Putting the bun IN the oven isn't so easy
June 29, 2013 11:29 AM   Subscribe

He says he's on board with making babies, but can't wrap his brain around actually doing it. More inside.

The Mr and I decided it is time to try for our first pregnancy so I had my IUD removed last week. Since then, he can't finish during intercourse and ends up pulling out to climax. This is counterproductive and I'd like to know how we can cope with this new phase of our lives. We have a very active sex life and have kept to our same "schedule" now that we're without contraception. I don't think I'm putting any pressure on him. Since we're just starting out, I don't know when I ovulate so any day could be the day. I was hoping we'd just carry on as normal and one day have a positive pregnancy test, is that not how this works? I'd like some input from men who had performance anxiety around conception or women who have been on the "receiving end" of this.
posted by coolsara to Human Relations (28 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

He SAYS he's onboard for baby making, but I think you need to open that discussion up again.
posted by Snazzy67 at 11:35 AM on June 29, 2013 [41 favorites]

My DH did this when he was NOT on board with making babies. It was almost subconscious for him at one point, and boy did we fight about it. Seconding the talk again.
posted by checkitnice at 11:40 AM on June 29, 2013 [3 favorites]

It's only been a week. He has probably had "WHATEVER YOU DO DON'T GET HER PREGNANT!!!!!" messages of doom drummed into him from all kinds of people since he was 12 years old. It's probably scary to feel like he is deliberately going against that. He probably just needs a little while to get past that. I'd let him work it out and probably have the conversation if it wasn't different after a few more weeks.
posted by cairdeas at 11:41 AM on June 29, 2013 [18 favorites]

I think you should have this discussion with him again, and make it clear that the decision has to genuinely be his as well as yours.

(He may also have a longstanding fear of making her pregnant messing him up, which a lot of guys are raised/trained to have - that's probably more of a therapist thing. I suspect sex therapists actually deal with this a lot...)
posted by SMPA at 11:42 AM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

...last week. Since then,...

That's no time at all!

This is counterproductive

You've just started trying. If you're already thinking of interrupted sex as "counterproductive" rather than "frustrating" or "worrisome" or even "an opportunity to try something different," then it sounds like there's pressure on him to MAKEABABYNOW!!!

I don't know when I ovulate so any day could be the day.

Possibly. More likely any month could be the month.

I was hoping we'd just carry on as normal and one day have a positive pregnancy test, is that not how this works?

That's exactly how it works. Relax.
posted by headnsouth at 11:44 AM on June 29, 2013 [15 favorites]


Men know that the sperms make baby. Not so tough. But it's also been a week so....does he know that that's what the goal of having sex was? Or was he just tired from work and go "Oh! Sex! That's cool." and not thought about it from before, or think that that you wanted to do it NOWish?
posted by ishrinkmajeans at 11:47 AM on June 29, 2013

If you had an IUD, it may take a few months to even get to the point where you are regularly ovulating again, depending on if you had a Mirena or Paragard. That gives you plenty of time to talk about it with your partner.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:50 AM on June 29, 2013 [2 favorites]

It's been a week. Calm down and give it some time.
posted by rr at 12:00 PM on June 29, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: First: take a deep breath. You're probably not going to get pregnant RIGHT NAO. You might want to start by reading this short article about how long it takes couples to successfully conceive, on average, depending on various factors.

Second: this is a great time to learn about how your reproductive system works! Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler is oft-recommended for a very good reason. Knowledge is baby-making power.

Third: mr muffins and I are facing this type of challenge ourselves (we want to form babby, but he has trouble finishing during penetrative sex). A huge part of this is the nervousness cited by others above re: pregnancy. Talk about it, and be prepared to be patient and understanding. It may just take a while for him to get comfortable -- or it may be that he really isn't as ready as he thinks he is. Either way, getting it out into the open is the way to go. Best wishes.
posted by trunk muffins at 12:00 PM on June 29, 2013 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Hey! Give your partner a break and take a few deep breaths.

