Q: We’re trying to get pregnant, and sex feels like work. How can we make it fun again?
A: When sex becomes more about peeing on sticks than pleasure, try these tricks.
Forget your cycle. That magic window of ovulation can also be a desire-stifling trap. Remember, your sex drive isn’t completely linked to your egg release, so don’t cut off the action when your fertility ebbs. Having sex when you want to all month long will take some of the pressure off.
Do everything but. Give each other a massage, and have intimate contact beyond the bedroom. Long, strong hugs daily will make a difference.
Embrace your imagination. Fantasizing about someone else isn’t a form of cheating. If it spices things upand it usuallydoesit’s perfectly OK.
Q: I think I should see a sex specialist, but I don’t know whom to contact. Any guidelines?
A: If you’re concerned about an issue in the bedroom, it’s always a good idea to seek outside help. Here’s a quick guide.
If it hurts. See your OB-GYN. If your problem has a non-gynecological cause, which is unlikely, he or she can refer you to a sex therapist.
If you’re never in the mood. See your OB-GYN. She can diagnose (or rule out) a hormone problem and treat it, and offer help if stress or lack of exercise are factors. She may also refer you to a sex therapist.
If you can’t reach orgasm. If it’s a recent development, see your gyno; a hormone imbalance may be the culprit. If it’s been a lifelong problem, ask your OB-GYN to refer you to a sex therapist; orgasm is a learned reflex response, and it is possible (though difficult) to learn later in life.
If he can’t do it. He should see his internist (because erectile problems can signal heart disease), as well as a urologist. Some medications or complications after surgery can lead to impotence; the urologist will be able to trace the cause.
Q: Our 7-year-old daughter walked in on us having sex. What should I say to her?
A: Though you can’t be sure how much she saw, you can assume she didn’t understand it. She may feel frightened, especially if you seemed to be playing rough or if you yelled at her. If you reacted angrily, apologize and explain that you were caught off guard.
Be straightforward, but avoid going into detail about what you were doing. (Save the birds-and-bees talk for when she starts to ask questions about sex.) Use terms she can relate to. You might tell her that you and Daddy were playing a loving game for grown-ups. Remind her that you and her father love each other and her. Most importantly, keep your tone reassuring; that ease her mind more than anything you say.