The Invisible Web

Your Trip Into the Chapel Perilous

Nina Hartley’s Guide to Pregnant Sex

Posted by invizweb on September 12, 2008

Her latest movie offers a sex-positive approach to that oft-neglected subject

By Tristan Taormino for the Village Voice.

I flew to Minneapolis last month to celebrate the fifth anniversary of feminist-women-owned sex shop the Smitten Kitten (smittenkittenonline.com). Co-founder and owner Jennifer, with her partner Davis, just had a baby, who was then two and half weeks old. Usually they’re up to their eyeballs in dildo harnesses and butt plugs, but this trip, these two sex activists were all about cloth diapers and breast-feeding. Their baby was one of the most chilled-out infants I’ve ever met—he even slept as we partied at a local lesbian bar! The proud parents were so funny: They asked Penny Flame and Adrianna Nicole—stars of my porn reality series Chemistry and special guests at the store’s big anniversary party—to pose for some pictures with their son for the baby book! I mean, I’m sure there’s a page for “My First Photo With Porn Stars,” right? Several people I know have recently gotten pregnant, and as they pore through resources on every aspect of being knocked up, there’s one topic that’s still challenging to find clear, sex-positive information about: sex.

It makes me think of one of the first essays I read on the subject, in a book by Susie Bright (susiebright.com)—she talks frankly and specifically about some of the sexual changes she experienced while she was pregnant in the ’80s. For one thing, she found she couldn’t masturbate the same way: “I was stunned and a little panicky. My engorged clitoris was different under my fingers; too sensitive to touch my usual way, and what other way was there?” She theorizes that one of the reasons some couples stop having sex during a pregnancy is that they’re unprepared for some of the radical changes: “What happens is that your normal sexual patterns don’t work anymore. Unless you and your lover make the transition to new ways of getting excited and reaching orgasm, you are going to be very depressed about sex and start avoiding it altogether.” But who prepares you to cope with such a dramatic shift in your sex life? It’s not usually part of the typical birthing class, your mom’s advice, or the girl talk at a baby shower.

Finally, two of the most capable names in sex ed have created a resource unlike any other. Nina Hartley (nina.com) and Ernest Greene, her husband and the director of her video series for Adam & Eve, have produced Nina Hartley’s Guide to Great Sex During Pregnancy. As porn-industry veterans, this duo knows well how pregnant women are portrayed in the industry: They’re fetishized as Bare-Assed and Pregnant and Maternity Nymphos. (Notably, they’re also often featured alongside big girls and transwomen in series like Fuck a Freak and Perversions). Pregger porn has become a small but viable niche, but no one has ever represented pregnant women in a sensual and thoughtful way, or treated pregnant sex as anything other than a kinky turn-on. No one has made a video that addresses the many issues of pregnant sex. For the mom-to-be, there are changes to her body, hormone levels, and libido. Some women feel extremely sexy when they’re pregnant, while others struggle with their body image. Everything is in flux, from their sexual desires and fantasies to how responsive their bodies are and what positions are comfortable. Their partners can feel neglected, confused about how to interact with their partners sexually, or ambivalent about sex during the pregnancy.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: