Throughout pregnancy, the focus is often on the woman. When popular culture depicts men in pregnancy, the topic is often on the absent father. Yet, this is not the case for the majority of men who brave it out with love and support for their women.
When talking to men about what it felt like for them to be intimate with their pregnant spouses, I got way more than I bargained for. There was so much feedback that I felt was important to jot down. At times, it was not just related to the specific question I asked.
Men felt like their views on the pregnancy journey were not as important as their partners. One man even went on and said before this experience of keeping the baby, he had chosen to be there and support his girlfriend with her decision to abort a child.
He thought that was his way of manning up and he would be there for her all the way. However, when they arrived at the dingy abortion house, he was not even counseled. He was left in the waiting room and she was attended to.
This unrelated story is not the only isolated case. I am told about how men want to be there so much, but are not given a chance. Another relates how he promised his wife to not leave her side, but had to wait outside for some time while she was being prepped for an emergency C-section.
Even though this could perhaps be seen as “standard procedure”, it hurt him greatly to see the fear in her eyes when she was wheeled away and he was unable to be there for her in those moments.
Men want to have a voice that matters in the emotional journey or pregnancy. They long to be heard and asked how they are doing. While they seemed okay in the attention being on the woman, they also wanted better maternity leave to bond with their children and just be there with their growing families.
These are some concerns raised when I asked about the sexual confessions of men with pregnant spouses. Here’s a few responses to the question, “So, what does it feel like?”
7 Where’s the Baby's Head?
Almost all the men I spoke to admitted to being a little curious about locating the baby, especially trying to feel (or push) the baby with their manhood. At first. I did not know how to respond to the comment and feedback. I just recorded it and allowed them to continue.
However, just before the conversation added, the journalistic part of me arose and I caught myself asking what the fuss was about. Seriously, what’s the big deal about locating the head of an unborn baby, while s/he is still neatly tucked away in mommy?
I really didn’t get it, but that’s perfectly fine because the article was not about me, but what these men were feeling and thinking. So curiosity got the better of me and I decided to probe, as politely as I could.
“You won’t get it. You’re not supposed to because you are a woman. You see, as a man it is something that is linked to your ego. It’s almost like a challenge. You ladies want to feel the kicks and cuddly things, we secretly want to find out how deep we can go without causing our wives discomfort.
“You women have the inner views and can feel the kicks from the inside out. When we are with our heavily pregnant wives, we also want to discover things. It’s not a perverted or sinister thing and should not be interpreted as such. We just can’t help wondering how far we are from the head, if the baby can feel it or can sense when mommy is at peak,” said a colleague of mine.
After he giggled, he said under no circumstances should his name be leaked because it would be “career limiting” and land him in the dog house with his wife.
Some of the reasons given to me by the men I spoke to concerning why locating the head of the baby is important to them:
- Size validation
- Curiosity as to what’s going on with baby behind “closed doors”
- “It’s a man thing”
- Wanting to know/feel how close the baby’s head is when they are at full speed
6 A Thoughts a Minute
In an article titled “Pregnancy Q&A” in the 2008 Expectant Mother’s Guide (page 14) – the editor of which was a registered nurse and midwife as well as an internationally certified childbirth educator, Lynne Bluff – some timeless things were mentioned which are still just as relevant today.
The article said that “as soon as most moms realise they are pregnant, they start forming an emotional attachment with their baby – this is called bonding. A pregnant mom feels all the change in her pregnancy to her body and is aware of her pregnancy every minute of every day so it's easy to form an attachment. However, dad has none of these changes. It all becomes very real to him when he sees his baby moving on the screen.”
One needs to constantly be aware that even though the men may be excited and go with you to your appointments, listen patiently to your exciting experiences, they don’t feel the physical movements the way you do when the baby is still in the womb. They also bond to the child differently and have a totally different perspective than the mother.
During sex, men use it as a way of trying to answer some of their own questions. Men who spoke to me mentioned that they were not just sexually related, but also had concerns about if there was discomfort to the child, if the mom was in pain, if the child was aware that he was busy knocking at their canal, what their child looked like, if the sexual actions were disturbing the baby and one that was important was whether or not the child could pick up if the women were climaxing.
