Some pregnant women will want more intimacy than ever before, while others will want space—sometimes vast amounts of space. This can be confusing for a dad-to-be, as he is never quite sure if the love of his life wants to snuggle or pluck his eyes out. Also, don’t think that the dad-to-be isn’t experiencing his own set of pregnancy-related emotions. These may cause him to hesitate sexually while his child-to-be is turning somersaults half a penis-length away. The mom-to-be might be wanting to rip his clothes off, and he’s suddenly prim and proper.

This chapter is about sex during pregnancy, from orgasm-related uterine contractions to swelling genitals and fetal brain development. For most couples, anything that felt good before conception is perfectly okay after, including oral sex, anal sex, vibrator play and vanilla lovemaking. But no matter what you read in this chapter or anywhere else, please discuss sex during your pregnancy with your healthcare provider. There might be situations where it is prudent to alter some of the more outrageous ways that you and your partner enjoy sex.

Plenty of physicians encourage couples to have sex during pregnancy. Obstetricians rely on people having healthy sex lives in order to keep from going broke. So do pediatricians, gynecologists, Lamaze instructors and everyone else in the healthcare industry. There is no way your physician wants you getting out of practice with intercourse as long as the possibility exists that you might have more kids. So don’t be afraid to ask.

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Illustration by the incredible Daerick Gross, Sr.