When I was contacted by Current TV last month to be part of a project involving the dictation of sex diaries in a nifty little digital-cam I asked, why?
Why on earth would anyone be interested in the sex life of an 8 week post-partum mother of three? A post-partum depressed new mother of three? What sort of sick show is this?
Our viewers are just about on the cusp to commit, to marriage and perhaps parenthood. This can give them a taste of what it’s really like.
In glimpses here and there, for the last month, I’d share into a small digital camera. I’d go on walks through the woods when the big girls snoozed in the double stroller and the littlest one bound tightly around my front, drooling into my cleavage and I would talk into a camera while hiking up a hill. Sometimes in the car a thought would come to me and I’d pop open The Flip, knowing the hum of the road passing underneath would be heard on the recording making myself less than audible. At night I’d sneak into the bathroom and sit on the floor privately sharing my thoughts on sex. Regard less of where I was, the same thing usually came out of my mouth, before anything else: shit, I’m tired…And then I’d continue to talk but never really about my sex life because, I’ll be honest here, I don’t have one. Not really, not yet. Not in the typical penetration, body entwined with body, orgasmic kind of way. And that’s a taste of what it’s really like. I am exactly 3 months post-partum now and I can honestly say that sex isn’t the last thing on my mind, but it certainly isn’t the first, or the tenth, or the twentieth either. From 1 to 100, it’s got to be about 65 and perhaps that was obvious in my so-called Sex Diaries. At one point when communicating with the Creative Force in charge of this Current TV project, she mentioned that she was interested in quality over quantity.
For a moment there I wanted to scream: QUALITY? Like how utterly sexy it is to drink 1 cup of nasty tasting oils and a handful of pills and a million drops of tincture every morning, hoping and praying the despair and depression stay away for one more day? Sexy like having so many dirty dishes exploding out of the sink, nothing is left in the drawers and cupboards, leaving the only clean thing to cut apples is a newly sharpened filet knife? And how sexy it was to the get cut by a filet knife, blood dripping on apples, but being in such a hurry that I just licked the blood off and served it to them anyway? And the the sexy 5 small meals and 2 baths (none of which were for me), 3 loads of laundry, a trip to 2 different markets, one stop at a kids creative movement class, 24 ounces of milk production and feeding (in an array of on-the-go positions), exactly ½ hour to check emails, get a smidge of writing done, pay bills and meet with a mortgage broker (with all three kids) before finally getting to have some down time playing 2-4 year old style dress-up in play silks that smelled like someone had rubbed them with week old cottage cheese? How sexy is that? But for some real quality I better talk about the steamy hot sex I had in 17 different positions in 3 different rooms with 6 full orgasims and after we were done, we continued to have hours of afterplay that turned into foreplay and then we did it again and can you believe that none of the girls woke up to my high volume ecstatic moans or his primal grunts? Or did she want more of a realistic sense of quality; we fucked for 6.7 minutes and then passed out cold but hey, at least we fucked and maybe even a little milk squirted him in the eye…he likes that. Or even more along the lines of a full-time mother quality; I finally agreed to blow him after ½ hour of listening to his whining and begging for me to get him off and the whole time all i could think about was if my favorite pair of pants that fit where in the dryer or still in the wash.
And yet none of those sex scenes make up the quality meat in my life. Except the passed out cold part. And so that is what my month long of sex diaries was about: the truth. Personal truth is quality.Recording almost every day for a month wasn’t easy, especially since most days I have to fight for time to take a piss in private. So what the camera will play back is the real me, my real life. And I just assume my realness has got to be quite disturbing for those who have a different vision of what living as a sexual being and a new mother is like; those who think sex lives won’t change and their libido won’t shift and their attraction to the person they used to throb for has turned into a distant pitter. I don’t know many mothers in my post partum position who are wearing garter belts to bed, holding a big old dildo in one hand and handcuffs in the other (If you are? Can I come over?) and having video quality sex let alone sex on a regular basis at all. And really, sex isn’t even close to what I want right now, it’s not what my body or soul or spirit asks for. And I am not suggesting that’s what anybody was dmeanding of me to diary about, but I highly doubt they ("the creatives" for the vlogging) got what they thought they wanted by inviting me to participate. My fantasies involve using big-people words again and sleeping eight hours straight and someone inventing a self-cleaning kiddy potty. The small bits of my life that I shared for this project were rooted in the moment, interrupted most of the time, sloppy all of the time, bags under the eyes and knotty hair, wearing the same clothes day after day, cervical cap untouched in original box: this is what my life is.