If you think about it, anyone who's of childbearing age right now had probably grown up in a time where they constantly heard - from parents, teachers, society - that getting pregnant is going to eff up their life so don't get pregnant don't you dare get pregnant. It's the specter that hangs over your entire young love life, whether you've had a scare or you take precautions. We learned about sex from the beginning in terms of staying safe from disease and safe from getting pregnant - it has been ingrained into how we choose our partners and experiences.

Even if you're theoretically ready now, it can take a little bit to get over this mindfuck of totally switching around what has become a real line you've drawn for yourself subconsciously. You kind of have to give people time to relearn what has become such a learned experience as to feel like instinct, and become comfortable with the new world.

So just bone a lot in whatever way is fun and relax. It takes some people a little time to undo a decade or two of "no no no I hope we didn't screw this up and get pregnant" to "All Systems Go." Enjoy this time!
posted by sestaaak at 12:07 PM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Check yer mefi mail.
posted by jquinby at 12:10 PM on June 29, 2013

Best answer: As a mister who has been here (and now has 2 wonderful kids), a couple of thoughts:

Yes, this is pretty normal. There are several dynamics at work, or at least there were in my cash. Number 1, bringing offspring into the world is a pretty big "holy shit" kind of thng to some of us, and while our rational, sane, adult minds say "yes, I'm down with that", our subconscious mind is still going "crap, is this the right thing?" So, at least in my case, that made it difficult. This was compounded by thing number 2, which us that regardless of what anyone says or thinks they're doing, sex is suddenly (again, subconsciously if not actually) all about "making that baby". You may think you're not pressuring, but if you're at the point of makibg this post after a week, you're pressuring.
Contrary to some other posts here, I would recommend NOT having "the talk" again (except maybe a quick, casual "you sure you're still on board?", once), and letting it drop. Having the talk again is just more pressure. Just relax, and it'll happen when it happens.
posted by jferg at 12:14 PM on June 29, 2013 [16 favorites]

I can't believe no one has said this yet since it's pretty standard here, but....you should talk to him about it, not to us. As soon as he was finishing somewhere not inside you, were you like, "ha ha old habits die hard...I guess, right?" or "What was that about dude?" ? I guess if he was really struggling to finish and then had to withdraw and manually finish that is different, but it sounds like he just didn't or didn't want to (sorry if I'm misunderstanding the phrasing!). Anyway, seconding others who say it's pretty soon to start worrying, and it may be that he's not as ready as he thought he was.
posted by masquesoporfavor at 12:59 PM on June 29, 2013

I (the woman in the relationship) had a really hard time coming for a few weeks after we "officially started trying". I'd spent almost a decade having sex just for fun, and the fact that there was a possibility of Nontrivial Consequences got under my skin. Give him time. This doesn't necessarily mean he isn't on board.
posted by town of cats at 1:42 PM on June 29, 2013

Did he used to pull out when you had the IUD in?
posted by discopolo at 1:46 PM on June 29, 2013

I disagree that this is something you need to talk to him about (rat least at the moment) or that it reflects some subconscious desire NOT to have babies. Plus, as above, it's only been a week.

I shared some similar symptoms with your SO when my partner and I decided to have a baby. One period later, presto! And that's super quick. Best advice so far: relax, and wait for that positive test.
posted by Catchfire at 2:13 PM on June 29, 2013

Yeah, he probably just needs a little more time for the "actually making a baby" idea to sit properly in his head. As stated above, a lot of men are so conditioned to NOT make babies that our subconscious will still be meddling when we are actually trying to conceive.
posted by gjc at 2:48 PM on June 29, 2013

Lighten up a little on the Must Make Baby approach. Seduce him. Have non-procreative sexy fun as well as baby-making activity. It's not a task, it's love-making and sexy fun times. He'll chill out. I would recommend against having more of The Talk, and show him you love his sexy self, as well as his baby-making prowess, although calling him 'stud' may be considered sex-ay by some men.
posted by theora55 at 4:07 PM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

My advice:
Stop having sex to get pregnant.
Start having sex to have fun! The getting pregnant part will happen on its own.
posted by 2oh1 at 5:01 PM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm pretty sure he's not on board at all. In my limited (n=1) experience, once you're on board, there's no "autopilot" that takes over and you start pulling out.

