I was a very large 6-months pregnant with my second baby with the audacity to travel to attend a conference on women’s sexual health. It was an incredibly illuminating experience. Sexual medicine professionals, mostly OB/GYNs, with a healthy dose of allied professionals mixed in.
I was a rather unusual attendee (and not only because I was very very pregnant). You see, I was a doctoral student in human sexuality – a rather uncommon scholarly field. There are only two accredited Human Sexuality Ph.D. programs in the United States. Anyway, I was gearing up to start my dissertation research, the mixed-methods study I’m currently running called The Birth Pleasure Study.
Well, I experienced it. I somehow decided it was a great idea to become a mom in the middle of a doctoral program. Okay, so I’m kinda into being unusual. And… I still think it was a great idea. Here’s the thing. Throughout my entire doctoral program, mothers/gestational parents, pregnancy, birth, postpartum, breastfeeding – the sexuality of these things were barely even touched on in my academic courses in human sexuality. Scarcely a reading assignment dealt with the sexual aspects of any of these things. Meanwhile, I moved through my first pregnancy astonished at how sexual the process was for me.