I am sitting here across from my mother, my body sinking into the soft cushions of my sofa, and for the first time in my life, I feel the two of us are equals and we are both infinitely comfortable with that. Her eyes are sparkling as she stares back at me and speaks of things dear to her, that we had never been able to speak of before.
“And what both of you will realize is that what you like, and what he likes, will change. You will both change. Every year, with every stage of life… and that’s ok. That’s good.”
We are talking about sex. I never ever thought the day would come where we could sit and talk, without a hint of tension, about the one topic held as the most private of all things by society. I always wanted such a conversation to come, hoped, and longed for it. Even if I had never known consciously, in the crush-smitten storm of my preteen heart, in the mired swirl of my teenage brain, I needed my mother’s wisdom, her sexual wisdom.
My mother is… amazing. She has always been a very orgasmic woman, far exceeding the average. She pushed beyond the boundaries of her religion, cultural scripts, and even the hatred and walls of her own mate, to cultivate a sexual relationship filled with the passion and pleasure every romance novel dreams of.
Yet, despite her fire, despite her enjoyment, she never talked to me about it. Only as an adult did she ever even hint at her own sexuality, and those times, those awkward times were… well, very awkward.
Our parents thought they were saving us from some kind of danger by not talking to us about sex. Sure some of us got “The talk,” but it wasn’t anything you couldn’t look up in a medical textbook. Nothing of substance was passed down. Instead our parents acted like our sexuality did not exist, and even more so, they pretended their own did not exist.
I never saw my parents be openly sexual, just as your parents probably censored you from their sexuality as well. We never saw them kiss passionately, look at another human with lustful desire, or God forbid, touch their genitals. Yet, we know they did all these things. Our parents got excited, lusted, fucked, orgasmed (hopefully), and more. And along the way they learned things, learned about their bodies and the bodies of their lovers. They also learned important lessons of the heart through sex – timeless lessons about emotions, love, relationships and communication. All of them learned something. They learned something that could have been passed down as guidance, or at the very least, something for us to better understand them and ourselves with. Even for our parents who have never enjoyed sex, or never have had satisfying relationships, by being honest about their experience, a gateway is opened up. Through the honest communication, their children are given the chance to examine and escape the patterns which may have lead their parents to an unfortunate experience.
Instead of empowering us through gentle guidance, however, our parents abandoned us to fend for ourselves. Without our parents’ open, honest communication, the children are left to relearn a whole generation of knowledge. The wisdom of the elders could save so many from that bad first time, and open conversation could remedy so many other problems surrounding sex. We would not have to relearn every generation how to orgasm or how to satisfy each other. We would not have to fight to accept our bodies and feel good about our sexuality. We would not have to do this because the messages of shame and fear would never have crippled us in the first place. We, the children, would not have to struggle with sex, if the parent generation were there to guide us.
So time moves on, roles shift, and the children become the parents. The unguided become the un-guiders. Inside every parent is the unguided child, and inside every child is the parent who feared the their sexuality because the parent feared their own. The cycle goes on until someone finally has had enough and they radically change how they feel about their own sexuality. That someone finally accepts their sexuality for what it is, passionate and dynamic, and they stop living in fear of whether others will accept their sexuality or not too. And when I say “someone,” perhaps I am talking to you. Perhaps you are that someone who is willing to change. Are you ready for that?
My mother being orgasmic did not save me from having my own sexuality crushed. Though my parents never verbally discussed sex with me, their lack of discussion said a lot of things. Her fear to speak of or show any sexuality around me told me sensuality was to be feared and denied. Even if our parents never consciously passed messages on to us about our sexuality, their actions, words or non-actions wrote novels to our youthful hearts. The mother who nervously wiped her baby’s “private parts”, the father who barked at his daughter to not go out dressed that way, and the parents who fucked in fear that their children would hear – we heard their messages. And the message was “Your sexuality is dangerous.”
When I became an adult, I began to see how those messages influenced me. I worked for years to sand away the negativity my parents and society had inscribed on my heart. This may sound familiar, as many of you are on this journey yourselves. Yet, as I managed to banish so many of the shadows of shame in my heart, the image of my mother still haunted me. I longed for her approval, even when I swore to myself I didn’t need it. The more I grew emotionally the less I felt the need for her to agree with the path of sexual freedom I was on. But just when I thought I’d left all the shadows of my parents behind, her face would visit me in my dreams, telling me no when I wanted to say yes. So deep are the bonds of children to their parents….
Now I understand why. As I see her sitting across from me, smiling as we close our visit, I understand the feeling of peace that has come over me. Parents possess the power to release their children into adulthood. In fact, that is their main function – to nurture a human into adulthood. Finally, finally… I know I am an adult. You have told me so Mother, in your kind words and your gentle acknowledgement. I don’t need to fear anymore. I am sexual, and I am an adult with the power to make my own decisions – to follow my desires as I decide! I always needed your wisdom. I always needed your confidence. Thank you, for setting me…. free.
Thank you for reading my story. Now I want to hear yours! What were the messages your parents sent you about sexuality? How have your parents or the elders around you either held you back in your sexuality or released you? Leave a comment below to let me know.
~ Nothing replaces the wisdom of the elders, not the internet, not porn, not friends, not nothing ~