When sex becomes a chore
Several couples around the world struggle with infertility. Read more for advice and tips by a sex therapist on what to do when couples begin to see sex as a chore.
Barbara O’Neill tried to get pregnant for seven years. She endured two surgeries, dozens of tests, dozens of intrauterine inseminations, and five in-vitro fertilizations. None of these treatments worked.
“(The medical procedures) took a tremendous toll on my desire for sex and my feelings about my sexuality,” says O’Neill.
“Sex became a burden and a chore and I lived by the calendar. I hated and resented my body for failing me.”
“The toll the infertility took on my sex life affected me for more than a decade. I associated sex with disappointment and failure. I felt my body had failed me and robbed me of the most basic female reproductive function pregnancy.”
O’Neill is not alone. Many couples have trouble in the bedroom after trying for a long time to get pregnant. Anger, frustration, humiliation, and resentment are common feelings between couples trying to conceive. And for many, the sex drive weakens the longer it takes to get pregnant.
Laurie Watson, a sex therapist and author of, Wanting Sex Again: How to Rediscover Your Desire and Heal a Sexless Marriage, commented on O’Neill’s experience and offered advice to couples who are experiencing stress in their sex life as they try to get pregnant.
When reproductive sex gets frustrating what do you do?
Reproductive sex has a focus of bringing a child into the world. Lovemaking focuses on pleasure, connection and excitement. Do something special that you both like when you are making the baby – play a special playlist of songs, drape a pink or blue scarf over the lamp to change the lighting depending which gender you are hoping for, hold each other afterwards and talk about your hopes and dreams for your future family. Realize that this is a separate act and may not be the hottest sex of your life but can be tender, warm and loving.
RELATED: Sex with a mission
When reproductive sex becomes a chore what do you do?
Who would not want to have sex? Ask a doctor’s office full of infertile couples and every hand will be raised. It’s crazy but our psychology goes against being ordered to do something even when it is extremely pleasurable. Laugh at the “gotta do it” mentality that creeps in. Give into quickies as a viable route to making babies. Children require self-sacrifice, doing things when they are not convenient. Consider this the first of many acts of service that you will be performing for your children.
What should you do when reproductive sex is the only sex you have?
Trying to get pregnant, with cycles of expectation and disappointment can make sex seem like a job. Infertility can damage a couple’s sex life as it reduces sex to a mechanical act. Fun sex keeps the marriage strong during an exciting but possibly difficult season.
If you’re having non-reproductive sex and it’s not fun what do you do?
If ever we needed a sense of humor, it’s when we are struggling to get pregnant. The seriousness of the task can make it hard to separate our lovemaking from our baby making. Set the mood for eroticism with music and candlelight.
RELATED: Daily sex boosts sperm quality
Check out the first part of the interview with sex therapist Laurie Watson here: When sex puts a strain on your marriage
How was your experience when trying to conceive? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below.