How the Death of My Sex Ideals Led to the Birth of My Child


My parents never talked about sex

They barely showed physical affection towards each other; and when they did, my dad was always the one who initiated it. It was as though they had sex 3 times to have me and my sisters and that was it.

My mom preached about not “giving it up” until marriage and that sex was something women offer to men in exchange for commitment.

“Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?”

“7! 7! 7!…”

However, I grew up during the ’90s in a Westernized society where women took control of their sexuality and liberated their desires. This was when the episode of Friends where Monica teaches Chandler about the erogenous zones on a woman’s body was aired.

I remember watching Monica drawing a picture of the female body and numbering each zone. Then she starts going from number to number, demonstrating how she would like to be pleasured. She ends up screaming, “7! 7! 7!” and silently gesturing the number with her hands as she reaches orgasmic euphoria.

I thought, “Wow…sex must be so much fun!”

“Sex is a sacred gift.”

As much as these shows portray women as empowered and free, society still views promiscuity as a negative trait in women; sex is a sacred gift that is given to men only when they’ve shown to deserve it (or paid for it). The multibillion-dollar porn industry and the rising number of subscribers to OnlyFans are signs of how women are continually objectified as sex is used as a transaction.

Side note: I’m not criticizing those who work in these industries because I believe women have a choice in what they do with their bodies and how they earn a living. I’m merely drawing a conclusion between human behaviour, cultural trends and what society values and puts a price on.

Therefore, as much as I wanted to ignore my parents’ words and social expectations, I held sexual ideals tied to these influences and carried them into my relationships.

Using sex as a weapon

As I entered relationships and became sexually active, I would keep a tally of my partner’s good and bad behaviours. For instance, if my partner did something that made me happy, I would be more inclined to have sex because I felt he deserved it. And if he did something that upset me, I would be less inclined because I felt he didn’t deserve it.

Sex became a reward and withholding it became a punishment, creating a power imbalance in the relationship. Unknowingly, I was objectifying my body by using sex as a weapon to get what I want.

This continued throughout my relationships and into my marriage.

“He’s been good all week so I guess we’ll do it.”

But then something interesting happened that changed the way I viewed sex.

Trying to conceive

When my husband and I decided to try for a baby, we started having sex very frequently. In the beginning, it was a fun and exciting adventure, something to look forward to at the end of the night.

It was the first time I had ever had unprotected sex. No birth control. No condoms. No pills, rings or IUDs. Nothing. The voice of my high school sex-ed/gym teacher repeating “No glove, no love” kept echoing in my mind; I felt like an outlaw riding bareback while playing Russian Roulette. So naturally, I thought I would get pregnant the first time we tried.

But after months, it still didn’t happen.

Dismantling the tally system

Because we both knew we had to do the deed regularly, I couldn’t keep tabs on his behaviour anymore. Whether he was good or bad, I knew we were going to get under the sheets no matter what.

I had to shed beliefs that sex was a prize for him and started focusing on the overall goal of what we wanted. We both wanted to bring a baby into the world and create our family. The baby was our shared prize.

Removing egos around initiating sex

Before, if I were to initiate, I would be deathly afraid that he would decline my proposition. I thought the worst thing a woman could experience was to get rejected in the bedroom. I’m offering this “sacred gift” and if he refuses, does that mean he finds me unattractive? Unworthy of love? Undesirable? No longer in my prime? I wanted to protect my ego so I rarely initiated.

However, but when we started trying to conceive, the fear of my husband rejecting me was no longer relevant because we both knew what we wanted. So I stopped caring about who initiated sex. There were nights when he didn’t feel like it and I was absolutely fine with it. It wasn’t about me. We were in it together.

Getting creative in the bedroom

As each unsuccessful month passed, the more disappointed I felt. I was getting anxious and stressed about the whole process. I started looking up tips for how to increase my chances of getting pregnant.

One of the articles talked about having fun again in the bedroom and removing the focus on the strict schedule. We knew we had to have sex many times so we might as well experiment with different positions, locations, times of day etc. It became a joint goal to try new things together and explore what gave us pleasure instead of viewing sex as a transaction.

Embracing my female sexuality by getting to know my body

Throughout the process, I learned a lot about my hormonal cycle. Ovulation, basal body temperature and cervical mucus not only affect my chances of getting pregnant but also affect my desire for sex.

As I was getting to know my body and observing how I felt throughout the month, I began paying attention to the peaks and valleys of when I was in the mood. Keeping track of this allowed me to embrace my female sexuality and understand my instinctive needs and desires.

6 years and 2 kids later, my journey to conceive completely changed the way I view sex. Sex isn’t a reward, a gift or something we put on a pedestal.

The death of my old ideals not only liberated my female sexuality but also gave birth to my family and created greater intimacy in my marriage.

So readers, have your views on sex changed since having children?

This post was previously published on Hello, Love.


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The post How the Death of My Sex Ideals Led to the Birth of My Child appeared first on The Good Men Project.