Sex During Pregnancy – The Myths Exposed

There are so many myths about sex during pregnancy that my partner and I decided to write an article to give you the absolute 100% truth about this tricky subject. And you know what? The amazing thing is it turned out to be quite straightforward. All those old wives tales turned out to be just that – fallacies, myths, superstitions, and simple downright lies.

So just why is there so much confusion about sex during pregnancy? I think the answer lies in the fact that Western society gets confused when it tries to deal with the idea of a woman as a mother, and the idea of a woman as a sexual being. We venerate motherhood, but there is still one heck of a double standard around the idea of a woman as a sexual being, possibly with as high a level of sexual desire and enthusiasm for sex as a man. So that’s the first thing you have to get out of your head: that sex when you’re pregnant is somehow wrong, disrespectful to the baby, or inappropriate in some other way. Here’s the reality – sex during pregnancy is a great thing for both the man, his partner, and the baby!

You might be wondering why sex at this very special time is good for the baby. There are a couple of reasons. First, sex reinforces the bonds between the mother-to-be and her partner, ensuring that their relationship is strong, healthy and intimate. This produces a good environment for the baby after he or she is born. Secondly, when a woman has an orgasm, she produces large amounts of endorphins and bliss hormones which circulate in her bloodstream and inevitably produce the same sense of relaxation and contentment for the baby as they do for the mother.

But unfortunately a lot of women seem to believe that their partner will not find them attractive as they grow larger during their pregnancy. The reality is rather different! Many men find a pregnant woman extremely sensuous and attractive, a fact which is hardly surprising when you consider that a woman is expressing the deepest level of her femininity when she’s pregnant. Not only that, but many women experience a great surge in sexual desire during their pregnancy because of the changing levels of hormones in their bloodstream – and a woman who wants sex and other high level of libido is very arousing to a man. All in all, it’s a recipe for some of the best sex that you can have.

A lot of women actually find that they experience orgasms differently when they’re pregnant: they may, for example, actually experience orgasms for the first time if they’ve previously been anorgasmic. And women who’ve always been able to enjoy orgasms may find they can reach orgasm more easily, or that they experience multiple orgasms for the first time. All of this is very exciting, and adds a whole new dimension to the sexual relationship between a man and his partner. When you consider that many women feel they’ve moved fully into their sexuality, partly because of their body growing more feminine and their breasts enlarging as they prepare to nurture their baby after it’s been born, and partly because in some deep way their function as a woman is now being fulfilled, it’s hardly surprising that the expression of sex within a relationship is good be a little bit unpredictable during pregnancy.

Another of the pernicious myths about sex during pregnancy is that it can harm the baby. This is completely untrue in the vast majority of normal pregnancies. For one thing the baby is well protected in its amniotic sac, a bag full of fluid which protects it like a shock absorber, as well as by the strong muscular walls of the womb. And since a thick mucus plug seals the cervix so that neither bacteria nor semen can enter the uterus during sexual intercourse, there is no danger from making love as the baby grows inside its mother. The only cases in which sex during pregnancy is not recommended are where there is something slightly unusual about the pregnancy: perhaps this been persistent vaginal bleeding, or the mother has high blood pressure, or the placenta is located very close to the cervix, or the woman has a history of miscarriages. Each of these cases your doctor or midwife will tell you about the dangers of sex during pregnancy. In these cases you might want to use some alternative method of relieving sexual tension such as oral pleasure, solo masturbation, or mutual masturbation.

If the majority of pregnancies proceed normally, and sex is perfectly acceptable, why would there be a myth that sex during pregnancy can harm the baby? Well, you have to use a certain amount of common sense here. Clearly, making love in the man on top position with the man lying on the woman’s abdomen is a bad idea because it can be very uncomfortable that the mother and it also does put extra weight on the baby. By the way, some experts recommend that a pregnant woman does not sleep on her back, but there’s no harm in her lying down for as long as it takes to make love. Another silly fantasy that has sprung up over the years is that sex can induce labour, either during thrusting or during orgasm. In fact, although woman will feel some small uterine contractions when she reaches orgasm, the sensations are quite different to those that she will experience when she gives birth, when the uterus is contracting during labour.

Another old wives’ tale is that if a baby is overdue, making love will induce labour because the man’s semen contains a hormone which stimulates uterine contractions. However it turns out that there’s absolutely no evidence whatsoever that semen stimulates uterine contractions and the onset of labour.

Now, so far we’ve been talking very positively, as though all couples want to make love during pregnancy, but that certainly isn’t the case. A woman may feel so unattractive that she simply doesn’t want to make love, and regrettably some men do find it impossible to make love with their pregnant partners, simply because they don’t find the idea attractive. In such cases, there are plenty of other things that can reinforce a couple’s relationship, including snuggling, kissing, cuddling, stroking, mutual massage, oral pleasure and masturbation. There’s absolutely no need whatsoever for either partner within a couple to be deprived of sexual pleasure if the other one isn’t keen on intercourse.

All in all you can have just as good a sex life during pregnancy as you did beforehand, and just as good as hopefully you will after the baby is born. The myths that have grown up around the subject need to be dispelled, not only for the sake of every pregnant couple’s happiness, but also because sex is a fundamental human need at every point in an individual’s life, and as we observed above, when a mother has an orgasm, the baby benefits from the blissful state she enjoys.

Film Noir Influence in The Virgin Suicides

Teenage suicide was not unheard of before the nineteen-nineties, but its growing instances during this period led people to acknowledge the problem. Schools even started publishing materials to educate students and parents about the phenomena. The Virgin Suicides confronts this delicate topic straightforward. Sofia Coppola blends elements of her own style with those of classic film noir to show how these young individuals become so alienated in a world they barely know or understand. Through the eyes of five sheltered teenage girls, Coppola opens up a dark universe of isolation.

From the start of the film, it is acknowledged that the five Lisbon girls all died before they made it to adulthood. A small group of boys, now men, from the Lisbon’s neighborhood have never forgotten about the mysterious sisters whom they have never come to completely figure out. One of the men narrates the film and informs the viewer that he and his friends still gather at every high school reunion and birthday party to discuss the fate of the Lisbon girls.

The film then flashes back to their childhood circa 1975, and introduces the girls as they get out of their family’s station wagon. Cecilia is the youngest at 13, preceded by Lux, Bonnie, Mary, and Therese whom were all one year older than another. All of the girls seem so young, innocent, and beautiful. However, it is soon revealed that Cecilia has just gotten out of the hospital after an attempted suicide.

Cecilia begins seeing a therapist who recommends that the strict Lisbon’s allow their daughters to have a party to cheer the girls up and enable them to interact with boys and girls their own age. Cecilia is upset by a group of her peers making fun of a child with Down syndrome. She feels that she will never really belong to society either, and so she runs upstairs and jumps from her window. Her second attempt at suicide is successful since she lands on a pointed, wrought iron fence. The rest of the film deals with the Lisbon’s struggle to cope with this new reality. In the end, the remaining sisters decide that Cecilia was right about the world being a bleak and lonely place where existence itself is futile, and so they decide to join her by taking their own lives.

Although The Virgin Suicides is by no means a classic film noir, it is undeniable that Coppola was influenced by the ideas that it brings to mind. The mood of some scenes, for example, has parallels with that of film noir. After all, Coppola intends to bring the audience to the bizarre and heavy world in which these doomed girls live. Both of the suicide scenes and the scene when Trip leaves Lux in the middle of the football field after having sex with her evoke a sense of uneasiness and inconceivability that is definitely characteristic of film noir. The Virgin Suicides is also influenced by noir themes and style. The film is primarily about these teenage girls feeling separated from the crowd, cooped up in the half-reality that was their home. Everything about the Lisbon house is drab and gray. There is never direct sunlight, or high-key lighting inside the Lisbon home. It is as if the girls are covered in cobwebs like little china dolls being preserved in a basement somewhere. Coppola uses light throughout the film to symbolize life and change, like the cuts to outdoor time-lapsed shots with the sun glowing in the background. This also shows that things outside are changing, but the Lisbon girls are forced to remain stagnant in their rooms.

The Virgin Suicides also boasts a particularly edgy score for the time period it was meant to represent. Track titles include “Cemetery Party”, “Dirty Trip”, and “Bathroom Girl.” These are songs Mrs. Lisbon would most definitely not allow her children to listen to. Coppola even makes a point of this by showing Lux burning all of her rock CD’s at the hands of her mother. This represents the authority the girls’ parents still have over their lives, but the score still playing throughout the movie represents their struggle to make a place for themselves. Perhaps the girls would have made it and they were simply being suffocated. More likely, however, is that the girls saw no hope in living for a future they saw as lonely, awkward, and unfulfilling.

