Sex During Pregnancy – The Facts On Enjoying Sex

Now that you’re pregnant, the biggest question for many women is whether to continue having sex during pregnancy.

Most expectant parents worry whether sex during pregnancy will harm the baby or cause discomfort, pain or even miscarriage.

These worries are completely normal and while you continue to have a normal pregnancy, are usually unfounded.

If you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy, here a few hints to ensure you can continue to enjoy a happy, healthy sex life during pregnancy.

Sex During Pregnancy – is it safe?

If you are having a normal pregnancy, then sex during pregnancy is considered safe.

If you are considered high risk for complications such as pre-term labor or miscarriage, then you should discuss your concerns about sex during pregnancy with your health care provider.

Having gentle, loving sex will not harm your baby in any way.

Sex During Pregnancy – Satisfying the need for intimacy

Honest and open communication between you and your partner will be the key to a satisfying and safe sexual relationship during pregnancy.

Many pregnant women experience fluctuations in their desire for sex during pregnancy. Some will have no desire at all, while others will feel an increase in sexual desire.

For some, symptoms of nausea, fatigue, breast tenderness, and the increased need to urinate, make sex too much of a ‘chore’ particularly during the first trimester.

During the second trimester, when most of these symptoms subside, some women find their desire for sex increases.

During the third trimester the desire for sex can subside as the uterus grows larger and the reality of what’s about to happen sets in.

Your partner may also experience fluctuations in sexual desire. Some men feel closer to their pregnant partner enjoying the changes in her body.

While others find it difficult reconciling the identity of sexual partner with expectant mother.

Just as you do, your partner may also have anxiety about the burdens of parenthood, or concerns about the health of both the mother and their unborn child.

Sex During Pregnancy – When It’s Not Safe?

If engaging in oral sex, your partner should never blow air into your vagina. Blowing air can cause an air embolism – a blockage of a blood vessel by an air bubble.

This could be potentially fatal for mother and child.

If you are having sex with a new partner, ensure you know their sexual history. If you become infected by a sexually transmitted disease this could be transmitted to your baby.

Sex During Pregnancy – Making the most of it!

As long as the desire is there, there are many ways to satisfy both your needs for intimacy.

Learning how to please each other with or without penetration can actually improve a couple’s sex life.

Oral sex, kissing, caressing, and experimenting with other positions can keep sex comfortable and exciting.

As your pregnancy progresses, experiment with these positions to find the most comfortable.

o Lie partly sideways – this allows your partner to keep most of his weight off your uterus

o Lie on your back at the side of the bed with your knees bent, and your bottom and feet perched at the edge of the mattress. Your partner can either kneel or stand in front of you.

o Lie side by side in the spoon position – this allows for shallow penetration

o You go on top – this puts no weight on your abdomen and allows you to control the depth of penetration
o Sit on your partner’s lap as he sits on a sturdy chair

As you come closer to birth – precuations to take

Avoid lying flat on your back during sex, particularly after the fourth month. If your uterus compresses the veins in the back of your abdomen, you may feel lightheaded or nauseous.

Some doctors recommend you stop having sex during pregnancy in the final weeks as a safety precaution because semen contains a chemical that may actually stimulate contractions.

This need only be a concern if you are near or past your due date.

Sex during pregnancy should be enjoyed as once your baby is born, exhaustion, privacy issues and lack of time may well take the choice out of your hands.

Apart from the intimacy of sex during pregnancy, there are additional benefits as well. Sex releases endorphins, relaxes muscles and helps you sleep.

Indian Sex Psyche in a Digital Native Society

A 15-minute clip from Ina, a 1982 Malayalam film by popular director I.V. Sasi that deals with youthful lust and child marriage, is the most viewed Indian video on YouTube. It has more than 117 million views, and it appears to be the only Indian video to have more than a 100 million YouTube views.

Ina was a trendsetting movie which received many positive reviews during a time when even talking about sex was considered as a taboo in Kerala. Many parents of the 80’s were reluctant to send their kids to watch this movie as they thought it would corrupt their children. “My mom was an adherent moviegoer. She never stopped us from watching movies, but when Ina released, she was so unyielding to our requests and every time she came up with some kind of excuse. Only later in our life did we understand the real cause of her worry” says Jayasree who is now 50.

