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Plotting, Sneaking And Hushed Orgasms: What Sex Is Like For Mothers

It wasn’t until I was knee-deep in mothering that I began reading and writing erotica.

For representation only.

My reasons were as much about getting off as they were about hearing stories that evoke the human experience of sexuality. What I found to be lacking was the experience of mothers. This baffled me, given that at age forty, in the midst of a 15-year marriage with two kids, I was blindsided by a libido so intense, I had to start writing erotica just to channel those heart-pounding sexual fantasies hitting me full force any time of day: in the grocery store, at preschool parent meetings, even in Kindermusik class while singing “A Ram Sam Sam” across from an energetic teacher in a low-cut top. My sex drive insisted I pay attention to it, care for it, make time for it like I did my family.

With a long-time partner, there were other benefits to a libido in overdrive: more time devoted to us as a couple, playing, connecting, letting go. It required frequent date nights, plotting and planning, sneaking and giggling, hushed orgasms that made the explosion all the more powerful, and loss of sleep that was well worth it. All this made the sex more fun, more delicious, and more satisfying.

Of course, it’s not this way for all mothers. Some are healing from both natural and cesarean childbirth for months, even years. Some feel over-touched, as in Kristina Wright’s “In the Early Morning Light”:

Even the gentlest of touches, a hug or back rub, feels like sharp nails on a fresh sunburn. I don’t want to be touched, but some part of me still longs for the connection of touch. To know I am more than a mother, a sometimes milk maker, a Frankenstein’s monster of stretch marks and skin discolorations and numb flesh and that ugly scar.”

The challenges continue long after our bodies heal and the kids toddle away. Juggling childcare with a job, house care, schoolwork, chauffeuring, and so much more can drain mothers of the playful, creative, giving energy required of sex.

In an ironic twist, studies show that women in their thirties and early forties are significantly more sexual than younger women. The result of this—or perhaps the cause—is that mothers are less inhibited, more in touch with their bodies, and more skilled at asking for what they want. They get right down to business and they know how to play—all traits of a great lover. That’s why I’ve come to associate motherhood with totally hot sex. I have no doubt that you will, too, after reading these stories.

In these pages you will find women in all stages of motherhood navigating the complicated but essential path through—in some cases, back into—a healthy sex life. They’re single, partnered, straight, queer, young, middle-aged, in the United States and abroad. But for all of them, sexuality is woven into the very fabric of mothering. Consider Pooja Pande’s “Ticks in my Tocker,” in which a mother is anticipating what she’ll be doing later that night while putting her child to bed:

Some nights when I read Rasik his bedtime book, Dr. Seuss gets shaded dirty hues in my dirty mind. Like Mr. and Mrs. J. Carmichael Krox, I know that I’ve got ticks in my tocker and Sameer, tocks in his ticker. And I know that the reading of this book is the last PG-13 thing I’ll be doing that night.

On the flipside, these women insist on weaving their job as mother into the fabric of their sexual identity. In Jordan Monroe’s “Happy Mother’s Day,” for example, a new mother is dismayed that since having their first child, her husband treats her like a delicate flower. She concocts a kinky plan to remind him of what turns her on, and the results are intensely hot.

Whether it’s long-overdue self-care or just a good hard fuck they’re after; the delivery man, their former student, or their spouse of twenty-years; in their own home, a hotel room, the tattoo parlor, or the gym; every mother in these pages knows how to arouse and be aroused. No matter where, when, or how, these stories capture the complex and profound—and ultimately satisfying—task of attending to your own desires while tending to children.

Excerpted with permission from “If Mom’s Happy“. Want to know more about stories of erotic mothers? Click here.
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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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