The pressure for pregnancy can make “trying to score” feel like a chore. Here, advice from experts—some medical, some sexual—on how to keep it sensual when you’ve got an ulterior motive: conception.
“Do things to make you anticipate the pleasure rather than the end result. Instead of sending your partner an email saying, ‘I’m ovulating, we have to have sex,’ send him one that says you’ve been thinking about how sexy he is. Buy a sex toy that you wouldn’t ordinarily; wear a sexy negligee instead of your regular flannels. And yes, sometimes you have to force it. You may just want to lie there and get it over with, but I find women will say, ‘It seemed like so much work. I didn’t want to do it, but once I got started, it was worth it.’”
—Hilda Hutcherson, MD, assistant professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.
“Yes, sometimes you have to schedule sex, but plan something unusual beforehand to make it seem more spontaneous. Experiment with kissing each other in places you might not ordinarily—the eyelids, the jawline, the wrist, ankles. You’ll be surprised at how erotic this can be.
Write little romantic notes to each other and hide them in briefcases, purses, and car seats. Create romantic messages with refrigerator magnets, or write a love note on a bed sheet. Simply spend some time reminding yourselves what you love most about each other—physically and emotionally.
Consider showering together in the morning, or cooking dinner together naked, taking time to appreciate each other in a way that has nothing to do with procreation. Remember that sex is much more than just intercourse.”
—Melanie Votaw, author of 52 Weeks of Passionate Sex (Running Press Book Publishers, 2004).
“Try a Tantric exercise. Tell yourself that you’re not going to have sex tonight. You’re just going to be together. Sit facing each other and take deep breaths, matching yours to your partner’s so you’re breathing in and out in the same rhythm. Often when you start with something like this, especially when you don’t allow yourself to have sex, you’ll become wildly desirous and ultimately you will. Breathing is about life, so metaphorically, it’s about conception. It’s a most essential heart-to-heart connection.”
—Gina Ogden, Ph.D., licensed marriage and family therapist in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and author of The Heart and Soul of Sex (Trumpeter, 2006).