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Alright, Let’s Talk About Sex

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!

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