Painting by Christine Stephens
I hate to be the first to break it to you, but your Mom had sex. She did. And it’s possible she even enjoyed it.
Take a sip of water. A deep breath.
It’s just possible that she’s still enjoying sex. That is, if you’re lucky, and she’s also enjoying good health.
There does seem to be some wierd social taboo that prevents many of us (Not all! Yay!) from seeing our moms as sexual creatures. And it’s odd that we are able and willing to self-hypnotize. We can perform on ourselves and among our siblings a kind of surgically precise amnesia that allows us to imagine our moms without a sex life, without genitals, okay, we may be able to grant them their vaginas, but we must draw the line at clitorii. They have no nipples on their non-functioning breasts, of course, beyond the obvious pillow-when-you’re-sick-or-hurting function.
But mom as an object of sexual appeal? Mom as a lusty lover? Mom enjoying a romp? Maybe YOUR mom, but certainly not MY mom.
And that’s pretty much how I thought until I realized that those pretty orbs by my mother’s bedside were not really hand-exercisers but ben-wa balls. And that vibrator wasn’t actually to treat her stiff neck. That the marble egg collection my grandmother passed down to us? Quite possibly her collection of kegel weights.
I have another keepsake. A fabulous picture of my mom in an early prototype of a bikini (no stretch fabric in those days). She’s posing, bending backward over a rock on a rocky beach in Lausanne. I think in the photo, she’s possibly 18 or 19. She took the photo to give to my dad, to carry in his wallet as he went off to war. The way young girls do still to this day.
And this painting, above, is done by my friend, Christine, from a photo of Mom around the same time. She’s eating watermelon with my Dad. And, well clearly, she’s not worried about where the juices may fly.
We didn’t invent sex. Our moms did. You might think about that this coming mother’s day.
Now, about Dad.....
Dr. Barb DePree, M.D., has been a gynecologist and women’s health provider for almost 30 years and a menopause care specialist for the past ten.