Crunchy sex is better? Could have fooled me.

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Apparently in the world of natural parenting, “mom-petition” is not enough. Sure you may have had the longest unmedicated labor, breastfed your child until high school, and risked his life by refusing vaccines, but how’s your sex life?

According to Rose Hollo, crunchy moms do it best! However, after reading her explanation of what makes crunchy sex better, I’m forced to conclude that if this is better sex, crunchy moms have terrible sex lives.

What makes crunchy sex better?

1. Co-Sleeping

Really? Having a toddler or preschooler in your bed makes sex better. On what planet would that be?

2. Breastfeeding

Breasts that used to belong to one’s mate suddenly belong to the baby. The thought of that particular body part being “shared” for different applications is just plain weird for some crunchy mamas. Of course, there’s the milk itself, which leaks and sprays in abundant blessings at the most inopportune times.

Who knew that milk in the eye was erotic?

3. Natural Family Planning:

Expanding on the notion of “inopportune:” Mamas who have recently given birth are believed to be extra-fertile, and are encouraged by doctors to take precautions. But instead of popping a hormone pill daily, many crunchy moms use the “natural family planning” method, or “NFP.” This means that before relations happen, mom must take her temperature, pee on a stick, and record various “signs” into a charting application that tracks her monthly cycle. For those avoiding pregnancy, this time-consuming process is worth it for health reasons. Unfortunately this method is not 100% effective at preventing pregnancy. Those who prefer the “natural” style like to avoid condoms or other devices, so only have relations when they are in the “safe zone” of their cycle. That’s not a great factor in spontaneity.

Well, if that isn’t an aphrodisiac, what is?

4. “Different Down There”

Rose acknowledges that many women are ashamed of their postpartum bodies and we all know how conducive shame is to sex. And let’s not forget vaginal dryness associated with breastfeeding.


Evidently for crunchy mothers, sex is like childbirth and breastfeeding: the more difficult, painful and inconvenient it is, the better it is!

If that what makes sex better, it’s no wonder crunchy mothers are confused on the issue of birth orgasms. It sounds like they may never have had orgasms at all.

354 Responses to “Crunchy sex is better? Could have fooled me.”

  1. Doing it better than you
    February 4, 2014 at 6:44 pm #

    1. Co-sleeping mums have better sex because they don’t just do it missionary style in bed.
    2. Crunchy mums do it better because their partners realise that breast milk is just another fluid. If your partner is concerned about breast milk, what do they think about your sweat, or vaginal fluid? Besides, since oxytocin is responsible for the letdown, it’s a pretty good indication that mama feels loved up!
    3. Because condoms and chemical hormones are suuuuuuuuuuuuch a turn on.
    4. Ever heard of lube? And does not being a crunchy mama mean you don’t have postpartum issues? WOW!

    Write about something meaningful, instead of this rot you’ve made up to scare soon-to-be mothers.

    • Mishimoo
      February 4, 2014 at 6:53 pm #

      Because accurate information = fearmongering.

    • Dr Kitty
      February 4, 2014 at 6:55 pm #

      1) You mean they CAN’T do it in bed…because that is where the kids are…the bathroom, kitchen table, sofa and stairs get boring after a while and are much more uncomfortable.
      2) Some of us can orgasm without milk let down.
      3) Having a very reliable “fit and forget” contraceptive that stopped my periods too…super sexy!
      4) Choosing a CS means my pelvic floor is the same as it was before I got pregnant, yay!

    • An Actual Attorney
      February 4, 2014 at 7:01 pm #


      That was the sound of the point going right over your head.

  2. Aziraphale_3000
    January 27, 2014 at 6:54 pm #

    So… You only have sex in your bed? How boring. Co-sleeping couples just get more creative.

    You realize you undermine your (good) work debunking myths about crunchy childbirth with silly posts like this. These posts say more about your personal hangups with intimacy than they do critique other parenting choices.

    • Teleute
      January 28, 2014 at 2:39 am #

    • Teleute
      January 28, 2014 at 2:44 am #

      But you’re right about co-sleeping couples getting more “creative”:

  3. YouSheeple
    January 24, 2014 at 12:06 pm #

    This has to be one of the most ridiculous sites I have ever seen. I hope you people are doing your on research if you are pregnant or planning to be. I like how Dr. Amy argues so much against homebirths, but the horrid statistics she gives only reflects those of which there WAS NOT a certified nursing midwife present, but yet just some Joe Schmo without proper training. I’m sure she believes that you should pump your children full of 49 does of 19 different vaccines by the age of 6 years old as well. You people need to wake up. Followers like you all are the reason this country is in the shape that it is. Try a little independent thinking for once!

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      January 24, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

      Excellent! Beautiful! Inspiring send up of the NCB thought process!

      Wait–you weren’t serious, were you?

    • January 24, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

      You fucking idiot. Of COURSE Dr. Amy talks about untrained midwives – that’s half the point of the entire blog! Besides, if you’re against vaccines, you’re way beyond “sheeple.” You are a literal pox on this country.

      • YouSheeple
        January 24, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

        Did I say I was against vaccines? No, I didn’t because I’m not, but I do have a problem with the vaccine schedule.
        I also love the way you come straight out with the name calling. It truly shows your intelligence.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          January 24, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

          What’s wrong with it, aside from “It’s too many”?

          • YouSheeple
            January 24, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

            If you truly want to know I suggest you do some of your own research on it. I would suggest looking into the ingredients of all the different vaccines that are put into our children’s bodies.
   is very informative and doesn’t argue one way or the other.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 24, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

            I am familiar with all that. So what’s wrong with it, aside from “It’s too many?”

          • Siri
            January 24, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

            Oh, yes; utterly impartial and with no axe to grind. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be ‘educated’ by yet another Mercola-affiliated website. And one that talks about the ‘witch – hunt’ of poor Jenny McCarthy.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 24, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

            The NVIC is the organization in Australia that got in trouble for claiming to be vaccine information, but was actually anti-vaccine, right?

            Not surprised that YouSheeple resorts to them.

          • Trixie
            January 24, 2014 at 1:10 pm #

            No, the Australian one is the AVN. I’m afraid we have to take credit for the NVIC here in the US.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 24, 2014 at 1:10 pm #

            Sorry. Hard to keep track of the anti-vax loons these days.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 24, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

            Why keep track of them? Like outdoor cats, they come and go, but always show up at feeding time.

          • Trixie
            January 24, 2014 at 1:14 pm #

            Unlike anti-vax loons, however, it’s perfectly legal to spay and vaccinate outdoor cats for the greater good.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 24, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

            Yeah, you can’t go out, catch them, vaccinate, notch their ears and then release them back into the general population.

          • Trixie
            January 24, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

            It’s a full-time job, really. Hasn’t the internet created a cheat sheet for this sort of thing?

          • Trixie
            January 24, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

            And yet, she has no problem with botox and e-cigarettes.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 24, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

            Hey, hey, hey. Those are e-cigarettes she’s pushing. Because, you know, they make her look cool without all the toxins…

          • Trixie
            January 24, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

            And I believe they contain some of the same ingredients she wants to “green” out of vaccines.

          • Trixie
            January 24, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

            OMG FORMALDEHYDE! Oh wait, there’s more formaldehyde in a gulp of breast milk than there is in a vaccine.

          • YouSheeple
            January 24, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

            You should look up the difference in naturally occurring and synthetically made. Also the route of drinking and something being injected into your body is completely different. One can be excreted through the kidneys, and the other cannot. There again you people really need to do some research.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 24, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

            You should look up the difference in naturally occurring and synthetically made.

            Oh, do enlighten me! I really have to hear this.

            (Hint: review Pablo’s First Law of Internet Discussion)

          • Young CC Prof
            January 24, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

            “One can be excreted through the kidneys, and the other cannot.”

            No. All toxins in the bloodstream are processed by the liver and kidneys, whether they got there through eating, breathing, injection, absorption through the skin, suppository, or some other crazier method. Chemicals do not remember how they entered the body.

            Get off the Internet, read a textbook on immunology, cover to cover. Then we can have a conversation.

          • YouSheeple
            January 24, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

            Look in to the studies and experiments of Dr. Chris Shaw. You are not as informed as you think you are.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 24, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

            I assume you mean the Chris Shaw who is an ophthalmologist and was featured on Age of Autism? (i.e, not a biochemist?) His so-called experiments amount to statistical correlations between nations, which is always dicey, and speculation. I couldn’t find any evidence that he’d found for his biological mechanism.

          • AlisonCummins
            January 24, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

            This Chris Shaw?

          • Trixie
            January 24, 2014 at 1:01 pm #

            You’re right, we have two completely separate circulatory systems. Yeah. That makes perfect sense. Thanks for that brilliant insight.

          • January 24, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

            “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.” (Quote source uncertain:

            In other words…you’re an idiot.

          • YouSheeple
            January 24, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

            I just proved a beautiful point. Say one thing against the grain and you sheeple followers go crazy and act like savages. I feel sorry for all of you. Try having an open mind and do a little research on things before you just throw them out.

          • January 24, 2014 at 1:21 pm #

            Please highlight anyone here “going crazy” on you. Savages? Really. My, what a beautiful point indeed. Why, I’m so poor at research I didn’t even check to see who made the quote I used – oh wait, yeah, I did. Huh.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 24, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

            We don’t go crazy just if you say something that goes against the grain, but because you say something stupid.

            For example, claiming that there are differences between synthetic and natural formaldehyde or that there is a difference between excretion from the kidneys for injection vs ingestion.

            The problem you are facing is that that, unlike the sources you have been relying on, there are people here who actually know organic chemistry or physiology.

            Similarly, you might get jumped on if you said that 2+2 = 5. Not because it is “against the grain” but because it is factually wrong.

          • Squillo
            January 24, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

            Yeah, it sucks to get called out on being wrong. It sucks even more to actually be wrong and not know it.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 24, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

            It’s not what you don’t know that’ll trip you up, it’s what you do know, that just ain’t so.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 24, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

            Oh, and aluminum! Oh, also more aluminum in milk than in vaccines! ooops.

        • AlisonCummins
          January 24, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

          Well, you think that the imaginary risk of a vaccine is more significant than the real risk of measles, pertussis and other potentially fatal illnesses. If that’s not anti-vaccine, I don’t know what is. You think it makes sense to leave a child unprotected for months or years because… why?

          • YouSheeple
            January 24, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

            You just put words in my mouth. I didn’t say anything about the risk of a vaccine. You should not make the assumption that I am “anti-vaccine”. You really need to do your own research.

          • Trixie
            January 24, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

            I prefer to let people with, say, PhDs in Epidemiology do the research for me. They’re much better at it.

          • AlisonCummins
            January 24, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

            Ok, so vaccines are risk-free and good and children should not get too many of them.

            Do I have that right?

          • Squillo
            January 24, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

            Is”pump[ing] your children full of 49 does [sic] of 19 different vaccines by the age of 6 years old” bad?

            If so, what is that assessment based on if not risk?

        • January 24, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

          I’m sure you’re so very intelligent, since you know better than epidemiologists and pediatricians how the vaccine schedule should work. I call a spade a spade. I’m tired of mincing around idiocy.

        • Sue
          January 26, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

          Someone posting as ”YouSheeple” objects to ”name calling”? That is hilarious!

    • Squillo
      January 24, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

      So you rely only on primary sources for information on vaccine efficacy and safety? You’ve read and understood the body of existing research? You’ve conducted your own original research on the topic?

      If the answer to all those questions is yes, congratulations. If the answer to any of them is no, you’re just as much a “sheeple” as anyone here. You simply rely on different shepherds to lead you.

    • Pappy
      January 26, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

      Obvious troll is obvious. This sheeple is happy with her distinct lack of polio, thanks!

    • Sue
      January 26, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

      “You people need to wake up” is always a giveaway!

  4. Venita
    January 24, 2014 at 2:05 am #

    LOL Why Dr. Amy, it must be better. Crunchy people can just use a little coconut oil for the dryness ;-D

    Great blog post

  5. SkepticalGuest
    January 23, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

    Just to be clear, the breasts belong to neither the baby nor the mate. The breasts belong to the woman to whom they are attached.

    • YouSheeple
      January 24, 2014 at 11:57 am #

      Very good point, I was quite shocked when I read that too.

    • Teleute
      January 28, 2014 at 2:51 am #

      But… what if the mate paid for them?

  6. mollyb
    January 23, 2014 at 9:34 am #

    Love NFP! I wouldn’t have my Irish twins if it wasn’t for NFP! 🙂

  7. Captain Obvious
    January 23, 2014 at 8:25 am #

    Tribute to Stephen Gaskin

    • OBPI Mama
      January 23, 2014 at 8:47 am #

      I met him when I went to the Midwife Assistant Workshop on The Farm… he is/was seriously crazy. A lot of dazing into far off space, weird rabbit trails while talking, lots of pauses in his sentences. This was 11 years ago by the way. I think he burnt his brain on drugs… something that must be an issue there… Ina May and her fellow midwives first and foremost told us that we can NOT do drugs while practicing… I was like, “Of course!” and then looked around to the other women in the class and was bewildered when they asked, “Not even pot?” I quickly realized I was an innocent little 18 year old! Anyway, Stephen Gaskin totally creeped me out.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym
        January 23, 2014 at 10:19 am #

        Wait, what? They were proposing to smoke pot while actively attending labor? I hope I misunderstood and they were really just asking if they had to be abstinent from pot throughout their professional lives (i.e. couldn’t take it while they were off duty).

      • Trixie
        January 23, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

        W.T.F. They had to be told not to be high while attending a birth?

        • OBPI Mama
          January 25, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

          Yep! A future midwife assistant pulled out a picture on her camera of a bunch of pot she had smoked and was just so proud of it and was super bummed about the rule the midwives gave. This was after all the women and midwives (except for me) stood in a circle and sang songs about being witches. It was an interesting 5 days!!!

        January 24, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

        I believe he is now suffering from some form of dementia . He has a number of people that speak on his behalf and “manage” his business affairs.

        • toni
          January 24, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

          I wonder if they hired a lay neurologist to treat him. Dementia is entirely natural after all.

