Whether you're a heterosexual "breeder" or a same sex couple making a baby at home with the proverbial turkey baster, many of the same issues arise after integrating a sex life of leisure with one of goal oriented baby production. The first few cycles can be exhilaratingly romantic as you are weaving lovemaking with dreams of your shared future. Or it can be wondrous as you ruminate on the marvels of biology, perhaps envisioning the millions of sperm traveling through the hostile environment of the vagina, dodging the attack of white blood cells protecting their turf, slipping in through the cervix into the gentler cavern of the uterus to rest and await the chemical mating call of the egg as it's released into the fallopian tubes. Weather you are having direct penetrative sex, or heavy petting as the needleless syringe goes in, it is a novel experience, and therefore exciting.
After a few cycles turn into several months, and possibly years, the novelty wears off. The romantic anticipation is replaced with feelings of pressure to make it work this time. Resentments build as having sex becomes something to schedule in like a business meeting. The feelings of awe of the "miracle of life" are replaced with feelings of our own inadequacy as women, as men, and as humans. Sex becomes loaded with tense feelings, none of which involve having sex to enjoy each other and our bodies. In turn, our bodies respond by closing up. Sex becomes dry, clinical, unenjoyable, and maybe even painful; erections and ejaculation may take much longer. Much of this can be avoided, or at the very least managed.
Work In Some Non-Baby Making Sex
Even if your schedules are tight, schedule in sex during times when you are not ovulating. Doesn't scheduling sex make it like a chore and therefore defeat the purpose of having non-clinical sex? No. Sex does not have to be spontaneous to be passionate. This is what "foreplay" is for. However, if you are concerned about all the mechanics of making sure sperm meets egg and staring through your partner's gaze as you're preoccupied with a yearning for something (a baby) other than simply just being with your partner, passion sometimes goes out the window. Passion is not even a prerequisite for satisfying and bond-strengthening sex. Simply communing with each other's bodies for the sake of it is enough to remind your bodies that they like each other.
Change It Up and Lighten It Up
Just because you're in the business of making babies doesn't mean you gotta be all serious! Try out some fun sex games. Can't think of any? There are plenty at your local sex shop! Have there been any fantasies or scenarios you've been meaning to take for a test drive? A straight-laced doctor walks into the exam room to see his last patient of the day; little does he know he is about to be seduced by a naughty vixen hungry for an injection of his sweet medicine...
New positions? Hanging off the bed... On new furniture? On the kitchen table... Some fun new costumes or lingerie? Crotchless panties...chaps...
Even if you don't do any of these, just joking about the process can ease things up to make way for some real reconnection.
Add Tools and Props
Sex toys can serve multiple functions including changing things up. In addition to that, they can provide very effective stimulation to awaken body parts that are ultimately bored of the task of creating babies. Or perhaps when you're squeezing in a quick lunch session, there isn't quite enough time to get the juices flowing without the powerful aid of a vibrator. And when our body parts are awakened, our moods and feelings of well being quickly follow. This applies to all body parts including clitorises and penises, but also all our other fun erogenous zones. Shake it up!
Lube is also crucial to comfortable and therefore pleasurable sex. This is especially true if you're not creating enough natural lubrication, which is often the case if one is on certain drying fertility medications. Again, if we're jumping in for a quick rendezvous between appointments because the ovulation predictor stick says its now or never, we may not have time to produce a sufficient amount of lube. Besides, in my opinion, added lubrication is always a good idea regardless.
That said, most lubes on the market can actually kill sperm. There is a very narrow window of ph level that is friendly to sperm. In fact, vaginal secretions are pretty deadly to sperm most of the month except during ovulation. Fortunately, there are a few lubes on the market specifically engineered for people trying to conceive. Preseed is the most popular option on the market, but Yes Baby lube is an organic alternative for those that like to keep it clean.
For lesbian or gender queer couples operating without built-in sperm making gear who want to bring back the body to body intimacy while making babies, there is a pretty amazing harness compatible ejaculating dildo out on the market (I carry it at the shop). Pop by Fun Factory is different than the other "squirting" dildos in that it is not merely a novelty, but designed for real use and body safety. It is a fun toy for all sorts of purposes.
Talk it out
Infertility can be an intense emotional rollercoaster. Desire, hope, anticipation, nervous suspense, fear, desperation, disappointment, confusion, feelings of inadequacy and failure, resentment and blame, and then back to magical thinking and hope. There can be a lot to unpack. Sometimes just acknowledging our insecurities and fears, and discussing them out loud, can release an emotional pressure valve. Whether we talk it through with our partner, a good friend, or a therapist, this can help us get back to a healthy frame of mind.
Ally Booker is a pleasure activist passionate about educating herself and others on cool sexuality related things like communication skills, creating and respecting boundaries, sexual self-determination, destigmatization, gender and sexual expressions, sex toy use and safety, and all the other mechanics of pleasure. You can often find her at her Tucson shop, Jellywink Boutique, 418 E. 7th St. You can reach her at 777-9434 or