January 9, 2023
EP. 353 — Sex As a New Mom
Between recovering from a difficult childbirth and taking care of an infant, sex is the last thing on this new mom’s mind. Though weed helps get her get in the mood, she wonders if she’s relying on it too much. She opens up about concerns over her husband’s attitude towards fatherhood and feeling guilty for not having much sex since the birth. Later on, Geth reflects on his time as a dad and shares tips for new parents to stay sane.
353 — Sex As a New Mom
Chris [00:00:05] Hello to all the dumb guys who like Marvel movies and woodworking and Legos a little too much for their own good. It’s Beautiful/ Anonymous. One hour. One phone call. No names. No holds barred. Hey, everybody. Chris Gethard here. Welcome to another episode of Beautiful/ Anonymous. We kicked the year off right last week with our New Year’s Resolutions episode. It was so great to hear from so many of you, both people who got on for the first time, returning callers with your updates, what a joy. Makes me look forward to this entire year. And this year is going to be a year of big changes for me. I’ll be speaking more to that and talking about that a little bit on the show. It looks like we’re going to make the Beautiful Con-onymous happen in May. After a three year delay, that con will be happening. So start thinking about maybe taking a trip to Brooklyn, New York for that in May. All sorts of stuff to think about. I’m going to be out on the road. For example, the 13th of January, I’m at the Earl in Atlanta. The 14th I’m at 40 Watt in Athens. I’ve got an improv show in Brooklyn on the 18th. I’ve got a stand up show on the 26th in Brooklyn. I’m going to be in Pittsburgh on the 28th. And a lot of these shows are selling out. So get your tickets today at ChrisGeth.com. Okay, that’s my plugs. I want to remind you, a few weeks back we had an episode from a caller who had a dream of making a zombie anthology series specifically focused on the perspective of zombies as an analogy to the queer experience in America. I loved this idea. I told the caller that if they ever did another Kickstarter, I would go ahead and I would plug it hard. I’ve been doing so. Some of us have been stepping up. But look, there’s still about 100,000 people that listen to this show every week. This person is asking for $15,000. That tells me that if even a small fraction of us kicked in five bucks, we could actually help this thing get made and help a caller’s dream come true. And nobody has to. And money is tight. And I understand if it doesn’t happen. But this caller is $6,000 in looking for 15k. I think we as a community can do it. And why do I feel okay asking for someone else’s Kickstarter to get plugged on here? I’ll tell you what, this whole show started. A lot of people fell in love with Beautiful/ Anonymous because of the Ron Paul’s Baby episode, our first episode ever, where I was encouraging a caller to quit a day job that was soul sucking and follow dreams instead. And this is another caller all these years later going for a dream. Goin for a dream. So if you want to help make that dream happen, kickstarter.com/projects/afterusseries. After Us Series is the name of the Kickstarter and maybe we can make it happen. Who knows? What I do know is that this week’s episode is a good one and maybe slightly divisive, and I don’t know if I handled it the right way, but what we’ve got is a caller who’s a new mom balancing that with her sex life and her and her husband have experimented and her and her husband have had a sex life. And now life is different. And I don’t know if I handled this one correctly. But I went from the gut and I feel like other people are going to have opinions, too. And I know every couple’s story is different. But I did hit a bit of breaking point. I know that is a bit of a trope on this show where sometimes you realize, Oh, that’s why Chris is not a shrink. That’s why Chris is not a professional, because sometimes his emotions get the best of him. It happens in this one. I think a lot of people out there start having kids, life starts changing. Priorities, the amount of time you have. Physically how things feel. There’s a lot to think about here. People are going to have strong opinions. I hope you get something out of it.
Voicemail Robot [00:04:16] Thank you for calling. Beautiful/ Anonymous. A beeping noise will indicate when you are on the show with the host.
Caller [00:04:23] Hello.
Chris [00:04:24] Hi.
Caller [00:04:25] Is this Chris?
Chris [00:04:27] It is. This is Chris.
Caller [00:04:28] Is my audio okay?
Chris [00:04:30] Think your audio is great. How’s my audio?
Caller [00:04:33] Oh, your, your audio is also great. How are you?
Chris [00:04:39] How am I? I would say… pretty good, I would say overall pretty good. Yeah, that’s the answer. Pretty good.
Caller [00:04:49] Okay. We actually spoke about a week ago. I called into the New Year’s resolution episode, um, and my baby made her podcast debut as well.
Chris [00:05:04] That’s a beautiful thing.
Caller [00:05:09] So I, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to figure out where sex falls into my life now that I am a new mom. So.
Chris [00:05:23] Yes, I remember this. Yes.
Caller [00:05:26] I’ve, I’ve been listening to your podcast for years, since 2017, and I love it. Especially during maternity leave, it has made me feel a lot less alone that I have, like all these stories to listen to. And it makes my my small world just a little bit bigger. Um. So thank you for all of the all of the work that you have been doing. It means a lot to me and has been a big part of my life for the past five years.
Chris [00:05:54] That’s really nice to hear. Genuinely. Thanks. Thanks for letting me know that. To hear that I’m helping during a stretch that can be notoriously rough, that’s a great thing. And I’m I’m glad to help. I’m happy to hear that you are a mom and got a little one running around. That’s an exciting thing. Congrats. And I’m very interested to hear how you’re thinking about it in terms of of sex moving forward.
Caller [00:06:25] So this is like a very complicated issue, and I’m going to try and be as respectful of my husband as humanly possible. Because, you know, obviously this is something that involves him as well. I definitely have some deep seated sexual issues, which I was only starting to explore with my many psychiatric professionals that I see on a regular basis or I talk to on a regular basis. And then we started trying to get pregnant and, you know, thought that I was going to have a little bit of a longer time, but we ended up getting pregnant immediately, which was great because I’m not somebody that likes to wait, but did not give me a chance to sort of resolve the issues that I personally was having. I think, I mean, I, I think ultimately, like, regardless of my issue, sex education in the United States and maybe in the rest of the world, I’m not really sure, needs to be better and a lot different because I was told about what sex was by my parents, by my mom in the I believe it was in a locker room of a waterpark when I was ten, an indoor waterpark.
Chris [00:07:47] It’s worse that it’s an indoor one. It somehow makes it worse that it’s indoor.
Caller [00:07:51] Yeah, it was like in February or something. And I was told about, like, what it was because I was like, This is what it is. And my mom’s like, That’s not what it is. It’s this. And I’m like, That’s disgusting. Why would anybody do that? And that was like the end of the conversation. And like everything else I learned from, like, sex ed from, like, my sixth grade teacher who was like, old and also, like, incredibly short, which is like, not any other detail other than she was like a very small person. And I think sex ed needs to be taught by a cool young person so that people can feel comfortable asking questions. And you actually do need to separate girls from boys because nobody wants to ask questions in front of the opposite gender at that juncture. Anyway, I could talk about that for an hour, but the point is, is that I, like I don’t know, I developed a lot of my own ideas about sex and like the most- the best sexual education I got was at summer camp. Um. I, you know, like all the other Jews, I was sent off to summer camp, which I loved. Like, summer camp is a huge defining factor of who I was. But a lot of a lot of what I learned about sex from my peers at summer camp. Um, and, but like, never about, like, hey, like, this is how it’s supposed to feel and like, this is what a healthy sexual relationship looks like. Because how would you know that at 14? And so I always felt like I was really behind, like I hadn’t experienced all of these sexual things at the same rate that my, you know, summer camp friends had. So I felt like I always had to play catch up and was like very much in a rush to get through everything. And I was like, okay, like, this is terrifying, but as soon as I do it, it’s not going to be scary anymore. And then like, it’ll be done with. And like, that’s sort of how I approached sex until I was 22 or 23, where it was like, okay, I’m just going to power through, this is scary, and we’re just going to do it and then it’s not going to be scary anymore. And because of that, like, I got treated like shit by a lot of men and there was some sexual- I don’t want to use the word assault because I don’t think that there- I don’t- it’s very complicated. But basically, like, I consented to something and then I was like, I actually don’t want to do this anymore, but didn’t feel like I could withdraw consent. And anyway, there was a lot of that. And then I sort of started dating this guy at the end of college and, you know, like it was it was more, you know, it was definitely like more about enjoyment in addition to just like his enjoyment. But really, I feel like I didn’t really get to explore sex until I met my my now husband. And he’s the greatest guy in the whole world and was like, you know, after like months of me being like, yeah, this is good, he’s like, But like, is it the best? And I’m like, I mean, yeah, like, I just figured that because of the medications that I was on that like, orgasm was not really a thing that could ever happen for me. Because other friends who were on similar medications told me that. And so he’s like, Well, no, no, no, no. Like, let’s figure it out. Like, it doesn’t have to be sex, but it can be, you know, enjoyable. So and we we had good things going for us for a while. Um, and we’ve been together for five and a half years. We’ve been- we got married during the pandemic in world’s smallest wedding. The pandemic really screwed up a lot of stuff. But I had the dream wedding because of the pandemic. I wanted to elope, and my husband wanted to have a big wedding, and we basically ended up eloping. There were nine people at our wedding. It was great. Ten out of ten recommend for an introvert.
Chris [00:12:04] Let’s pause right there. Ten out of ten recommended for an introvert. Remember those old ads that used to be like, Four out of five dentists agree? That reminds me of that. And hey, ads, you say? We got those. Let’s do some. We’ll be right back. Thank you to all the advertisers who help this show exist. Now, let’s get back to the phone call.
Caller [00:12:31] There were nine people at our wedding. It was great. Ten out of ten recommend for an introvert. Anyway. Then. So while we were on vacation before before we even got engaged, I think we were probably about a year and a half into our relationship, my husband reveals to me that he has this this fantasy. I don’t want to name what it is because I’m worried my mom’s going to listen to this. I just got her into the podcast.
Chris [00:13:02] Great timing.
Caller [00:13:05] Yeah, super timing. And but I so I don’t want to say what it is, but anyway, he has this particular fantasy. I’m like, I am never going to do that. That’s never happening. Like, no, absolutely not. And he’s like, I’m like, You have to be okay with that. Like, please tell me you’re not going to go get this elsewhere, because, like, I really am not going to do this. And he’s like, okay, like, I’m a little sad about your, you know, like your reaction to it. Um, but like, obviously I’m not going to get it elsewhere. So Valentine’s Day that year, I’m like, okay, you know what? Like, maybe I’ll try it, you know, once. I’m not going to like it and like you just so you can check it off of your list or whatever. So we try it once. And because my approach is like with all other things, it’s going to be scary and then we’re going to we’re going to do it and it’s going to be fine and it’s not going to be scary anymore. So we do that. And he’s like, I feel like you actually could enjoy this if you open your mind. And I’m like, I can’t open my mind. This is like very deeply ingrained that this is like not something I’m supposed to like. It’s supposed to have, like, all this other stuff that comes with it that’s unpleasant. I don’t. I don’t want to do this. So sort of I did mention I was like, listen, I think the only way that I would be remotely open to doing this again is if we smoked pot beforehand. Now, I on top of all this other stuff, I have a very complicated relationship with marijuana. I after I graduated from college, I moved to a different state that’s within driving distance of where my parents live. So not too far. But I didn’t know anybody. And I was super lonely. And I just I did not feel like I was meeting the right people. And on top of that, I was working like a regular full time job and I was going to grad school at the same time and it was so exhausting. And I am, like I said, super introverted and like didn’t even really want to hang out with people. And I sort of stumbled into marijuana and I loved the way that my brain felt on marijuana. I am a very, very high strung, anxious person if you couldn’t already tell. And I felt like it gave my brain a break from itself where, like, I could just feel things. Like I could spend like 4 hours in the shower. Like, have you ever taken a shower while high? It’s incredible. Like, everything is amazing. I highly recommend.
Chris [00:15:49] Did you want me to answer or no?
Caller [00:15:50] I didn’t feel like I did- yes, I do. Have you taken a shower while high?
Chris [00:15:54] Not on marijuana. I did accidentally once take a hallucinogen, which was one of the scariest experiences of my life. Wouldn’t say I was, I was- there was a stretch- I’ve been on record about how there was a stretch where I fell off the wagon and took MDMA a few times. And there was one time where I thought I was taking MDMA and it was some very intense hallucinogen, and that was extraordinarily scary. And one of the only things that got me through it was taking a shower for who knows how long in the middle of it.
Caller [00:16:25] Well, I never tried hallucinogens because I would be the person to jump off a building.
Chris [00:16:29] Yes. Same here.
Caller [00:16:29] I would be like, Oh, look, there’s a light.
