From Motherhood to Bedroom Goddess
How does a woman make the transition from the all consuming role of Mother back into that of a sexual being?
This question came up for me in the lead up to Mothers’ Day, seeing surprise gifts handed out to ‘deserving’ mothers on daytime TV. I noticed the gifts appeared to be given specifically to the very traditional type mothers- selfless givers with no thought of themselves and for whom caring for others was their life’s work. All of them were humble and embarrassed to be receiving anything. Beautiful women, though not what I would call empowered sexual beings, who I perceive generally to have more of a sense of themselves, whilst still caring about others. The mainstream TV show was unlikely to focus on anything that would challenge traditional views on motherhood yet this question still arose for me about what happens for mothers with their sexuality. I am not a mother so I cannot speak from my own experience but I can refer to experiences of the many women I have worked with who have been confronted with their own particular challenge in this area- is the idea of a sexual mother an oxymoron, perhaps even something forbidden? Can a woman be both a mother and a sexual being at the same time or does she at some level need to reject one to become the other?
For a woman becoming a mother is an all-enveloping experience. Conceiving (ironically through the act of sex), carrying and giving birth to a new human life is a momentous achievement. It would be hard for a new mother not to be overwhelmed by love for the tiny new born who has been a part of her body, who relies on her for their very survival and radiates unconditional love. This love is something some women never recover from (and some struggle to find), for them no other love is ever the same, especially the more complicated love they have with the other adult in their life.
Particularly in the early years, being a mother IS about the constant doing for, giving to and protecting of children not yet able to do so for themselves. As the children grow older motherhood is an ongoing role nurturing and supporting. Motherhood involves a lot of giving out. Motherhood is a time of total selflessness with little time or energy, depending on how much support she has, to devote to herself, making it a challenging place to fit sex into. Even if she enjoys sex all of the above can make the idea of it quite overwhelming.
As a society we have this idea that being a mother and being a sexual being somehow don’t mix. Indeed, the most celebrated mother of all became pregnant by immaculate conception! I am aware of mothers very ashamed to acknowledge that the nipple stimulation from feeding their babies can result in orgasms; though it appears quite common it’s rarely spoken about. Enlightened doulas (midwives) are helping women to experience what is known as orgasmic birth, with the pain of their contractions transformed into pleasure, a cataclysmic shift from the traditional western birthing model that shows us birth is not as far from sex as we might think.
Women who haven’t had a healthy relationship with the sexual part of themselves, or who have had uninspiring lovers and not enjoyed lovemaking can see motherhood as an escape from something they resent and are only too happy to say goodbye to. Even in the best relationships motherhood can mean men are sexually left out in the cold for a year or two post birth, and possibly much longer. This is a situation both need to work with to create a positive long term outcome. And no fellas, begging does not count. Check out this article ‘And Baby Makes Three…’
Of course Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis had a bit to say on the subject with his theories about the Oedipus complex and the influence of his work remains today even for people who haven’t heard of him. His theory said that all children see their mothers as the satisfiers of their desires and as they grow old enough to have sexual desires the mother becomes an object of sexual gratification for them, a big no no because of its incestuous overtones. Of course, this is more about the child’s experience than the mothers, but it has likely informed the idea that mothers should be sexless to keep their children safe. Unfortunately, a surprising number of children have sadly still been sexually abused by their mothers, both boys and girls, even though it is a little acknowledged or studied phenomenon fuelled by our belief in the sanctity of mothers and their separation from their sexuality.
The idea of sexual mothers is rare enough to be celebrated as a genre of pornographic fetishes known as MILFS, or sex with mothers I’d like to f..k, no doubt by men wanting to be taken care of in their sexual experience and still about the woman giving out.
Sexuality is partly quite a selfish pursuit, with us focussing on ourselves, our pleasures, our desires to connect with another in order to end our aloneness. It’s also about receiving; receiving attention, receiving pleasure, even another’s body- the opposite of a mother’s giving out (unless she is receiving her partner for his benefit rather than her own). So it can be quite a shift for her to be able to get back into herself and be sexual.
And finally, society gives such kudos to the exalted role of motherhood it can be hard to give it up and focus on the much less often approved of (except privately by men) sexual part of herself.
Yet women are NOT just mothers, they’re also sexual beings and there are benefits in rediscovering this part of themselves. Such as an overall higher level of energy, passion and availability to life, greater self-confidence and self-esteem, a removal of guilt and relationship insecurity ie. will my partner look elsewhere; and an increased closeness and intimacy with her partner. Saying yes to your sexual self can include the suggestions in Nurturing Your Life Force Energy, learning some new ways to feel sexual, bringing in a Tantric flavour to your lovemaking or coming along to a Power of Yoni workshop.
If you would like support in reconnecting to your sexual self, or managing the disconnect as a result in your relationship contact us here or call 1800 TANTRA.