I Don’t Get It: A Discussion

As much as there has been the decline of the mommy-blog, there has been the rise of the mommy vlog – or – more accurately, the mommy reel. Look, I know there is mommy tiktoks but I never downloaded it and watch the best stuff on insta anyway. ANYWAY.

I have laughed until I have cried watching these amazing women relate, hilariously, the struggle of motherhood. Of long term partnership. Of raising littles. Of raising boys. Of raising girls. Of navigating Target. Of wiping butts. Of screaming in frustration and then apologizing and then learning to do better and then sitting in your car, rocking out to Avril Lavign and crying into a brownie while promising yourself that those little munchkins aren’t going to change me.

But there is one part that genuinely continues to baffle me. Kind of. Let me explain.

Recently, one of my favorite mommy vloggers had a whole schtick about how less than helpful her husband was being during homeschooling in a pandemic and how focused on sex he seemed to be instead. And she was NOT having it. The point was made that he is always in the mood and they have stuff to do!

And this is when I begin to think that we brilliant, hilarious, strong, informed, courageous women are having ISSUES in the bedroom. Because I cannot know this many women, directly or not, who don’t enjoy sex.

It’s sex. It’s fucking fantastic – literally. It’s good endorphins and hormone dumps and feels amazing. And if it is not those things – there are ways that it can be. If your dear husband – partner – whatever – is not being a selfish prick.

What on earth is more important than 15 minutes of fucking? What cannot wait 15 minutes? Lock the door. Undress each other. Kiss. Feel good. Do I always finish? Nope. Does he? Also nope. *Finishing is not the goal.*

*Connection is the goal.* *Feeling his hands on me is the goal.* *Feeling him in me is the goal.* *Feeling him is the goal.* *Being felt is the goal.* *Letting myself be desired, wanted, chased is the goal.* *Feeling good is the goal.* *Teaching my kids that time together is more important than anything else is the goal.* *Getting those feel good drugs in my system is the goal.*

Now, granted, I understand that there are times and ways that are less than ideal for the sex. I, for one, really struggle at being interrupted for the sex. It is already difficult for me to close one tab in my brain and switch to another. Doing so unexpectedly and quickly is nigh impossible for me and makes it truly difficult to enjoy sex unless we have a long time (almost never happens, thanks pandemic) to get me in the mood. I dislike having sex on the first day of my period. I definitely cannot have sex if I get too tired, because for me, too tired equals nauseated. The neither of us enjoy sex if we have just eaten a large meal. There are a myriad of times in which we politely decline advances because the timing is poor for one reason or another. But to decline the majority of the time strikes me as… off.

I know it is a staple of the family comedy, a man who always wants sex and a wife who treats sex like some grand prize that must be earned with shallow yet large displays of affection but this – this was never meant to be our reality.

So ladies… what’s up? Are we no longer attracted to our partners? Is it because they are not fulfilling our needs emotionally? Physically? Are we resentful of them because we are doing more and not having meaningful conversations with them about this? I get it, communication is hard. Telling a guy that he is turning you off with his less-than-can-do attitude is not a fun conversation. But it’s got to be better than turning him down constantly and depriving yourself of the sex. It’s got to be better than another 20-40 years of being in a sex deprived relationship with simmering resentment. This is our future we are talking about. Our life.

I love you guys. We lift each other up. We turn terrible days into comedy gold. We join each other in solidarity that raising kids isn’t hard – it’s impossible and our sanity is often sacrificed. But this common ground of sex being something our partner has to earn or some extra burden we carry – no fram. I am not taking part.

I am here for you. I will hold your hand while we talk about hard things and have hard conversations with our partners, and ourselves. And I understand that we have all had less than stellar to downright traumatic experiences around sex. It is complicated. No two women are the same. And I’m not trying to get anyone to feel bad about how much sex they are having. I am only trying to address the underlying theme in so much feminine humor that sex is our burden instead of our joy. That sex is for men. That sex is some treat we dangle instead of a cake we get to eat together. Often.

Tell me. I want to know. What. Is. Up.

Unfuck Yourself: Co-Dependency Edition

Stumbled across an instagram post yesterday about how Christian women are raised to become co-dependent on purpose. And that hit hard because it’s true. *Please note, in this blog, whenever I refer to christianity I am referring to White American Evangelical Christianity.*

Being asked to be a wife is the #1 priority in a young woman’s life. Honestly, the sooner the better. She is available once she becomes 18 and the most blessed often have proposals before 22. Those who don’t are often reassured that their lives will ‘begin soon’ and they are encouraged to continue ‘preparing themselves’ for marriage. From the time they begin dreaming about Disney princes they are directed onto a path of strict, though confusing and often contradictory, path of purity in which they ‘wait’ for their future beloved and do little else but attempt to prepare for that time. Prayer for one’s future beloved, purity for one’s self, and the continuing pursual of selflessness – the only crown a woman can wear once she gives her purity away for the ability to have children.