Chris [00:16:32] I didn’t love it. I didn’t love. I have some reactions. Can I react to some other stuff now that I’ve interrupted the flow? Because you’re in the zone.
Caller [00:16:38] Yes. Please react. Sorry.
Chris [00:16:38] Couple of things I want to say.
Caller [00:16:40] No, I’m a little nervous.
Chris [00:16:41] Listen, I get it. We’ll get in a- me and you, you’re crushing it, and we’re going to get in a real slow. Sex ed, I’m with you. I think I’ve mentioned this on the show before, but I distinctly remember that when I took my middle school sex ed classes, the teachers told us that you could get pregnant from blowjobs. And I look back and I go, Either they were- we- I mean, I was I grew up in a very Catholic section of town, or maybe they just didn’t want all the middle school kids blowing each other. So they were trying to scare us. But I’m with you. Sex education was pitiful growing up, and it needs to be way more aboveboard. Also, will let you know that I went to a town where my elementary school was in a predominantly Jewish part of town, so I had a ton of Jewish friends growing up. And I agree with you. Sleepaway camp made- all the kids who went to sleepaway camp, and that was mostly the Jewish kids in my town, they were much more advanced and chill about sex and sexuality than the rest of us. They seemed to know things and be comfortable about things and less histrionic about things. And it’s probably because they were all diddling around at sleepaway camp. I’m with you. I want to say.
Caller [00:17:55] That is 100% correct.
Chris [00:17:56] Yeah. People go out there, they demystify it at a young age in a way that’s relaxed and probably safe and with some- a broad umbrella of supervision where they know things will be okay and all- there were a lot of kids who just felt like they had figured some stuff out amongst the Jewish kids in my school. And you’re probably right. Probably relates to summer camp. Also, say hello to your mom. Thank you for listening. I don’t want to put you on the spot. I know that you, you and listen, this is largely a joke. I don’t need you to confirm nor deny. I’ll just say I applaud you. You’re going big. You just got your mom to start listening. And maybe she wants to turn this one off and give you your privacy. You’ve said about your, your husband’s fantasy sounds to me like it’s butt stuff, but I don’t want you to reply. I don’t need you to confirm nor deny. But I think a lot of people have had that conversation and a lot of people have tried. And you’re far from the only couple who’s had this exact scenario unfold, if that’s the case. Now, whatever it is, whether it’s that or not, I think a lot of people can probably relate to that as a placeholder if it’s not. So I just wanted to put that out there. Please continue with your story.
Caller [00:19:11] Well, I will neither confirm or deny. I will say I did not grow up in a Jewish area. It’s actually so I actually grew up in Europe, so but I was born in the U.S.. I’m from the East Coast, and I went to summer camp on the East Coast with all the other Jews, which was great because it was the most Jews I had ever been with at one time, I mean, we were in Italy for, for a long period of time. And my mom said, like she started to think like, maybe this is not- maybe we haven’t done the best to the best thing for our children when like, I was holding like a baby doll and she’s like, Oh, you know, your baby, whatever. I’m like, Yeah, it’s Jesus. And she’s like, Oh, God. So, um, so, you know, I mean, I, I didn’t, I certainly didn’t grow up with, like, a lot of people, like, you know, a bunch of other people talking- it was just really a summer camp. And the interesting thing is that, like, my parents themselves, like, aren’t, like, aren’t, like, we will never talk about sex. We will never, you know, I just feel like they they they assumed that at some point I knew all the stuff and then started making jokes about it, which made me uncomfortable. Like, you know, like they would they would sort of joke about their sex life. And I’m like, I don’t need to know any of this. And, you know, then when, like I told them I was, you know, I was pregnant, my my dad, you know, congratulated my husband and then asked if it was fun.
Chris [00:20:48] Whoa.
Caller [00:20:48] Um, so my parents are very sexually. Yeah, it was.
Chris [00:20:53] That’s a bit much.
Caller [00:20:53] And then when I told my gr- then I, then when I told my grandpa, who’s my dad’s dad, he said, Happy holidays! And then he goes, I bet it was a happy holiday. And it was not nowhere near any holiday at that point. So apples don’t fall far from trees. But it was just like, I don’t know at what point that happened where they were like very sexually open, but never sort of gave me any kind of talk about sex and consent and that it should feel good for me, whatever. Anyway, so my husband and I go on this this adventure with the fantasy, I’m going to keep it- I’m not confirming or denying anything. And now we’re starting to use marijuana with with that. And my husband had an ex who, like, used marijuana and he thought like he had a complicated relationship. But anyway, so at the same time, like, I’m tackling his complication, his complicated relationship with marijuana, he is tackling my sort of complicated relationship with this fantasy, and it ends up becoming like sort of peaking during the pandemic when we were sort of locked down. And it ends up being like, great for both of us. You know, we were like having a ton of sex, both his fantasy, both, you know, whatever, but all the time using marijuana. So I had said, like, hey, when we go on our honeymoon, which we went to New Hampshire because everything was closed, which ended up being great, you know, I was like, listen, like, one of the things I want to like sort of bucket list on our honeymoon is to do this thing that we’ve been doing without marijuana. And like, we didn’t even pack any, like, whatever, but we ended up sort of like stopping on like at our house to, like, drop off a bunch of stuff and he’s like, You should bring the marijuana. So I’m like, okay, you know, whatever. He suggested it, not me. And we never we never did it without pot. So again, so starting in like, I would say like mid 2021, like maybe summer of 2021, I’m starting to now be like, this is problematic. Like, I don’t want to have like another problematic relationship with marijuana. Like, I don’t feel like I should need marijuana to have sex with my husband, like that and sort of like a lot of self judgments. And, you know, I’m talking to him about this and I’m, you know, I’m like, honestly, like, sometimes I don’t know if I actually want to have sex or if I just want to smoke pot and then, like, just I feel like I owe you the sex because you gave me the marijuana type thing. Um.
Chris [00:23:40] Right.
