Welcome to Doing It, a column where sex educator Varuna Srinivasan explores the deep connections between sex and emotions. This month, we hear from women on what their sex lives were really like during pregnancy.

As my generation comes into the phase of life that, for many, involves parenthood, I have observed an intriguing shift in attitudes toward pregnancy. My peers seem to be more mindful toward their pregnancies and how this plays into all other aspects of their lives — including sex. Many expectant folks wish for this stage of their life to feel empowering, perhaps even to teach them about their bodies. What’s more, they want to continue feeling like sexual beings, both during and after pregnancy.

Of course, every expectant parent has their own reality. Considering the (highly individual) emotional changes and the (comparatively similar) physical ones, it seems only reasonable that, for many people, the sexual activity experienced during this time is unique and unlike anything else.

When I asked my college friend Lydia, who recently gave birth for the first time, about her experiences, she said she felt particularly attractive with her pregnant belly. “I was proud of my body and what it was capable of, which translated to feeling sexy and desirable,” Lydia told me, adding that she had the most sex during her third trimester. “The bigger my belly got, the more frequently we did it.”

If I am being completely honest about my feelings — and that is, of course, the foundation of this sex column — I find pregnant people to be quite alluring. There is something about the big, smooth, rotund belly that makes me feel like I’m in the presence of pure beauty. Every time I see a pregnant person, I cannot help but stare. I am in awe.

But that’s not all: I also spend quite a lot of time dreaming of becoming pregnant. Not having a child and being a parent; this fantasy merely revolves around the act of becoming and being pregnant. Now, this may read like an essay wherein I come clean about my impregnation fantasy. (And, let’s be clear here: I am.) But, more than seeing it as a kink, I find my curiosity piqued at the prospect of exploring an entirely new side to my sexuality — there’s simply so much untapped and unknown potential. I can’t help but ask myself: What might sex be like during such an impactful and inherently temporary period? How do your body’s physical responses change when it’s near-wholly focused on preparing to bear another human being?

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