The more burnt out the better. She should be so satisfied by her life and her Jesus that the thought of keeping any of herself for herself is anathema and her entire focus is her children (god willing) and her husband. She should rise before him to pray for him and prepare for his day. The day should be spent as much at home as possible, keeping the home while the man works, and to prepare for his arrival. Once home, because of his sacrifice to leave the home for her and thusly blessing her to stay there, everything should revolve around him.

She is most likely his sole emotional support, and this is as it should be. Male emotional intimacy is closely tied to his sexuality, and thusly he usually only leans on those he is having sex with. Or wants to have sex with. All other relationships are most likely superficial, or, in the cases of deep feelings for beloved parents or grandparents, often muted in their emotional give and take.

I have been married for going on 8 years and while I realize that there are many who have been married longer than I, I have been married long enough to say, “Oh, dear daughters. It’s all bullshit.”

Your life starts the minute you begin making cognizant choices. (Not trying to say it has no value before then, but no one is going to look at floppy necked babe and think that woman is living her best life.) There is no waiting for any part of it. It is all relevant and amazing and painful and no part of it is any less potent or valuable.

My life did not begin when I married. My life did not begin when I had children. My life has been roaring strongly for decades even if I had a really hard time seeing it until a few years ago. I can’t say I’m shocked that it took my husband being polyamorous to snap me out of it, because I was deep in the Koolaid and anything less than that I would have somehow blamed myself for and became an ashamed divorcee with even more self esteem issues than before.

Daughters, live your life to YOUR specifications and only your specifications. If someone wants to come into your life and join you, great. But frankly, look at your best friend and realize that is the most important relationship you are ever going to have and build your life with them. I promise you it will be a more authentic life than one built with a man who thinks he has to ask your dad for you.

We are not chattel.

And we are not responsible for our partner’s emotions. Partner had a bad day? That sucks. It is not your job to drop your life and make it better. It is their job to communicate their needs and recognize your right to meet your own needs first. Kids having a bad day? They have a tendency to do that while learning how to navigate the entire spectrum of human emotions. Doesn’t mean you need to put your self worth into their behavior and invest every ounce of your energy into their fleeting happiness.

Put. Yourself. First. It is your life. And I’m not saying think ONLY of yourself, I’m telling you what I wish I had been told when I was but a breastless child wondering when boys were going to stop being gross: it is your life. Do what you want with it. You want kids? Great, have kids. Don’t want kids? Embrace it and fuck your extended relatives that tell you when you are old you will change your mind. Know yourself, and give a giant middle finger to anyone who wants a version of you modeled after their own expectations and experiences. You want to get married? Awesome, go out there and learn about romantic, partnered you, and flirt because it is so fun. You want to make your career or life ambition your number one priority and your romantic relationships second? Or even third? Or just way down there on the list? GO FOR IT.

Please. Yourself. First.

There was a time, before polyamory, where I thought it was better to be able to look those in church in the eye, look my mom in the eye, look my extended family in the eye – at the expense of being authentic to myself. At the expense of being able to look myself in the eye.

And the weird thing is, young ones, it was when I started looking myself in the eye that I realized that I was my very own key. I thought I would lose the ability to look everyone else in the eye but I didn’t. My dignity increased. Why wouldn’t I look them in the eye? Why would I ever be worth less?

I’m not worth less because my partner is polyamorous. I’m not worth less because I am polyamorous. I am not worth less because I took sovereignty over my womb and closed it for good. I am not worth less because I saw through the bullshit and took away any mediator between myself and the divine. Nothing can make me worth less.

Not being born. Not being from another country. Not speaking another language. Not being kind. Not being educated. Not being uneducated. Not being an asshole. Tattoos. Less than flattering eyebrows. Revealing clothing. Modest clothing. Head coverings. Foul mouths. Sex positivity. Queer. Non binary. Young. Old. Somewhere in the middle. A sexual. Bi sexual. Gender fluid (you stunning beauties you).

I need you, just the way you are. Just like I need me to be me.

Let us unfuck ourselves, together. Sometimes the knots are tight and we need a little help to mentally unravel them. I am here for you.

Last thing ladies: