F$#king with Intentionality: How infertility both disrupted and clarified my sex life

couple-1030744_1280.jpg“Trying” to conceive is a conundrum.  How do you “try” to f#ck?  Well, put it in those terms, one doesn’t need to try, right?  “F$#king” denotes a sort of ease, no effort, a phenomenon that comes naturally, hence the various contexts that we say, “F%ck you!”  There are countless ways to communicate the mechanics that are involved when procreating, relating, bumping, grinding… sexing.  And all this really means is that we as a culture are probably obsessed with talking and not talking about it. So given these, it should be really easy to answer the question of how to have sex with a particular goal in mind, right?  I mean really, how is sex working for you these days?  Before you answer, humor me.

My husband and I are back on the “trying” bandwagon after a multi-year hiatus for me to complete my graduate degree.

Now that classes are over, the thermometer has come out again and charting (my ovulation days) has once again become my monthly duty.  In addition to that “duty” is of course, getting butt naked and having sex with my husband…an easy enough task, right?
Well, for anyone familiar with sexual intercourse, they know that sex is just as much mental as it is physical.  Case in point, I really have a hard time getting (ahem) moist when my husband has just carelessly ruined the school project our son and I had been working on all afternoon.  Or, my husband has a really hard time “rising to the occasion” when I come home after a night out with friends from the local Asian restaurant with garlic breath, (even after 2 brushings and unusually strong mints).   So, in this sense, sex isn’t easy or natural when “life” decides to happen on your 2 or 3 precious ovulation days.

So let me clarify the question, how do two people have intentional sex for the purpose of conceiving?  It seems like a no-brainer particularly when the only goal is to get the sperm inside the vagina, right?  There’s no need for a mutual climax, sparks, tears, the earth to move, none of that is necessary.  So why, yet and still, can it be so difficult?  Are my husband and I alone here?  I think not.

I think sex is a lot more mysterious than we make it out to be.
Our culture, as much as it has glorified the almighty sex, we have also reduced it to such simple terms.  We also seem to think that we have sex all figured out.  We shouldn’t flatter ourselves.

During our struggles with infertility, I’ve come to two conclusions about sex:
1. No, sex is not only for conception and no, sex is not just for recreation.  And no, we don’t get to reduce sex to one or the other.
2. Sex isn’t a tool to get what you want, whether it’s a baby, a prized man or woman, capital, status, your own physical gratification, you fill in the blank.

I think we can run into major problems and major disappointments when we reduce sex to these very specific and often self-centered “goals.” Should you happen to get the baby you always wanted or even physical gratification, that’s gravy.   But maybe sex isn’t “goal oriented” at all.  Maybe the outcome of sex isn’t for us to control.  Maybe it isn’t for us to get to choose the times when sex will be one thing or another for us.

So…getting back to the double entendre of the title of this piece.  What I’ve come to is that I cannot literally “f$ck with intentionality” and be successful 100% of the time.  Of course, I can experiment and see how it works out.  But when it comes to sex, it is what it is.  It’s best not to force the outcome.  Whatever happens, accept what follows for what it is, marvel in it, even when it wasn’t what was expected…see what the next experience will bring.  These days, I choose to accept the unpredictability and appreciate the oftentimes allusive mystery of sex and f$ck the other logic.

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