How Researching Childbirth Improved My Sex Life

In their engrossing book, Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein talk about women who have orgasms during childbirth.

Say what?

Isn’t childbirth supposed to be scary and painful and icky, something to be endured for the sake of meeting oneself (and partner’s self) embodied in a widdle bitty bundle of adorableness?


{Yes, in only a week, I’ve managed to use more words likely to get me a spot in questionable Google searches than in a year of blogging at NQBC.}

They quote Ina May:

‘To access the hormones that can help create a sense of euphoria, it is necessary to open one’s body and to surrender to the powerful sensations of labor, a difficult thing to do unless it is possible to feel absolutely safe and secure.  Women who would like to increase their changes of experiencing an orgasmic birth will need to do some research on the subject so that they understand that much will depend upon the choices they make about where and with whom they will give birth.’”

And this:

The kind of woman who’s less likely to have it, Ina May said, is ‘a woman who is afraid she’s going to fart.’

They go on to explain about a principle of birth Ina May and her colleagues developed called the Sphincter Law, the upshot of which is that when one sphincter opens (vagina, throat, urethra or anus), all of them do, and vice versa.  So, if you’re trying not to fart, you’re unlikely to be relaxed enough to have an orgasmic birth.

The next time I was having problems getting into a game of Twister (ahem, having relations – I need to remember to bring the Twister post over to this blog ASAP), I remembered that line…

… because yes, I am that inhibited woman who worries about passing wind during sex.  After a year of marriage and more practice before that, while engaging in relations with my husband, I’m often half (if not more than half) worried about the messiness and smelliness and bodily-function-ness that is sex.

So I stopped worrying about farting and relaxation followed.  And sex got to be really fun, way more often than before.


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