I felt inspired to visit the Museum of Sex in the middle of my third trimester partly because I liked the visual of a pregnant lady wandering its halls trying to put two and two together (“So if we… and then he… ohhhhhh“), and partly because I figured there must be a place in every sex-themed museum for a pregnant woman to stand as the end-point of an installation:
“Here, the sexual journey from arousal to fertilization reaches its end as the male’s place in the marital bed is replaced by a Snoogle body pillow.”
Pre-pregnancy, on a scale of “coolness with my womanhood and body” where zero is total body dysmorphia and 10 is a naked Earth mother floating in a bath of chia seeds, I would say I was maybe a 6 or 7. I feel less a beautiful cello than an onerous piano accordion. I am not sexually empowered enough to ever invest in erotic lithography as home decor. Pregnancy has not made me feel like I am a walking vulva in bloom; rather, it has been an experience in adaptation. (Google “sex positions third trimester” and you’ll come up with a shallow dive of wooden spoon stock photography.)
This makes the Museum of Sex a surprisingly good pregnancy outing: it, too, is concerned with adaptation, with discarding the idea of “normal” sexuality. It also provides numerous opportunities for you and your giant uterus not to be the weirdest specimen in the room. My body at 35 weeks, resembling a hippity hop, seemed far less ridiculous than Andrew H Shirley and William Thomas Porter’s “Fuck Bike #001” – an achievement in the field of fixed-gear bike customization and a Vision Zero nightmare. How does it work? You think. Why doesn’t it tip over? How do you hold onto it? Can I touch? I don’t want to stare but I CANNOT LOOK AWAY.
It’s exactly like a pregnant person.