Caller [00:23:40] So we, we sort of go through this but like space where he’s like, hey, like, it’s okay if, you know, because originally it was like, Oh, you can only smoke pot or we can only smoke pot if we’re also going to do this thing. And then it sort of, you know, slowly diverted as his relationship became a little bit less complicated with it, like, okay, like we are going to, you know, it’s okay if we just smoke pot and don’t have this do this fantasy thing, and it’s okay if, you know, we don’t have sex at all type thing. So that’s sort of where we were at. And then I got pregnant and, you know, while we were trying to get pregnant, you know, he we were like, look, we don’t want our child to be conceived while we are high. So like, you know, figure if we want to do the fantasy thing, that’s when we can have the marijuana. And when we don’t, you know, when we were actually trying to conceive our child like, no. So. Anyway, we got pregnant immediately, which I was not expecting at all, given my long, complicated history with birth control. And then obviously it was like cold turkey, like, no, no marijuana at all. It’s not good for the baby. Like, I’m trying to read articles that are going to be like, No, it’s fine. And like, nothing I read said that. So I was like, No more. We’re done. Like, we can’t do this anymore. Like, whatever. So. So then I got pregnant. My first trimester was not awesome, not for all the typical reasons, but because I was so anxious.
Chris [00:25:12] Wait, hold on. Let’s slow down. Let’s. Let’s use that as a chance for a break so I can react to some stuff. There’s a ton of information here. So I got to react and jump in. Let’s use that trimester break as a way. I just want to say, that is very complicated. To be having a lot of fun experimenting with sex despite some trepidations, to realize that drugs are tangled up into it when you’re a married couple, that’s like a very… It’s a very layered look at consent these days. Right? And to go, okay, like if we have to take drugs to experiment, at a certain point, does it start to feel like coercion? Does it start to feel- if it’s making you feel any sort of red flag on anyway you want to get out of there, that’s a really intense thing. And I just want to say that sounds like it, it sounds like one of those things that is quietly intense but intense nonetheless. And um I’m glad that you two are able to communicate so clearly both about him communicating what he wants, you figuring out ways to try to explore it with him, you also figuring out ways to go, this is taking on a form that I’m not 100% comfortable with. But I can imagine that might create a lot of a lot of slow burn tension.
Caller [00:26:31] Right. And like I said, my husband is like the greatest guy in the world. He, like, cares about me so much and like, genuinely is like, I don’t know that I enjoy sex as much if you’re not enjoying it, which is like, nice, but can actually cause- like sometimes is.
Chris [00:26:49] Pressure.
Caller [00:26:49] Especially during pregnancy was was a lot of pressure. Um. So my first trimester, I was so anxious I started to have some like bleeding, which turns out I had like, basically, like there was like some sort of thing that was caught between the lining of my uterus, whatever. And so it was causing some bleeding. So I was like, Oh, my God, like, we’re going to kill the baby. Like, I’m already attached, you know, whatever. So that was and also, like, you just feel crappy. And then the second trimester, I was told like, Oh, this is going to be the best sex of your life. You’re going to want to have sex all the time. And I didn’t. And I felt like kind of like a failure because I’m like, shoot, Like, this is supposed to be the time that, like, I’m like, hormones are doing what they do and I’m supposed to, like, you know, want to have all this sex. And I just, like, really did not. You know, I did, I you know, we did have sex during the second trimester, but around 20 weeks I started to develop this really bad pain in my hip that, like, eventually drove me out of my bed in the third trimester because it was just too painful to sleep. And then the third trimester, like, first of all, I had a massive baby and also I had like a rare condition where I had too much amniotic fluid. So I was very, very big at the end. And so and it was also over the summer, which on the East Coast was like an exceptionally hot summer. Um, so I was like, not… I was not comfortable. It was not, I mean, we had air conditioning in our house, but I was like always hot. My hips hurt. I had horrific acid reflux. I couldn’t eat anything. And so, you know, then I think we actually did, you know, at one point I’m like, so they say sex induces labor, like, let’s do this. And he was like, okay, I thought the shop was closed. I’m like, Help me. Spoiler alert, it did nothing. I had to be medically induced. But in any case so then you, you know, give birth, which is like no small feat. And then they’re like, okay, don’t have sex for six weeks. And I’m like, Thank the fuckin Lord. Sorry, Sally. Like, literally the last thing on my mind was, was sex.
Chris [00:29:19] It’s that’s a tough-.
Caller [00:29:19] Like I have this new baby.
Chris [00:29:21] Now, when you react that way, though, does it surprise you? Because it sounds like these discussions and explorations of sexuality were kind of a defining aspect of your relationship before the pregnancy? When you go, Oh, I’m a doctor has told me not to have sex for six weeks, thank God. Thank the Lord. Does that surprise you to hear that thought come out, or were. you already kind of leaning that way?
Caller [00:29:45] Well, you haven’t given birth, but it’s it’s not really the most comfortable thing, during and also after.
Chris [00:29:54] That was the sense I got being in the room as that happened in front of me. Yeah. I didn’t get the- I wouldn’t say, Oh, it was comfortable. Not at all. It was terrifying and overwhelming and beautiful, obviously. But yeah, no, I’m with you.
Caller [00:30:09] So I had a massive baby, like I said, and so I had like a third degree tear, which means I ripped through a lot of tissue. Like… A lot of it. Like, I don’t want to give too much information because it’s like kind of gross. Like, people would be like, that’s horrific. Um, so there was a lot of ripping and they had to sew me back together and like, there’s like a bunch of fluids that start leaking out of you and like, there’s blood everywhere. Like, literally they took me to the bathroom after I gave birth and they’re like, pee! And I’m like, I don’t have to pee. They’re like, You must pee. I’m like, I don’t have to. And they’re like, hosing me off. I’m like, What’s happening? But yeah, so I don’t know if it was so much of like this is a complicated issue or like I have this new baby that, like, sucks on my boobs all day. My like, I’ve been almost ripped completely apart. I can’t even use toilet paper because that’s too abrasive. You know, like, it was not- also like, you don’t sleep. I think I slept two and a half hours the first night we were home from the hospital. Like just not not on my top ten list of things I want to be doing right now.
Chris [00:31:24] Let’s pause right there. You’re going to notice, everybody, it’s officially hitting a turning point. I’m going to lose it. Not lose it. I’ve lost it worse on the show. But between what the caller is describing and me also seeing myself and knowing which- how- knowing where I was in this- my version of this story, ooh, I’m going to lose it. Look, you’ll look. Listen, look forward to that. Here’s some ads. We’ll get that and a lot more. I’ll be right back. Thanks again to our advertisers. Now we’re going to finish off the phone call.