Definitely worth a conversation. My guess is that the conversation will be a lot easier if you make it clear you're open to him not being on board right now, and try to talk around to what the core issue is for him. Is it financial? Is he scared of what his new life will be like? Something else?

If he's pulling out, he doesn't want a kid.
posted by colin_l at 5:19 PM on June 29, 2013 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: @discopolo - He has never pulled out with me before. This is new and it is every time since I got the IUD out, so it is conscious on his part. That is why I was asking for insight of men who have been there. I got some very helpful answers, which I appreciate a lot.

He and I talked about how being off birth control is a huge mindfuck (thanks for the verbiage, @sestaaak) and I'm okay with taking it slow. He definitely needs time to get used to the idea that sex leading to pregnancy is not bad.

I have read TCOYF that @trunk muffins recommended. I know the odds with every given cycle, but I didn't want our sex life to change! Oh well, it is just another phase of life.
posted by coolsara at 5:30 PM on June 29, 2013

My word.

It's been an entire week.

I'm going to be a rebel here and turn the focus from him onto you and ask, what's the big hurry? You say you haven't been pressuring him, and yet you're not even a week in and you're wringing your hands about ovulation and asking for advice on AskMeFi? The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

If you're running this like the Polaris missile project, it's going to leak into your conversations with him, and he's going to notice it, unless he's a big dummy, which I doubt.

Let go. Keep having fun. Stop talking about babies for a while.
posted by rhombus at 5:42 PM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

You know, this is kind of weird, but I thought I'd put it out there just in case.

There's always the other angle.

My husband and I also had the total mindfuck experience when we decided to get knocked up. Even though we were trying to have regular sex, the whole conception thing was just hanging over our heads.

So we just flipped it, and said "fuck it, it's weird trying to conceive, so we're not even going to pretend it's anything else". We just had sex every night for 7 or 8 days around when I was ovulating, with the knowledge that the sex would probably be pretty pedestrian. We agreed to do that for three months and then reevaluate. I got pregnant the first month.

I mean, our intent is to be together the rest of our lives. A week of mediocre sex wasn't that much of a big deal.
posted by gaspode at 5:58 PM on June 29, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'm a female but definitely was like your partner for about a cycle. It just took a while to have fun during a time that felt like it should be important and solemn. Go ahead and bring it up if you're concerned, but the thing that helped me the most was just kind of ignoring the deprotection--talking about it a bunch would have been counterproductive.
posted by tchemgrrl at 8:08 PM on June 29, 2013

some talk about his feelings about this big deal will help. don't ask him if he wants to for a while. ask him how he feels about it.

lots of tlc goes a long way here. a long, long way.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:14 PM on June 29, 2013

but I didn't want our sex life to change

one other point. it sounds like you had some expectations that there would be no changes in your sex life. But changing to baby-making is a big change. guess what i'm saying is acknowledging the big change isn't always easy and everyone needs to do that.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:18 PM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

It might help to track your ovulation and know exactly WHEN you're ovulating, so on the days when you're not, you can say "relax - the odds today are pretty low." A few months of that could help get him more in the habit so that when you ARE ovulating he's on board with the baby-making part of sexy-times.
posted by sonika at 5:18 AM on June 30, 2013

He SAYS he's onboard for baby making, but I think you need to open that discussion up again.

This. This. This.

As a man who's made a baby and had friends who have made babies, in my limited experience:

Baby sex is super exciting and awesome. I have friends who also feel this way and thought it was a great experience for them and their partner, they are pretty awesome dads too.

Some dudes I know thought is was a chore and was no fun and nervous and uncomfortable. They are divorced fathers now.

I think our actions and our bodies tell us things that we ought to be saying out loud.
posted by French Fry at 10:11 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

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