Now it wasn’t always like this, it’s not like I am some unkempt prude.
I won’t go into my sexual history, but for the first 27 months of my relationship with my man we just stayed in bed full-time, and it was the kind of love that was best-seller how-to-book hot. I had fallen into a pit of hot lava love. Something about his double Scorpio nature, his drummer and sculptor hands, his tattoos, his deep sea diving, his adoration for a girl with a bottom, his ability to flip a record over while inside me, and his obvious devotion to even the most manic parts of me; I. Could. Not. Get. Enough. And apparently neither could he. We did 3 times a night. We did it 2 more times in the morning. We’d call in sick to fuck during El Nino season. We’d tangle in passion on fallen trees and at the beach, in small resorts and under the stars in a yellow tent. We did it on friend’s floors and parent’s bathrooms. We used toys and foods and fabrics and wax. We did not have three small children. I don’t even think we had a dog yet.
And now that we do have kids? What could I possibly reveal on camera that could compare to the romping of our early twenties? Or the long tantric evenings just before the kids were conceived? The funniest thing is I never had to speak (on camera) of what life was like after kids. I’d start to talk about anything sex-in-theme on camera and would be interrupted within 1 minute by a crying baby, a screaming toddler standing in a puddle of pee, or a child frantically trying to pull too small tights over their too big jeans. The camera got turned on and off, cutting my streams of thought in half and then in half again, to attend to a child. Quality thoughts turned into many small and randomd snipets; it became quantity. The quality needs to be found inside the bits and pieces of my fragmented life.
But there has been an awakening that happened for me with motherhood. And it’s good and real, too and I would be doing a diservive to myself and all mothers who allowed themselves to ripen and ruby as they became initiated.
There is a strong and not so subtle sexuality that motherhood seems to harvest. Underneath the spit-up and yellow grainy poops, the elastic waistbands that now fill the wardrobe, and the collection of “comfy” shoes on the shelf, the glam-less eyelashes looking into the rearview mirror behind the seat of the minivan and in between making almond butter banana boats, there is a cord running from my head down through my root, pulsing with a new kind of Hot. It’s raw and different, not billboard model or lingerie catalogue or Betty Page pin-up or adult movie star. It’s more like the suppleness of velvet, the interior flesh of the womb has been molded and lived in and even though it’s empty now, it’s redness, it’ spiral, it’s secret has become me. I have had something, a taste of the apple, a chance at creation, a reason to moan life forth and the guts to stand there and do it; knowing well enough I am playing the game of Life and Death but caring so much that I decide to take my turn in the endless circle. My body pulses with a purpose as the home ground, the wet ground, the growing ground, the battleground stripped with wavy scars and cascading curves. It holds breasts heavy with milk and a yoni with a faint yet lingering scent of bloody and earthy birth. And while my body expanded with motherhood, slowly, at its own pace comes back to a version of me; my ribs reveal themselves under my thinning flesh, I have cheekbones again, I can sit on the floor and get back up on my own, I lean into a backbend and fold forward and grab onto my toes. I lie flat on my stomach. It may not be hot by today’s standards, but it’s primal and it’s intuitive and its a greatly provocative to allow it to be all that it has been; lover, shelter, warrior, mother. Its not Movie Star Mother On Tabloid Cover, but my type of motherhood turns me on. It’s dirty, exhausting and it’s real.