Caller [00:32:00] I think I slept two and a half hours the first night we were home from the hospital. Like, just not not on my top ten list of things I want to be doing right now. Um. So I’m like, I was lucky. Like, I didn’t have, you know, as much like someone’s like, oh, I couldn’t sit on- I couldn’t sit on a chair. I’m like, no, I could sit on a chair. And someone’s like, Oh, I leaked every time I like stood up. I’m like, No, I didn’t have that. But like, again, like it’s it’s you don’t want to put something in there. Or I didn’t. I mean, some people some people do. But I was like, No.
Chris [00:32:36] Sure. The birth of your kid means that all these conversations about sex are going to take a180 Where now you’re in the driver’s seat defining them. The physical side of it is really going to dictate how things go. And I’m worried, I have to say on my end, I’m a little worried about about what you’re about to tell me.
Caller [00:32:59] I think we’ve had sex maybe three times since I gave birth.
Chris [00:33:04] And remind me how old?
Caller [00:33:05] Maybe two and a half. She’s four and a half months old.
Chris [00:33:08] Four and a half months old. And you said how many times?
Caller [00:33:11] Maybe three.
Chris [00:33:13] Well, listen, though, four and a half months old. That’s only what that’s like 18 weeks. And you weren’t even allowed to for those first six? I don’t know if that’s bad. I don’t know if you’re doing that bad.
Caller [00:33:29] Well, you should tell my husband that.
Chris [00:33:29] I think there’s probably a lot of other couples who have had kids- Yeah, your husband might just need- honestly, your husband might just need somebody- He’s hoping that when that six weeks hits, that it’s like, like you’ve been sitting at a stoplight and the light turns green and you can just floor it on the gas pedal, it sounds like, right?
Caller [00:33:46] Yeah. And like, maybe we could if we didn’t have, like, a baby to take care of. You know, that’s the other thing too. So, okay, so now we have this baby. I already have all these complicated issues. And my husband goes back to work two weeks after she’s born, which in hindsight was a terrible idea. We should not have done it that way. But this is what we’re- this is how we’ve done it. So I’ve been off. So my husband is, like, relatively useless with little sleep. So I do most or we had a system that we that we were like we would take half the night. But then she started sleeping through sort of like his sort of shift of the night. And so then I was getting up. She would wake up like every 2 hours, but like at two and then at four and then at six. So I was getting up and like I was doing relatively well. And then, you know, at a certain point, like the sleep deprivation just starts to murder you. So I was I like went into the really dark places. There were times- she also had like a lot of feeding issues at the beginning. So, like there were times where, like, she was wailing. I was wailing. I had to bang on the door to be like, I need help. Like, you know, whatever. And now, you know, I think when she when she was like just three, like just after she was three months old, I’m like, enough of your reign of terror. I’m putting you on a schedule. And she’s been much, much better ever since. We got our first sleep through the night a couple of nights ago, which was magnificent.
Chris [00:35:06] That’s huge. Congrats.
Caller [00:35:07] Yes.
Chris [00:35:08] I got I got to say things if I can. I got to say a few things If I can.
Caller [00:35:12] Please, please.
Chris [00:35:12] Because you get a lot of info out at once. So I’m gonna jump in and say a few things. First of all, my son is three and a half years old. He woke us up two nights ago. I think he woke us up six times throughout the night. So it doesn’t stop.
Caller [00:35:25] Oh, good.
Chris [00:35:26] This sleep thing, doesn’t sto. And can I send a message to your husband? And I don’t know if he’s going to watch this or not. And you’ve made it so clear that your husband’s a great guy. You’ve made it so clear. And I’m not judging. I’m not mad at him, but I want to just dad to dad put a few things out there if that’s cool?
Caller [00:35:49] Yeah.
Chris [00:35:50] So I grew up on Marvel Comics from when I was about seven or eight years old. And people of my age will remember, the kids who liked Marvel Comics back in the day. This did not make them on the on the cutting edge of pop culture. This was not a- San Diego. Comic-Con had not yet come to define our collective pop culture experience in a cool way. It meant that, like, I’d wear an X-Men T-shirt and bullies would mock and sometimes hit me. Okay? It’s so exciting for me that Marvel became what it became. These movies come out. I was there every every opening night for all the Marvel movies. I’m going, I can’t believe they pulled off this one. I can’t believe this one crossed over with that one. Oh, my goodness. You got to stay till the end credits because they’re actually building this shared world. Oh, they got Spider-Man correct. Captain America, Civil War, I’m sitting there weeping in the theater because I’m like, Spider-Man is finally coming off as this, like, insecure, quippy little teenager, blah, blah, blah. So my son is born. The next time an Avengers movie came out, I really wanted to go opening night. My wife said, I don’t know if that’s in the cards. I got real- in the cards. I got real pissy about it. It’s like, but this is a thing I do. And guess what? The reality had changed. I had to realize I’m a dad. I made choices in my life. There’s a baby here now. The baby supersedes everything. The baby supersedes my need to see Marvel movies opening weekend. Now, this might sound like a tangent, but it’s not in the sense that I think what your husband needs to hear is that, yes, he has his priorities in life now, but every single one of those priorities right now needs to be filtered through two things, which is one, the child and the child’s needs. And particularly right now, in this first year or so, your needs as his partner. And you just got to come to grips with it. Your body has been put through hell. This kid was big. You got- and pardon me for speaking so bluntly- you got torn up, okay? You physically got put through it. This kid is now taking some ownership of your body, and you have to share that in a way that’s not always a choice and always comfortable. You’re up on 2 hours sleep in the middle of the night with a crying kid who needs to be fed, and you have to offer them access to a part of your body that, you know, 80% of the time of our human existence, we cover up and keep private. It’s all shared now. You’re being put through the ringer. And I think there might be some level in what I’m sorting out here out of a ton of information of just your husband is a great guy, you love him to death, but he needs someone to tell him in a blunt way- and it might be me right now going, Take a deep breath, dude. Go in the other room… And jerk off if you gotta. Be classy and quiet about it, because right now your body cannot exist for his needs. His frustrations are real. You respect them. I respect them. Take a deep breath. Take the hit. You’re not there mentally. You’re not there physically. Just because someone says you can’t have sex for six weeks doesn’t mean that when the six week mark comes in, then all of a sudden you have to. Not at all. Sounds like some of the experimenting with pot merged with some sexual fantasies, created some issues of not quite crossing the boundaries of consent, but certainly bringing up some question marks surrounding comfort level in the terms of consent. So take a deep breath. Remember that you’re part of a greater whole, that this is now a family unit, and that you getting your rocks off is not anybody’s biggest priority right now. And it shouldn’t be yours. And there’s a little bit of judgment. Sure. But I tell you, it’s coming from somebody who went through the same thing a few years ago and realizes your wife doesn’t exist as a platform for your fantasies. Not ever. And in particular, not right now. So I’m just going to say that all out loud. And you might jump in and go, It’s not quite that severe, Chris. And I’ll go, Great. But maybe there’s somebody else out there who needed to hear it that severely. I don’t know. But your wife doesn’t exist for you to experiment with your fantasies. It’s not a shared thing right now. It doesn’t sound like it 100% ever was. And it’s really not right now. And I get the sense maybe he’s not sleeping great. Maybe he’s stressed out and he’s not seeing it. Especially if those fantasies aren’t totally shared and that impulse to explore them isn’t totally shared, take a deep breath. Go in the other room. If you get really pent up, go in the other room when everybody else is asleep. Take care of it. There’s no shame in it. But chill out. Chill. Out!