There were also thoughts about how they would have to work hard to look after the family, work commitments and pressures, added financial responsibility, whether the wife should stay at home or continue to work and so many other things. Unlike when the woman was not pregnant, it was no longer “care-free” sex. There was a lot that a man had to continuously think about. One described it as being different because there was a continuous “list” of things to be ticked off before the baby arrived.
5 Is She Really Enjoying it that Much?
The growing tummy and knowing that birth is inevitable sort of propelled thoughts of wondering if she was the same down there or also growing. There was a lot of curiosity as to whether or not she is still enjoying it.
Men seemed to need a lot of positive reinforcement from their partners and well as feedback because they were not sure what is going on or how their partners were feeling particularly with the evident changes going on in their bodies.
The men made me understand that pregnant or not, a man wanted and needed to perform. There’s an inborn competition or desire to please their women and this comes out a lot when she is pregnant and they don’t know what to do to help ease her discomforts.
Several men noted that their pregnant partners seemed to be enjoying it a lot. They noted that it was as though their partners seemed to be enjoying it a lot more than when they were not pregnant and some were not sure whether or not the women were enjoying it that much or pretending to incorporate them into the pregnancy.
Here are possible reasons that their pregnant partners may actually be really enjoying it more than when they were not pregnant:
- Erogenous zones tend to be unusually sensitive when pregnant.
- Just the ability to have sex without contraception can be a heated aphrodisiac.
- Hormonal changes can cause breasts to swell and increase sensitivity to your touch.
- Pregnant women have an increased potential of experiencing an orgasm.
- During pregnancy women have increased blood flow to the genitals which can lead to higher peaks and greater sensitivity.
- The arising need to possibly change positions (particularly during their third trimester) can add to increased excitement.
- Changing hormones and emotions can lead to greater sex drives.
- Having a baby together and going through the pregnancy journey can lead you to closer bonding and greater intimacy.
- Baby bonding hormones and changes can lead to deeper connections during sex.
- Intimacy is part of a healthy relationship, even during pregnancy (unless your health care professional warns you not to for medical reasons).
- Your partner may also be enjoying because she knows that your manhood will not harm the baby as s/he is protected inside the amniotic sac and uterus.
4 Will Sex Feel the Same After Birth?
You don’t need to voice your opinion or be a rocket scientist to wonder how on earth this whole thing will work once she has pushed out the head of a child who is incomparablely bigger that your item.
So yes, even though they may pretend to be okay with it or not be bothered, every single man I spoke to admitted to being very worried about their capabilities to please their partners after the baby was born.
Here are some of the comments and questions that were raised in this regard:
- How do I compete with the head of a human being?
- Even if it stretches back and contrasts, will she still be the same?
- Is it just me or are babies invasive for coming out of daddy’s channel?
- This is so freaky – sharing my playground with a kid.
- Is she going to start dripping milk, wait let me see.
- Is she sexual or converting to a mom?
- Is she actually feeling me with this position?
- Gosh she’s sure gained a lot of weight.
- What if she starts suggesting toys or bigger items – or should I ask her if that will help?
- Is she really enjoying this or faking?
- How do I get her to feel this way even after a watermelon takes its time to come out of here?
- What did I get myself into?
Men had an innate desire to please their women, better and unlike any other men. Some had fears that if they did not do it right or that if the women were not satisfied, they would start looking at other men who would be more than willing to try out their fantasies with them and leave them out in the cold.
The knowledge that a head was most likely going to come out of there disrupted their equilibrium. It called for men to almost be forced to think of a plan at making sure that their women were satisfied. The fact that a lot of their pregnant partners experienced low sex drive during pregnancy added to their fears, with some taking it as a sign or proof of rejection and adding to their anxiety.
3 Milking Her Up
Something that also intrigued men with pregnant spouses was the concept of breasts filling up with milk. A lot of the men were intrigued about how a part of the woman’s body could move from being something of pleasure to them, to being something used for nurturing and care.
The breasts of their partners were filling up with milk and they were intrigued by this. Some of the men reported that they realized that their partners’ breasts were more sensitive than before they were pregnant. There was contradicting feedback on how they felt about this.
There was an urge to explore the physical changes of their partners, but a lot of thoughts went through their minds as they did this. While it was exciting, there was an added fear of not hurting their partners. They were also aware that life would change once their children were born. So they enjoyed the adult time, whenever it did happen.
