Saturday, August 20, 2011

sex positivity and motherhood - contested terrain

There is an awesome post about this very topic over at Blue Milk, called 'Too Sexy for Breastfeeding".  It speaks about the experiences of a sex work activist, porn actor and new mama, discusses the slippery terrain of being a sex-positive mama, and definitely deserves a read. 

This is something I've often wanted to address (and have tried to here and there) in my own writing.  Sexuality is a little bit of a hot potato post kidlets - and maybe especially so in my community, where having babies definitely does not make you the hottest chick at the bar, so to speak.  We're still a little leery of those procreating dykes, we are.  Even though it's happening more and more these days, it still confuses my people.  I met someone awhile back at a queer event (no L. not in a pick-me-up-way) who did a visible double-take when I mentioned my kids.  Visible.  And I think it's part 'Whoa! Is she a straight chick?' and part 'Oh hell no, not gonna touch that with a ten-foot-pole'.  It's kind of like hanging out an off limits sign on your chest.  (Which, if it happens to be a breastfeeding chest, loses all its cultural capital as an area of sexual desirability anyways.  Like, overnight.  It's a total drag.) 

Retaining your credability as a sexual being post-parenthood can be tricky.  Not like it disappears in a grand poof or anything like that - but when 'mother' becomes your primary signifier in the world, it's a bit like your ability to be seen as a sexual being in the larger world slips away and is supposed to be replaced by, well, mom-ishness.  You are looked at differently.  Because moms bake cookies.  They drive carpool to school and then soccer practice.  They don't like porn.  They certainly don't make porn.  (Just for the record, mom - I don't make porn - just, you know, making a point).   This is, in part, why I recently posted a blog railing abot being ma'amed.  Nobody ma'amed me pre-kids.  Not ever.  Ma'am is so asexual and so invisible (the latter being a button of particular significance for me).

And if you do choose to present yourself as sexy/sexual post-motherhood, as Blue Milk's post addresses, you are called to the carpet for 'bad mothering,' which is, of course, the worst aspersion you can cast upon a mama.

So what's a hot mama to do?  Give up 'good motherhood' or give up on MILF-dom?  (I use that term mostly jokily because I'm not really a fan on a whole host of levels). 

And why is it exactly that a sex worker can't also be a kick-ass mama?  Why is it that motherhood is supposed superimpose itself on all of the other things that make us mamas, you know, human?

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