One of the most surprising things I’ve learned during my pregnancy -apart from the initial two blue lines on the test! - have been to experience that a lot of men are still coming on to me. I naively thought that my pregnancy could be a free time from sexual remarks from men I don’t know. No John, twice my age and 5000 miles away, I do not need you to tell me I'm sexy.
That didn’t exactly go as I had hoped for.
Men apparently have no problem asking me intimate, personal questions about my pregnancy. Offensive too, when it come from a stranger. Questions like “I heard all pregnant women are hornier. Are you?”, “How much have your boobs grown?” and “Does your vagina change too during pregnancy?” Believe it or not, these three have been the most common questions from abusive strangers. Classy, I know.
Do not sexualise my pregnancy
I’m still prettyeven though I’m pregnantdespite the bumpMany men have told me that “I’m still attractive/pretty/sexy” etc. At first glance that could seem innocent. But what is the word “still” doing in this sentence? or . The next part would be, . This is not a compliment. It assumes that he does not usually find pregnant women beautiful - and that I would be happy to know that he thinks I still am, even pregnant.
Let’s talk about the term MILF. Apparently I'm now a MILF, and have entered the stage of this label being put on me. Mom I’d Like to Fuck. First, I’m not interested in anyone sharing the information with me that they want to have sex with me. That’s not a compliment. It’s harassment when I have showed no interest in them whatsoever. Also, he would probably have sex with a peanut butter jar too. Second, how dare he sexualise my pregnancy or motherhood? The term MILF objectifies motherhood. It’s a highly popular porn genre, not a compliment.
Do not fetishise my pregnancy
There is another group of men I have not yet mentioned. Men who get highly turned on by the fact that I’m pregnant. With the need of telling me about it. Men who have a fantasy about being intimate with a pregnant woman and men who might already have outlived this fantasy. Either way it’s extremely inappropriate to tell a woman these things, unless she is your partner.
Personally, I don’t feel sexual in any way during my pregnancy. Some women do, some women don’t. Both perceptions are completely natural and fine. Either way, we have not asked for your opinion on our bodies. Certainly, not the opinion of whether you “still” find us attractive enough to have sex with us. That I’m still doing nude modelling during my pregnancy does not mean anything sexual to me. In fact, nude modelling is NEVER sexual to me. I portray art, not porn. My naked body is not sexual. Your thoughts are not my responsibility.
If you do, however, convince yourself that this woman you do not know must receive a compliment from you, be polite. Try something like “Congratulations on the pregnancy. You look beautiful/radiant/glowing”. This could ‘at worst’ be taken neutrally. And remember a compliment is not a compliment if you get angry about not getting a reply. She did not ask for your opinion of her. She does not owe you a thing.
Photo by Martin Lindeblad Jørgensen