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