The intersection of pregnancy and sexuality: Erotic fertility.
What determines sexy, or better yet, what quantifies sexuality for those of us blessed with, or some may think stuck with, the female/life-giving gender? Is it the mound that tops our mons pubis- either in it’s sparsley haired pubicity, or else cleanly-shaven, like a sleek and smoothly sensitive peri-pubescent person?
Perhaps it is our ability to generate life, nurturing and growing it within ourselves. An ability which renders us perhaps more valuable than those of our male counterparts. Is it this power to create? Knowledge that we- the female alone- owns this power. To produce and nourish, or to abort, human life?
There is something so inherently Goddess-like, and so sexual about this ability; this loveliness. The ability to give life, or to defer and abort, turning away from it. From the power to create.
It can be a very intoxicating power, but is no less a biological need, compulsively driven, that is shared by the sisterhood of women.
Examples of this innate drive: my dear friend, already a single mom, chose to become pregnant by the single dad she began dating three short months ago, that already had a baby mama. Another, the pregnant woman who has five children (between ages three and eight) with her now-estranged husband. Her new boyfriend is indescribably, irrevocably in love with her. Perhaps he sensed something he always wished he could have, but never attained, until his newfound, ready-built family. They are now, after four months of togetherdom, expecting twins. The new additions will create a family of nine. Or one of my closest friend’s, in her late 30’s, her biological clock ticking, who has yet to find the right mate, and chose to conceive through in vitro fertilization.
And then there’s me, seeing it in every day life, as I do my work, helping to birth babies into existence. Personally, I have three biological children, and two step children. After the birth of my youngest, I chose to have a tubal ligation, foregoing my ability to have more. I sometimes mourn the loss of that ability. Not that my life is not full enough…I have a grandbaby, for goodness sake! But if I wanted more…if I wanted to invoke my Goddess right to create more life within my body- that would be close to impossible.
Goddess abilities aside, there remains the task of caring for life created within me. After all, in this country, 18 is the age where we are no longer legally responsible for our children. (How many years left til they are all legally responsible for themselves?!?!?!)
A child is, after all, a very big financial burden. At least in this country. Culturally, babies are quite often seen as a burden: You’re pregant? Who is the father? Who will take care of it? Don’t call me when you need help. In fact, only call me if you have yourself together. Having a rough time? You will likely not be offered assistance from your friends and family, but you may be reported to DCFS.
Other cultures: You’re pregnant?! That is beautiful! You are beautiful and sexy! May I babysit your child? Let me rub your feet! I will stay with you for several months after you bring your baby home to help and support you. Not to mention the sexual beauty attributed to pregnancy in French, Italian, and Brazilian cultures.
From a biological, sociological, humanistic standpoint, fertility is synonymous with sex and beauty. That is, we humans are attracted to those we think will further our genomic/human existence. How does this attraction express itself? In many ways. Some are deviant and diabolical-seeming, and others are simplistic, if not naive. However hedonistic, when explained in more basic terms, they make sense. Knowledge of this baser human behavior can give power, possibly even acting as protectant of potential harm.
Let me explain. The newborn babe tends to look more like its father than its mother. Why? Because males on the whole tend to be more violent than women. You look like me, I’m less likely to kill you.
On a higher analytical level, they may serve as a more profound means to greater understanding of the depth of the human condition. I will delve into the fabric where fertility and sexuality are woven, intersecting the threads of human existence.
Why do we mate? What makes a woman attracted to a man, and vice versa? What determines attractiveness? Is it a person’s weight? Their shape? Their gender? Perhaps it is their very sexuality, or maybe even their fertility that determines their attractiveness. When a woman is ovulating, her face is more symmetrical, deeming her more attractive to the opposite sex. She also emits a different smell- one whose flavor is influenced by pheremones so that her scent is more enticing to a potential mate.
Whichever it is, there’s much more to it than the way a person looks or dresses. In truth, Culture plays a huge role in shaping the attractiveness of a person, and the attractiveness of pregnancy. Eroticism is interlaced with this role. Why else would there be a blooming market for having sex with a pregnant woman, and suckling postpartum breasts? Because it is at once both desired and forbidden: the definition of erotic. The woman is both used up (pregnant) and socially undesireable (horny). It’s such a conondrum for anyone playing this game: the American game of fertile eroticism. Where the woman is dually desired and rejected. That is, woman is equally desired as she is rejected for her ability and powers to both breathe life and reject sexual advances. The two are tied together in an undeniable power struggle.
And for now, the question is that of the beauty and power of fertility. Is she beautiful because she is fertile, and therefore able to reproduce? Or is she able to reproduce, or in definition be more fertile, because she is more beautiful?
The body is an amazing thing, finding a way to make life happen, tricking us humans into ways of procreating. Tricking us into finding attractiveness in human beings. We might find a person attractive simply due to their ability to further our ability to further our existence in this creation of humanity. Sometimes true love/our existence is there. Meaning your attraction may be emotional, and perhaps human-need based. Sometimes it isn’t. It might be prudent to consider the role our hormones and need for humanity play in what we are feeling.
In short, what is this crazy attraction I am feeing to this person? For women, or for men. Women can work to prevent and hide, or else plan and betray: pregnancy, or the ability to create life, that is. Men can take cover and respond or retract. Regardless of the prep or response, we are left with the reality. That our deepest desires can lead to unwanted, or covertly desired, consequences. Perhaps that is one of the elements that makes life, and therefore humanity, so unpredictable, and so precious.
Questions? Comments? We at The Scent Series LOVE to hear from our fans!