I received a nice compliment from Lilly’s music teacher this morning…. something about embodying an authentic feminine, sexual presence while still being attuned to my child, still having a strong presence as a conscious mother. It was a nice moment for my ego.
The conversation went on from there, my admirer noting that she so often sees mothers—herself included—who, after having babies, lose some part of themselves. Moms often dress more conservatively once baby cheeks arrives (especially after two!) hiding their stretched out bodies and stifling their sensual nature.
We tend to flirt less, trade in thong underwear for flowered briefs, stop enticing the men in our lives with aliveness—inviting them with our bodies and eyes. We stop noticing the hot 20-something men in the grocery store that simply remind us that we are sexual beings; we stop dancing… I mean really dancing… the dancing that gets one laid. And let’s face it ladies, shy or proper as anyone of us is (or isn’t), getting laid is essentially what got us here in the first place.
I got to wondering, what is it that turns down our sexual heat, beyond low progesterone and sleepless nights. Because I’ll tell you, I had plenty of sleepless nights in college and I’d say most of them lead to more sex, not less! But seriously, why do our collars and waistbands move up and our underwear elastic down? Sexy lingerie’ turns into flannel pj’s and sneaking into any space large enough to contain two writhing bodies becomes trying to find a few moments of veg time in front of the tube. Where as previously, our drive was as excitable as our guys, we now joke about our husbands who beg at our feet even when we’re in sweats, with green gunk on our faces.
An Appetite for Sex
Around 40-something we begin to deny the numbness of our sexual appetites and start seeking something to “fill the gap” of emptiness. Then we are shocked and dismayed that our husbands become porn addicts or, better yet, have affairs—because, they made commitments damn it! Yet, so did we.
Part of my commitment to my partner is to honor him. Now honor can mean a whole load of things—one facet of honoring, for me, is to honor who my man is—how his mind and body were made to work—which is COMPLETELY different than mine! And one thing I know about the male mind… and body, is that they need to be stimulated. Visually. I can’t even begin to fathom how the hell that works, because what turns me on is… well, it’s not that. Not that I don’t enjoy being visually stimulated but it doesn’t get my blood pulsating around in all sorts of blissful rushes quite like it does his.
I recently read in some of David Deida’s work that sex (and I believe the masculine-feminine relationship) can only move as deep as a man will take it. And it will only be as alive as a woman will create and allow it to be. A woman’s natural tendency is toward deepening relationships, and we become frustrated with our men for not staying present to our depth and for not taking us even deeper—not helping us to transcend our own limits. And we can see so clearly how “they” could easily make it happen. Yet, deepening is not the natural strength of most men.
A man’s natural strength and attraction is toward Aliveness—to the thrill, the excitement, the danger—to all that gets their blood pumping and bodyminds aroused; and when our responses to them are lifeless and dull, we lose them to other shallow, easier distractions, like TV and work… or elsewhere.
Modeling Healthy Sex
So this aspect of my rant could easily go on for hours… days… but there’s another side to this exploration of sexual numbness that motherhood tends to induce, and I’d like to share a little on that.
The dialogue got me thinking about what a travesty it is that our little ones learn about all that sex “is” and “isn’t” from surface level, photo-shopped media images and the shallow dialogue and overall presence of teen celebs; and their friends, who are listening to teen celebs, and their other friends who are simply bold enough to experiment and tell. Most moms I know despise and fear this fact. And yet….
The current trends in teen sex are (at least partially) a direct result of Mom’s who are so freaked out about their babies having any knowledge of sex, often because of their own misdirected fear and, in turn, avoid it like the plague—talking about it, expressing it, embodying it in any form or fashion. It’s as if we become moms due to one of the most fulfilling—literally “filling”—unions ever experienced, resulting from our expression of fully owned and embodied sexuality, and then we shield the very nature of that expression from our children. Because my God, what if they knew I was a sexual human being?
Why is it that, in some folks’ eyes, being sexual is just not okay? It’s baffling to me, really. Why do people not want to be seen “that way?” Why is sex—the one act that provides an opportunity for us to be a part of the creation of life—so damn …taboo among so many?