    • Captain Obvious
      January 23, 2014 at 9:07 am #

      To the Yes classic “Leave it”. As in leave the Farm

      I can feel no sense of measure
      No amount of risk he’ll take
      Refuge in old man’s pleasure
      Breaking all the dreams we make, fool

      One down, one to go
      Another birth and one more hack
      At the Farm they’re birthing away
      But he’ll never came back

      No charlatan can take your place
      You know what I mean
      You have the same intrigue
      As a cult of clowns

      Ahh, leave it
      Ahh, leave it

      Two down, there you go
      Tennessee hills in the driving snow
      Uptown, they’re digging it out
      Better lay your grave

      Get home, you’re all alone
      You just broke into the danger zone
      Be there to show your face
      So sit there and knit away

      Ahh, leave it
      Ahh, leave it

      Goodbye goodbye goodbye Farm
      Hello hello hospital
      Goodbye goodbye goodbye Farm
      Hello hello hospital

      Dick-Read and Gaskin are now gone,
      You don’t have to smoke that bong.
      Ina may want to squeeze your breasts,
      But doctors know what is best, word

      Ahh, leave it
      Ahh, leave it

      Goodbye goodbye goodbye Farm
      Hello hello hospital
      Goodbye goodbye goodbye Farm
      Hello hello hospital

      One down, one to go
      Another birth and one more show
      Stop now, save a child
      Hospital is where to go

      • Karen in SC
        January 23, 2014 at 9:19 am #

        As Dr. Amy always says, there is a wealth of NCB nonsense to parody. Who has the creative mojo to create a Youtube channel with NCB lyrics? I’m sure we can all think of songs to twist…I’ve already done “I’m a CPM and I’m okay.”

        Other ideas? Who’s got the talent to shoot some videos?

        • January 23, 2014 at 10:40 am #

          I’m working on an Ace of Base parody.

          • Siri
            January 24, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

            Ha, I was just gonna say Kumquat!

  8. anion
    January 23, 2014 at 7:46 am #

    I thought for sure she was being sarcastic, but apparently she’s not. None of that sounds “better” to me, and I actually did co-sleep, and still do a modified version of NFP–we did it “all the way” for a few years, and it worked just fine until we got irresponsible with it and ended up with our precious second daughter.

    I’d like to know what goofball told her that recently postpartum women are considered “even more fertile.” I have never read or heard that anywhere, especially since if you’re breastfeeding exclusively or almost exclusively the exact opposite is true. (After baby #2 was born it was almost a year and a half before I ovulated again.)

    And yeah, my breasts belong to me. It was never an issue where my husband was “jealous” of the babies, and if he was doing something with my breasts it was definitely not a time when a baby was fighting to have one herself. I don’t mean to sound rude here, but seriously, who are these creepy men who make an issue out of that? We had the occasional issue with a little milk dribbling, but again, not a big deal (I made plenty of milk for #2 but never gushed like a faucet, although I know some women did/do; I’d suggest that’s what hand towels are for, frankly) and I guess we’re just weird in that we never had some kind of Madonna/whore problem with the fact that my breasts weren’t just “for fun” anymore but were also feeding a baby.

    Were we doing something wrong, then?

  9. OBPI Mama
    January 23, 2014 at 7:29 am #

    We have a personal conviction against using hormonal birth control (we understand not all feel this way and that’s okay), but I have to say it is NOT more fun to have sex this way. It’s a lot more work and takes a lot more thought, in my opinion. Using condoms or diaphragms, using NFP (been there and didn’t do it right… hello baby #2, though 2 people in my family do successfully), or just doing “other” forms of sex so be really safe during fertile times of the month. My husband and I feel like we have a great sex life (yes, I do ask him what he likes/dislikes, etc)… it would just be different and more “easy” to not have to think about actively preventing pregnancy during the act of sex! haha.

    As far as bed sharing and breastfeeding… not for us. I don’t see how those would make sex better… just my thinking… Maybe, bed sharing makes you be more sexually creative in other parts of the house????

    January 23, 2014 at 12:25 am #

    I want to say a very big thanks and appreciation to Dr.Lawrence for
    bringing back my husband who left me and the kids for almost two months.
    I am very much grateful to Dr.Lawrence who brought my husband back to
    me within 3days.I pray to God almighty to give you the strength and
    wisdom to help more people having similar problem like mine.

  11. Elaine
    January 22, 2014 at 9:32 pm #

    Off-topic, Hawaii’s got a proposed law to regulate homebirth, and of course the homebirthers are coming out against it. 🙁

  12. Lisa Murakami
    January 22, 2014 at 9:14 pm #

    Not sure her NFP is going to work when she’s “extra fertile” because she “recently delivered” a baby.

    • Therese
      January 23, 2014 at 1:13 am #

      She won’t be extra fertile if she’s doing all the AP stuff correctly.

      • Lisa Murakami
        January 23, 2014 at 8:21 am #

        Nursing? If that’s her new NFP method, she can start her next baby registry any time.

  13. Paula
    January 22, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

    “Breasts that used to belong to one’s mate suddenly belong to the baby.”

    Really? And to think that all this time I thought they belonged to me.

    • Pappy
      January 22, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

      Right?! That was my reaction too! Holy Boundary Issues, Batman.

      • thepragmatist
        January 25, 2014 at 9:46 pm #

        I am pretty sure I’m one of the hippiest, crunchiest people on this site. I’m cosleeping and breast-feeding a 3 year old. My son recently told me (he’s three) that if I didn’t let him nurse in line at the bank that he was going to become a mommy and nurse HIMSELF. I thought this was a good goal. I told him to please go ahead.

        Extended nursing is not for everyone, that’s all I can say. And I find the boundary crossing irritating. IF my kid hadn’t been through a bunch of trauma and it hadn’t been recommended to me by multiple child and infant development workers and counselors, I’d not be doing it. I hate nursing a toddler/preschooler. I hate it, but he started nursing again, I magically relactated (WTH boobs?!), and he derives a lot of comfort from knowing that HIS boobies are still there, even though his world was turned upside down for a time when his dad quit on him to pursue, let’s say, “other” interests than my boobs, and resulting social upheaval involved him (me) losing a lot of friends, too, so he lost more than just his dad.

        There’s nothing quite as revolting (at least to me) as having my period and sensitive nipples and having a three year old lick or pinch or otherwise even touch them before latching. It makes me feel insane, but like when he was a baby and nursing five thousand times a day, even with supplemental formula, I am willing to do it within limits. As for the co-sleeping, my son developed severe separation anxiety after my marriage broke down, and it was also advised as a way to cope (for both of us) and while I can’t speak highly enough of it (it did do as promised– he feels a lot more secure) he still can’t sleep without knowing *exactly* where I am. This makes me mad, because prior to the marital breakdown, I had him pretty much STTN and trained. I can’t imagine how either cosleeping or extended breastfeeding would make things sexier for a new partner.

        “Hey Ms. Pragmatist, haven’t seen you in a bit. Can I come over for the night this time? Last time you just got up and left when you got that text from your babysitter, and I didn’t even get to say goodbye. You left your earring and a sock in my car, by the way.”
        “Sorry, Mr. New Sexy Guy, my son sleeps in my bed and nurses when he has nightmares, so I guess you can come over and spend the night after I vet you carefully on Google and you pass a criminal record check. Pending that and whether or not he’s sleeping, we can do it in the basement. It’s really cold but I have a space heater and extra blankets. Neither of us can make any noise, though. And you have about 1.5 hours so I’ll text you as soon as he falls asleep. Please bring your own food and drink because the sound of the fridge wakes him up and he wants to know where I am. Also, the dog sleeps down there though, so I hope you’re not allergic. I do try to keep her off the bed when I’m in it though.”
        “Oh, maybe we should do it at my place, then.”
        “Sure, but I have to keep my phone on me since my kid wakes up and will scream until he can see me and the only person with the intestinal fortitude to get through this is his formidable Great Aunt who we see twice a year. And trust me, I take advantage.”
        “Wow. Ok. What about lunch?”
        “Sure!!! Wanna just skip eating and do it in the car? I don’t really have time to eat, because I have to pick him up from his Dad’s as soon as I drop him off, but I sure wouldn’t mind getting laid. I have about 30 minutes on Sunday, at 215. Should I pencil you in? Oh, and do you have a vasectomy? could you get one between now and then? That would be rad. Thanks! See you soon.”

        Actually, I think I’ve had this conversation.

        So far my single+newly AP dating life has either been fellow single parents who get it and abide the craziness, or me sneaking out on my own kid like a teenager while the neighbour (who is a lovely but devout and very nosey Christian LOL!) watches my son (and me, disapprovingly). HA.

        I feel no pity for the married AP mum who is not getting laid because she will not make time or space for it. Yes, to pity for the newly post-partum mum, for sure, I get that, but once your child reaches a certain age (and you recover from pregnancy) marital sex should have a place. It wasn’t lack of sex that ended mine… My marriage certainly didn’t lag for lack of sex. It lagged because I married someone who wanted some with more than just me. Whoops for me. Boon for him as he got great sex for awhile AND a bunch of young girls, too. Lucky fellow, him. Until I caught him. Then not so lucky.

        And I’m probably one of the crunchiest ladies on here but my feminist self trumps the crunch. There should be a list for the benefits of feminist sex: partners who listen when you give directions; knowing your own body and being unafraid to give directions; having no hang ups about sex and enjoying sex for pleasure’s sake without guilt or shame; dating men who have vasectomies because a lot of feminist men are also humanists concerned with over-population; and caring not a whit for what my body LOOKS like but what it can DO (and really internalizing that after years of learning to). I really do love sex and I really didn’t love post-partum sex AT ALL. It was uncomfortable to have milk spray everywhere every time I had an orgasm and it sucked to be sore and dry from nursing. I was so happy when my son weaned the first time and I stopped spraying milk. I finally had sympathy for men.

        I’m also a bonafide hippie (I even played guitar for money on Haight and Ashbury once!) who can say that the crunchy men are foul. Please, send me a hipster with feminist leanings and a brain who takes care of himself and has a job. I’ve only met one (my first husband) and even then he only took care of himself because I made him. First of all, hippie men smoke a lot of marijuana. Marijuana does not lead to potency, let’s just put it that way. Secondly, hippie men don’t give much of a crap about what they look like, and I find that a turn off, because I really like a decently groomed fellow because nothing says, “I have a sudden headache” like picking hair out of my teeth. Will not go further than that, there either. And thirdly, and most revolting, there are some serious downsides to the “natural way of living” like a lack of hygiene that I shall not go into here, since I’m about to try to eat dinner.

        • Pappy
          January 26, 2014 at 8:14 pm #

          Holy Pointless Essay, pragmatist. TL:DR. Barely skimmed.
          Seriously, if you want to spend this much time talking about yourself (and mentioning repeatedly (repeatedly) how crunchy you are. No one cares about your self-awarded bona fides!) just start a blog.
          And, yeah, not to be mean but nothing you wrote has convinced me you don’t have boundary issues. I need therapy and so do you.

          • thepragmatist
            January 26, 2014 at 10:28 pm #

            I know it is hard to focus when you only read twitter feeds. Try to keep up. I post on lots of blogs and type 130 wpms: it’s what I do to unwind. I understand it’s hard for some people to read. Life CAN get better with remedial tutoring. One of my pointless essays was featured on this blog and I’ve been posting here for years, so I’ll stop when, wait, oh never… I thought, perhaps, someone might enjoy a little wit on the subject. Oh, they did. Clearly, you have no capacity for it, but therapy may help you open yourself to the possibility of not being a douchebag or papsmear or whatever you call yourself, love.

            And boundary issues when posting anonymously on a blog where we regularly discuss our vaginas is _______________? Are you sure you haven’t followed me here from my personal life? It wouldn’t surprise me.

          • Pappy
            January 26, 2014 at 11:38 pm #

            Sorry I hurt your feelings. Didn’t realize you’d resort to ad hominem attacks in response. I don’t read twitter, never have. Seriously, take some deep breaths and calm down. Bragging about your typing skills is unnecessary. You’re smart. You win. Want a cookie?

          • thepragmatist
            January 27, 2014 at 4:36 am #

            I don’t know. Does it break the internet if the troll feeds ME? Sure, I’ll have the cookie. But only if it’s gluten-free and garnished with sparkles.

          • Mishimoo
            January 27, 2014 at 6:08 am #

            And don’t forget the kale flakes!

    • Zornorph
      January 22, 2014 at 8:11 pm #

      All your boobs are belong to us.

      • Meerkat
        January 22, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

        That’s what my son and husband think. There is this whole power struggle right now, and it’s getting on my nerves.

        • Zornorph
          January 22, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

          Give ’em one each?

          • Meerkat
            January 22, 2014 at 9:12 pm #

            Ha ha!
            I am pretty sure the buffet will close for both of them in a little while. I will wean one, and since I will probably be uncomfortable, the other one will not be allowed anywhere near them.

      • Siri
        January 23, 2014 at 7:05 am #

        Is that what is meant by second base?

      • Elle
        January 24, 2014 at 9:57 am #

        Nice one! I lol’d for real…

  14. January 22, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

    Here I thought there might have been some qualitative or quantitative substance to this, but it’s just an article. It would actually be interesting to see how parenting practices impact on marital satisfaction and sex lives – that might be something that could be used to inform and help couples after they become parents. But instead it’s just this. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly think opinion pieces have there place, but this just isn’t something that grabs my attention.

  15. notahomebirthlactivist
    January 22, 2014 at 6:23 pm #

    all I can say is I never really felt that having vaginal births or breastfeeding impacted on my sex life, but it certainly didn’t make my sex life better.. Im glad the kids sleep in their own beds now, and Im glad my breastfeeding days are behind me. Phew. I dont understand why this woman wrote this, besides perhaps to prove something about herself. Who cares if you think your sex life is awesome.

    • Sue
      January 23, 2014 at 3:15 am #

      I suspect she wrote it because she is feeling exactly the opposite. She starts with all the (valid) reasons why crunchiness IMPAIRS feeling relaxed and sexy, then proclaims that this makes it ”better”. She’s trying to talk herself into it.

