If you are in the throes of trying to make a baby, or more aptly put -- knee-deep in obligatory baby making sex, you are not alone. Six years ago, despite throwing my legs over my head for 45 minutes to help my guy’s swimmers get to where they needed to be, like millions of women I too embarked on the long, often harrowing, road of infertility and trying to make sense of what seemed nonsensical. My inability to conceive a child, which I believed was supposed to be one of the most natural parts of being a woman, had me feeling robbed of the very essence of my womanhood.
Of course when my husband and I initially began our baby making process, the candles and sexy lingerie we employed were merely icing on the cake of our great adventure. Sex with someone you adore is nothing short of exhilarating. However, after six months of doing it the old-fashioned way only to have your hopes dashed as Aunt Flow makes her monthly visit, intercourse becomes yet another chore on your must-complete to get pregnant list. In a nutshell baby-making sex can become quite perfunctory. Yet being besieged by infertility during the holiday season, when so much importance is placed on having the comfort of kids dressed in their Christmas best, ripping open presents under a towering tree, can make anyone struggling with infertility feel like getting under the covers and not reemerging until the new year.
So this holiday season, I’m calling out the big guns to offer up their suggestions as to how to give your spouse -- the one you are desperately trying to make a baby with -- the sensual gift of sex. I’m talking sex with no "strings attached.” AKA: Pretend you’re having sex just because you can’t keep your hands off each other even though you may have a bit of a secret agenda. In fact, one of my favorite sites, The Frisky, suggests giving your significant other sex as a gift . And when you really think about it, if you put aside the pressure to conceive via said act. the best thing about sex is that it’s a present that won't cost you a dime. And trust me, many a husband will appreciate this fact; all you need to do is remind them of it.
So, to help you find a way to put a bit of the Va back into your Voom, a few bloggers and a pregnancy whisperer offer their two cents when it comes to making the dirty deed, dirty in a very good way.
Give your love the gift of kinky sex. According to pregnancy whisperer Heidi Murkoff, baby-making sex can become too much like hard (sorry) work. Guys can start to feel like performing chimps (make that Chippendales), and women like… sperm receptacles. Exponentially more so when you add in the emotional stress and strain of fertility issues, the charting, the ovulation predicting, the screeches of “it’s time!” and in the case of secondary infertility, having to find the time when it’s time (that and ten minutes of peace and quiet).
So pull out all the erotic stops -- if you’ve never channeled your kinky side, now’s the time to shop online for all things naughty. Dust off your old Kama Sutra books and turn yourself into pretzels. (Missionary with hips elevated may offer slightly more bang for your bang -- but truth is you can get pregnant in any position. Plus, you can always save missionary for the finale.) And here’s a fertility fact that puts a saucy spin on on-demand sex (and will have you ordering up an on-demand movie, stat): Research has shown that men experience a surge in testosterone and sperm production after watching a sexy movie. Doesn’t even have to be X-rated (though, heck, why not?) -- just enough to, um, stimulate that testosterone and sperm. Even better: Watch the movie in the morning and have him hit the gym first. Men do produce more testosterone in the morning and after they exercise. Hey, how about oysters for breakfast?
Give your love the gift of fun sex. Shorty, a thirty-something woman who blogs at shortys adventure, believes the hardest thing about trying to get pregnant for the past two years has been to keep sex from getting to be a chore. And she and her husband have both admitted the best part of going to IVF: No sex! Still the one thing that helped was the sex every other day thing. While she knows some people who go everyday trying for that extra few percent success rate, she and her husband tried that ONCE and said no more. They also don’t put pressure on themselves if on the second day they are really not in the mood. Her tips: Try to move around the house, have sex in different positions, throw on some lingerie… and add laughter. We joke about “mating” and sometimes my husband will throw in a mating call for extra laughs.
Give your love the gift of intimate sex. Martyne Greenblatt, an in vitro fertilization nurse in NJ, says many of her patients experience this phenomenon. When sex becomes a chore or another thing to check-off on a “to-do” list, it loses a lot of intimacy and sensuality. Still, as difficult as it is to be in the moment when all you want is to "make a baby," it is imperative to keep sex in the bedroom as intimate an experience as much as possible. Remember to be SEXUAL and enjoy the whole process.
Give your love the gift of wild sex. Karen, who blogs at A child grows, thinks the element of surprise is helpful. That can mean anything from where to when to what! She also recommends a trip to Babeland (or any old sex shop) is worth it when things are starting to feel a little rote.
Give your love the gift of imaginative sex. Rhona Berens of Parent Alliance, who became a relationship coach in part because of her experience with infertility, believes infertile couples should do their best to tap into their imaginations and get creative. Consider adopting a different persona for a sexual escapade. That’s right, invite your spouse to go on a date with you and pretend to be other people, free agents looking for an exciting dinner (and maybe a car make-out session… and more) with a stranger. Pretend to be a couple unfettered by the pressures of sperm count, FSH levels and the like.
I have to admit I stole this idea from a cousin who, over the course of 35 years of marriage to his wife, went on numerous dates with her, including a few weekends away, with them letting go of their daily identities and stepping into fantasy personalities. Ground rules include having fun and giving each other permission to say and possibly do things you wouldn’t otherwise consider, and agreeing on a way to check in with each other, the real you, if needed without blame or disappointment.
So tell us, will you be giving your loved one the gift of sex this season?!
Melissa Chapman is a writer and columnist who blogs at Married my sugar daddy. Her work has appeared in The Staten Island Advance, Care.com. ABC News, The Washington Post and iVillage.
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