But what makes the movie so popular on the YouTube four decades after its release? Why are the other classics of Padmarajan and Bharathan not among the list of top ten most viewed video on YouTube? And the bigger question is why only 15 minutes not the whole movie getting the maximum hits? The answer is hidden inside the top ten Malayalam videos on YouTube; they are all Blue Films.

The case of other language videos is not different, they all feature similar keywords like Sex, Hot and Masala.

This reminds me of a case where three Ministers from Karnataka were expelled from the Legislative Assembly after the CCTV footage caught them watching pornography while the assembly proceedings were in full swing. Interestingly one of them handled the portfolio of Women and Child Development Ministry. When Google India released the report of the most searched personality of 2013 in last December, the Indo-Canadian former pornographic actress Sunny Leone was way ahead of Shah Rukh Kahan and Sachin Tendulkar. The Google trends report shows that the volume of search for the term “porn” has more than doubled since 2010 – 2013. These reports indicate that porn is freely available to anyone in India who has access to internet, regardless to their sex and age.

The writing on the wall is so clear; the number of people who are becoming addicts of pornographic videos and the increase in cases related to sexual abuse in India are in a proportionally high level.

New technology in the hands of the young, who uses it irresponsibly, could lead to a catastrophe. The new generation (which the techies call as the “digital natives”), are less guided by their parents and teachers (tagged as digital immigrants) as they are less informed about the new world of gadgetry. Teens have an inquisitive mind, which is controlled by peer pressure. But when pornography becomes their answer for sexual inquisitiveness, they become perverts. MMS Porn videos of students, circulating in schools in Kerala have been reported many times by the media. In some cases the victims have even went to the extent of committing suicide. According to a study conducted on 1000 students of both sex, 47% of high school boys and 29% of high school girls talk about porn in their classrooms.

What is more startling is the kind of videos the young prefer to watch. According to webmaster report of a website, the keywords searched for entering a porn site has changed over the last few years. A few years back people used short keywords like Rape, penetration, oral, anal, lesbian, gay etc. to make their porn search, but now the terms have become more violent and inhuman, with the user searching for what exactly he/she needs.

In India watching porn is considered legal but distributing or publishing pornographic content is considered as a crime under laws laid down in Sec.292 of the Indian Penal Code, which came about by Act 36 of 2000. According to Alexa Ranking of top 500 Indian Website 24 are porn sites. The legal machinery in India has failed to take action against these sites that even publish child pornography. A report of Optenet says, 40% of the web is made up of pornographic sites. As the WWW is open to all, including teens to consume porn materials, these sites are just a click away from reaching them. The search for these sites begins with simple googling of their peer doubts, which can be answered if they are given proper awareness in schools.

A few years back when the Government of Kerala introduced Adolescent Education Programme on the recommendation of UNESCO there was stiff opposition from the church saying the programme will lead to “sexual anarchy” in the state. The programme was intended to give awareness about sexuality and sexually transmitted diseases to class IX and class XI students of more than 4,000 high schools and higher secondary schools. Due to controversies the programme didn’t took off in Kerala. The same happened in the states of Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. But Tamil Nadu implemented this programme long back in 1997 and it has been proved successful.

India lacks Sex education; this is a fact which is overlooked during discussions on fighting rape and other cases of sexual abuse. Rather than fighting for a law to castrate the rapist or to hang him, the discussions should extend to a broader platform were in we can put a cap on the root so that further growth is restricted for ever. Moreover sex education in schools will also reduce the number of HIV cases in India. According to Government reports 40% of the total HIV affected people are under the age group of 15-29.

An Indian American News Website reported the trend of watching pornographic videos is synonymous to all states in India but higher in the state of Kerala, which boasts about the high literacy rate.

The YouTube videos and their counts is a direct reflection of the sexually frustrated Indian youth. If this trend continuous for a long time the result would be a million youth with unusual behaviour. As a country which boasts about its youth as the way forward in achieving global leadership, Indian government should take Sex Education seriously at the earliest.

Film Noir Influence in The Virgin Suicides

Teenage suicide was not unheard of before the nineteen-nineties, but its growing instances during this period led people to acknowledge the problem. Schools even started publishing materials to educate students and parents about the phenomena. The Virgin Suicides confronts this delicate topic straightforward. Sofia Coppola blends elements of her own style with those of classic film noir to show how these young individuals become so alienated in a world they barely know or understand. Through the eyes of five sheltered teenage girls, Coppola opens up a dark universe of isolation.

