I used to love the word MILF. It felt like a badge of honor, one worth carrying on a (sometimes one-woman) campaign to get other moms to see as a compliment. The reasoning was sound– if we are universally the most searched word in porn, could we not pedal that, hypothetically, into being heard? Oh how naïve I was, back in those heady days of 2014. I was out of my marriage and ready to partay. I was like a horny teen in her parent’s bed when they’ve gone on a Christian couples cruise.
When I started writing this, I was pale, spluttering, and congested in bed with a nasty cold with both kids in the next room home from school (one was actually sick and the other I let con me.) My time was spent alternately trying to rest, sneezing twelve times in succession and listening for what parents know as “the wrong kinds of sounds.” The escalating rumble of what will shortly be a fight is a noise an anthropologist probably couldn’t categorize in humans (hyenas maybe) but for a mom it’s like a dog whistle only she can hear. Not that I’m saying I’m a dog (just a bitch) but I am saying that at that moment- NOT SEXY.
However, somewhere between these two isolated facts (the partaying and the sick in bed part) lies a truth. It’s a truth buried underneath virtual miles of laundry detergent Stepford-drones, crime shows with female leads who must be asexual and even “real” housewives, which I have never watched more than five minutes of without begging for those five minutes of my life back.
It’s a reality hidden behind the action in a MILF porn, just outside the realm of the camera’s purview. As superstar couples therapist Esther Perel brilliantly explored in her book “Mating in Captivity,” America has a hard time reconciling sexuality, femaleness and motherhood. Nowhere is this more evident that in the lunatics who would like a woman to breastfeed under a sturdy Burka – make up your mind, is she pure or filthy? But what if she’s both…
For every woman I speak to that complains about having to swat away her husband’s advances after kids, there’s another woman annoyed and desolate from having those advances rejected. That old Madonna/whore paradox, evident in even young men, makes it difficult for dudes to understand and resolve the dilemma of Mother/the erotic. Perhaps it’s confusing that both motherhood and sex involve the very same body parts – tits vs. breasts, pussy vs. vagina, open vs. dilated cervix, wet vs. water broken– even as someone who’s had two kids surgically removed from my body, I know the difficulty of being someone that small people throw up on vs. someone who wants to fuck. But here’s the thing…
That’s my problem. The sexuality paradox is every woman’s prerogative to resolve for herself, to find out after birth what turns her on, what she needs to feel sexy and what she’s available for. At this point I’m less concerned about why you think I’m sexy and more about what makes me feel that way and believe me Victoria neither knows nor sells that Secret. Here’s a thought- if a mom puts on 50 pounds and posts on Insta would she get less ‘like’s or more? How about if she lost 20 pounds? And would either scenario make her any less or more “sexy”?
Imagine a world where a woman has to defend herself against being a “sexy mom” like this recent article in People (I know it’s my fault for reading People) about Amber Rose having to answer to some anonymous internet’s complaint that she is “too sexy.” HUH?
What is a sexy mom exactly, one that doesn’t get around in Mormon prairie garb the minute she is with child? A lady that dares admit that even though she’s gone through (what many have described as) the traumatic experience of birth, she’s emerged with a continued or even heightened sense of herself as a sexual being? Or is it the frighteningly small percentage of women who can actually manage to have one single measly solitary orgasm let alone multiple ones in succession while playing Words With Friends.
We might consider then celebrating such a “sexy” woman, as more people might be less inclined to commit horrifying, desperate acts if they were actually getting their needs met. Maybe we could use the opportunity to find a way to be curious, open and interested in what a mythical creature such as the “sexy mom” might enjoy, study her in a lab, stick her fluids on a Petri dish and have at it. Perhaps those people searching for MILFs online are telling us that men and boys can get aroused by the “sexy mom,” but only if her kids aren’t yours.
Perhaps as a woman with a high sex drive I am scary, because presumably I will disrobe and have random sex with strangers on the coffee table in front of my kids instead of cooking dinner. I assure you, this has never happened, and dinner is even as I speak on the motherfucking table (just not literally.) So yes decorum, and yes taste, and yes considering what is appropriate and inappropriate to share with your own kids. But at my house there are paintings with boobs in them, and that is not considered sinful, just European. Judgment, according to pretty much all of the world’s religions, is what is sinful.
It’s not just men who can’t handle a mom being “too sexy” either, women are often complete cunts in this area. I know because someone recently teased my kid about the fact that I write about sex on the internet, after being no doubt clued in by yet another prude mom.
“That’s creepy, that a kid would be interested in my sex advice,” I told my kid and that was that.
But you better believe at the next big school Carnival I dressed, if not like a Mormon, then at least like an Orthodox Jew. Everything was covered, I realized later, lest the other ladies in my town think I am after their husbands. It’s untrammeled and wild, you see, my sexuality, and thus vewy scawy. It’s a tacit agreement I made a long time ago, when my ex-husband used to call me “Bronhilda” because of my tendency to dress down and play it off so as not to attract the wrong kind of attention. But from now on, I am promising you, I will no longer give a fuck.
So consider taking the time to find out what sexy is to you, whether you’re a mom, a dad, or any other person on the gender continuum with or without kids who has had the courage to invent your own preferences outside of the “norm.” My contention is that if more people were more at peace with their own desires, however “bizarre” or “nonsensical” there would be less road rage, less wars, and better political candidates. Very few people feel angry, violent, and hateful right after they cum, so whether it be you and/or someone else, why not make that your mission today?