The Virgin Suicides also departs from noir, and more modern filmmaking conventions are noticed. Lux Lisbon is not the classic femme fatale of film noir. She knows her sex appeal and that she can use it to her advantage, yet she is not trying to deceive the men she sleeps with. Lux is simply trying to justify what happened with Trip. She had sex with him after their Homecoming dance because she thought he cared about her, and then he just left her asleep on the football field. Lux, being only fifteen years old, was really affected by this. She then reacts by trying to prove to herself that sex means nothing. Then it would be okay if she lost her virginity to Trip for no good reason.

The story of the ill-fated Lisbon sisters needed to be told in a modern context, while the world they live in and the experiences they have are sometimes noir. Therefore, a true infusion of a few different styles and genres were required. Sofia Coppola does a wonderful job of mixing conventions of film noir with her own thematic style in the direction of The Virgin Suicides. The music and lighting of the film are akin to noir, as is the general theme of the film and it’s setting where days blend together and even sex is meaningless. However, none of the sisters quite resemble a classic femme fatale. Also, the boys may be like junior detectives, but they have no ulterior or hidden motives. Their respect and wonderment of the Lisbon sisters is sincere, and that is something that cannot exist in a film noir.

Sex During Pregnancy

It is important that you nourish your relationship as much as your nourish your unborn child during pregnancy. Most women find that their bodies grow large and unwieldy during pregnancy. Many women are surprised to find that their sex drive actually increases during pregnancy, particularly during the second trimester. This is due to the increased amount of blood that is coursing through your pelvis and vagina.

Is Sex Safe During Pregnancy?

Sex is safe during pregnancy provided you have a low risk pregnancy with few complications. Your doctor will let you know if you should avoid sex for any reason at all. Most women can enjoy a healthy and fulfilling intimate relationship throughout their pregnancy, right up until their delivery date.

Will I Enjoy Sex During Pregnancy?

Surprisingly, many women find that they are more sexually aroused during their second trimester than they were prior to pregnancy. The increased blood flow to the vaginal and a woman’s growing bosom often results in a heightened sense of self and sexual arousal.

Most women will shy away from sexual relations during their first trimester when morning sickness and fatigue often get in the way of love making. During the third trimester, some women find themselves uncomfortably large and prefer not to be intimate, whereas others continue having intercourse right up until they go into labor.

Will Sex Hurt the Baby?

One of the most common concerns of fathers to be is that sex will hurt the baby. Some men are afraid that they will bump into the baby when they have sex. By and large however this concern is unfounded. If your husband is overly concerned about having sex during pregnancy, have him join you at your prenatal visits. A little reassurance from your physician that he will not hurt or bump into the baby may be all your husband needs.

Partners often react very individually when it comes to sex and pregnancy. While some men find the site of their wife’s blossoming body a true turn on, others are ambivalent or even a little turned off by pregnancy. It is important that you are open, honest and communicative with your partner about your needs during pregnancy, and try not to take any emotions your partner may be feeling personally.

Remember that pregnancy is often an emotional roller coaster, and your husband or partner may be more concerned that you might react differently, or may be scared of the idea of having a family in general. Some men have a difficult time being intimate with their wives even when they recognize that they will not harm the baby, because they feel another presence is in the room.

That said, many men and women have remarkable sexual relationships throughout their pregnancy. Even if you do not engage in intercourse with your husband, it is important that the two of you work on nurturing your relationship throughout your pregnancy. Foot rubs, kissing, back rubs and holding hands are all excellent ways to share some intimacy without actually engaging in intercourse.

The best way you can ensure that you and your partner remain close during your pregnancy is to check in with your partner on occasion. Inform them of your needs, let them know where you are coming from and what you need or want from them.

Positioning

If you and your partner are interested in maintaining a healthy sexual relationship during pregnancy, then undoubtedly you must be wondering what positions will work best for you as your belly grows and expands. The best thing you can do during your pregnancy is keep an open mind and be creative. Most women will find that it is uncomfortable to enjoy sex in a missionary position after about the first or mid second trimester. Try flipping over, woman on top and even lying next to one another during your pregnancy.