  16. theNormalDistribution
    January 22, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

    I really don’t understand this article at all. It’s just her thinking out loud, and she’s not thinking very hard at all. She starts out saying crunchy is better, but then she realizes that there are a bunch of things that suck about post-baby sex. She doesn’t actually explain why any of the traits of crunchy parent (whatever those may be) make them better equipped to deal with the problems… She just sort of handwaves that crunchy parents are all thing good and caring and way too awesome to be bothered by them.
    As a piece, the whole thing doesn’t make any sense.

  17. batmom
    January 22, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

    I used NFP… but as a way to help conceive a baby! (It was cool — I could tell from my chart that I was pregnant before I took the test!) Anecdotally, but everyone I know who has used NFP either did it to get pregnant, or did it when they were okay with a pregnancy but not mentally ready to start actively trying.

    It seems to be a good method for making babies.

    • Mishimoo
      January 22, 2014 at 4:40 pm #

      We used it for both, successfully. Now that we’re 100% done with reproducing, my husband is going to have a vasectomy just so we don’t stress about my irregular cycle.

      • AlisonCummins
        January 22, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

        Careful about the vasectomy.

        The intervention itself is simpler than a tubal ligation but it has a higher risk of sequelae. My beloved and I can no longer have sex at all because of post-vasectomy pain.

        • Mishimoo
          January 22, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

          I have heard of that being an issue, but considering the risks of the tubal ligation, my resistance to anaesthetics, my history of period issues and my chronic pain disorder; a vasectomy seems to be the best longterm solution for us.

          • theNormalDistribution
            January 22, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

            Have you considered Essure? I’ve heard some mixed reviews about the success rate, but it’s a lot less invasive than ligation.

          • Mishimoo
            January 22, 2014 at 5:23 pm #

            I had thought about it, but the potential risks outweigh the benefits (for my comfort levels) at this point.

          • AlisonCummins
            January 22, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

            Yeah, I don’t know what I would have done if we’d had that crystal ball and known that vasectomy was going to work out that badly for us. At 38 I think I wasn’t a candidate for the pill and I didn’t want an IUD. We may have just plonked for the FAM and anxiety. Or maybe I’d have let my doctor talk me into the IUD.

          • Mishimoo
            January 22, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

            The pill disagrees with me, and since I’m already ignoring a fair chunk of pain every day, I’m not keen on potentially adding to it with an IUD that doesn’t agree with me either.

          • AlisonCummins
            January 22, 2014 at 5:28 pm #

            Of course!

            I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have had a tubal ligation if we’d decided against vasectomy. (I don’t even have pierced ears.)

            Really, I don’t know what I would have done as an alternative. This is easy for some people. Not for everyone.

            January 22, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

            Finding the right birth control or sterilization method is really difficult for some people. I am waiting for that magical, non-hormonal, non-invasive, easily reversible method that allows for spontaneity and is solely the responsibility of the male gender.

          • anion
            January 23, 2014 at 7:52 am #

            Have you considered the Mirena coil, or is that what you mean when you say “IUD?” I really liked my Mirena.

          • Mishimoo
            January 23, 2014 at 6:31 pm #

            I did consider Mirena, but hormonal BC makes me bleed all the time (tried a few different ones), and so I decided against it.

            My late granddad actually sent me a info pack for it, along with ones for other options, after my eldest was born. He’d read about it in the paper and asked his doctor for an info pack so he could send it down to me in case I was too shy to ask my doctor. His grandma was a midwife who had a laying-in home, and so he had very firm views on women’s reproductive rights/choices.

        • T.
          January 23, 2014 at 9:21 am #

          I am in some CF forum where 95% of men had had vasectomies (and the other really wants to) and nobody ever complained about anything.

    • Karen in SC
      January 22, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

      Me, too! Re: knowing about being pregnant from the temp chart.

    • meglo91
      January 22, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

      Yep. That is how I conceived my last kid. I strongly suspected I was pregnant before I even took the test.

    • anion
      January 23, 2014 at 7:51 am #

      I still have the chart that shows my first pregnancy!

      We did use it for birth control for two years after our first, and had excellent results until the day my husband decided he felt like taking a risk. It was kind of fun, though, knowing exactly when that risk made a baby.

  18. Amy Tuteur, MD
    January 22, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

    Ultimately, what I took away from this piece, and why I find it disturbing is this:

    The mother is saying, “We are going to raise OUR children MY way. And if you don’t want to do things MY way, you don’t care about the children or me. Your needs and desires as the father of these children is irrelevant, and if you were a good father an husband you would already know that.”

    That attitude is both selfish and unfair.

    • Carolina
      January 22, 2014 at 4:28 pm #

      Perhaps OT, but I think it’s worth pointing out that men can be equally selfish with their preferences. Exhibit A: a friend pressured by her spouse to stop nursing before she was ready, because he didn’t like the vaginal dryness, leaking, etc. She wanted to continue (especially because she worked long hours and liked being able to bond via nursing), but thought she needed to defer to his wants over her wants and her children’s wants/needs. It seemed pretty callous of him to me. Exhibit B: husband of a friend with a three month old flipped out about her taking the mini-pill, because he thinks it will impact their chances of another baby. He also refuses condoms (doesn’t like them). He is staying at home, so she must work. She will not make partner and be a success at our firm if she has another baby right away. Further, she doesn’t WANT to be pregnant again for a while. So they just aren’t having sex.
      It just seems in these discussions that it’s the women neglecting their poor spouses, but men can be pretty jerkish too.

      • Amy Tuteur, MD
        January 22, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

        Of course both men and women can be selfish. That’s not what we’re discussing, though. We’re discussing the idea that the mother’s opinion on how to raise THEIR children should trump anything the father might have to say in the subject.

        • Carolina
          January 22, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

          But I think it’s part of the conversation. So often in these discussion of AP-ish practices, there are the comments that the dad can’t possibly be happy with co-sleeping, nursing on demand, etc., based on the idea that the wife isn’t as sexually available as she supposedly should be. The tenor of this conversations is a little unsettling to me, although I’m not sure I’m articulating this terribly well. I think conversations like this give some support to selfish guys with the notion that child-centric practices are selfish on the mother’s part. It’s a little too close to the message of trash like Baby Wise. I suppose in this part of the country, I’m exposed to far more of the Baby Wise end of the spectrum.

        • AlisonCummins
          January 22, 2014 at 5:48 pm #

          I think it partly depends on how parenting is handled. If both parents work outside the home and both parents collaborate on child care then there is no room for a maternal mystique that renders a mother supernaturally attuned to her child’s needs. Parents need to talk and work things out.

          If only the mother can understand the child’s needs — for instance, if she’s the only one spending any significant time with it or if they have bought into gender essentialism — then whatever the mother says the child’s needs are pretty much has to be taken at face value.

          Personally I would be extremely uncomfortable with the second situation because there would be no way for me to get an alternate point of view (mine would be the only one that meant anything) and it would be up to me to decide how much everyone got of me. I’d be parcelling myself out and having to decide whether I was being fair. Ick.

          • Lisa Murakami
            January 22, 2014 at 8:54 pm #

            That is my situation, because my husband just completed 3 yrs of residency and 1.5 clinical fellowship years while we had our children, and I stayed home. In fact, deciding “how much everyone gets of me” is a non-issue. My husband isn’t home enough for his presence to interfere with my children’s needs. Nor am I finding that it’s becoming a problem as his schedule finally improves. As far as an alternate point of view, I actually really value the objectivity he has by virtue of being further removed from the situation. Don’t get me wrong, I often have to school him in parenting or the importance of bed times, etc., but there are other times that his input is really useful because he’s more removed from whatever the particular dynamic is. Last, my mother is a family therapist … and happily shares any and all “alternate” views. To each their own, of course, but you’re very quick to assume things about a situation you’ve never been in.

          • OBPI Mama
            January 23, 2014 at 7:20 am #

            Well, I stay at home with my children and my husband works 2 jobs (farm and factory) and I have to say that for us and most of my other stay-at-home-mom friends, it is quite the opposite of what you described. We really value our husbands thoughts as we see how important that fatherly influence, style, and role is. It’s a whole other perspective and we see how valuable it is for our children. I, actually, seek it out. When my husband said I wasn’t fitting enough school time in with my oldest (who is 6 and homeschooled), I took that to heart and made the change. We hold each other accountable, my Farmer and I. As far as “parcelling” myself out… each child (I have 4) needs different things from me at different stages of their life. Their interaction with me and the amount of time they need from me is different than the other. I’m sure it’s not equal/fair at times. Life is not fair though. We are not the center of the universe and must learn to understand that sometimes other people need something more than you do and you have to wait your turn. Babies need immediate demands met promptly, older kids can learn patience. I don’t see anything icky about any of this.

          • Meerkat
            January 23, 2014 at 9:11 pm #

            I totally disagree. I take care of my son and my husband works, but he still spends a significant amount of time with us, so he has an ample opportunity to become attuned to our son’s needs and parent in his own way. He does have a different parenting style, and I think it’s great. We discuss issues in the same way we would have if I worked outside of home and make decisions together.

    • mtbakergirl
      January 22, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

      The issue, as I see it, is that the Husband/ partner (like the baby in a risky home birth (though obviously the level of risk is magnitudes apart in these examples)) is a prop to be used to support the lifestyle that the Mother chooses/ chooses to project. He (or she) has no input into the decision, and the right for them to have an opinion is treated with derision.
      If this article said most of the same things but framed it as, “here is what my husband/ partner and I have decided works best for our family after discussion. Yes, there are some challenges, here is how we work around them.” I would say, good for you!

  19. Amy Tuteur, MD
    January 22, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

    The issue with NFP is not whether it works, although in practice it has a high failure rate. The issue is that it requires long periods of abstinence. That’s fine if you think that abstinence is an acceptable price to pay to be faithful to your religious beliefs or if you cannot medically use more effective contraception.

    It’s another thing entirely to demand enforced abstinence simply to maintain your crunchy cred. Insisting that your partner must be more attentive to your crunchy cred than his or her sexual needs is not an appropriate expectation.

    • Therese
      January 22, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

      So what I gather from this is it’s okay to forgo using hormonal contraception/copper IUDs if you are religious or medically can’t use it. If you just don’t want to, well, then you should suck it up and use it anyway because your partner’s sexual wants are more important than a person’s random desire not ingest certain hormones or put pieces of metal or plastic inside their body. Okay then.

      • Certified Hamster Midwife
        January 22, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

        Yes, because men are unable to reason or communicate with their partners about their needs and beliefs, and PIV is the only sex.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          January 22, 2014 at 4:04 pm #


          • Therese
            January 22, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

            Penis in vagina sex. Not sure how it is relevant though, because non PIV sex is something people could do regardless of whether they use NFP or some other method (unless they have a religious objection to as Catholics do)

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 22, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

            Oh. I was worried that it was something kinky that I was missing out on.

            True story: I got the vas about 2 weeks after my second son was born. Recall one of the parts of a vas is that you need to have something like 10 ejaculations or so before you can be safe (and even then, get tested first). So we had this mission (I think we even called it “the mission”) to empty the chambers. Since she wasn’t up for “PIV” anyway (hey, I used it in a sentence!), we went about it in ….um…other ways, so to speak.

            That was fun. And then she bought a box of condoms, which changed our approach to the mission…

          • Siri
            January 23, 2014 at 2:39 am #

            I had to look that one up! You raunchy so-and-so, Bofa. 😉

          • Certified Hamster Midwife
            January 22, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

            Yes. Secular NFP (FAM) involves performing other sex acts when you’re fertile, or using condoms. Not using certain birth control methods for personal or medical reasons isn’t selfish if you’ve discussed the pros and cons with your partner.

          • Therese
            January 22, 2014 at 4:14 pm #

            It is a touchy subject for me because I’ve encountered numerous women who have bad side effects from the pill and WANT to stop taking it, but there husband wants them to keep taking it and so they do, even though they feel miserable. If you don’t want to put something into your body, that should be all the reason you need to not do it. The partner is free to use condoms or get a vasectomy.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 22, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

            I promised my wife that when she went off the pill before we conceived our younger that she would never have to go back on BC again. I took care of that.

            OTOH, now that she is perimenapausal, I would not be surprised if the doctor were to put her on some sort of regimen to get some semblance of normalcy.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            January 22, 2014 at 4:23 pm #

            Side effects are a different situation entirely. I’m talking about women who don’t have side effects from effective contraceptives.

          • Carolina
            January 22, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

            But all hormonal contraceptives have risks. There are pages of disclosures with every packet. I was happy on the pill for ten years, but it’s not irrational to look at the risks/potential side effects and decide it’s not what you want to do with your body.

          • AlisonCummins
            January 22, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

            They are MUCH safer than pregnancy.

          • Carolina
            January 22, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

            I’m sorry, not following your point. It’s about choice. It is not selfish or neglectful of a spouse to decide against a particular form of contraception. If someone thinks periodic abstainence is the best choice for her body, she shouldn’t be called selfish

          • AlisonCummins
            January 22, 2014 at 5:24 pm #

            FAM is more likely to result in pregnancy than oral contraceptives. Pregnancy is very risky for your health.

          • Carolina
            January 22, 2014 at 5:47 pm #

            I’m aware of the health risks of pregnancy.
            The question is, is it selfish, in your mind, for a person to decide that she doesn’t want to use a particular form of contraception for whatever reason? I think the bodily autonomy of the person ingesting the pills should trump and she shouldn’t be called selfish. Hopefully, couples would work through all of this before they started having sex so this wouldn’t be an issue.

          • theNormalDistribution
            January 22, 2014 at 6:02 pm #

            You can’t just make a distinction like that, in black and white, whether or not it would be selfish. It could be. It may not be. It really depends on the circumstances.

          • AlisonCummins
            January 22, 2014 at 6:11 pm #

            Hopefully, couples would work through all of this before they started having sex so this wouldn’t be an issue.


            I didn’t want a contraceptive method that required me to change how my body worked all the time for the sake of sex I was having a small fraction of the time. I did take the pill for the first few months with my first boyfriend but mostly relied on foam and condoms, FAM, a diaphragm and lesbianism. The lesbianism was wonderful for ten years but eventually it morphed into bisexuality which is not nearly as effective for birth control. When I started having sex with men again times had changed, so it was all condoms all the time. Then I met my beloved and… now what?

            My objection to the pill was philosophical. I just didn’t want to. So I get that. (It’s possible my doctor would have told me I was too old to take it safely, though I don’t know about that.)

