What Preggophilia Means (And Why There's No Reason To Be Ashamed Of Your Fetish)

Photo: Sandra Seitamaa on Unsplash
What Preggophilia Means (And Why There's No Reason To Be Ashamed Of Your Fetish)

When a dear friend of mine was pregnant and her belly finally "popped," she was stoked to finally share photos of her baby bump with friends online.

I was just about to click "like" underneath her cute belly when a comment from a mutual friend popped up.

"Oh my god, be so careful sharing these pics," the friend wrote. "There are perverts who get off to them online."

Exactly what every happy and proud mom-to-be wants to hear, right? That her baby bump is inspiring probably someone to masturbate ... sigh ... and oh Facebook, naturally, where it's totally okay to say stuff like this to people you haven't spoken to since high school.

That said, what the commenter in question was talking about is a real thing called preggophilia — also known as a pregnancy fetish.

What is preggophilia?

Preggophilia, also known as maiesiophilia or maieusophoria, is a kink — meaning a sexual interest or activity that is outside of what traditional society considers normal or conventional — involving a sexual attraction to pregnant women and their bodies.

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There is a real social stigma against people who are sexually attracted to women because they are pregnant.

Part of that is due to sexism.

According to society, woman who is pregnant is in the business of making a child and therefore can't be viewed as sexy or sexual. The fact that there's a large group of people who disagree doesn't open the subject for debate — it just makes them "weird" in the eyes of our society.

The other way sexism factors in pertains to the child itself, as people question why a "normal" man want to have sex with a woman who is carrying another man's child? Surely that would make him feel emasculated, no?

These sexist viewpoints only serve to limit and shame people based on gender stereotypes and societal expectations.

To learn more about preggophilia, I interviewed a man who identifies as having a pregnancy fetish. I'll call him Greg, though that is not his real name.

Sexism regarding his preferred kink has given him a world of grief.

"Men think there's something wrong with me, that I could have sex with a woman like that," he said. "But her carrying a baby that isn't mine doesn't say literally anything about me being a man."

He's also bothered by the sexism this judgmental point of view wields against pregnant women.

"The amount of women I've met whose husbands have stopped having intercourse with them because they are pregnant is mind-blowing," said Greg. "A woman's body changes into something new and beautiful when she's pregnant, and if her husband can't see that, he's been f—ed up by our society. Plus, he's missing some hot sex."

Another thing that causes some to rush to judge people who practice preggophilia is the basic fact that a pregnant woman will eventually give birth to a child.

These people confuse men who are attracted to pregnant women with men who are attracted to children, a deeply incorrect misinterpretation that could not be further from the truth.

"If anything," says Greg, "in my mind, being attracted to a pregnant woman is the total opposite of being attracted to children. I am attracted to adult women doing something only adult women can do. I'm not mentally ill or disturbed. I know what I like."

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Like most kinks, as long as preggophilia is practiced responsibly and with consent, it's not for any of us to screw up our little noses and go, "Eeeeeew!"

Do I relish the idea of someone being all about my heavily pregnant body? No. But then, I know a lot of what I get up to in bed wouldn't appeal to plenty of other folks either.

I'm sure there are men who practice preggophilia who steal photos of women from social media to sell or trade online, just as there are men who steal photos of non-pregnant women to sell, trade or masturbate to, as well.

But that doesn't make every single person who is sexually attracted to pregnant women gross or bad.

And to be clear, it's not the masturbation that's the problem in those scenarios —​ it's the non-consensual (and often illegal) nature of having photos stolen and distributed.

So let's not confuse people who are into preggophilia with people who steal photos or commit other sex crimes, ok?

We need to be accepting of other people's kinks. And we cannot call ourselves "sex-positive" if we are still judging others.

People who openly practice a kinky lifestyle have found a way of expressing themselves and their sexuality. Some of them may have been in serious emotional distress before they discovered or accepted their personal kink or learned that their fetish was healthy.

I know that as a submissive myself, before I discovered BDSM, my relationships felt hollow and never seemed to last for very long.

If you are seriously worried that men who are obsessed with pregnant women are trolling your Facebook profile looking for pictures of you in form-fitting tee-shirts, change your privacy settings. It's that simple.

But by and large, the members of the preggophilia community aren't just sexually attracted to pregnant women — they respect pregnant women, they respect how hard pregnancy is, and they feel honored to be able to make a pregnant woman feel beautiful, sexy, and desired.

In my mind, there's nothing even remotely wrong about that.

RELATED: What's Safe (And What's Not) When It Comes To Sex While Pregnant

Rebecca Jane Stokes is a sex, humor and lifestyle writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cat, Batman.