Most of the men confessed to asking their partners to suck milk from their breasts and/or actually trying it. It was a big deal and they wanted to try it out before the baby arrived. It was almost like their way of taking charge and reinforcing their way that they had mommy first.
Men’s feedback in this regard:
- The milk was not like the one in the fridge in terms of texture and appearance.
- It was less milk than anticipated.
- Was a reflective experience.
- It felt like the women were vessels of life and no longer just physically available to their partners.
- Intrigued by the physical changes.
When asked if there was something that the men wanted to share with other women, their views were somewhat unexpected. They said that women must understand that not all men are the same; and spouses should not compare them or try to think on their behalf.
There was a call for pregnant spouses to try and understand that not all men are intrigued by breasts. Men expressed that the women had more time to adapt to the pregnancy because they were very aware of all the physical changes happening from the inside and all around them.
They however wished that women could understand that at times they want a sexual connection with their wives and not just to focus on them as being moms only. Men often feared hurting their partners’ excitement, but longed to be understood and not made to seem “insensitive” for longing for personal sexual intimacy with the women they loved.
2 Is that Kid Gonna Come Out of Here?
Something disturbing and interesting to men was the “channel” of intercourse. There was an element of “sharing” a space with the child. It was described in such intimate ways. One man described that he not only had to share his wife’s most intimate parts, but that the child was small and needing extra care.
He was a very proud dad and happy about the arrival of yet another child with his wife. There was however still a fear that he thought would not be present. He said that he had noticed a change with his wife down there, especially after the childbirth which needed a couple of stitches.
A big concern that they had was that they would no longer be able to satisfy their spouses after the arrival of their children. There was the concern that things would change for the worse down there.
One man described how he could never compare to the head of a child. He secretly wondered if his wife would consider leaving him for another, especially because she was already complaining about his abilities before the birth of the child.
His biggest fear was that the kid was going to stretch his partner to the extent that he would not be able to please her anymore behind closed doors. It was as though the men compared themselves with the size of the head and resulted that having a natural birth could alter things.
Not all men feared this, others embraced it and found it to be a natural process that has been going on since the beginning of mankind. While they figured there could be biological changes, they were willing to adjust to whatever happened because they felt emotionally safe in their relationships.
So all in all, it seemed to be something that a lot of men thought about. Their reactions were what was different. Some were comfy and even advised it as they figured it was safer and healthier birthing option for both mom and baby. For those men, the perks far outweighed the thought that things down under could change after birth.
1 Fears and Joys Summed Up
The men who managed to talk to me shared what was in their mind when they thought about being sexually intimate with the mothers of their unborn children. From the onset, it was clear that a lot was going on in the lives of the men. There were physical and sexual changes, anxieties and joys.
There were many pros and cons that they mentioned. The views were so contradictory that picking a side would be an injustice. There were so many things that went through their minds that it was hard to pinpoint or predict them.
It was therefore necessary to relate their stories and jot down their account. These men spoke out as experts of self and their personal accounts played a big role in shaping the answers to the original question, "How does it feel?" They were allowed to open up and freely share their feelings.
Fears for him:
- Physical fear that he may be inadequate and not pleasing now that things were growing and progressing
- Fear of medical practitioner advising abstinence
- Lower sex drive from the pregnant spouse may lead him feeling unwanted or unattractive
- Worry not to hurt the fetus
- Awkwardness from the physical growth
- Fear of causing premature labour
- Worrying about rapturing membranes
- Will she ever get over the tiredness?
Joys for him:
- Excitement from not worrying about having to use contraception
- Opportunity to discover new positions (particularly in the last trimester)
- Opportunity to discover new ways of pleasing each other
- Intrigued and appreciation of her changing body
- Joy in being physically intimate with their spouse
- Heightened sensitivity of sexual organs in spouse
All things said and done there was a lot of excitement over the freedom of not having to worry about her falling pregnant. It was something that added a spark and excitement to many couples. Just the knowledge that there would not be preventatives served as some aphrodisiac to many couples.
This time was a special and unique time for the couple and offered mixed reactions when it came to intimacy. It was important for the men and women involved to not neglect their feelings, but open up and discuss their physical and emotional feelings with each other.