            If you and your partner agree on a method you are both satisfied with and you both understand the risks, it doesn’t matter what you choose or like. The important part is that you are both cool with it.

            But the safety argument is problematic. Safety is always relative. If you don’t want to take the pill because it’s unsafe so you decide to use a less-effective method instead, one that puts you at increased risk of pregnancy, then you are not being logical about relative risks. That’s all.

            January 23, 2014 at 1:32 am #

            I have been trying to navigate the complex issue of family planning and contraception these past few weeks. The brochure from the gynecologist did not mention lesbianism. I am going to discuss it with my husband tonight.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 23, 2014 at 9:30 am #

            Odds are, he’ll just ask to watch.

          • Siri
            January 23, 2014 at 3:11 am #

            We’re dangerously close here to the idea that women who aren’t sexually available, deserve to have their menfolk stray. Or am I wrong? (Would you like a cake? Or a meringue? No, you’re not wrang – I’d luv a cake!).

          • Carolina
            January 22, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

            Yes, I sadly know some men who put their sexual desires/wishes over the comfort and happiness of the women in their lives. I can’t imagine being in a relationsip where I had to do something to my body against my will just so my husband could have sex whenever he wanted.

          • Mishimoo
            January 22, 2014 at 5:50 pm #

            Something I’ve noticed in my circle of friends – it seems to be the under-35s that object to having a vasectomy or using condoms, whereas the over-35s rave about the wonders of their vasectomies. The common theme being that the under-35s think it will emasculate them and the over-35s having the firm opinion of “Real men look after their wife’s physical and emotional wellbeing by getting the snip once they don’t want any more kids.”

          • OBPI Mama
            January 23, 2014 at 8:51 am #

            This is what works for my and my husband’s marriage.

      • Amy Tuteur, MD
        January 22, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

        No. Like anything else in a long term relationship, it’s a matter for discussion and compromise. My point is that unilateral decisions can’t be justified by one person’s desire to conform to the norms of attachment parenting.

      • January 22, 2014 at 9:27 pm #

        screw them. they can jerk off.

  20. Meerkat
    January 22, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

    So, basically, in order to have some good postpartum crunchy sex you have to have a sensitive crunchy husband who will be OK with a huge list of very unsexy things AND make sure the sex is enjoyable and comfortable.
    This is probably in addition to being a breadwinner, really tired, and sharing homemaking responsibilities. Wow. That’s a big expectation.
    I dunno… I felt really unattractive for several months after the baby was born. The oversupply of constantly leaking milk, involuntarily sweating every time baby cried, feeling really misshapen and lumpy. Ughhhh.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      January 22, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

      Not to have good sex, but to have ANY postpartum sex at all.

      • Meerkat
        January 22, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

        I should have probably said “post baby.” Forget about postpartum sex, it sounds so awful! Probably feels awful. Too. No thanks.

          January 23, 2014 at 1:45 am #

          My grandmother once told me that when she was recovering from the birth of her 5th child a man was banned from visiting the maternity ward for having sex with his wife the day after she delivered their son. She implied that this was consensual. On the other side of having two children, that seems barbaric.

          • rh1985
            January 23, 2014 at 1:52 am #


          • Meerkat
            January 23, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

            Yup! I had my son in the summer and I was so swollen, I didn’t want anyone near me. It was even worse after the C-section.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      January 22, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

      I am not a “crunchy” husband by any means, but I have to say, I had no problem being sexually attracted to my wife post-partum. The limiting factor for us having sex was whether she felt up for it. It’s not like I was a dog or anything or begging for it, but I was ready, willing and able, but we did it on her terms.

      I realize that women don’t always “feel attractive” in these types of situations, but speaking only for myself, I didn’t feel that way at all. See my comment below: my sexual attractiveness for my wife is not dependent on superficial issues like physical features. I got past that stage long, long ago. What makes my wife sexually attractive is who she is, and that didn’t change a lick when she got pregnant or afterward. So these factors that you mention that you feel are “unsexy”, you may have felt that way, but from my perspective, wouldn’t matter in the least. Exhaustion from lack of sleep? That’s a different issue.

      And I have to say, I don’t quite get the point about needing someone “crunchy and sensitive” to deal with something like bedsharing. I honestly gotta say, I don’t know a single guy who objects to sex all over the house. The problem is not about having sex outside the bedroom, but whether it is more likely to happen in the bedrooom as compared to somewhere else. If you are having sex just as frequently in the kitchen/on the couch/etc as you would in the bedroom, pretty much no guy is going to have a problem.

      Some guys might be lost without being able to access boobs, but hey, you just let him know it’s off limits, if there is a problem.

      There may be guys who have problems with sex post-partum, but I don’t see it having anything to do with crunchy. Being sensitive to her needs, sure. As I said, post-partum sex took place on her terms, but then again, what is the option? You can’t force her to do anything else, so that’s pretty much what it has to be. But it didn’t take a super-sensitive feminine side to appreciate the fact that she might not want to have sex during the 12 weeks she bled after our first.

      • Meerkat
        January 22, 2014 at 4:55 pm #

        I don’t think my husband was not attracted to me, either. I just didn’t feel like myself, and it was a really disconcerting feeling. The author of the article is saying that crunchy sex is better—but only if a guy makes it better. That concept kinda bothers me. She doesn’t mention the things that a woman might do, only her husband. She also describes what he should feel, like crunchy husbands aren’t allowed to feel any other way, otherwise they are brute assholes.

      • Siri
        January 23, 2014 at 3:15 am #

        You sound like a really nice husband, Bofa. . That was beautifully written, and I hope your wife reads it.

        • Siri
          January 23, 2014 at 3:18 am #

          Yes, that was nicely garbled, sorry! Meant to say, wipes eyes with tissue. Way to ruin a sentimental comment…

  21. January 22, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

    OT-SO I contacted some politicians to try and get direct entry midwives a mandatory licensing law in Utah. They told me about the political clout of the people involved in passing the law, etc. So I’ve been investigating heavily. If you all remember valerie el halta and the death she presided over, you may find my writing interesting. A midwife (Holly Richardson) was responsible for passing the bill as a house rep, and predictably tried to prevent any legislation from being enacted in response to the death.

    Holly is running for office again.

    I have *so much more* coming in the next couple of days. stay tuned!

  22. Lisa Murakami
    January 22, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

    Oh dear, this is HILARIOUS! Yes, I read that article and was confused – thought it was satirical at first. Nope, just delusional!

  23. Antigonos CNM
    January 22, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

    My daughter has had some experience with “natural family planning”. Since she has a very regular cycle, she assumed that she ovulated two weeks before her period was due. After becoming pregnant less than a month after the wedding, she and my son-in-law tried for two years without success for a second pregnancy, not usually resuming relations the instant her period ended.

    Turns out she ovulates about 6 days after she begins her menstrual period, or a day after the bleeding stops. She also was thought to have early ovulation in her first pregnancy, since the fetus was consistently a week bigger than it ought to have been. Ditto this pregnancy.

    If she was a religious Jew who kept the Laws of Family Purity, she’d probably now have a file in an infertility clinic. So much for the “rules” regarding when ovulation takes place.

    • Mariana Baca
      January 22, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

      What you are describing is not modern NFP, that is the Rhythm method, or some variation of the calendar method. Modern NFP does not determine ovulation solely on length of cycle, but on primary and secondary signs of ovulation like thermal shift, cervical mucus, or urinary estrogen and LH.

    • Happy NFP user
      January 22, 2014 at 1:50 pm #

      She wasn’t practicing modern NFP- she was practicing the rhythm method. With modern NFP methods (Creighton, Billings, sympto-thermal, Marquette) you NEVER just “assume” when you will ovulate based on your cycle length. I’m sorry she didn’t get access to better information.

    • Trixie
      January 22, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

      Yeah, like others have said, that’s not NFP.

      Out of curiosity, what do you do if your ovulation occurs during a time when you’re impure? Can you get an exemption in that case?

      • Dr Kitty
        January 22, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

        You can take hormones to delay ovulation, which is halachically acceptable.

        • Antigonos CNM
          January 22, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

          Dr. Kitty got in before I did. She’s right, but it can be very challenging. Even more challenging are the cases where the menstrual cycle is so short that the woman is never not niddah [“unclean”] and therefore the marriage can’t even be consummated.

          The Laws of Family Purity require abstinence from all physical contact with one’s spouse for the entire length of the actual bleeding*, AND for 7 “clean” days thereafter, at which point a woman immerses in a ritual bath, and is then “permitted” to her husband [I got champagne and flowers when I returned from the mikveh; it can actually be very erotic, that period of waiting!] For a woman who ovulates mid-cycle, she actually resumes relations when she is probably most fertile.

          *There are differences between Ashkenazi and Sephardi custom. Ashkenazim do not begin counting the 7 clean days until a minimum of 5 days have passed [more if a woman is still bleeding]; Sephardim begin counting when the flow stops, even if it is less than five days.

          Moreover, the blood must come from the uterus. Not infrequently I was asked to do a speculum exam to determine this. If a woman is bleeding from her vagina due to vaginitis or some trauma, she is NOT ritually impure.

          • Trixie
            January 22, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

            Thank you for explaining that. What happens to women who have spotting during ovulation?

          • Antigonos CNM
            January 22, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

            Hope they had sex the day before it began 🙂

            It can be a major problem, since ANY uterine bleeding/spotting means the woman begins the whole 12 day period of niddah. If she had sex the night before she ovulated, since sperm lives for 48-72 hours, she MIGHT just get pregnant, but it wreaks merry hell with her sex life.

            The simplest way, of course, to deal with extremely short cycles is to put the woman on The Pill, which will give her a 28 day cycle and permit consummation and a normal sex life. But that creates another problem: it is commanded to be “fruitful and multiply” which can only happen, obviously, if the woman ovulates, and The Pill prevents that.

            Rabbis differ. They tend to be more lenient in the US, and stricter here in Israel. When I was in NYC, and had a situation like this, the woman’s rabbi ruled that “being fruitful and multiplying” took second place to what is called “shalom bayit” which translates as “marital harmony”, and allowed a woman, still virgin after a year of marriage, to go on The Pill. Nowadays, in fertility treatment, the goal is to artificially create a normal cycle with different hormones at different times, so that the ovaries will be encouraged to ovulate when they ought. A woman will, in addition to treatment, have blood drawn for hormone levels, and ultrasounds to see if ovarian follicles are developing every three days until there is at least one follicle which is “ripe”, and she and her husband are counseled on when it is the best time to have sex. Sounds straightforward, but the devil is in the fine tuning; it can take a very long time to get the system to work properly.

          • Siri
            January 23, 2014 at 3:28 am #

            So a woman with vaginitis or trauma (what are the most common causes of vaginal trauma?) has to undergo an unpleasant (painful if she is a nullip) speculum exam to determine if she is worthy of having her husband touch her? And then presumably is expected to go home and have sex, vaginal trauma notwithstanding. Remind me what the benefits are to women of this practice? If this happened in a secular context, everyone’d be up in arms about it.

          • Antigonos CNM
            January 23, 2014 at 3:56 am #

            You misunderstand. For one thing, if she goes to a GYN with complaints consistent with vaginitis, then she would most likely have a PV exam with a speculum anyway. And an exam does not have to be painful, btw, although, if the vaginal tissues are inflamed, ANY sort of exam can be uncomfortable. But an exam is necessary as there are several different organisms which cause vaginitis and the treatment is different for each.

            Trauma can occur for a number of different reasons, not necessarily from brutal sex. You’d be amazed at what tampon insertion can do.

            No, she isn’t “expected” to “go home and have sex”, obviously, if she isn’t in the mood for it [which she is likely not to be, if in pain or having discharges]. How misogynist you are! When a woman is niddah, there is NO physical contact of any sort, not just sexual, between husband and wife. They sleep in separate beds, do not hold hands or pass items directly to one another.

            BTW, in Jewish law the responsibility for sexual gratification lies with the man, not the woman. He is supposed to keep HER happy. See Maimonides, himself a physician as well as a rabbi, who lived during the Middle Ages, and who wrote quite a bit on reasons a woman can give to a rabbinical court for wanting a divorce — and one of them is that her husband cannot satisfy her sexually. Because an act is permitted does not mean it is compulsory. No considerate man would force his wife to an act which is painful or traumatic.

            You cannot compare, in any religion, tenets of that religion with secular practice. Catholicism does not permit abortion under any circumstances whatsoever, and restricts the use of just about any means, except for abstinence, to prevent conception. But, as we know, some 90+% of American Catholics do use non-Church-sanctioned methods of birth control.

          • Antigonos CNM
            January 23, 2014 at 4:03 am #

            Disqus swallowed my first reply. So here goes again. Where did I write that, if a woman is not niddah, sex is compulsory and she must submit whenever her husband wants it? As a matter of fact, this is contrary to Jewish law. You completely misunderstand the situation. Tacharat Mishpacha [Family Purity] is about more than just sexual contact, btw.

            As for exams, if a woman comes to a GYN with complaints consistent with vaginitis, she needs to be examined to determine what sort of vaginitis she has, as the treatment is specific to the organism. [and, in the case of trichomonas, she can infect her husband who will reinfect her, unless treated, so sex is contra-indicated medically] Speculum exam need not be painful, even for a nullip, although if her vaginal mucosa is inflamed, it probably will be, even if she is a multip.

            Trauma can occur because of a number of things, not necessarily because of brutal sex. YOu’d be amazed at the damage tampon insertion can cause [and diaphragm removal with long nails!]

          • Siri
            January 23, 2014 at 4:25 am #

            Of course I misunderstood, I’ve had zero exposure to these issues, and your comment as it stands, out of context as it were, certainly reads fairly barbaric to me. Thank you for taking the time to fill in the blanks a bit! That’s helpful.

            And I have never used tampons, for just such reasons; found’em too uncomfortable even after repeated childbirth.

            I freely admit the idea of ritual impurity in one sex very off-putting, particularly as it’s never the men who are declared impure! It is such a misogynistic concept. But then many religious practices appall me, and if we assume most religions were invented by men, I suppose it makes sense that women normally draw the short straw…

          • Antigonos CNM
            January 23, 2014 at 5:57 am #

            From personal experience, I can tell you that it has a very positive side. The 2 week physical non-contact means husband and wife have to communicate in speech a lot more [we would “date” by going to a restaurant or film], and the return to “connubial bliss” can be really very powerful [not to mention that a lot of women, myself included, feel quite grungy during the period, and going to the mikveh is a real “deep clean” and sort of rebirth] and doesn’t become boring through over-familiarity.

            But, of course, not everyone feels the same way, I suppose. A lot of men find it very tough to abstain for so long; so do a lot of women.

            Btw, as far as the “6 week question” goes, from a medical point of view, internally a woman is usually back to normal [uterus has returned to being inside the pelvic cavity] after 3 weeks, and a lot of women don’t even have lochia any more, so unless it is physically uncomfortable, there’s no medical reason to wait a full 6 weeks — but the patient should know that she needs contraception even if nursing.

          • Siri
            January 23, 2014 at 7:03 am #

            It’s interesting hearing your take on it, Antigonos! Not something I’ve ever really come across before, and for you it’s obviously worked well. And from the little bits you reveal about yourself in these comments, I would hazard a guess that you’re not in the habit of letting yourself be used as a doormat! You come across as quite strong and fulfilled, and what could be better than that? (Rhetorical).

    • AlisonCummins
      January 22, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

      What is the rhythm method if it’s not NFP? The fact that rhythm is less accurate than Creighton/Billings/Marquette/STM doesn’t make it a barrier method, or a hormonal method, or magically transform it into an IUD.

    • Therese
      January 22, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

      Is there an exemption for following the Laws of Family Purity for observant Jews that have cycles like your daughter’s? Or are they just out of luck?

      • Therese
        January 22, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

        Oh, never mind, I see it’s been asked and answered.

      • Antigonos CNM
        January 23, 2014 at 1:49 am #

        Prior to the advent of hormonal contraception/fertility treatment, they were out of luck. Nowadays it’s different. The Laws haven’t changed, but the means of dealing with it have.

  24. anh
    January 22, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    since you all only know me by my initials, I’m gonna be frank. we didn’t have sex post partum until after 6 months. anyone want to venture a guess why?
    1) I was breastfeeding (yeah, quit after 6 months, someone pull my card). The thought of anyone “latching” on in a manner even remotely similarly to the way my baby did make me want to vomit while simultaneously hurling my husband against a wall. He wasn’t allowed even in the vicinity. if he admired them I yelled at them. Psychologically, it just shut me down, completely.

    2) we coslept until 6 months (again, someone pull my mom card) If my kid was asleep, she was asleep in my arms. Maybe we got 3 minutes for a quick minute “old fashioned” while she napped in her carseat. that was it.
    3) I was so terrified of getting pregnant again I wouldn’t let my husband near me until I had a nice copper IUD in place. If I’d had to rely on NFP we’d still be celibate.

    I will concede one point. Sex postpartum is better. but her assertion that only crunchy men love post partum bodies is asinine. My WASPy staid husband is quite appreciative and has been for some time

    • Antigonos CNM
      January 22, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

      Whenever a woman, on the maternity ward, would come to me and ask to “have a word”, and then ask me if she “really had to wait 6 weeks after giving birth to resume having sex” that always set off alarm bells in my head — I never knew, until we discussed it more, what was behind the question. Some women felt more affectionate toward their spouses than ever; some were completely terrified of possible pain or damage to healing tissues, or feeling completely unsexy. Some feared their husbands might stray if they didn’t “submit”, some thought flabby bellies and leaky breasts would repell their husbands so much that the relationship would be forever ruined.

      It made me a bit sad that very few, if any, of the doctors [even the female ones] were willing to discuss this with patients, who had to screw up their courage and approach the nurses for advice. It is certainly a very important topic.

      • Jessica
        January 22, 2014 at 3:40 pm #

        I was STUNNED when, during my discharge from the hospital, the nurse said I could resume intercourse when the bright red bleeding had stopped and I felt comfortable proceeding. I’d always heard you had to wait six weeks. But that’s not the written advice my OB’s office gives its patients. At that time, the thought of sex was absolutely horrifying, and I was pretty sure I would never want it again. Ever. Fast forward THREE WEEKS, my stitches had healed, the bleeding had stopped, and my husband and I wanted to reconnect. I was at first unsure, but in the end my husband was right: resuming intimacy was an important part of my emotional recovery from childbirth. I realized I wasn’t damaged, that it could feel good, and that I needed to connect in that way with my husband for my sake and the sake of our marriage.

        (My OB did look surprised at my postpartum check when I told him I’d resumed having sex and when.)

      • Siri
        January 23, 2014 at 4:34 am #

        I agree. I come across every permutation, from teenage couples having sex on the postnatal ward (behind a curtain! Ewww!) to women who are feeling pressured to the point that they daren’t approach their husbands for a cuddle in case he takes it as an invitation to sex.

        It’s amazing too how much women vary; some are keen to start ASAP, while others take months to feel healed enough for sex. My advice is always to really talk to their husbands and agree to a moratorium on sex; they both need physical contact, as without it, the relationship will crumble. Hugs, kisses, massage, hand holding, snuggling up. Of course the male half needs to understand why it’s not ok to say, Well dear, we said six weeks, now can we do it?’.

        With lots of safe, pleasureable touch and cuddles, the problem can sometimes spontaneously resolve…

  25. LibrarianSarah
    January 22, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

    I still find it weird that we now decribe people using words previously used only to describe food stuff. Am I a crunchy person or a chewy person? Personally I think I am mostly a liquidy person like a soup or stew.

    • Zornorph
      January 22, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

      I was going to say I melt in your mouth and not in your hand but then I realized that sounded exceptionally pervy and that wasn’t what I was going for.

    • Antigonos CNM
      January 22, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

      I think I’m more like macaroni and cheese, or maybe bread pudding. Or Harvey’s Bristol Cream.

    • Meerkat
      January 22, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

      I am green tea ice cream or flan. Mmmmmm…. Flan…..”

  26. Zornorph
    January 22, 2014 at 12:53 pm #

    Crunchy women often are not really big on deodorant or underarm/legs shaving. Not really a sexual turn-on for me, personally.

    • AlisonCummins
      January 22, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

      Works for me though!

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      January 22, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

      My sexual attraction to my wife is not dependent on the presence or lack thereof hair on her legs or underarms.

    • January 22, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

      My spouse likes my hairy legs and armpits, and so do I. My legs feel soft all the time and I don’t have to buy a bunch of stupid bullshit that men don’t have to bother with.

      • stacey
        January 22, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

        YEP! I have almost no hair now, but I don’t shave it often. I only do my eyebrows regularly.

    • OBPI Mama
      January 22, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

      I don’t wear deoderant… my farming husband is equally smelly. Thankfully baking soda on the armpits in the shower gets rid of the stink… at least enough to have sex.

    • Cartwheel
      January 22, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

      And isn’t it great that you are free to choose deodorant-using, underarm- and leg-shaving women as sexual partners – and all the rest of the women in the world (the ones who aren’t and don’t want to be your sexual partners) are free to totally ignore your sexual preferences because they’re not relevant. Everyone wins!

      • Zornorph
        January 22, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

        Of course, that’s the whole point! I’m not going to sneer at somebody because they don’t conform to my personal tastes – that’s why I said ‘personally’ in my comment. For example, I don’t like it when women have their vajayjay shaved – that’s one area where I do prefer the ‘natural’ look – but it’s not like everybody has to do the same thing.

        • January 22, 2014 at 9:29 pm #

          You are supporting a norm of body shaming women. Its not cool. And really? No one cares what you prefer. If they did they would have asked you.

          • Mishimoo
            January 22, 2014 at 9:41 pm #

            Can someone explain to me how personal preferences shame others?

            I dye my hair black, much to the dismay of some of my friends who prefer my natural hair colour, but it’s my hair. I don’t feel ashamed of what I prefer to do to it just because it doesn’t suit their tastes.

          • Meerkat
            January 23, 2014 at 9:50 pm #

            Oh, please. Body shaming? You don’t need to attack Zornorph. Majority of men agree with him, and majority of women, too, at least here in the Northeast. Consider something else—even if I really wanted to let it all grow and ripple in the wind—I couldn’t. I worked in a corporate environment, with clients, and I needed to look well groomed. That was actually in the employee handbook. If I came to work with hairy legs and armpits in the summer, my boss and I would have a little talk.
            Yes, you might say that this is wrong and we need to change it, blah blah. I am much more bothered by being paid less for doing the same job as men.

  27. January 22, 2014 at 12:52 pm # Women forced by the law to breastfeed. This is the end point of lacktivism. If they had their way every woman in every country would be forced to breastfeed.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      January 22, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

      Yes, it’s the lactivist dream come true, and it happened in a repressive, misogynistic society. Coincidence? I thnk not.

    • staceyjw
      January 22, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

      Why am I not at all surprised?
      I bet they are hailing it as “A big win for BF, and a wonderful decision for women and babies!”
      Instead of seeing it for what it is: a horrifying intrusion on a woman’s body, in a society where they already have little to no agency. UAE is one of the less fundamentalist Muslim nations, so this is a bad sign. It is a slippery slope that can lead straight to Saudi standards of “modesty”.
      And they (lactifacists) think they are feminist? On what planet?

    • Therese
      January 22, 2014 at 4:32 pm #

      Off topic, but that article also mentions that the law includes that when neither divorcing parent wants the child, the child goes to the state. Is that a common problem there, that no one wants their kids when they divorce? I would assume it has to occur somewhat frequently for it to occur to anyone to make a law about it but why?

  28. attitude devant
    January 22, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

    Having read the article, what pissed me off most was her bald-faced statement that no man was ever as supportive and loving of a new mom as a crunchy man. Umm what?

    • Susan
      January 22, 2014 at 1:50 pm #

      I have known my share ( not biblically unless you count my ex ) of crunchy jerks. So NOT true that crunchy=supportive and loving. So not true.

      • Dr Kitty
        January 22, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

        Hmmm the way that the type of men who claim to be the “nice guys” who always “finish last” usually come across as passive aggressive jerks, rather than “nice”.

        Supportive and loving is just that, supportive and loving. Crunch is not a requirement.

        • MaineJen
          January 22, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

          Real nice guys *never* refer to themselves as ‘nice guys.’

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 22, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

            In fact, they complain about it. I had a buddy who got mad because women kept saying he was “too nice.”

            Screw that!

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 22, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

            No, you are missing MaineJen’s point (at least I think). She was agreeing with Dr. Kitty who was talking about the creepy angry guys who are always complaining about how women “don’t want nice guys like me, they always go for jerks, I’m just too nice for them” …and then later the rant continues into “Those women want to be abused I bet! Those bitches! They should date a NICE guy like me instead!” Creepy creepy! My old office had a lab tech like that. He got fired after he blew up at a (female) patient. We later found out he was on probation for domestic abuse. Notice also that your friend “got mad” when women turned him down. Creepy.

            Real nice guys never refer to themselves as nice guys because they don’t regard their nice behavior as anything worth commenting on but rather as a normal way to treat your fellow human beings. And if and when women turn them down they don’t mad and act like they deserve a date because of how “nice” they consider themselves.

          • MaineJen
            January 23, 2014 at 9:27 am #

            IME, anyone who will complain about you being ‘too nice’ is not worth your time, anyway.

      • attitude devant
        January 22, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

        My guy is definitely the antithesis of crunchy and could not be more giving and supportive. Whereas most of the crunchy dads I know are a) just doing it to please their wives OR b) obnoxious controlling freaks. But that’s just my experience.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          January 22, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

          just doing it to please their wives

          Doing what, exactly? Being “crunchy”?

          I don’t doubt it. If that’s what it takes to get poontang, then do it.

    • staceyjw
      January 22, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

      Thats pretty offensive, and totally ridiculous. It is so obvious to prove false. Of course, I have a feeling this woman is defining the word crunchy differently, a common tactic in NCB land.

      Instead of:
      crunchy = preference for the natural, and adhering to a certain set of related ideals.

      She means:
      crunchy = do whatever I want, never object to any idea no matter how bad, be happy with the couch, make money and stay away otherwise.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        January 22, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

        Well, that’s what AP is, right? Dad does whatever mom tells him to do?

  29. Cartwheel
    January 22, 2014 at 12:22 pm #

    Because we believe in evidence here, a paper about the efficacy of a fertility-awareness based method at preventing unintended pregnancy:

    The full text is also available for free.

    Spoiler alert, when used according to instruction the method had a 0.4-0.6% failure rate (the lower number being periodic abstinence, the higher number periodic barrier method use).

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      January 22, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

      And when used properly, abstinence has a 100% effectiveness rate.

      • UNCDave
        January 22, 2014 at 1:21 pm #

        Well, I can think of one reported exception, but that was like 2000 years ago, and not everyone thought that the report was reliable.

      • Siri
        January 22, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

        Unless you’re that French nun, who’s just given birth in spite of being chaste. She’s named her baby after the Pope, apparently.

    • AlisonCummins
      January 22, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

      “After 13 cycles, 1.8 per 100 women of the cohort experienced an unintended pregnancy; 9.2 per 100 women dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the method; the pregnancy rate was 0.6 per 100 women and per 13 cycles when there was no unprotected intercourse in the fertile time.”

      According to this study, perfect use is about 0.5% and typical use is about 2%, which is astonishing to me. There’s some weird data in there though.

      “Discontinuation because the couple was dissatisfied with the method: discomfort with the method, problems with observing the indicators of fertility, feeling of insecurity, finding the fertile time too long, finding it difficult to abstain during this time” is at 9.2%.

      There is another, undisclosed percentage who discontinued because of “Change to other family planning method.” Ok then, what is the difference between that and the previous reason? Are the 9.2% just giving up and not doing anything at all? In that case I would be inclined to include their pregnancies in the typical use rates, but this was not done. Presumably “typical use” includes cycles where not all the information is gathered or available. If someone is immediately eliminated from the study as soon as they forget to check their cervical mucus or chart their temperature for a week, that’s a significant source of bias.

      • Cartwheel
        January 22, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

        I’m not trying to be snarky, but did you read the whole article? Because I think your questions are answered within it.

