After your kid is born, sex tumbles down the priority list. Pregnancy and birth profoundly changes — and sometimes damages — a woman’s body. Generally, new moms should avoid having sex until their six-week postpartum checkup with their gynecologist. For the first month and a half after giving birth, sex will be medically impossible for new moms. And since every birth is different, it could take far longer than that for her body to heal and even longer than that for the mom to feel ready.
But there’s good news: you’ll be too busy and tired to worry about not having sex. During that medically-mandated period of celibacy, you will be caring for a tiny, delicate human being with inscrutable sleeping and eating habits who you love.
By the time dads have sex with their wives for the first time after their kids are born, months will have passed and their lives will be different. It can be hard to get back in the swing of things on and off the mattress. Here, five dads talk about their first time at bat after the birth of their kids. Out of respect for their family’s privacy, names have been changed.
The Waiting is The Hardest Part
“The sex itself wasn’t that memorable but the build-up kinda was. We waited a long time after we had [our son]. Yeah, I was on some sites a lot. It was like being in high school again. She wasn’t ready. Was it frustrating? Hell yeah. Super frustrating. But I got it then and I get it now. She just wasn’t ready. It was as simple as that. We didn’t talk about it a lot but I could put together the pieces. And when we did talk, I didn’t want to ask too much because that seemed to make her uncomfortable, too. Even when the soreness was gone, she felt different about her body.
Nothing special happened the night of, aside from the sex. Just after a while we were alone together at home one night. I said something. It must’ve been good ‘cause she started kissing me and one thing led to another.” — Tyler, 34
A Surprise on Vacation
“A couple of months after [our kid] was born. We’d rented a vacation house and invited over some family. They all went down to the beach and I hung back at the house. I forget why — this was years ago. Maybe I made up an excuse? I don’t know. Anyway, I think I took a shower and went into our bedroom to masturbate.
Anyway, my wife came back from the beach and I didn’t hear her walk up the stairs. So for the first and last time in our whole marriage she caught me. She was pretty mad at first. This was after months of being tired and stressed out from taking care of a newborn. I was doing the most irresponsible thing I could be doing. Then it clicked with her that we were on vacation, we were alone in the house, and our kid was safe. Everything was taken care of and it wasn’t like there was something we had to do. So we had sex and walked down to the beach together later. I still think about that. It was the best way that could have played out.” — Brian, 47
A Very Wholesome Experience
“Did it feel different? Maybe a little. I mean it’s different having sex when you’re married versus dating. When you’re married, you roll over each other when you’re done and start talking about shopping you have to do. Physically, it was exactly the same. Emotionally maybe it was a little different, I guess. Like it was something we used to not be allowed to do but then we were allowed to do it, if that makes sense? I was a dad and that I was with the person I made a mom and I felt like we were part of a team doing something important. We were connected as people to something larger. I remember her cheeks were flushed afterwards. It felt oddly wholesome, like we were the parents on Little House on the Prairie or something.” — Stephen, 42
Me, My Wife, and Sophie the Giraffe
“There was a ton of baby stuff in the apartment. We’d agreed in advance that we’d have sex that night. We felt weird being around each other and not having sex but we saw with the kid that opportunities were dwindling and would continue to dwindle. So we sort of scheduled sex for after the kid dropped off for the night. It wasn’t in our Google calendars or anything but we’d said beforehand that’s when we’d do it. That was weird, like okay we’re doing this now. Then while we were kissing I rolled onto a giraffe teething toy and I jumped because I didn’t know what it was. It didn’t ruin anything, it just broke the tension. We laughed and it was like, well at least some things are still spontaneous.” — Travis, 35
A Lot of Foreplay
“My wife was super-dry for months after we had the kid. It was a physical problem but she also felt self conscious about it, so it was two problems that fed into each other. Like, she was worried about being dry and worrying made her more dry and being more dry made her worry more. You know? We made a couple of attempts and it didn’t happen for us.
One night we went to a party and had some drinks. When we came home, we smoked some pot, which we don’t do a lot. But the baby had fallen asleep with the sitter and we both had a buzz, so it was like what the hell, you know? I thought we’d just watch a funny movie but then she initiated everything. At that moment, everything felt slow motion and super-interesting, so I was, like, really, really into foreplay. I mean really into it. I went down on her for a long, long time. I felt like I was really in tune to her body and what she was responding to. I could have just been high but it worked, you know? Then she pulled me up and was like, okay, I’m ready, come on.” — Matt, 31