassed while pregnant?

Either you believe this form of harassment is a problem or you don't. Being spared during pregnancy should not be viewed as some sort of consolation prize.

Apr 16 12 - 7:15pm

Wah. Getting hit on is fun. Get over it.

Apr 17 12 - 3:12pm

Of course I mean conventionally attractive. I'm not talking about "sexual attention" in terms of having anyone who is interested, or being able to find a partner, I was talking specifically about come-ons in a usually safe/unsexual environment, as was discussed in the article. In my experience, the women who do not receive that attention are not conventionally attractive.

Although yes catcalls are part of a bigger issue, specifically the idea that a person's body is public property and anyone can/should comment upon it.

Apr 13 12 - 9:42pm

Pretty sure I don't have a pregnancy fetish per se, but my wife became incredibly torridly insatiable when she was pregnant. The sex was fabulous, and since then I cannot look at a pregnant woman quite the same way.

Apr 14 12 - 3:17am

wait until you're old, then nobody will hit on you and if you wear short shorts everybody will think it's gross

Apr 14 12 - 5:11am

There is literally no time in her life when a woman won't have to listen to catcalls or inappropriate comments from people who think you absolutely need to hear their opinion on her looks. It's really unsettling and scary, not to mention incredibly humiliating and degrading. As for the pregnant fetish, I know my boyfriend finds pregnant women extremely attractive, and I don't know why!

Apr 14 12 - 6:55am

Start pushing 50 child. They dry right up.

Apr 14 12 - 8:46am

are probably ugly.


Apr 14 12 - 9:27am

Aren't jokes supposed to be funny?

Apr 14 12 - 7:20am

America didn't say 'ew'. The author of the article did. More misleading headlines from Nerve and what a healthy dose of narcissism to confuse your thoughts with those of everyone.

Apr 14 12 - 10:26am

Yeah, I thought this would be a report on easily squicked Americans and then Nerve giving them the sex-positive smack-down.
...Not so much.

Apr 14 12 - 1:32pm

I'm a hetero woman and I get why pregnant women are attractive . My best friend was pregnant last year and said she had never been hit on so much in her life (and she liked it). I think it's really whiney when people bitch and moan about people finding them attractive. If a guy hits on me and he's rude and creepy about it, I am going to be annoyed and creeped out. If he's just being flirty, I take it as a compliment. It's nice to be appreciated as long as everyone is respectful. If a guy is a douchey about it, I'm going to find him douchey because he's a douchebag but not because he's being flirty.

Apr 14 12 - 8:08pm

"What bothers me is the idea that there's literally no time in your life when you're not susceptible to being creepily hit on." Yes There is...Post baby. Nobody looks cute after that.

Apr 16 12 - 8:19pm

the real problem lies here at

Apr 16 12 - 11:52pm

I was never hit on more by men than when I was pregnant. What a treat!

Apr 17 12 - 12:09pm

Preggers women are hot. So hot. For all of those scientific and non-scientific reasons. I loved it when my wife was huge and full! The sex was great and very emotional too. It certainly ain't perved, it just is!