        Re: 9.2% –

        “Discontinuation for dissatisfaction or difficulties with the method, including change to another family planning method was an important parameter of acceptability. The overall discontinuation rate for this category was 9.2 per 100 women at 13 cycles of method-use”

        If you are inclined to include the pregnancies of people who stopped using the method in “typical use”, then I think I’m glad you weren’t the investigator doing the study.

        I’m not sure why you say “Presumably “typical use” includes cycles where not all the information is gathered or available” – we don’t have to presume, the definitions are in the paper. The imperfect use scenario included women who engaged in unprotected intercourse, coitus interruptus, or other genital contact during the fertile time.

        Not actually gathering the data required to determine the fertile time is not “imperfect use”, it’s NOT DOING IT. That’s like saying that not putting the condom on at all is imperfect use of a condom.

        I’m not trying to say that fertility awareness methods are great for everyone – clearly they are not, they are too much work for lots of women. (In the same way, abstinence-only is not a viable option for many women, but it would be idiotic to say that it doesn’t work because sometimes people have sex.) But for people who are correctly educated in observation of their own cycles and who actually adhere to the guidelines about when it is okay to have unprotected sex, it is an extremely effective method of avoiding pregnancy. It also has no side effects at all.

        • AlisonCummins
          January 22, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

          Not actually gathering the data required to determine the fertile time is not “imperfect use”, it’s NOT DOING IT.

          That’s why I used the phrase “typical use.”

          That’s like saying that not putting the condom on at all is imperfect use of a condom.

          Yes, it’s exactly like that. “Typical use” failure rates among people who rely on condoms for birth control include skipping the condom sometimes.

          abstinence-only is not a viable option for many women, but it would be idiotic to say that it doesn’t work because sometimes people have sex

          No, it’s not idiotic. If you are relying on your determination to not have sex as your method for preventing pregnancy, and your determination fails, that’s a method failure. We also don’t say it doesn’t work, we say it has an unacceptably high failure rate in inexperienced, fertile and horny populations (especially given that there are more-effective alternatives).

          It also has no side effects at all.

          Not true. Frustration. Fear of sexual arousal. Anxiety while waiting for a period. They may not be side effects for you, but they were nasty ones for me and I’m not alone.

        • Therese
          January 22, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

          My understanding of typical use rates for contraception is that they do include people who don’t use the method every time. So someone who uses condoms every time but then decides to skip it just one day and becomes pregnant is counted under typical use failure rates. Just like someone who intended to use NFP but then doesn’t gather the needed data half the time would fall under typical use failure rates if she became pregnant.

        • fiftyfifty1
          January 22, 2014 at 10:40 pm #

          “If you are inclined to include the pregnancies of people who stopped using the method in “typical use”, then I think I’m glad you weren’t the investigator doing the study.”

          That’s unfair. Women who stop taking their pack of pills half way through or who don’t start up the new pack are included in the typical use failure rate numbers of the pill. Women who don’t follow directions and don’t check for their IUD strings… included. Women who no-show their follow-up depo appointments…also included. Couples who use condoms only sometimes…included. The reason these are all included is because these are typical things that some people do even when they had planned to follow those methods faithfully.

          If giving up on tracking NFP paramenters is a fairly common (9%+) thing that couples who had planned to follow NFB do, then pregnancies among these couples should be included in the typical failure rate.

  30. Amy M
    January 22, 2014 at 12:09 pm #

    I can’t get the article to come up but I’ve read through the comments and I’ll say it’s awful if this woman isn’t taking post-partum sexual issues seriously. I had PPD which tanked my libido, leading to some serious problems between my husband and I (which we worked out)….and she didn’t even bring up the depression issue. But yeah, from personal experience and from talking with friends, parents who are exhausted and overwhelmed aren’t going to be having much sex, so wherever they can get the baby to sleep, they should go with it. Women who feel decidedly un-sexy post-baby and/or fear another pregnancy aren’t going to be raring to go either. If it’s causing a lot of anxiety maybe the couple should seek counseling, rather than listen to some wingnut tell them to suck it up and that “real crunchy men” are more sensitive or better in bed or some such garbage.

  31. Mel
    January 22, 2014 at 11:54 am #

    When my husband and I were going through premarital counseling in my diocese, the counselor asked us about if we were going to use NFP. I stated categorically that I had no interest in using NFP to prevent pregnancy and thought the Catholic church’s obsession with NFP was quite embarrassing. After a moderately heated discussion between the counselor and myself, she looks over at my husband and asks “You’ve been quite quiet. What are your feelings on NFP?”. My husband, without missing a beat, responded, “Oh, I’m a RCA (Reformed Church of America) member. Like most Protestants, we gave up NFP for the more effective hormonal and barrier methods decades ago.”

    Have I mentioned how much I like my husband?

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      January 22, 2014 at 11:58 am #

      We did pre-Cana at the university church. The priest there, spending all his time with college aged kids, was far more realistic. Consequently, our pre-Cana included information on all sorts of contraception. Of course, the message was, “The church does not condone it” but we also got, “Here are the options and here’s how they work”, complete with demonstrations.

      • Mel
        January 22, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

        Our options were either really long weekend courses for cheap or paying a bit more and completing the counseling through Catholic Charities. We decided to do individual counseling for scheduling reasons and can’t say enough in favor of it. I don’t know if they would have covered all of the available BC methods in the individual meetings, but my husband and I were relatively old and had science degrees, so we were pretty conversant in our option.

    • Dr Kitty
      January 22, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

      Our church mandated pre marriage classes didn’t go into any of that.
      But then, the minister knew we’d been living together for 2 years, and were only getting married in a church to please parents.
      He basically said “never go to bed angry” and gave us a Christian marriage guidance book which we didn’t read.

  32. Squillo
    January 22, 2014 at 11:46 am #

    When it comes to sex, there is a wide variety of practices that work for different people, and as long everyone’s needs are being met and no one is being hurt, there’s really no point to speculating on what’s “best” unless you’re secretly concerned about your own adequacy.

    Kind of like parenting.

  33. Scrunchy mom
    January 22, 2014 at 11:10 am #

    When it comes to co-sleeping and sex, it’s not mutually exclusive. When my first baby was born, he hated his crib. He always woke up screaming an hour or 2 after I put him down. This meant that almost every time my husband and I tried having sex, our baby started crying and we had to stop. One night I finally had enough and brought him to bed with me. He nursed and slept for 4 hours straight. After a few days I could slip away, and he’d stay asleep. I can honestly say that co-sleeping saved our sex life. Plus, we always thought that having sex in bed was kinda boring, so doing it somewhere else was definitely not a problem. 🙂
    I’m currently breastfeeding my 18 month old, and it doesn’t (and never did) stop my husband and I from having sex. It’s really 100% not an issue. I’ve never done NFP, so I can’t comment on that. As for vaginal dryness, isn’t that what personal lubricant is for?

    • Trixie
      January 22, 2014 at 11:13 am #

      A Montessori style floor bed can allow you to do the same thing while keeping the child in its own room after you slip away.

      • Scrunchy mom
        January 22, 2014 at 11:25 am #

        You might be right, I’ve never heard of that kind of bed. The point I was trying to make is that we co-sleep and no one is suffering, in fact it benefited our family. I’m not judging moms who don’t co-sleep.

        • Trixie
          January 22, 2014 at 11:43 am #

          It’s just basically a firm low mat on the floor so that you can easily lay down with the baby and then leave. My kids liked to nurse to sleep but did not like to cosleep.

    • sleuther
      January 22, 2014 at 11:33 am #

      Tangent & TMI alert: I had vaginal dryness postpartum and it was BAD. Unlike anything I’d ever experienced before.

      My ob-gyn prescribed a hormonal suppository, inserted tampon-style, and that cleared it up. Short treatment & I never had to repeat it.

    • Guest
      January 22, 2014 at 11:35 am #

      We have. Co slept since the children could roll and move themselves (before that they were on a separate surface next to my side of the bed), since we actually got sleep this way, we have an active sex life – all over the house and in our children’s beds since they’re in ours. I think co sleeping helped our sex life (we also starte co sleeping when realizing we were just spending all night trying to get our kids to sleep in a cot in another room, my husband said it had to stop and they had to sleep with us, but safety first so the single bed was put next to ours).

    • Susan
      January 22, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

      I agree with you. Not of the “attachment parenting” practices have to be a problem. But to argue that they make it better… that’s nuts. If you want to have sex on the kitchen table there is nothing about an available bed that’s stopping you.

    • staxxxcey (LOL)
      January 22, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

      The point isn’t that you cannot have sex if you co-sleep (share the same room,or bed share is the same bed), Bf, or use NFP, just that claiming those things make sex superior is pretty out there, often ironic.

  34. Dr Kitty
    January 22, 2014 at 11:04 am #

    From my own personal experience, a mutually physically satisfying relationship is the sine qua non of a happy marriage (or at least for MY happy marriage).

    Bed sharing stopped after six weeks and room sharing after 3 months (because we wanted to use our bed for sex again, as doing it in other rooms got old, fast).
    I went on a POP and the got an IUS as soon as possible.
    In bed with my husband, breastfeeding was not an issue that came up.

    Being very NOT crunchy about these things was better for my sex life and my relationship with my husband. I understand that other people with other relationships have other priorities, but mine were privacy, effective contraception and a good night’s sleep. AP/NFP/LAM weren’t going to meet my needs, so I chose not to use them.
    I’m not going to apologise for that.

    • sleuther
      January 22, 2014 at 11:36 am #

      We never shared our bed. Never ever. Daughter #2 was colicky, but we just traded shifts sleeping/attending to her downstairs in the family room, where we had a Pack’n’Play. Once the colic passed, she moved into a crib in her sister’s room, where she was welcomed with open arms!

      Bed-sharing would NEVER have worked for our family. I am 100% sure of this.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        January 22, 2014 at 11:39 am #

        Our kids actually seem to dislike our bed. We couldn’t get them to sleep in bed with us if we tried (like, when they decided to get up really early).

        We did go and sleep in bed with our 5 yo the other night when he was having a stomach ache, and we were concerned above vomiting. My wife was there for a while, and then I went in, but he kicked me out and told me to go back to my room.

      • Happy Snoozer
        January 22, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

        I don’t even co-sleep with my husband of 25 yrs; I need my own space, I’m not a cuddler and when I realized that about seven years ago, we both sleep much better. There are however plenty of “conjugal visits.”

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          January 22, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

          We have a king sized bed for a reason.

        • Antigonos CNM
          January 22, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

          Indubitably the “civilized” option. When I was pregnant with #2, I realized that, [1] European standard double beds –140 cm wide — meant that my stomach was often hanging off the side of the bed, and [2] after heroically but vainly, trying to sleep with a husband who snores extremely loudly for 3 years, I concluded that the spare bedroom next door MUST be used by one of us or I was liable to take a pillow and smother him, just to get a night’s sleep. A true gentleman, even if he does snore [and kick], DH moved there — and we’ve slept apart ever since [30+ years].I usually visit him — which means he winds up sleeping on the wet spot, another advantage.

          I can also watch TV until very late, while, since he goes to work at 5 a.m., he nods off around 8 p.m.

          • Susan
            January 22, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

            I think your option sounds like the sexiest of all… somehow the suspense of whether or not your nighttime visitor will … come… is sort of appealing. Might keep things fresh!

        • Awesomemom
          January 22, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

          I am eagerly awaiting the day when we have enough room in our house to have our own rooms. My parents and his parents sleep in different rooms so the concept is not new to us.

  35. Happy NFP ser
    January 22, 2014 at 10:46 am #

    Modern methods of natural family planning are actually be a great option for women who have religious objections to other types of birth control (i.e. Catholics) or have medical conditions that prevent them from taking the pill. I’m in both of these categories. I use the Marquette method of NFP and all that’s involved is testing my urine with the Clearblue fertility monitor when I wake up. It takes all of about 30 seconds, and the method is . Not a big deal at all.

    • Happy NFP user
      January 22, 2014 at 10:49 am #

      Ack that submitted before it was finished, sorry. I was going to say that the method is 98%+ effective with perfect use, and that perfect use is not difficult to attain with this method. It does not involve checking mucus or temperature.

      Don’t disagree with the overall point that over-the-top AP practices can’t be good for married life.

    • AlisonCummins
      January 22, 2014 at 10:50 am #

      I know a very fastidious woman who used this method. She was surprised by both pregnancies.

      Yes, they can be great. They are not as good as other methods like the IUD though.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        January 22, 2014 at 11:00 am #

        I know a very fastidious woman who used this method. She was surprised by both pregnancies.

        Well, see, it just didn’t work for her.

        It works great for all those for whom it works. If it doesn’t work for someone, then it clearly is not good for them.

        Which, of course, can be said about anything.

        • AlisonCummins
          January 22, 2014 at 11:18 am #

          Perfect use: combination OC 0.3%, POP 0.3%-3%, Marquette 0.6-2%
          Typical use: combination OC 0.3%, POP 9%, Marquette 11-12%

          • Mariana Baca
            January 22, 2014 at 12:24 pm #

            Typical use for Oral contraceptives is 8%.

          • AlisonCummins
            January 22, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

            Oops, edited to correct. Thanks.

      • Irène Delse
        January 22, 2014 at 11:52 am #

        What I find baffling is the “natural” label attached to any method that requests the daily use of a technical appliance, i.e. a thermometer. Or so said my devoutly Catholic mother once she experienced a surprise pregnancy while using NFP. She promptly turned to oral contraception after that, and was happy with it. She also liked that this method made for a less stressful sex life, all in all.

        • Mariana Baca
          January 22, 2014 at 12:22 pm #

          The term is a Catholic one, referring to natural law*, not anything regarding crunchiness.

          *natural law has nothing to do with “found in nature” but a concept derived from Aristotelian/Scholastic philosophy regarding the form/purpose of things.

          • Mariana Baca
            January 22, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

            I prefer the term “Fertility Awareness Methods” when discussing these in a secular context for this reason.

      • Cartwheel
        January 22, 2014 at 12:05 pm #

        NFP (or whatever you want to call it) is in fact much better than the IUD for people who can’t have IUDs, or don’t want IUDs. Let people choose the method of contraception that they prefer; stop arguing that because “perfect use” of one method has a lower failure rate than “perfect use” of another, every woman should use hormonal contraception.

