Postpartum sex is a big deal. Sure, you and your partner have had sex before, but there's been a lot going on with your fancy bits of late and none of it has been remotely sexual. So there's often a lot of build-up to that "first time after baby." Anticipation, worry, fear, excitement; chances are you're going to feel it all. I know what it's like to be a new mom in this situation, which is why I had dads describe what sex after baby was like for them. In my opinion, this information is useful... or at the very least sort of interesting.
I'm sure there are as many different answers to this question as there are gentlemen to answer it. I talked to 10 dads (who, out of sensitivity to their partners, mostly wanted to remain anonymous) and there were some common themes but, truly, a variety of different emotions and physical and mental challenges. Another area I saw a lot of variety was time, which proves that postpartum sex doesn't occur on a set timeline. When you have sex (and what kind of sex you have, incidentally, because it's not all about the P in V or anything in the V for that matter) is entirely up to you. When you and your partner are physically and emotionally ready to get back in the proverbial saddle is when postpartum sex is officially on the table.
When you are prepared to take the plunge back to Sexytown (OMG that sounds horrifying, I'm so sorry), here's what you might expect, at least from a male perspective:
"I think I was an asshole about it by the time we finally had sex."
Jamie: What do you mean by that?
"I wasn't aggressive or anything, but I was dropping more hints than were probably necessary that I was ready when she was. We had sex maybe five times the entire pregnancy and then waited another three months after birth, so I was kind of struggling."
Jamie: And when it happened?
"Not our best. I didn't expect it to be. We've worked back up to our old standard since, but it took time."
"Those first few times were a haze and we were working mostly off muscle memory than anything. We call it zombie sex: we were both so tired, but determined. Our kids are toddlers now and there's still a lot of zombie sex."
"I was nervous because it was a hard birth. I told her there was no rush but she was ready as soon as her doctor said she was cleared for sex. I spent a lot of the time making sure I wasn't hurting her."
Writer's note: Rick checks in with his partner to make sure everyone is having a good time during sex. Rick is a mensch. Be like Rick.
"Surprisingly awesome. Her hormones made her really horny, which was weird but welcome. We'd heard horror stories and expected the worst, but it was great, especially after almost three months of no sex, and [she says] she feels like her insides shifted after giving birth, but in a good way that made things just work better."
"We cheated and went for it before her doctor officially gave her the green light and there were no problems, physically or sexually. It was nice to know nothing had changed, but it was more or less typical sex."
"Couples counseling helped."
Jamie: Can you elaborate?
"We were both sexually frustrated but too tired and frankly angry at each other all the time to want to have sex. Everything is hard with a new baby and it took a toll on us. We decided to nip it in the bud and see a professional sooner rather than later and that was a good call."
"You know that song? 'At Last'? That could have been the soundtrack to the first time we finally bumped uglies after she gave birth. I was so excited. It wasn't great sex but that didn't matter: it was sex! I was convinced I was going to regain my virginity, but I didn't and it's been great ever since. Less frequent now than before baby, but that's OK."
"Neither of us finished the first few times we tried because of pain or lubrication issues and we had to stop a few minutes in. We took our time with it and eventually figured it out and now we're figuring out how to finish before the baby wakes up."
Jamie: Mine instinctively knew when we were having sex and interrupted us every time, I swear to God.
"How do they do that?!"
"It was fine, but I had some unpleasant memories about the birth that were getting to me. It's weird to get intimate with someone after you've seen a human head emerge from the place you've got your face in."
Writer's Note: That's... fair, and also a little unsettling to think about for too long.
"We had sex the day of her six-week check up — as soon as we got back from the doctor —and then didn't do it again for another six weeks or so. Not because we didn't want to or that it had been bad or anything, but we were just so tired that if we had time we wanted to sleep. Thinking about it, that was really nice, though. We didn't have sex a lot but we'd snuggle on the couch and nap together. It was a way to stay intimate without being 'intimate'."