This week, after scrolling through my social media feeds following reports that Real Housewives of Atlanta star Porsha Williams’ fiance Dennis McKinley blamed his ongoing infidelity on lack of interest in pregnancy sex, the world seemed to be confessing how gross they felt having sex during pregnancy. With black women already fighting for our lives during pregnancy and childbirth, we now have to find the capacity to fight for our pleasure too?
As a birth doula, I often find myself discussing sex with my pregnant clients and not their partners, conversations where they criticize and condemn themselves for their own increase or decrease in sex drive and often what they assume is their sexual partner’s lack of interest in them.
So, I decided to check in with people to make sure I wasn’t tripping. “Pregnant pussy is still in demand, right?” I spoke with the sexual partners of current and past pregnant people about the beauty of pregnant sex and the ways they approached and navigated sex during pregnancy.
While yes, having sex during most pregnancies is considered safe, everyone experiences pregnancy different and has different medical restrictions and personal limitations. Here, five black people from varied backgrounds and relationship statuses explain the many ways they navigated sex during their partner’s pregnancies:
The glow and smell of her during the pregnancy did it for me! It wasn’t like a physical smell but her aroma was different and just made me want to pounce. And this might sound weird but her stomach getting big did something for me, she was always athletic but something about it was now a turn-on.
Justin S. 36, Movement Father, Husband and Dreamer
Overall, sex was more pleasurable because she became extremely wet. Then the first time feeling the baby moved when I was on top, I quickly came to a complete stop and thought the baby knew what was going on and was not happy. Turns on the baby was just very active. Other than that, the discomfort wasn’t really an issue until we were having sex to break her water and being able to feel something that was keeping me from going all the way inside. —
Jennifer Baker, 31, queer black mommy, doula, and student of life
Pregnant sex is the bomb!! I love everything about it, from finding new/comfortable positions to the insane orgasms. To me, pregnancy is the best reminder of fertility, so hell yeah we bout to be getting it in. I like tiddies. So the bigger they get, the more I have to play with them, which leads to more exploration and the cycle continues. The only thing I had to navigate was my own fears of hurting the baby. Having been on both sides of pregnancy and loss (and being a birth worker with way too much knowledge) I have an irrational fear of pregnancy loss. It doesn’t help that I’m dramatic as hell, so every movement was like a sign of distress. As long as that baby was sleep, we were good. But while I know sex doesn’t cause miscarriages or stillborns, my fear is that sex would alert us that there was an issue. But we worked it out by talking to our OB and being reminded that it was a low-risk pregnancy.
Darius Ventura, 40, Father, Husband
I find pregnancy beautiful and seeing that I already found my spouse beautiful, the attraction rose because of the fact that she was carrying MY children. While I can’t necessarily say the changes in the body brought NEW turn ons because for one, my wife is already a pretty busty lady however her cup size did grow which was a tad bit more of a turn on I guess! But the interest was already there pre-pregnancy so I guess the answer to the question would have to be not really. I think more women find what they consider “faults” in their bodies being enhanced during pregnancy which can lead to low confidence, self-doubt or depressed moods having a direct effect on sex drive. This was a concern to me therefore we both had to help each other overcome that. I had no discomforts while having sex. Sex may have been a little more pleasurable because when she wanted it, she really wanted it. I think pregnancy has various effects on hormones so when a woman is horny, it’s magnified which in turn, enhances sex for her. I love pleasuring my wife so whenever it’s enhanced for her it directly enhances my pleasure!
Jeremiah Jones, 30, Husband, First Time Father
As far as what I found most attractive, EVERYTHING. There’s just something about a woman bearing a child and bringing life into the world. But it multiplied how attracted I already was to my wife. Unfortunately, pregnancy did not increase my wife’s sex drive but actually was the opposite. And she experienced discomfort while having sex, this made it less pleasurable for me. The few times we attempted I could tell she was in pain or extreme discomfort. It wasn’t pleasurable for her but she wanted to try. Her discomfort was enough for me to stop. Sex is best when I’m pleasing my partner and she wasn’t in a position to be pleased due to her discomforts.
Sentel Allen, 32, Innocent Bystander
Her glow and demeanor was still something to be admired. To me, her body was still just as beautiful. Not being in a relationship with her or the child not being mine, didn’t take away from the attraction and she needed help trying to break her water. She was still just a single and fine young lady to me, who happened to be pregnant with a child that wasn’t mine, but had feelings for me as I did her. She actually had a higher sex drive prior to her pregnancy, but other than that, there weren’t any changes. Just the concern of wondering if anything I did could harm the baby. I didn’t know anything about pregnancy sex and this was my first time. It ended up more pleasurable. She was more into than I’d ever known her to be and I think that caused just an overall better feel of her and made her more comfortable in the action as well.
Answers have been lightly edited for clarity, and some names have been changed.
Brandi Collins-Calhoun is a menstrual maven, pleasure-positive baby mother and birth worker writing and critiquing culture through a reproductive justice lens as a member of Echoing Ida