Our children, without our open acknowledgement and modeling, are then left to forge through the masses of social media, pop-culture and trends to try and align with the most powerful model that speaks to their reptilian brain, their inner self, and their ego; something that will support and help to guide their own pulsating bodies and minds which become virtually consumed with sex at some point—because that is the way we are beautifully and wonderfully made—and instead of looking at the healthy, open expression modeled by Mom, they instead see Mom as some conservative prude who wouldn’t know what doggy style meant, let alone have some practice of Enlightened Sexuality that she’s open to sharing with her offspring.
Sexual Enlightenment vs. The Cougar
Now I’ve read a few different articles directed toward supporting a mother’s in-bloom sexuality. Most however, sadly disregard the balance between two beautifully interwoven aspects of the mothering woman. She is first and foremost a mother. Ah, and yes, simultaneously first a foremost a woman—imbued with the sexual hunger and expression breathed into her form the instant she became a woman.
The sexually enlightened woman, in popular media anyway, is the Cougar—the sexual deviant, the woman who’s expressing her anger at age and her loss of self through buying bigger boobs, trotting the town in 20-something attire and injecting herself with enough young fatty tissue and chemicals to fill a sinking ship.
And sink she does–primarily in her relationship with her children, in her power to align with their growing needs, where she has the greatest opportunity to impart authentic strength; to share her instinctual, raw woman-hood; to model a healthy attitude and relationship to sexuality, and to open in unbounded love–which is the true nature of the feminine.
We want our daughters to have an empowered sense of self and our sons to honor their girlfriends and wives. So how can we keep integrity within our parenting relationships? How can we express ourselves openly, healthily, sexually—not slutty—sexually, and model positive sexual behavior rather than simply and naively say, “don’t do it!”
Born for Sexual Expression
Our children learn so little from our words, though we’d like to think otherwise, and act as if they do, repeating ourselves a hundred times over. Most often, the repetition just gets them tuning out. They learn to model their entire being, however, by witnessing us in, primarily, our most intimate relationships. Also, by mimicking our behaviors to see if they align with their inner sense of self.
Children are equipped with a scattered version of our, and our partners’, genes and depending on their environment and stimulus, they are either activated… or not. They are born with sexual energy. The genes connected to their sexual nature will come very alive at some point—for the first time, often when they are toddlers, in some fashion. Then again during puberty and, of course, when they are teenagers.
I hear moms joke about simply wanting to avoid it all. And I fear that’s exactly what they’re doing. Then sweet pea turns 16, leaves the church, dates the rebel and gets a whole lot more active than mommy ever even dreamed (okay – maybe a little personal experience there!) But in sweet pea’s mind, Mommy is clueless …and screwed her own marriage up because she didn’t know how to compete with the slutty secretary… or whoever it was. So rather than having a healthy sexual model, sweet pea becomes a slutty secretary, because that’s what Dad (and probably most men) wanted anyway, right? Who’s giving sweet pea a powerful alternative?
Forgive my digression… and healthy sexuality is not about competing with the shallow fantasy that often masquerads as sexual. It is, however, about living out our sexual natures with our partners and in view of our children, so that we are #1) honoring our own true natures, #2) keeping our intimate relationships alive and #3) teaching our children the luscious, beauty of being sexual and present… all in the same body.
I may be one of the few moms I know that hopes my daughter is powerfully sexual–not that she sleeps around, not that she dresses like a slut—that she’s empowered to live out her true nature as a feminine, strong, sexually alive woman.
I also hope that my now 8 yr. old son continues asking bold, open questions about how Daddy’s sperm got to Mommy’s egg to make that baby in the first place… (yes, that was one question at 3 ½!) …and continues to see all that is sexual as powerful, beautiful, sacred and exciting—not something shameful or shallow. I look forward to the days, and the challenges, that arise as those lovely processes in my children continue to unfold.
What do you think?
For the Love of Your Life!