Chris [00:40:45] I hope that helps and doesn’t hurt. And again, thank you to your mother for listening.
Caller [00:40:49] It does help. It does help. Please call his therapist and tell her, tell her to say that to him.
Chris [00:40:56] It’s not my job and I don’t know- I only know your side of the story. But right now, what I’m hearing.
Caller [00:41:03] No, that’s not fair. You do only know my side of the story.
Chris [00:41:04] Yes, but right now what I’m hearing is a four and a half month old child, a mom who went through a really hard birth, everything about your body just rearranged physically, hormonally, everything about your sleep schedule just changed. Everything about your priorities just changed. I’ve been there, dude. I’ve been there. The beauty of being part of this experience and this unit is so profound in a way that I can’t even ever hope to explain. Getting your priorities that- I wanted to go to Jiu Jitsu class all the time after my son was born. I wanted to go see movies. Our sex life had changed. Did I sometimes wish it would change back in certain ways?Of course, I’m sure my wife did too. But get over it. Your need to nut is causing problems you’re not seeing right now to the point where your wife is talking about it on my podcast with me. She’s rooting for you. So step up and be who she needs you to be right now. There’s nothing particularly outlandish or ridiculous about the notion.
Caller [00:42:14] Okay. So I do think I think the biggest sort of… So because of our sort of weird sleep thing, we don’t really spend a lot of time together, which is problematic and that’s something I’m trying to change. I’m, you know, because it used to be like I would go to bed at seven and then when she and so he would take the first half of the night and then like, I would be up, you know, from two until, you know, seven the next day. But, you know, now that she’s sleeping a little bit more consistently, one of the, you know, like I could theoretically stay up later than I currently do to spend more time with him because he’s at work pretty much the entire day. So that’s on me. And I do think we need to start scheduling-
Chris [00:43:06] Hold. On.
Caller [00:43:06] Some time where we are.
Chris [00:43:11] Hold on. And I’m not. I’m just trying not to get mad right now. I’m not trying to get mad at him. And I’m not trying to get mad at you. But it’s not on you! And it’s not necessarily on him. But you going, I could just stay up later because he’s at work all the time. He could also work less. But the real thing is this: The baby don’t care about your sex life. The both of you need to realize this. And it took me way too long to realize this. And there’s so many- I hope everybody can hear my voice. I’m also kicking myself from three years ago in this. The baby doesn’t give a shit about how your husband wants to do it in the butt. He doesn’t care. She doesn’t care. The baby doesn’t. The baby needs to be fed. The baby is wet and it’s bothering the baby. The baby’s going to scream and interrupt everything. You’ll get back there. But it’s not in the first four months of your kid being born. And it’s not for- even just hearing you saying that’s on me. No, it’s not. The idea that a brand new mom is going to stay up- if you can get 20 minutes of sleep, you need to go get the 20 minutes of sleep. And it’s not on you to prioritize that over your husband, especially if he’s working all the time. He could find a way to work less. And someday it will hit a point where you’ll turn around. And you’ll go, holy shit, this kid can hold her own head up. And we have a feeling she’ll take a bottle from someone who’s not one of us. And we might be able to get a babysitter for three or 4 hours and maybe we’ll go see a movie. Or maybe we’ll go get a dinner. Or yes, maybe we’ll get a hotel room for the night knowing we’re only going to go use it for three or 4 hours so we have alone time then. But it’s not on you. It’s not on your husband. It’s not on the baby. It’s affected by the baby. It’s not on you. I don’t even want to hear you say that. Okay. Sorry.
Caller [00:44:59] No, it’s okay. It’s. I think it’s refreshing to hear that I’m not crazy, that I feel like I should be further along in this process.
Chris [00:45:09] No. No.
Caller [00:45:10] Like with… My husband does need to prioritize the baby more, in my opinion. He had- on a drive back to where my parents live for Thanksgiving, he had said to me, like, if I had known what we were getting into, I would have asked us to wait longer before we had a kid. And that makes me sad because for me, my daughter is the greatest thing in the whole universe. She’s like the sun and the moon and the stars. And like, granted, it’s a little narcissistic of me because, like, I’m her favorite person and like, she sees me in the morning and she gets a big smile across her face and she laughs and she’s just like the greatest. And he hasn’t really gotten to experience that yet because he’s been working all the time and, you know, all, all of that. But I would never I, you know, we wouldn’t have gotten this baby if we had waited. And this baby is a lot of work. And she’s very opinionated and is not like one of those chill babies. And I love everything about her, and I think she’s the greatest. But my husband, my husband feels like he’s still entitled to like a significant amount of downtime, you know, wherein he can, you know, he’s currently making his way through all 40 something of the Marvel movies. Um, and, you know, has other like side projects that he’s working on. Like I come home this morning from walking with my daughter and he’s like doing something. And I’m like, What is this for? And it’s like not anything that needs immediate attention. And I’m like, This doesn’t, like, not not to be crass, but like, this doesn’t make me want you. Like, the sexiest thing he’s done for me in recent days is that, like, I spilled breast milk and he cleaned it up and I was like, Ugh, I hate cleaning up breast milk. Like that is amazing that I didn’t have to do that. I don’t I don’t know. I feel bad because, like I said, my husband is a great guy and like, he loves me so much. I do feel like his priorities are a little different and not necessarily what I would want them to be. But I, you know, I- not that I worry that I can’t say that I worry that it’s on me. I, I don’t know. I guess I don’t I have one friend who I can talk about this kind of thing with and like her experience is very different because her partner, you know, they did things differently. They also have like a way chiller baby. And she also had a different birthing experience than me. And so I just feel very lonely cause I like I said, I only have one friend that I can talk about this with and, you know, all my therapists think that I’m sort of in the right, but they only hear my side of the story. And I don’t know.
