When I decided it was time to have a baby (thanks to the fact that I was in love with my husband and not at all because my IG was suddenly flooded with sono pics, TYVM), I did All Of The Things to make it happen. I tracked my cycle! I took ovulation tests! I ate different seeds at different times of the month in some sort of hippy-dippy effort to boost my fertility! It wasn’t until I turned to erotica, though, that I actually managed to get knocked up. Say what you will about other trying to conceive (TTC) methods, but I stand by the fact that clit-lit got me pregnant.
You see, growing up, I was always under the impression that the moment I so much as thought about having unprotected sex, I would become ~with child.~ Blame it on that sex-ed scene from Mean Girls, but by the time I was actually ready to have kids, I really only knew how to *not* have them. In my defense, I had spent over half of my life doing everything possible to ensure I didn’t wind up a teen mom (well, everything outside of abstinence, ofc. I’m responsible, not a saint).
So when the day finally came that I wanted to get pregnant, I had no idea how to actually make it happen. Sure, I knew the gist — I might be from Florida, but our shoddy education system still covered that much. As far as timing, positions, fertility windows, and ovulation signs, though? I was clueless. So, I did what any Type A does best: I went down a rabbit hole of WebMD articles and Reddit forums until I knew all the tricks and tips for trying to conceive.
Wondering what they are? Glad you asked (since no one actually felt like telling us during adolescence). ASTROGLIDE’s resident sexual health advisor, Dr. Erika Aragona, tells Betches tracking your periods, checking your cervical mucus, and taking your basal body temperature are a few popular ways to time intercourse for when you’re ovulating (aka the only time you can actually get pregnant). “Having sex every other day for a window of six days — with your ovulation day at the center — is key to increasing your chances of getting pregnant,” she explains.
Armed with knowledge like I had been studying for finals, I went into my first “I’m going to get pregnant” sex sesh with the confidence of someone who was about to fuck up the curve for everyone else. I knew *exactly* what to do, and by God, I was going to get me a baby.
The first time I had sex in an effort to get pregnant, it was basically like ~losing my virginity~ all over again. I was nervous! I was excited! I was absolutely going to light a zillion tealight candles and make a playlist, dammit! The second time I had sex in an effort to get pregnant, I was still excited, but I didn’t feel the need to light the candles or pace things out to get through all of my carefully chosen baby-making jams. By the 15th time I had sex in an effort to get pregnant, things felt about as sexy as an episode of The Handmaid’s Tale. Dramatic? Always. But as month after month went by and I repeatedly laid back and spread my legs whenever an ovulation test told me to, it was pretty fucking clear the magic was gone. Orgasms were officially a thing of the past; I just wanted to get in, out, and on with it so I could finally reach MILF status.
That was, of course, until an old pal drunkenly whispered a single word at a wedding that quite literally changed everything.
“Credence,” she’d muttered, her vodka breath warm and humid against my earlobe.
We had been hitting all the small talk basics — shows we’d been watching and books we’d been reading — when the title came to her like a revelation. When she saw the blank look on my face, she motioned for my phone and pulled up Amazon. I watched as she typed the title into the search bar, her lips mouthing the word as her fingers moved, and a nondescript book with a smattering of trees on the cover popped up. Without hesitating, she clicked “order.”
“Trust me,” she said, handing my phone back as I started to protest. “Your vagina will thank me later.”
The Reading of Credence
Attempting to explain the plot of Credence would be doing the book a major disservice. “Don’t even look at the description,” my friend said when I told her it had arrived at my doorstep. “Just start reading.”
I stand by her recommendation because if I outline the story, trolls will be sending me weird emails for the next decade. It’s pretty much as taboo as things get, and then it crosses another few dozen or so lines. The very, very, very short TL;DR is that a young woman goes to live with three very hot, very distant step (emphasis on the “step”) relatives. That’s all I’m saying — but whatever you think is going to happen? Yeah, don’t worry. It gets weirder.
Of course, I didn’t know any of this as I casually cracked open the 400+ page book. Based on the cover art, I thought it maybe had to do with hiking or nature. A sort of coming-of-age-in-the-forest kind of thing. It didn’t take long to realize what all the fuss was about. It wasn’t the story or the characters or the dialogue. And it definitely wasn’t the pretty pine trees on the font.
It was the sex. All the hot, nasty, voyeuristic sex.
These erotic scenes — which seemed to happen on every other page — made Fifty Shades look like a Katherine Heigl rom-com. I was squirming in my seat within minutes, surprised to find heat pooling between my legs. Sex had become so robotic in an effort to make a baby, I almost forgot what it felt like to get really turned on. As I read about hands caressing bodies and tongues flicking parts, I could feel my face getting more and more flushed. By the time my husband got home from work, I had finished half of the book and was practically pulsating on the couch.
Like most people with vaginas, reaching that mythical climax orgasm isn’t always cut and dry for me. I usually include some sex toys during the P-in-V portion because, hi, penetration alone doesn’t typically get the job done. This time, however, was different. My body was already so on edge, I had one of those orgasms you only see in movies. The type where you roll your eyes because the main character hops on top of a dude and is coming within 30 seconds. It happened to me! And 10 minutes later, it happened again, all while my vibrator sat untouched in my bedside drawer.
For close to a year, I solely had sex when some LH strips told me to and not when I actually wanted to. In fact, I never really wanted to since it had become so unromantic. So scientific. So…unsexy. As I finished the book over the next few days, though, I found myself insatiable. And the fact that I was in my fertile window? Was a mere footnote of motivation for the first time in months. So much so that for a second, I forgot I had actually been trying when two little pink lines greeted me on a pee stick 14 days later.
So…Did Erotica *Actually* Get Me Pregnant?
I tried getting pregnant for close to 12 months (with an unfortunate miscarriage along the way) before finally getting knocked up with my now-5-month-old. Every single cycle, I took my basal temperature. I used a special sperm-friendly lubricant. I tracked my period. I ate my fucking fertility seeds. But it wasn’t until I took some of the science out of the evaluation (and added Credence into the mix) that my pregnancy actually stuck.
According to Dr. Erika, this could be for a number of reasons. First of all? It might have just been a coincidence. It can take up to a year for healthy couples under the age of 35 to conceive naturally, so the stars (or sperm/egg, if you will) might have just finally aligned as I read the raunchiest book in history.
It also could have been thanks to the fact that for the first time in a certified while, I was orgasming (like a lot) when TTC. “A woman’s pelvic floor muscles contract during orgasm, which might encourage and even help the transportation of sperm,” Dr. Erika notes. While she admits there aren’t a lot of studies out there supporting the theory, it makes sense from an evolutionary perspective. Right? Like, I love that for our species.
The last (and the most likely) reason my Credence month resulted in conception is simply thanks to how *good* the sex I had was. “Oftentimes, stress can make it more difficult to get pregnant,” Dr. Erika explains. “It is SO easy to say and very hard to do, but relaxing and taking the pressure off can actually help get your body to its ultimate health, which can help increase odds of getting pregnant.”
While no one can say for sure whether it was the book or just cosmic timing that made me a mom, the one thing I do know is that whenever I’m ready to give my babe a sibling, I’ll be sure to stock my Amazon cart up with smutty books right along with my PreSeed lube.