Alright, Let’s Talk About Sex

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Sex Shop in Nantes, France, 2013

Sex Shop in Nantes, France, 2013

Alright, let’s talk about sex. Nope, this is not a clever title to attract your attention (or more spam comments). I actually want to talk about sex.

What? I’m French, after all.

Sex isn’t something I usually write much about. Not because I’m busy doing it but because even though I blog under “Zhu”, my real name is not a secret (“hi, prospective client!”) and because some of my friends, as well as—gasp!—my mom sometime read my articles. Sex is an intimate thing, after all.

But I had Mark, I’m 31 years old and I’m married. I think it’s fair to assume I’m no longer a virgin (if I were, I could totally star in a TLC show, though).

Mark was conceived the usual way. Sperm, ovule and some late-nigh entertainment in Mexico or Central America. What? When we, backpackers, have a nice private room, we use it!

As soon as I learned I was pregnant, my relationship with my body changed. It wasn’t mine anymore—it was ours. On bad days, I felt invaded. On good days, I felt invested with a mission I have very little control over. Sex was the last thing in my mind. I wasn’t big but I felt huge, clumsy and awkward, like a teen girl going through puberty. It wasn’t me. I didn’t feel sexy or glowing and while I’m normally not shy (I think even my in-laws have seen me naked at some point), I was very self-conscious.

It didn’t help that my private parts were regularly poked and probed by my ob-gyn and a bunch of other healthcare professionals. They were no longer a source of pleasure but a source of potential issues and worries.

I no longer had a vagina—I had a “birth canal”. Fuck, it hurt just thinking about it.

After Mark’s birth, at my post-partum checkup, my ob-gyn told me to “take it easy” as the stitches from the tears and cuts (yep, that’s natural birth for you…) were still healing. Then she asked me if I wanted to try for a second child right away and if not, what contraceptive method I would be using.

Even though I was in the I-haven’t-slept-in-ages fog, I think I blurted out “hell, no more kids!” pretty loud. I loved Mark, we wanted a kid, we had a baby dragon at home. Mission accomplished. I couldn’t even consider doing it again at this stage.

And by “doing it again” I mean both getting pregnant and having sex.

The cord had been cut and Mark was no longer baking inside me but I had gone from being an incubator to a milk factory. My nipples were sucked on by a very hungry and very unhappy baby multiple times a day and I had to carry him against me, in the sling, 24/7—else he would wail on top of his lung.

Again, try feeling sexy and in the mood for it between two feedings and two diaper changes. I was too focused on Mark to even think about sex. At this stage, I was craving a shower, not an orgasm.

It took a little bit of time but eventually the pregnancy and the delivery became a distant memory. My body went back to normal, whatever “normal” is, and I no longer looked like the mother of a newborn.

My mind sill wasn’t at it, though. I was exhausted, physically and mentally. Having a decent sex life takes efforts and any desire I may have felt briefly was immediately overshadowed by Mark’s needs. It’s hard to switch from mommy-mode to wild-girl mode.

And then, I’m not sure what was going through Feng’s mind, but he saw me differently too. I mean, a baby came out of me and he was there. He winced when I mentioned I was sore from the stitches. My perfect gentleman didn’t want to hurt me.

For me, sex is physical action, of course, but it also requires the right state of mind. You have to let it go, to relax, to enjoy—that, I couldn’t do. Things that turned me on before felt “meh”. Life felt “meh”.

It took time. Like everything else. Little by little, I got in touch with my body again, let my mind wander and learn to reconnect with my feelings. It sounds like a whole load of new age crap but it’s true.

Well, I feel like a woman again. It’s about time… to close the curtains!

Bring on the sexy lingerie!


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. “At this stage, I was crav­ing a shower, not an orgasm.”

    This so, SO true… (I still remember) 😀

  2. Ha – you are so honest!! I am glad you are feeling in the mood again 😉 ugh and I did not mean that in a weird proposition sort of a way. Just that it is nice to feel like a woman!

    • 😆 No worries! It was a funny article to write but I’m sure many women experience the ups and downs. It surprised me actually.

  3. C’est drôle moi c’est tout le contraire !! Je me sentais troooop sexy quand j’étais enceinte ! Après la naissance de Michoco j’étais pressée, d’ailleurs le gynécologue m’a dit “c’est la meilleure rééducation” alors je ne me suis pas gênée. La baisse de libido est venue quand j’ai arrêté d’allaiter vers les 9 mois de michoco, j’ai plus pris conscience des changements indélébiles de mon corps sans doute… ups and downscomme tu dis !

    • C’est marrant comme chaque femme est différente. Juste après la grossesse, je me sentais hyper bien… après ça a été dur. Et pour d’autres femmes, au contraire, la grossesse est synonyme de libido en folie!

      • Quand tu attends une fille il paraît que ça donne une libido+++… mais je crois que ça ne va pas trop te tenter d’essayer juste pour voir si c’est vrai !

        • Bien vu 😆 Je ne peux pas imaginer un autre dragon maintenant, et ça m’agace souverainement quand des gens me demandent si je pense à lui donner un frère ou une soeur! On te le demande aussi?

          • Bien sûr, mais ça me dérange moins que toi visiblement ! Peut-être par e que je suis déjà prête à l’idée ?! Et qui dit bb dit se e, haha !

          • Ah oui, je ne suis pas prête du tout, mais alors du tout à l’idée. Du bébé, quoi. Le reste ça va 🙂

  4. I don’t have any experience with this, but I just wanted to say that I think that a lot of women are ashamed to admit how much having a baby has changed their relationship with their spouse or partner, changed their body in a negative way or that their pregnancy wasn’t what they expected it to be. I think that admitting this make them feel like they are a “bad mom”.

    My friend felt like she was an incubator. She confessed how hard it was to feel that her body was no longer her own and that she had lost control. She told me how traumatic her birth experience was (forceps because the baby was too high) and how inadequate she felt. She even admitted that she felt as if she was being raped by the doctors, that’s how violated she felt.

    I wish more women could be honest like you and my friend.

    • I had heard about women “glowing” while pregnant and I thought that’s how I would feel too. And I’m sure it’s true for some… but nope, I wasn’t glowing, I wasn’t enjoying the experience and it took me a while to admit it. I was happy with the idea of welcoming a baby in our world but I hated the process. I love my labour experience though because I felt in control again.

      I just wish people could say how they truly feel and talk about issues instead of faking it. I’m a very happy mom most of the time. No, really. But some days, I can’t stand Mark anymore. I love him, of course. Still drives me crazy 😆 It annoys me when parents don’t say a single bad thing about parenthood. Come on, it’s not like unicorns and rainbows all the time! Same as being married. I mean, you (presumably) love your partner… until he/she gets on your nerve and suddenly, you’re like “ahem, who is the idiot?!” 😆 Couples argue, parents need breaks, etc. It’s normal.

  5. It feels good to read some honest experiences like yours. And it confirmed the fact that I still don’t want to be pregnant! I might want to raise a baby or a kid, but I don’t want to get pregnant. People are always looking at me like I’m strange and selfish but I don’t care anymore…!
    Have a… wet summer! :p

    • I like the fact you are making the distinction between the pregnancy experience and the raising a child experience. Indeed, if you can’t or don’t want to carry a child, there are many other ways to be a parent 🙂

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