Chris [00:48:06] I’m also only hearing your side of the story as well. But here’s what’s interesting about…
Caller [00:48:13] But you haven’t known me for 14 years.
Chris [00:48:15] No, I’ve only known you for 45 minutes, you know, but… I’m only hearing your side of the story, but I’ve also lived through my version of this story very recently. And I want to tell you something. First of all, you’re not insane. Second of all, every couple that has their first kid goes through this. Their version of it. I don’t know too many friends in my life who had their first kid and were able to accurately predict the changes that were coming and then nail their adjustments to them in a way where their lives felt completely fulfilled. It’s that’s a fantasy. It doesn’t happen. And we don’t talk about this enough. Everybody on this show has listened to me grow up. You said you’ve been listening to 2017, so you heard me go from like Mr. Hipster Comedy to now I’m like a lame dad who’s thinking about going back to grad school. You’ve heard it. We don’t talk enough. The first few years of having a kid, it’s really hard. And it’s all been during the pandemic too. This is hard. We have this whole thing. It takes a village to raise a child, but we don’t really live that way anymore. We don’t really live where there’s a communal raising of our kids, let alone the past few years where we’re all avoiding each other intentionally. And I just have to say again, if your husband hears this someday, from my perspective, I’m sitting here almost kicking myself. Because I think about the choices I made. And I’m inherently prone to being on your side because I’m on the phone with you right now. But I can just say, your husband’s got to realize he’s not doing anything wrong per say. He’s not a bad guy. But having lived through it and having done this myself, he’s missing a lot of signals. He’s not realizing that there’s a lot of things that have permanently changed or at least changed more learned long term than he would like. And he’s got to start adjusting to that because, again, if he hears it someday, I want to promise both you and him, in a year, this will seem like much less of a big deal. In three years, you’ll probably think back and laugh about it. But right now you’re in it. And I do just want to say something that it sounds like you’re realizing and that I’m realizing immediately, because I didn’t always do a great job with this myself but that he needs to realize is, Dude, the choices you’re making right now are going to affect this relationship in three years, five years, ten years. You have an opportunity to be fully engaged. You have an opportunity to be more selfless. You saying the sexiest thing he did was clean up breast milk? I look back, I go, the amount of dishes I’ve done in the last three and a half years because I’ve just realized it’s something that I can’t- even I rarely fuck up. Let me take every dish. Let me do this. Let me do that. And again, I’m no saint. My wife would be the first to tell you I have fucked things up left and right. But a lot of the things I fucked up in those first six months to a year after our kid, are things that we’re still unwrapping. And we’re still rebuilding some trust and we’re still adjusting the game plan. And something that you said that I also want to call it because it brings so true to me, you have this inherent- that that kid was in your belly for nine months, kicking, rolling around. You felt it. If the kid got agitated and woke up, you’d sing, the baby would calm down. It’s beautiful. It’s magical. Anybody who’s been around a newborn baby and its mom in those first few months goes, Oh, there is some weird aspect of civilization and humanity that ties back to the roots of our species in a way we’ll never be able to say with words or write down. But you look at a baby and- a newborn and its mother, and you go, Whoa, we’re part of something big here and ancient here. And then the dad’s going, And I’m also off to the side trying not to fuck everything up. I remember my wife telling me- I’ve never been a coffee drinker my whole life. I remember my wife saying to me, I don’t have time to make coffee. If you could just learn how to work the coffee maker and make me my coffee, it would just save me ten, 15 minutes that I don’t have any more. And I tried. And the first time I did, I spilled the coffee all over the floor. We had a doula come in at one point because things were so tough for us, and she brought hard boiled eggs and they were all peeled. And I noticed that. And she said, Yeah, when I, when I’m when I make hard boiled eggs for a new mom, I peel the eggs because a new mom doesn’t have time to peel a hard boiled egg. That takes 15 seconds. Your husband’s got to realize shit’s changed. The quickest way for him to get back to what he wants is to figure out the new version of him now, because life’s not swinging back in his direction. He’s got to adjust. He’s got to stop being subtly jealous because dads are also off to the side while this connection between mom and baby is happening. Deal with it and figure out how to step up. Figure out how to stay out of the way. Figure out how to help make forward progress. And help. And your wife has reiterated so many times that she loves you. She wants to be having sex with you again. Now is not the time, my friend. So I’m so sorry about that.
Caller [00:54:07] Find out about the coffee. I actually have been drinking cold coffee so that I can make it ahead of time, put it in a pitcher and then pour it in the morning.
Chris [00:54:15] And that’s not what you want. You want hot coffee. You want hot coffee but you drink cold coffee now.
Caller [00:54:19] I actually- I actually live in an area, an area of the East Coast where everybody drinks iced coffee, no matter what the weather is. So it’s not that unheard of.
Chris [00:54:29] Listen, I also want to say too, all the shit that I just laid out was while I was living in New York City with a coffee shop on my block and a laundromat on my block and a fucking grocery store at the corner and a supermarket a block away. And it was that hard for me in a place that had access to everything. Most people don’t have access to any of that. So I hear you. Your husband’s being a bit of a bonehead right now. I can say it. I can tell you love them. You guys are going to be fine. But he got to realize he’s making some choices right now. And that’s the sad part, right? He doesn’t realize, Oh, dude, this is kind of changing my opinion of you. And I did that. And me and my wife had to rebuild some things. Everybody does.
Caller [00:55:15] Well and then he wants to have another one. And if that one’s not a boy, then he wants to try for a third. I say, if- you can carry the third one. I’ll tap out. I’m tapping out at two.
Chris [00:55:25] Is it weird for me to say that this bothers me? This guy who wants to indulge his sexual fantasies at your discomfort, who wants to do his little fucking art project, whatever he’s doing on the side, wants you to- is grumpy you won’t to have sex with him and is insisting on having a boy until- we’re going to pop ’em out until there’s a boy… I don’t know who your husband is. You only told me about him for five 0 minutes now. 50. I sit here I go that shit sounds like a fucking dude who needs to stop buying into the fucking misogyny. And people can call me a white knight if they want to.
