I'm pregnant and outrageously horny

My husband's too busy for sex, but my also-pregnant girlfriend is looking delicious and coming on to me. Should I?

Published June 3, 2005 7:40PM (EDT)

Dear Cary,

I am pregnant with my second child, and the resulting hormones have so ramped up my sex drive that it's hard to get through the day without thinking about sex. As it is, I masturbate at least once a day.

My husband has neither the time nor the energy these days to have sex with me. He works long hours and travels for work, plus we have a toddler whom we both love to pieces and who is, of course, time-consuming. My husband is affectionate and adoring, and in all other respects our marriage is strong and happy. But the fact that I'm not getting any sort of sexual release with him is frustrating me to no end. A girl can only self-pleasure so much (though I'm sure many people disagree with me!). We've talked about it but with no solution, other than his apologies.

Which brings me to the following complication. I have a girlfriend who's also pregnant and who has made a few sexual advances toward me. I am hesitant to say that I'm bi, but I do have fantasies about having sex with other women. A lot. It doesn't help that she's terribly attractive and attracted to me. Thus far we've engaged in some sexy chat only, but I am really afraid that I will cave in because I just want to have sex with SOMEONE, dammit!

I don't want to cheat on my husband, and I wish the masturbation was good enough, but it's increasingly not. Help!

Too Hot

Dear Too Hot,

My limited understanding indicates that pregnant women often come up with novel ideas best left unacted upon. These ideas sometimes entail the complete dismemberment of strangers in the grocery store as well as the passionate embrace of same-sex friends and hot cyclists in the gym. The principle I would follow here is this: Try not to act on short-term desires in ways that will have long-term consequences. In other words, if it's a temporary thing that could throw your marriage into chaos, try to let it pass. It's basically impulse control only stretched out over a period of perhaps several months.

That's the simple and boring answer. The question, however, becomes slightly more complicated and interesting if you consider that the desire to have sex with a woman may not be simply a matter of hormones and pregnancy. Further, your sexual dissatisfaction with your husband may not soon abate. Then you would have a situation with two young kids, an unsatisfying marriage and a desire to experiment sexually with members of the same sex.

Then a different principle comes into play: Try to act as quickly as possible on long-term needs, because the neglect of long-term needs causes long-term unhappiness. So if you're actually bisexual, get busy. If you're actually dissatisfied with your married life, get to work on it.

The tricky part, it seems to me, is how you tell the difference between short-term and long-term needs. In this case you believe that part of it, at least, is caused by hormones secondary to pregnancy. So my suggestion would be to hold off, if possible, on sleeping with your friend until after you've had the kid. Then, if these desires still persist, rather than live out your whole life with unsatisfied desires, I think you really need to make some serious choices.

And how do you make those serious choices? Well, since they are choices that would shape the rest of your life, you have to assess your life in sweeping terms. You have to ask the big questions. You may find, if you ask these big questions, that you are actually on the right track and doing exactly what you should be doing. Or you may find that your present life is simply incompatible with what your soul requires. That is how you would decide what you must do.

Here are some questions to consider:

What is my purpose in life?
Am I working toward that purpose in this marriage?
In living as a heterosexual married woman, am I living a lie? Is the self I present to my husband not my true self?
What are my obligations to my children? Who comes first, me or them?
To whom or what do I owe ultimate allegiance? To myself? To God? To my children? To ideas? To art? To my country?
Are the conditions that are causing my dissatisfaction permanent or temporary? If they are temporary, how can I change them? Or will they change by themselves in time?
If I were to end my marriage, how would I justify it to an impartial observer?
If I believed I had a soul, what would it be telling me to do?

Those are, as I said, rather sweeping and grand questions. But then you are contemplating some sweeping and grand decisions. That one ought to live one's life as though it were a work of art has a certain relevance here, in that a work of art requires an overall design or idea in order to stand as a solitary thing in the immensity of time. So does your life. So ask the big questions, and be guided by the answers.

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