Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Masturbation and Motherhood

When you're pregnant, they tell you that your life will never be the same, but you can't really imagine the changes that will happen.  I expected there to be a cramp in my sex life, but I never expected it take the nose dive that it did.  To be clear, I love having sex. I love the closeness and I love my orgasms.  I remember the days when we could spend an entire day in bed, making love, laughing, and sharing, but today, with a dog, a cat and two kids, those days are a distant memory.

I have watched the shows about parenting and making time for romance and spontaneity, and I call bullshit. Sure I could make time, but what about the energy level or the interest after fighting about homework and chores being done.  There is also I don't like that at the dinner table, as well as the ever popular bedtime wars.  By the time eight o'clock hits, we are tired.  None of this means we don't have desire, we just plain and simple don't have the energy.

The more involved I become with my kids, the greater advocate I am for masturbation.  When the unhusband and I have sex, it is still great and the attraction between us has not dimmed in our 20+ years together, but the one thing I know for certain, is that aroused or not, my body cannot always drum up the energy to roll around in the hay.  Masturbation requires no great effort on my part, and gets me exactly what I need.  It heightens the desire, because it gives me the opportunity to fantasize, thus building the excitement for the next time that we are together.  It also allows me to keep an ongoing dialogue with my body.  I use the term dialogue intentionally, because as I age, my body changes and with that my desires change.  

When you become a mother, your identity is expected to shift.  All of your concern and your energy is to be spent directed on your family, and the very idea that you have sexual desire is supposedly impossible, unless of course, your partner wants to have sex. I am further bothered by the constant suggestion that we are to be turned on when our partner does something like the dishes, takes the kids out for a few hours, or does a load of laundry.  I don't know about you, but that does not push my buttons in the least.

Nowhere do we see the suggestion that time for ourselves, also means time to please ourselves.  I believe it comes down to the idea that we aren't supposed to have identities outside of our families.  Motherhood means your vagina is for your husbands usage, or to birth kids, but it is certainly not a place that you can turn to on your own for stress release, or a simple uncomplicated orgasm.

Of course, there is also the idea that once you are partnered, that there is no need to masturbate, and that your partner should fulfill all of your sexual needs.  I call bullshit again.  Sometimes, there simply isn't a time.  There was a time in our relationship, when because of our working hours, the unhusband and I communicated through email, though we lived in the same house!  Should I have given up orgasms until we got around to having five uninterrupted minutes together?  Sometimes, life gets in the way, and I see no reason to forgo something so pleasurable.  Sometimes, you just have to take advantage of the moment when it comes, even when you are alone.

This post stems from a conversation I had with one of my girlfriends, who coincidentally, is also the mother of two young kids.  I agree that it is important to constantly work on your relationship and to try to find time for each other amongst all of the various family obligations, but I firmly believe that women need to be encouraged to find time for themselves, and this most definitely includes time for self pleasure and fantasizing. It does not make us inattentive partners or mothers to do so; it makes us whole human beings.

Do you believe that finding time to masturbate is important and why do you think that this is never included as a suggestion for mothers?  Why does all the relationship advice come down to women forcing themselves to be sexual after being exhausted from a day with the kids?  Why is it that husbands are advised to do some sort of domestic labour as being romantic, or taking care of our needs to set the stage for sex?