        There are plenty of women who have been surprised by pregnancies while they were on hormonal contraception, or IUDs, or whatever. That’s what a nonzero failure rate means. Sometimes, women get pregnant anyways.

        • Irène Delse
          January 22, 2014 at 12:25 pm #

          Sure, women can choose whatever method they feel more comfortable with, but it doesn’t mean that all methods are equally effective, and there’s nothing wrong with having a conversation about this. Women deserve reliable data on all the pros *and* cons if they are to make an informed decision!

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 22, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

            And remember that this discussion STARTED because according to the subject of this post, natural methods (including LAM) are all just fine.

            The whole “But they can work!” discussion going on here is a complete strawman.

          • Mariana Baca
            January 22, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

            Depends. The idea here was that NFP is unsexy. Condoms are unsexy. Some effects of the pill are unsexy (some women get decreased libido, vaginal dryness, etc). For some people, all these methods work great, including NFP. Just choose what is in accord with what you believe in and works for you. Don’t know why people have to complain about contraceptive methods they don’t use.

        • Jessica
          January 22, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

          I lurk on several Catholic forums, and when discussions of NFP come up, one thing seems to be rarely acknowledged by its proponents: that the success rate can, for certain couples, translate into long, long periods of abstinence. This inevitably comes up when one partner – almost always the husband – is complaining about the constant sexual rejection because of fear of pregnancy. And it’s not like these deeply faithful Catholics can enjoy other forms of intimacy, since they are taught that a man cannot intend to ejaculate anywhere but in his wife’s vagina.

          If the efficacy of NFP is only achievable through untenable periods of abstinence resulting in the breakdown of a marriage as a result, what’s the benefit? This is the question that religious pro-NFPers do not adequately answer IMO.

          • Trixie
            January 22, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

            Yeah, if you’ve got a 23 day cycle, subtract 7 days for fertile days, and assuming you don’t want to have sex during 4-5 days of menstruation, then you really only have less than half your life as safe days.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 22, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

            And if they don’t fall on the weekend…

            (yeah, I know that’s not required, but mid-sex week isn’t always convenient for everyone)

        • AlisonCummins
          January 22, 2014 at 12:47 pm #

          What do you mean “better”?

          I never said that every woman should use hormonal contraception or an IUD. I said that it was dishonest to compare perfect use of a difficult method to typical use of an easy method and conclude that they are just as effective.

          One big drawback to oral contraceptives is that women often stop taking them when they aren’t in a relationship. This is a particular issue for teens, for instance. When they break up with their boyfriend they don’t need OC any more and when they get back together with him three weeks later they don’t have any backup. If you include the year or six months after a woman stops taking OC in your rates of unintended pregnancies, “typical use” failure rates can get really high — one reason that IUDs are so popular these days. But if you’re evaluating effectiveness of the pill on the basis of how well it works when people don’t use it (!) then you also have to take into account how well NFP methods work when people don’t use them. Intending to use NFP and then, um, getting really into your partner during the horniest part of your cycle is a problem for NFP.

      • attitude devant
        January 22, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

        Maybe she’s related to my dear friend Margie (short for Mary Margaret) who never had regular cycles and after her second unplanned (but loved!) baby was born came to me in tears asking why NFP had failed her twice but all the other mothers in her parish seemed to be successful with it. When the nickel dropped and she realized that most of those other women were on the pill, she was SHOCKED!

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          January 22, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

          It’s always fun to look up the birth control method usage rates across different religion. “Fun,” that is, in terms of how non-interesting. You can’t tell a person’s religion by their BC method.

          • Trixie
            January 22, 2014 at 12:41 pm #

            In some cases, you can. Or at least, you can predict what methods an observant couple won’t use if they have certain religious beliefs.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 22, 2014 at 12:53 pm #

            If you claim that the :”observant” catholics use NFP and those that use the pill are “non-observant” then you are just stating a tautology.

            If someone is using the pill, can you tell whether they are observant “other religion” or non-observant catholics? Not even in large samplings, you aren’t able to get it right more often than not.

            Overall, use of the pill among catholics more or less mirrors the usage of the total population.

          • Trixie
            January 22, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

            I was thinking more of certain evangelical groups that avoid IUDs and the pill because they believe they may be abortofacient.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 22, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

            But do their practices overall bear that out?

            You can’t just focus on “the observant” members, or the part of the group that does it, because those members exist in all religions. The question is whether they are more likely in one group or another. The answer is, not really, and, to the extent they are, in non-predictable ways.

          • Trixie
            January 22, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

            Sure I can focus on just the observant ones. Why couldn’t I? Observant sub-groups within religions have many important characteristics that set them apart from the mainstream, and in some cases birth control type and usage is one of those factors.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 22, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

            Why couldn’t I?

            Because it doesn’t tell you anything. “Observant” members of the RCC and those who oppose artificial contraception use NFP. Great. But knowing only that they use NFP, you cannot determine whether someone is doing it because they are an observant catholic, or if they are an evangical who doesn’t believe in artificial contraception, or even that they are atheist who doesn’t like dealing with the hassle of contraception. IOW, folks using NFP are no more likely to be catholic than someone not using NFP.

          • Trixie
            January 22, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

            I never argued that you could predict what religion someone was by knowing what type of birth control they use. Only that you could predict that certain religious groups would be more likely to use certain types of family planning (if any) and less likely to use others.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 22, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

            I never argued that you could predict what religion someone was by knowing what type of birth control they use.

            Um, yes you did. That’s exactly what you said:

            I said:”You can’t tell a person’s religion by their BC method.:
            You said:”In some cases you can”

            Now, before you try to defend it by going to “I only said some cases” I will note that it makes about as much sense as saying that I can predict the outcome of a coin flip about half the time. That’s not prediction, that’s random guessing.

          • Trixie
            January 22, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

            But I qualified that by saying that a person’s religious beliefs can predict what birth control they will not use. Which is true, and meaningful.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 22, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

            But it is not actually true, either. Look at the breakdown of BC by religion. There is no difference. That’s why I said it is interesting to actually look at the data.

            All you’ve said is that those who oppose contraception for religious reasons will choose NFP. That’s not saying anything, as it is basically tautology.

            And it doesn’t account for the fact that non-religious are just as likely to use NFP as the religious.

        • Trixie
          January 22, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

          No one told her that irregular cycles makes it a bad method for her?

          I have a Catholic friend who’s done NFP for her entire 20 year marriage and only has two planned children. But her cycles are regular.

        • Dr Kitty
          January 22, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

          I work in West Belfast quite a lot.
          I can count the number of couples I know of using NFP on my fingers.

          In my experience, Catholic women like the pill until the family is complete, and then either push VERY hard for their husbands to get vasectomies or get IUDs…which is basically the same as the Protestant women across town, but the Catholic ladies seem to be more successful at persuading their husbands.

  36. Rochester mama
    January 22, 2014 at 10:33 am #

    OT I’d really like to know why Myiam Bialik’s marriage broke up. I know privacy blah blah blah. But she wrote about how AP didn’t negatively effect her marriage in her book, which I did read cover to cover, then less than a year after it came out splitsville?

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      January 22, 2014 at 10:38 am #

      I think we can safely say that she was not having an affair with Jim Spencer.

      • UNCDave
        January 22, 2014 at 10:51 am #

        Jim Spencer? Did you mean Jim Parsons?

    • Trixie
      January 22, 2014 at 10:40 am #

      She’s clearly BSC anyway, so maybe it has something to do with that.

    • Ash
      January 22, 2014 at 10:45 am #

      I have no interest in why Mayim B divorced…plenty of people do, but I have no interest in asking if their parenting style led to divorce.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        January 22, 2014 at 10:46 am #

        If someone writes a book about how their parenting style is fabamundo, then the question of whether it caused a divorce is relevant.

    • auntbea
      January 22, 2014 at 11:14 am #

      I know her husband personally. Went to school with him. I could ask. But I won’t, because it is tacky and not my business.

      • Rochester mama
        January 22, 2014 at 11:22 am #

        When celebrities put their life up as an example for $$ and then it falls apart they can’t be surprised when people want to know why. I liked her book, it was a good quick read and had lots of funny stories. She talked in the book about how early childhood parenting is just one phase of a marriage and doesn’t last forever and making it work takes commitment etc…. So when it came out she was divorcing it was surprising.

        • auntbea
          January 22, 2014 at 11:26 am #

          Right, but Mike wasn’t the one doing that; he’s just a random dude. Describing why she divorced also means describing why he divorced and I don’t go around probing my acquaintances for that information.

          • Rochester mama
            January 22, 2014 at 11:30 am #

            I wasn’t suggesting you do that. I didn’t have any idea that anyone here knew either of them. And given the far off chance I ever sat next to her on an airplane I think I’d just stammer out I loved Blossom and then leave her alone.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 22, 2014 at 11:33 am #

            She was also in Beaches, playing the young Bette Midler character. That was at one time her picture in her twitter feed.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 22, 2014 at 11:31 am #

            I agree. The fact that you do not know why they divorced now is enough of an indication that you are not close enough for him to confide in you. I agree that it would be tacky to then contact him mostly out of the blue just to find out about his divorce.

            If you knew him well enough that you would be comfortable doing something like that, you wouldn’t actually need to do something like that.

      • Lena
        January 22, 2014 at 11:34 am #

        People idly wondering on the internet =/= a suggestion to ask him. I agree, asking him would be tacky as hell. Speculating on a public forum about a person who put her marriage out there is not.

    • Lena
      January 22, 2014 at 11:21 am #

      Yeah, I’m nosy enough to wonder, especially since the very next sentence after announcing the divorce was that AP had nothing to do with it. She’s extremely defensive about every aspect of her parenting, all while trying desperately to appear that she’s not.

      She’s nuts.

    • sleuther
      January 22, 2014 at 12:47 pm #

      It’s entirely possible that a third factor caused both Mayim Bialik’s fervent adherence to AP principles _and_ the breakup of her marriage: being crazy and inflexible and all-or-nothing.

    • Meerkat
      January 22, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

      Didn’t she say that it was completely normal that her baby couldn’t turn over when he was one?

  37. Trixie
    January 22, 2014 at 10:11 am #

    There are men and women who are turned on by their partner’s lactation. There are also those who aren’t. Also, there are many women who don’t let down breast milk during sex at all, and it’s never an issue.

    • Dr Kitty
      January 22, 2014 at 10:36 am #

      I’m one of those women who never leaked, never needed breast pads and never let down milk apart from during a feed, so the issue never came up for us.

    • Guest
      January 22, 2014 at 11:40 am #

      Same here, though my husband did want to taste it once and asked for some

  38. Older mom
    January 22, 2014 at 10:02 am #

    If I found sex was crunchy, I’d have to tell my husband to stop eating potato chips in bed. As for co sleeping, I don’t even like the dogs to be in the room.

  39. me
    January 22, 2014 at 9:26 am #

    In reading the actual post it seemed pretty clear that these were “issues” she sees commonly brought up. Not that these things make sex “better” per se. Massive misinterpretation, doc?

    • Irène Delse
      January 22, 2014 at 9:45 am #

      Misinterpretation? I don’t think so. Did you notice the very title of the article Dr. Amy links to? “Crunchy sex: it’s better!” And then the author goes on to list all the problems above and manages somehow to reinterpret them as either no biggies, or even as bonuses making sex better.

      • Carolina
        January 22, 2014 at 9:53 am #

        I’m not sure the title of the original post fits, really. The author is clearly listing those things that are a challenge to “crunchy” (I hate that term) couples’ post-partum sex life. She never does explain why it’s better.
        I don’t consider myself at all crunchy, but we room-shared, I nursed, and I couldn’t take hormonal birth control. These would seem to be pretty typical post-partum challenges. It’s a weird article.

        • me
          January 27, 2014 at 9:35 am #

          Exactly. It seemed to me she was being pretty honest about the challenges faced by “crunchy” couples postpartum. And doesn’t it always help if you and your partner are on the same page? To me it was more of a ‘derp’ article.

    • Young CC Prof
      January 22, 2014 at 9:46 am #

      I think she was saying, OK, here are some obstacles, but being crunchy will somehow help you overcome them better than other couples?

      • GiddyUpGo123
        January 22, 2014 at 10:04 am #

        Yeah but she spends the majority of the article going on about all the drawbacks of crunchy sex and then tries to make them all go away by claiming that crunchy men are better in bed anyway. Lame argument.

        • Young CC Prof
          January 22, 2014 at 10:05 am #

          Yes, I also found it a lame argument, or at least found that the conclusion in the last couple paragraphs was not strongly linked to anything that went before it.

      • me
        January 27, 2014 at 9:33 am #

        I guess I didn’t take it that way. I took it more along the lines of, if you and your partner are on the same page and believe that the choices you are making are right for you family, some temporary issues shouldn’t cause insurmountable problems.

    • auntbea
      January 22, 2014 at 9:49 am #

      The conclusion of the original article is that while these are real problems, they can be overcome, largely because “crunchy” men are more sensitive. I think Dr. A is suggesting that sensitive or not, thre is really not a lot that could overcome the problems she herself so clearly outlines. Also, I am pretty sure crunchy men do not have a monopoly on not being assholes.

      • Antigonos CNM
        January 22, 2014 at 2:00 pm #

        I wonder what Erin Long would think of this discussion. Both she and her husband were undoubtedly very crunchy, and apparently they are now separated and/or divorced. And, according to what she has written in her blogs, it seems he eventually revolted against always coming second to her obsession with the children, which she thinks is unfair.

      • me
        January 27, 2014 at 9:29 am #

        That I get. Yes, that bit at the end about “crunchy” men being more sensitive, therefore that “makes up for” these difficulties could be taken very negatively. I guess I’m not seeing that as any different than the commonly expressed notion that there is nothing sexier than a man who does the dishes or laundry, or the idea that, for women, foreplay begins hours, if not days, before the act – when her partner helps her with the house and kids.

        I guess I look at it as, yes, it’s nice (and in some ways a “turn on”) to have a husband who is patient, understanding, helpful, and responsive to your needs both in and out of the bedroom. Is it ever enough to reverse the effects of things that can actually impact sexual function? Perhaps, perhaps not, it depends on how much sexual function is impacted and why. Yeah, if you practice AP and your husband is supportive of it, you will encounter fewer problems in the boudoir dept than if he is opposed and/or just humoring you. If you have made joint decisions on the way your children will be parented, you are unlikely to run into massive issues if/when your sex life is impacted by your choices. If the woman has made unilateral decisions without regard to her husband’s opinions, then yeah, if/when these parenting decisions impact your sex life, they become bigger than a simple matter of getting some lube, slipping into the next room while baby sleeps, and having a sense of humor about any leakage.

