Sex and Parenting
My Partner bought me a copy of Sexy Mamas: Keeping Your Sex Life Alive While Raising Kids by Cathy Winks and Anne Semans while I was still pregnant. That is pretty much the last time I picked it up. I do have some time to read but I am not really interested in being caught on the subway reading this title or more often, its not the last thing I want swimming in my brain before sleep, ironically enough.
So clearly, there are serious changes to SEX and my relationship with it since becoming a parent. That is, my post pregnancy body, my sex drive, my level of time and energy for sex itself, my sexual identity/how my queerness manifests sexual acts with others. Let’s see what my sexy, sexual, sexed up, identity selves have to say!
My Sexy Self – Body Image
As a young 20-something, walking on the street during summer, it was all about the catcalls. Now walking with Adli in the stroller, pretty much no one really looks at me until they have interacted with Adli in some way. I often fear I am being compared to how I look versus how old my child is (i.e. I should be skinner the older he is) and I think the ‘checking me out’ looks have minimized. People don’t want to sexualize a mom, especially when she is with her kid. Being sexual and being a mom simultaneously is looked at with contempt in our culture. That is, the sexual part of our selves needs to be put away once children are in the mix (how did we ever make them in the first place?) So I think my post-pregnancy sexiness is taking a hit on this front. However, to be clear, I feel sexier than ever, but I don’t think the world views me this way.
My Sexual Self – The Acts of Having Sex
When I was pregnant my sex drive hit an all-time record high. Because having sex became like food to a pregnant person, I became more vocal about what I wanted during sex; asking for what I wanted more than ever before. I vowed I would keep that in my sexual repertoire post natal. So, did I? Sorta…it’s hard to have sex when you are so tired and there is so much work to do. But it is a vital part of all of us and I have been determined to stay vocal about what feels good and be less self-conscious when having sex. I still have a strong sex drive and I often wonder how it compares to straight women’s sex life as most hetero sex is centred around the penis/penal-vaginal intercourse. I believe some of my sex drive is attributed to the fact that my partner is a woman and a mother and there is a level of understanding that just can’t exist with cisgender men and the ways they want to have sex.
At the same time, I also don’t put too much pressure on myself. It’s okay to ‘not be in the mood’ and take baby steps when wanting to expand my sexual self. After all, it’s a part of ourselves that is not very talked about or celebrated.
My Sexed-Up Self – Sex Drive
So I am pretty revved up sexually now that Adli is in daycare and there is more time for different connections and fun. Sometimes I am looking to hook up with new people. But where does a polyamorous, new mom hook up with reliable non-weird queer poly folks? I’m seriously asking. I just tried Tinder today (so we’ll see) and my social circle is a little dry right now as I haven’t been to the bar in a while. I did check out Craig’s list a few months back but just got a bunch of cis dudes who wanted to cheat on their girlfriends. I’m also a little nervous meeting someone new in regards to my sexy self (i.e. my body). (Although I know I look good, people can be jerks sometimes!)
My Sexualized Self – Sexual Identity
As a queer, brown new mom, I am feeling more invisible as a queer femme than ever. I feel like I have to constantly out myself in conversations to not be assumed as straight (mostly among straight moms). I feel like the few spaces I don’t have to do that are less accessible to me like queer events as I am either too tired to go or can’t always find childcare. I have taken some risks though. I told two Facebook friends (acquaintances in real life) that I had crushes on them and sent them an email that went something like:
Hope you are well. (A bit about how we know each other/met before).
I think you are super hot and I have a total crush on you. If you are into having a drink or hanging out that would be great. No pressure though as I just wanted to let you know, someone admires you from afar.
By the way, I am polyamorous and have a partner so again no pressure.
I am so proud of myself for taking a risk and just putting out love and affection into the universe, one where people can be really cold and even mean when rejecting someone and even 6 year olds hugging in school can be seen as doing something bad/sexual/non-consensual. I mean to say, rejection sucks and being perceived as a creep for saying you are crushing on someone also sucks. So I am proud of myself for taking a risk.
In the end, sex is hard for all of us but after having a baby, it is some next level stuff. Rediscovering my sexy, sexual, sexed up and sexualized selves has been its own journey alongside parenthood, one where I have been able to leap right in and other moments where I appreciated the slowness in the baby step (pun intended!) Having sex and loving ourselves is a journey that lasts in all stages of our lives and I am on the road to understanding it post-20 something, mid 30-something, poly queer brown mom trying to be a parent!