When I smear a bit of red gloss across my lips and thread metal earrings through my ears and drop thick amber oil on my wrists, and slide my lime green aviator sunglasses across my eyes, I feel it intensely. Sometimes when I sit down to nurse my baby and milk rushes down and relief comes over me I morph so powerfully wet and nourishing and attractive and needed I am almost over fulfilled. On good days when we walk through the store with my hair a little brushed and all three kids and myself are in such smooth flow and together we hold and examine fresh ripe produce and decide what to make for dinner and maybe even nibble on a bit of dark chocolate while in the check-out line, it lives in me and comes through me and the hormones are wildy tasty, roaringly loud. When I open up and enjoy parenting, even in the thick of screaming tantrums and unacceptable kicking, I become pure energy, vibration of mother-knowledge; I hold it as my own sensual prowess. When I collapse in bed at night, a few breaths away from a deep sleep and my cold feet are wrapped around his and my face is buried in his soft back, it’s there heating us both up through to the next day. When I think about how I pushed my third daughter out with screams and howls and my nails digging into the microfiber of my couch and my head thrown , my back arched, somewhere between Hell and Ecstasy, it’s there. This is my life; and it’s all really sexy to me. But it’s not SEX.It was easy to judge myself: my life has become painfully boring and sexually dry, and it’s unhealthy. we used to make time for sex even for a super-quickie, here and there. 34 years old and in some sort of prime and I haven’t done it in a very, very (very) long time. Why don’t we create more time for sex? Is it just the exhaustion or does it go deeper and a place we’re too scared to explore? Why don’t we decide to retreat into the bedroom and get kinky? Instead we fall onto the couch with the laptop in front of us, excited to catch up on Lost episodes? When we do get a sitter, which is so rare, why don’t we go somewhere and have sex in the minivan on some lonely forest road instead of going to the brewery to have beers and talk about our future in our new house, new music we like, writing projects that are pending, the behavior of our four year old, politics, the weather? Oh. Yeah. We just had a baby.
The baby part makes it easy to release the judgments with a few stumbles and tries; we can’t beat ourselves up for having our arms full of life. I spent many years where sexual exploration was at the forefront of my relationships. Being someones partner now involves so many other passions besides how many times I cum. It involves raising children. It involves integrating into a new community. It involves just trying to stay good friends and harmonious roommates with each other. And it involves sexy moments; glances when one of us steps out of the shower, slick with water and slathered in oil, or butt smacks when he wears the silly hot pink American Apparel underwear Mia picked out for him on his birthday. It’s him looking at my cleavage while we sit at dinner and my new big milk boobs are spilling out my too tight shirt from all day nursing or watching him teach Mia and Sula the progression of ska to modern dancehall through record flipping and dancing and singing. It’s when we chop carrots together to make a soup . It involves loving my body for the work it’s done, the temple it has been for me and my children; the way it has opened up regardless of how scared I am to be truly seen. Sometimes it’s the too tight pants I wear and how the seam rubs into my clitoris, or maybe the silkiness of the shirt brushing up against my own nipples, or seeing a person whose energy makes me turn my head and suck in my breath. It’s finally buying a home on ½ acre; fertile land surrounded by rivers and mountains gives him a hard-on and certainly makes me dripping wet. Our climax is sitting late night on the couch with Z in our laps and cooing with her, nuzzling our noses in her double chin and smelling between her stinky toes. Feeling so in love with our children and landing such a lucky life, more charmed as it ages; not perfect by any means, but it is what it is and accepting that, with humor and tenderness, it’s what makes our crotches tingle. Our quality is being with our kids in each moment; experiencing the other and ourselves authentically in any way we can. It’s erotic and naked and revealing; no penetration required.***
And I am not saying that soon I won’t be one of the many people who are considered sexually active by today’s standard. These times will pass quickly and the exhaustion will fade and our time will be freed and some hot sticky night, no doubt we will begin humping again. But for now we aren’t because we are doing other things, making other things, loving in other ways. That is how it really is. I’m sure Current TV isn’t super excited for paying me to say that kind of stuff every day for a month, but I gave them the truth.