by Cathy Winks and Anne Semans
As soon as we started spreading the word about our idea for this book, we knew we were on to something. Parents instantly responded with curiosity, enthusiasm, and almost desperate nods of approval, while folks without kids looked politely puzzled. And who could blame them? Although volumes have been written about motherhood and sex, the two subjects lie on parallel tracks that rarely intersect.
Parenting books never explore how a mother can expect her sex life to be transformed by the demands of child-rearing. Sex and relationship books for parents suggest tips for "keeping the flame alive" that depend on creating the illusion that you don't have kids. And neither ever address how honoring and enjoying your own sexuality through all the phases of your life sets a powerful example that enables your children to grow up to be responsible, sexually fulfilled adults.
Sexy Mamas reaches out to women who want to integrate the joys of a satisfying sex life with the joys of motherhood. We offer tips, anecdotes, and practical information about sex and parenting, supported by advice from medical experts, sex experts, and the most valuable experts of all-other mothers.
While we like to think that all parents can glean useful information and perspective from this book, it is written first and foremost for mothers. We are unabashed in asserting that mothers need and deserve a book of their own -- their sex lives have been invisible for far too long.
Women simply aren't raised with a sense of entitlement to sexual expression, and mothers face the double-bind of social attitudes that deem maternity and sexuality mutually exclusive. Most mothers can testify that the desire for a fulfilling sex life didn't disappear when they had children, it simply got buried under an avalanche of conflicting demands on their time and attention.
A woman's sex life undergoes significant changes from the moment she decides to have a child, and she has to navigate these changes with no more guidance than the occasional tidbit of information from a kindly nurse or relevant anecdote from a straight-shooting friend. The legions of mothers who visit sex-related discussion boards on parenting web sites -- swapping tips on everything from waning desire to remaining kinky -- reveal a profound hunger for an explicit discussions of sexual issues.
Ask a mom about her sex life, and you'll get responses ranging from, "Sex? What's that?" to "It's better than ever, but it took a lot of work." If you're partnered, you're probably not surprised by the statistic that parents living with children only spend about twenty minutes each week being intimate with each other.
If you're single, perhaps you wonder how to be fully present for your kids without neglecting your own desires. You may have picked up this book because a sexual drought is making you long for "the good old days," or you may be curious to explore how your new found maternal power and passion can enhance your sex life. Either way, we hope you'll find much in these pages that challenges your assumptions and fuels your desires.
We wanted our discussion of mothers' sexuality to reflect the concerns and experiences of a full spectrum of moms -- married, single, heterosexual, lesbian, adoptive and biological -- so we posted a survey in several places online, including Hip Mama's web site.
Imagine our delight when over seven hundred impassioned and heartfelt responses poured in. We heard from women whose experiences ran the gamut of maternal sexuality, from sexually-confident fertility goddesses who were reveling in a sexual rebirth to mothers stymied by the practical and cultural restrictions on their sexuality. Their poignant and often humorous quotes appear throughout this book, and their comments guided our writing.
We owe a debt of gratitude to the moms who shared their thoughts -- not just because they sacrificed some of their precious free time to contribute to our book but because their stories reveal how every aspect of motherhood has sexual repercussions: from the roller coaster ride of fluctuating hormones to the challenges of prioritizing personal pleasure with children on the scene.