I stared straight ahead. Although I know I’m an excellent liar, like most good writers are (yeah, I’m tooting my own horn. So what?), I didn’t want to risk giving myself away on this one in the slightest way. DENY! DENY! DENY! Thats my number one rule when my mother tries to talk to me about sex, and more specifically, if I am having any.
As my friends and faithful readers already know, my mother and I have a relationship thats more so on the estranged side. We have moments when we tolerate, dare I even say enjoy, each other’s company. Then there are times I’d rather live in Baltimore again than to spend another moment in her house or her presence. Many times I try to keep our topics of conversation limited to whats for dinner and how much I owe her for my portion of the cell phone bill. But every once in awhile, and more so recently, she’ll try to sneak in a topic that I’m not willing to dish on. At least not with her.
“When he’s in your bed, does he ever try anything?”
“Does he get aroused?”
“You don’t find that strange?”
“Does it happen when you’re at his house, in his bed?”
“Will it ever happen?”
“I don’t know.”
Having my birth giver ask about my [boyfriend’s] arousal when we cuddle was not what I needed on Tuesday morning’s drive to the train station. I prayed for silence and to be left alone to enjoy my green tea.
“You letting him come upstairs to my room is a huge step for you. But I know your rules and nothing has happened or will in your house.” I explained hoping to kill the convo.
“I just want you to feel comfortable in your own home, thats all. You’re a young lady now.”
Was this an invitation to have sex in my own bedroom, in my own bed, in my mother’s home? HA! I wasn’t falling for that shit! There’d only been two times I opened up to my mother about my sex life. On each occasion, it ended in disaster.
The first time was when I was 17 years old. I’d lost my virginity a few months earlier and, to make a long story short, she tricked me into ‘fessing up to having done the deed. In the end, I got a busted lip (she punched me in the mouth while wearing her diamond cluster ring), was forced to take a pregnancy test (I’d gained weight and she was dreaming about fish), was ignored for a week unless she was telling me that I was worthless now that I’d had sex, and finally subjected to a very awkward visit to her OB/GYN where she sat in the examination room while I was being probed and cried tears of relief when the doctor told her that it looked like nothing happened down there at all. “God gave you a second chance!” she cried as she hugged me and I wanted to die. Did I mention that was my first time ever going to the gyno?
The second time was when I was 21 years old. I had a boyfriend at the time that she knew about and even met. I’d gone to see him to exchange Christmas gifts and ultimately get broken up with and then have break up sex (which I thought was make up sex at the time until he refused to answer my calls for the next week.) She told me she could smell the sex on me once I got into the car with her. She had picked me up from the LIRR station and was visibly pissed. I knew I should’ve walked home. After that first visit to the gyno, she’d gotten it into her mind that I’d stopped touching dicks indefinitely and I never corrected her. Who would after getting socked in the mouth and having to go see a therapist for a few months to talk about it? Well, my second time losing my virginity didn’t go over nicely. Once we arrived home I was instructed to take a shower and then had a douche thrown at me. You read correctly. My mother threw a douche at me and shouted “USE IT!” I pissed her off even further by refusing to “use it” and taking it upon myself to show her information that douching is actually bad for your vagina. “Oh because you know so much more than I do huh?!” Uh, yes? More words were exchanged where she told me that I had only spread my legs because he bought me an iPad for Christmas, that I should be ashamed that I had sex with him while he still lived with his mother and that we had to “sneak around and wait for his mother to leave in order for us to have sex.” (ACTUALLY we were fucking before the iPad and we didn’t always wait for his mother to leave the house.)
Needless to say that these two major events , along with minor ones, have taught me that when my mom brings up sex, its in my best interest to play dumb. I mean, this is a woman that told my friends and I that our body count shouldn’t exceed the number of fingers you have on one hand. She freaked out when I was 15 and she found out I’d used a tampon.
“NOW A MAN WILL BE ABLE TO TELL YOU’VE BEEN OPENED UP! HE WON’T THINK YOU’RE A VIRGIN!”
“But, tampons aren’t even the same size as a penis.”
“HOW WOULD YOU KNOW?!”
I’ve grown used to pretending with my mother that I’ve been a born again virgin since 2012. If I get married, I’ll just tell her we sleep in separate rooms. A baby? It was a gift from that stork fellow. Penis? Whats that? I’ve never seen one in my life! Does she really think I’m going to open up to her about my sex life no matter how much older I get and how much she voluntarily opens up about her own. Dish all you want, Mother. I’m keeping my shit on lock down though.
Its not like I want to show her my gallery of dick pics I’ve collected (not saying that I have that sort of thing) or share with her that I’ve had my back blown out in the gazebo in Central Park after dark. But being almost 25 and having to pretend that I’m not interested in the opposite sex out of fear of getting sent to a convent is unfortunate. If I wasn’t who I am, can you imagine the damage her attitude about sex could have had on my own view of sex and how I went about it? I’d either be completely afraid of it, ashamed of it, or participate in it stupidly and recklessly. She nearly had a stroke when I let slip that I knew how to put a condom on properly. “Women aren’t supposed to know how to do that.” RED FLAG!
I can only hope that in the future, the child(ren) that the stork drops on my doorstep will know and understand that their mother isn’t the type to shame. Got questions, I’ll do my best to answer them for you. Just be smart and safe about sex. And If the day comes where my daughter is still living at home with me as an adult and has male (or female if she’s into that) company in her bedroom, I’ll slide a rubber under her door and run a few errands for a couple of hours.
Today, my mother and I finally had a conversation about how her attitude about sex has affected me. Her reasoning boiled down to her being emotional and simply not caring for my ex (she was right about him anyway).
And while she apologized, asked/advised me to move forward from that and still extended the open invite to get it on while she’s home and even offered me tips on how to stifle any noise (the words “I don’t know if you’re a screamer” were spoken and I was mortified) I’m going to continue to move with caution. Old habits die hard and I’m not sure her judgmental ways are six feet under just yet.
I am however, glad that our communication has improved slightly. Baby steps.