From the start of the film, it is acknowledged that the five Lisbon girls all died before they made it to adulthood. A small group of boys, now men, from the Lisbon’s neighborhood have never forgotten about the mysterious sisters whom they have never come to completely figure out. One of the men narrates the film and informs the viewer that he and his friends still gather at every high school reunion and birthday party to discuss the fate of the Lisbon girls.

The film then flashes back to their childhood circa 1975, and introduces the girls as they get out of their family’s station wagon. Cecilia is the youngest at 13, preceded by Lux, Bonnie, Mary, and Therese whom were all one year older than another. All of the girls seem so young, innocent, and beautiful. However, it is soon revealed that Cecilia has just gotten out of the hospital after an attempted suicide.

Cecilia begins seeing a therapist who recommends that the strict Lisbon’s allow their daughters to have a party to cheer the girls up and enable them to interact with boys and girls their own age. Cecilia is upset by a group of her peers making fun of a child with Down syndrome. She feels that she will never really belong to society either, and so she runs upstairs and jumps from her window. Her second attempt at suicide is successful since she lands on a pointed, wrought iron fence. The rest of the film deals with the Lisbon’s struggle to cope with this new reality. In the end, the remaining sisters decide that Cecilia was right about the world being a bleak and lonely place where existence itself is futile, and so they decide to join her by taking their own lives.

Although The Virgin Suicides is by no means a classic film noir, it is undeniable that Coppola was influenced by the ideas that it brings to mind. The mood of some scenes, for example, has parallels with that of film noir. After all, Coppola intends to bring the audience to the bizarre and heavy world in which these doomed girls live. Both of the suicide scenes and the scene when Trip leaves Lux in the middle of the football field after having sex with her evoke a sense of uneasiness and inconceivability that is definitely characteristic of film noir. The Virgin Suicides is also influenced by noir themes and style. The film is primarily about these teenage girls feeling separated from the crowd, cooped up in the half-reality that was their home. Everything about the Lisbon house is drab and gray. There is never direct sunlight, or high-key lighting inside the Lisbon home. It is as if the girls are covered in cobwebs like little china dolls being preserved in a basement somewhere. Coppola uses light throughout the film to symbolize life and change, like the cuts to outdoor time-lapsed shots with the sun glowing in the background. This also shows that things outside are changing, but the Lisbon girls are forced to remain stagnant in their rooms.

The Virgin Suicides also boasts a particularly edgy score for the time period it was meant to represent. Track titles include “Cemetery Party”, “Dirty Trip”, and “Bathroom Girl.” These are songs Mrs. Lisbon would most definitely not allow her children to listen to. Coppola even makes a point of this by showing Lux burning all of her rock CD’s at the hands of her mother. This represents the authority the girls’ parents still have over their lives, but the score still playing throughout the movie represents their struggle to make a place for themselves. Perhaps the girls would have made it and they were simply being suffocated. More likely, however, is that the girls saw no hope in living for a future they saw as lonely, awkward, and unfulfilling.

The Virgin Suicides also departs from noir, and more modern filmmaking conventions are noticed. Lux Lisbon is not the classic femme fatale of film noir. She knows her sex appeal and that she can use it to her advantage, yet she is not trying to deceive the men she sleeps with. Lux is simply trying to justify what happened with Trip. She had sex with him after their Homecoming dance because she thought he cared about her, and then he just left her asleep on the football field. Lux, being only fifteen years old, was really affected by this. She then reacts by trying to prove to herself that sex means nothing. Then it would be okay if she lost her virginity to Trip for no good reason.

The story of the ill-fated Lisbon sisters needed to be told in a modern context, while the world they live in and the experiences they have are sometimes noir. Therefore, a true infusion of a few different styles and genres were required. Sofia Coppola does a wonderful job of mixing conventions of film noir with her own thematic style in the direction of The Virgin Suicides. The music and lighting of the film are akin to noir, as is the general theme of the film and it’s setting where days blend together and even sex is meaningless. However, none of the sisters quite resemble a classic femme fatale. Also, the boys may be like junior detectives, but they have no ulterior or hidden motives. Their respect and wonderment of the Lisbon sisters is sincere, and that is something that cannot exist in a film noir.