Caller [00:56:01] No, he’s not like that.
Chris [00:56:01] Really? The dude who wants to get you high so he can have his sex fantasies, who wants you to start having sex before you’re ready after birth and really wants a boy?
Caller [00:56:10] To be fair, I suggested that.
Chris [00:56:11] This guy needs to stop with the patriarchy. No, you’re telling me I’m wrong. I’ll stop. I’ll shut up.
Caller [00:56:17] No, no, no. I mean, to be, he hasn’t brought up the potential third child. Oh, he did, I think, say this as a joke when we were, like, really in the thick of the newborn stage. He’s like, This is so awful, maybe we should just have another one right now so that we don’t have to, like, do this again. And I said, That’s a good one.
Chris [00:56:33] Yeah. I mean, I tell you, though, that’s I’m going to tell you something for real. You know, everybody wants to give advice when you’re about to have your first kid. I remember another comedian friend of mine, he had had twins and he goes, You want my- he found out my wife is pregnant and he goes, Do you want the realest advice I have? I go, Yeah. He goes, commit right now, before the baby is born that you’re just not going to get divorced in the first year. Just don’t get divorced. Just decide ahead of time. I’ll give it a year before I even considered divorce. That’s how hard it’s about to be. I was like, Holy shit. And he wasn’t wrong. It’s hard.
Caller [00:57:13] I don’t think I would have believed that advice if I had heard it, to be honest. Because, I mean, we’ve lived through a pandemic together. Like I remember like somebody asking me, like, what’s the best thing to come out of the pandemic? What’s the worst thing? And I said, the worst thing was trying to replan a wedding. And the best thing is that I’ve never been more sure about who I want to spend the rest of my life with. And I, you know, I never would have believed that advice if somebody told me. But there there are days that I’m like, one of the three of us is going out the window and I will never let it be the baby. Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s you. Granted, we live on the ground floor so that wouldn’t really do anything. But-
Chris [00:57:51] It would just be escape. It would just be it would be like pushing him into the hall. That’s good to know. I just want to say this too. Again, because your husband and I, if I met you, your husband and I would have so much more to talk about. And listen. I’m no saint.
Caller [00:58:06] Yeah, you guys would get along for sure.
Chris [00:58:07] Listen, I have screwed up everything you can screw up as a husband and a father in these first three and a half years. And then I just try to step up and refill the tank. Your husband’s got to realize that if you- if he’s working all day and you’re out with your daughter and you come home and he’s putting together a fucking Lego set or whatever his little thing is, that you’re going to go, you fold the fucking laundry instead- like you’re being nice. He doesn’t even realize he’s getting all frustrated and you’re sitting here going, why do I fold up the fucking laundry if you have time for Legos? And I’ve done my version of that! I’ve done my version of that. He can avoid a world of pain. Here’s the things that you need right now. If your husband wants to get you back in the mood to screw his brains out, dude, if you’re listening, take that baby. Have a daddy daughter night. And let your wife go out to dinner with her friends. Give her that. I don’t know if that’s happened for you yet, but like, make that your number one goal. Go ahead and say, like, if the laundry’s piling up, say, I work too much so I don’t have time to do it. But I also see that you don’t. I’m bringing it to a drop off place this week. Fuck it, we’ll find the money elsewhere. You know? Start to notice if those dishes are piling up and do them. Or say, screw this, we’re going to get some take out so we don’t generate some dishes today. We just all need a breather. Let’s do it. You need to start thinking really small about the sexiest thing that you could give your wife right now, which is time. That’s the most enticing aphrodisiac you can offer a new mother is some of her time back and some of her life back. And I know that you’re listening going, But I got 150 valid complaints of my own. Yes, you do. And they’re all real, too. And many of mine were as well. But, dude. Make some choices now that are in the service of the family. Because you’ll get all the stuff you want when things are back on track. And right now, do the minimum amount of permanent damage as you can because you don’t even realize you’ve been doing some. Okay. We’ve got 20 seconds left.
Caller [01:00:29] There’s a lot of pressure. Thank you for listening. I think is what I have to say and making me feel like I’m not insane or broken or that there’s something wrong with me.
Chris [01:00:39] No, it’s scary for me because… I want to be clear. I did not nail it. And I fucked up in some very similar ways to the ways your husband is fucking up right now. So I’m just- it’s absolutely a do as I say, not as I do thing, but I’m sitting here going, Dude, she’s coming home and you’re like, No, but I still like woodworking. Look, I’m making a birdhouse. It’s soothing my soul. It’s like, nobody gives a shit about your birdhouse right now. And I wish that I didn’t spend so much time wanting to do my jujitsu classes after the kid was born because I didn’t even realize- I’m like, I need that. I need that. It’s good for my body and soul. Yeah, sure. Hold the fuck off right now. And, you’ll, you’ll save yourself so much work in the long run. Anyway. I’m your husband in this. I fucked up. I fucked up as bad as he’s fucking up. He’s not a bad guy. But he’s fucking up.
Caller [01:01:41] Well, hopefully things turn around.
Chris [01:01:44] I hope so. I think they will, too. And like I said, you know, we have so many parents who listen to this show, and I feel like so many of them right now are thinking back to those first six months going, yeah, you barely survive. And welcome to a long and storied tradition of couples who barely survive the boot camp that is the first chunk of of months after having a kid. It’s also, though, the coolest thing in the world.
Caller [01:02:16] Yeah. I mean, every day is like a totally new adventure.
Chris [01:02:24] Caller, thank you so much for most of all for opening up about some stuff that is personal and not easy to talk about and allowing me to send some straight talk in your husband’s direction. And again, if he’s hearing it, do not be mad. I’ve been there. I did the same thing and I’m just trying to save you the long term repercussions by telling you get your head in the game more short, short term. I wish I had. This show is produced by Anita Flores. It’s engineered by the great Jared O’Connell. Theme song is by ShellShag. Go to ChrisGeth.com if you wanna know more about me, including my tour dates. And hey, wherever you’re listening, there’s a button that says, Subscribe, Favorite, Follow. Something like that. You go ahead and you hit that button, it helps the show so much. If you want merch, podswag.com. You want episodes without ads? Stitcher Premium. Use the promo code “stories” for a one month free trial at Stitcher.com/premium.
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