        But when parnters disagree on fundamental issues and aren’t communicating with each other and/or aren’t taking the other person’s feelings into consideration, any issues in the bedroom will be magnified no matter what the cause.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      January 22, 2014 at 9:58 am #

      I understand that the author was joking about the sexual problems of attachment parents. And that is what’s really wrong with this post.

      1. The author dismisses these sexual problems as if they are no big deal. As someone who has cared for postpartum women, I can assure you that they can be a very big deal, causing deep unhappiness for one or both partners, and serious strains in the relationship.

      2. The author promotes the attachment parenting lie that “good mothers” gladly suffer anything.

      3. For the authors, these drawbacks are non-negotiable. Under no circumstances can parents give up on any of the attachment parenting principles in any effort to promote their own health and the health of their relationship.

      4. The author offers an extremely toxic stereotype: “good fathers” don’t complain about the sexual problems of attachment parenting. If a father is concerned about his own needs, he is derided as not “emotionally available” or “sensitive.”

      The problem is not the jokes, it’s that the author is joking about very real problems.

      • Young CC Prof
        January 22, 2014 at 10:02 am #

        Hmm, yes. A lot of the obstacles she mentions affect all new parents, yes. But I’d rather get a sex life again by moving the baby to his own room and teaching him to sleep through the night once he’s big enough to do without so many night feedings. And using a reliable method of contraception that we both feel comfortable with. And possibly ceasing to breastfeed after a few months.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD
          January 22, 2014 at 10:12 am #

          Once again, it’s the natural parenting emphasis of process over outcome. You’re supposed to slavishly adhere to all the forms of attachment parenting, regardless of whether they are affecting the quality of your life. And, of course, there is the attachment parenting belief that what your children should always trump everything.

          There is no way that a child is going to be harmed by sleeping in his own crib or bed now and then so parents can have some time to nurture their relationship, yet attachment parents insist that the children should never be moved from their beds.

        • Trixie
          January 22, 2014 at 10:12 am #

          Lactational anemorrhea can be a reliable method of contraception if you follow the rules exactly. As can NFP.

          • AlisonCummins
            January 22, 2014 at 10:23 am #

            “Can be reliable…” except when, in retrospect, it wasn’t. Kind of like home birth “can be safe…” except when, in retrospect, it wasn’t.

          • Trixie
            January 22, 2014 at 10:25 am #

            LAM is about as reliable as hormonal birth control or diaphragms or other forms of contraception if you follow the rules exactly within the first 6 months postpartum.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 22, 2014 at 10:33 am #

            But the rules mean NEVER going more than four hours without feeding.

            Thanks awfully, I’ll take an IUS and being able to sleep for more than 4 hrs in a row, and to go out for dinner and a movie without having to go and express milk in the bathroom of the restaurant between my main course and dessert.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 22, 2014 at 10:35 am #

            Never more than 4 hours without a feeding? I’m exclusive pumping every 6 hours. And last night I actually slept from 4:30 am to 9 am. I fail!

          • Trixie
            January 22, 2014 at 10:37 am #

            If you’re EP you can’t use LAM anyway. But the LAM rules state one 6 hour stretch overnight is okay. Congrats on the sleep!

          • Trixie
            January 22, 2014 at 10:36 am #

            6 hours is what I’ve always heard. I’ve done it twice, until my babies started sleeping for longer than 6 hours consistently (so around 3-4 months). Again, not for everyone, but neither one ever took a bottle or pacifier anyway, so it was fine for us.

            Nursing just a couple times a day was enough to keep me from ovulating until at least 18 months. Not everyone’s body is as sensitive though.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 22, 2014 at 10:42 am #

            LAM rules, properly are six feeds/24hrs. Maximum 4 hrs in the day and six hrs at night between feeds.

            If you aren’t feeding twice in the night, you probably can’t rely solely on LAM, at least without double checking with OPKs.

          • Trixie
            January 22, 2014 at 10:44 am #

            Yeah, at the point that I was using it, they were nursing at least 8 times a day and never going more than 2.5-3 hours during the day, plus I was pumping twice a day for donation on top of that with my second.

            On the other hand, I’ve never once in my life have an OPK turn positive, even in the months I conceived.

          • Mariana Baca
            January 22, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

            Read the Bellagio Consensus — this is not LAM.

            ETA: I’m not saying people should or shouldn’t use LAM. LAM is just a statement saying: if you meet these conditions you have a 1-2% chance of pregnancy. It is not properly a method — you can’t keep doing it by sheer force of will. You either haven’t bled and are still breastfeeding or not.

          • Mariana Baca
            January 22, 2014 at 12:47 pm #

            No, the rules of LAM do not include time between feedings. The rules are:

            1. Exclusively breastfeed
            2. No bleeding after 56 days
            3. Under six months.

            Sleeping through the night might mean you will bleed sooner, but it doesn’t change the rules of efficacy (if you bleed, you are out).

          • Dr Kitty
            January 22, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

            No, it actually does change the effectiveness, as you can ovulate before a bleed and ovulation can be triggered when oxytocin levels fall.
            Feeding during the night maintains oxytocin levels at the levels necessary to inhibit ovulation.
            The night time feed requirement is the primary reason why LAM is only effective for six months, as it is the baby sleeping through the night and the loss of that feed that makes the method unreliable beyond that point.

            Any missed feeds, and expression instead of BF and the effectiveness drops below 98%.

            If you really want to use LAM, go for it, but it isn’t foolproof or the best standalone option for most women.

          • Elaine
            January 22, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

            What I just don’t get about LAM, personally, is that it’s great until all of a sudden it’s not. How do you know when it’s no longer effective? You bleed. But what happens before you bleed? You ovulate. So it actually wasn’t effective 2 weeks or so before that first bleed. And how are you supposed to know? Chart? Use OPKs every day? Or do you just take pot luck that if you have an infant and are nursing all the time you probably aren’t having all that much sex anyway and probably won’t randomly happen to have sex during that random ovulation which could happen any time but probably won’t? Ugh. I would only use LAM for contraception if I was okay with it failing. And shortly after having a baby, I really didn’t want to get pregnant with another. Relying on LAM for birth control is like trying to figure out which bus stop to get off at by watching the guy across the aisle and getting off at the stop before him. It works really well, until it all of a sudden doesn’t because you got the information you needed after the time that you needed it.

          • AlisonCummins
            January 22, 2014 at 10:35 am #

            Are you comparing perfect use to typical use?

            Perfect use: contraceptive pills 0.3%, LAM 1.5%
            Typical use: contraceptive pills 8%, LAM pretty crappy.

          • Trixie
            January 22, 2014 at 10:40 am #

            When I did it, I had perfect use. I never ovulated. When my babies started to sleep longer at night, I noticed a slight increase in cervical mucous and I went and got my IUD. I realize it’s a small subset of people for whom it’s a viable method, but it is in fact a viable method.

          • AlisonCummins
            January 22, 2014 at 10:47 am #

            Yes, and when I used NFP I didn’t get pregnant either. The difference is that since my beloved got a vasectomy I don’t spend the last ten days of every cycle anxiously waiting.

            When you say “LAM is about as reliable as hormonal birth control” and emphasize that you are talking about perfect use, no, it’s not. You are five times as likely to become pregnant using LAM as using oral contraceptives with perfect use.

          • Trixie
            January 22, 2014 at 10:49 am #

            Eh, but the POP is less effective than combination pills anyway, and that’s the only oral contraceptive that won’t reduce milk supply.

          • AlisonCummins
            January 22, 2014 at 11:00 am #

            I hadn’t known that.

            Question: if you’re taking progestin-only OC while you’re breastfeeding because you want to maintain a high milk supply, is the perfect use rate still 3%?

          • Trixie
            January 22, 2014 at 11:06 am #

            I think taking it in combination with BF is more effective, however just like LAM, the effect diminishes as the baby goes longer between feedings, sleeps through the night, starts solids, etc.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 22, 2014 at 11:12 am #

            That’s true for the older pills like Micronor and Noriday.

            The newer POPs like Cerazette (Desogestrel 75) are more effective, as they are more reliable at preventing ovulation, and have a Pearl Index of 0.41 (99% effectiveness with perfect use, same as Combined Pills).

          • Trixie
            January 22, 2014 at 11:13 am #

            Do we have those in the US? I’ve never heard of it.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 22, 2014 at 11:18 am #

            Actually, I don’t think you DO have Cerazette in the USA.
            I never prescribe anything else as a POP any more, we’ve had it in Europe for years.

          • Trixie
            January 22, 2014 at 11:19 am #

            That really sounds wonderful.

          • Antigonos CNM
            January 22, 2014 at 1:55 pm #

            Certainly it is very frequently prescribed in Israel, along with a brand called Mercilon. [
            Desogestrel (150 micrograms). Ethinyl estradiol (30 micrograms)]

          • Cartwheel
            January 22, 2014 at 11:56 am #

            I’ve never gotten pregnant while using NFP, and I’ve also never spent the end of a cycle anxiously waiting while I’ve been using it. I know when I ovulate, I know when it is even remotely possible for me to get pregnant, and I don’t have unprotected sex then. There is absolutely nothing for me to be anxious about.

          • ModerneTheophanu
            January 22, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

            Not for every woman. Anecdata, but I am very close to a woman who conceived a baby 3 months after giving birth to her first child, while nursing exclusively. Lactational amenorrhea is not foolproof.

          • Trixie
            January 22, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

            Did she meet all the criteria — no pacifier or bottle use, no longer than 6 hours without nursing at night, at least 6 nursing sessions a day, no bleeding after 6 weeks postpartum, no signs of fertile cervical mucous?

          • Antigonos CNM
            January 22, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

            That’s the kind of statement that makes me scratch my head. Ipso facto, if a woman who is breastfeeding gets pregnant, then she MUST not be “following the rules exactly”, since if the “rules” were being followed, pregnancy isn’t supposed to result.

            Unfortunately, in my experience, that means most women who use breasfeeding as a form of contraception are doing it wrong, or it’s a bad method of contraception, because I saw women on a weekly [and sometimes daily] basis who turned up in my clinic pregnant and assured me that not only were they breastfeeding, which they were “sure” would keep them from getting pregnant, but they were practicing coitus interruptus, too [“anachnu shomrim” in Hebrew]. Those haredi sperm must really be determined fellows!

            Women DO ovulate when breastfeeding, although the incidence is less during the first 6 months, and often quite irregular.

          • MaineJen
            January 22, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

            Ummmmmm no. I know 2 people who got pregs–accidentally– in exactly this way…

  40. Monica
    January 22, 2014 at 9:13 am #

    LOL, that was supposed to entice women to go the crunchy route for better sex? Yeah I know in the throws of passion stopping to say oh wait let me take my temperature and pee on a stick first to make sure I’m not fertile definitely doesn’t kill the mood. Some people don’t even want to be bothered to put a condom on or a diaphragm in. Temperature taking and pee on a stick though that stuff is hot! I think we’re being punked.

    • Guest
      January 22, 2014 at 10:16 am #

      That’s not actually how NFP works. Sure there are temps to take and charting to do (even cervical mucus to observe!), but this is absolutely never done in the heat of the moment. Its more work than popping a pill, but it can be an effect way to avoid pregnancy when done properly. Hormonal birth control is not for everyone.

      • AlisonCummins
        January 22, 2014 at 10:28 am #

        It can be effective for some women. One way to find out that you aren’t a good candidate is to get pregnant.
        It’s usually recommended for couples wishing to space children but who can deal with a new pregnancy a little earlier than anticipated, not for women who don’t want to get pregnant.

        • Trixie
          January 22, 2014 at 10:31 am #

          All forms of birth control have failure rates. Lots of people fail to take their birth control pills at the same time every day. Everyone has to calculate for themselves whether NFP is a good method for them. But if you’ve got regular cycles and absolutely practice it perfectly, it can work very well. For me personally, my cycles are so short that it’s not a great method.

          • AlisonCummins
            January 22, 2014 at 10:43 am #

            Someone who can’t take OC every morning at the same time is not going to be suddenly able to chart their temperature every morning at the same time AND negotiate safe days with their partner.

            Perfect use: contraceptive pills 0.3%, NFP 2%
            Typical use: contraceptive pills 8%, NFP 2–25%

          • Trixie
            January 22, 2014 at 10:45 am #

            I wasn’t arguing that they could.

        • Cartwheel
          January 22, 2014 at 11:49 am #

          I’ve been using NFP effectively for 5 years and counting. I’m medically contraindicated from hormonal forms of birth control, and I have a hypersensitivity reaction to metal (so that leaves the copper IUD out). So it’s either constant condom use or NFP (what I like to call periodic condom use) for me.

          It’s not that much work, and it’s not hard to know if you’re a good candidate. The first year I charted obsessively and learned my own cycle really well. It would have been possible to tell in the first couple of months if my cycle was not suitably regular. Now I don’t chart anymore at all. I can reliably predict ovulation to the day just by monitoring cervical mucus and position. I also do the urine LH test to be totally sure that I’m right.

          If you have regular cycles and understand what is happening in an ovulatory cycle, NFP is a great idea. I have had a few friends get accidentally pregnant on NFP and as it turned out, all had chosen to have unprotected sex on a day that was clearly not a safe day. So, yeah, any method doesn’t work if you’re going to do it wrong.

          It’s like people using condoms wrong and being surprised that a pregnancy resulted. If you don’t follow the instructions…

      • Irène Delse
        January 22, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

        “Absolutely never done in the heat of the moment”?

        Except that you have to take your temperature first thing upon waking up, before getting out of bed… But it’s a moment that many couples like to use for sex! Especially on weekends of course. And I think it’s well known that just after waking up is often a favorable moment for men, if you see what I mean 😉

    • Trixie
      January 22, 2014 at 10:17 am #

      You have to temp first thing in the morning before getting out of bed at roughly the same time every day. It’s never done in the heat of the moment.

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