Back in the BM&M era (Before Marriage & Motherhood), I
was your typical gal. Not too naughty, not too nice,
mostly safe - but I had my share of sexual adventures. And part of
the fun, I have to admit, was sharing those stories with my
girlfriends afterwards. You think guys have the monopoly on locker
room talk? Try a sorority house with 40 residents bonding, late
night, over a box of Special K.
I have a secret to share: we ladies loved the details, and we
weren't afraid to divulge them. Whether it was for educational,
inspirational, or recreational purposes, as young women wading
through the often turbulent rivers of our budding sexuality, we
were not afraid to bare all.
Let me give an example: Back in my 20's I was enjoying an
impromptu cocktail hour with 5-6 girlfriends when, not long after
we settled in, the conversation turned toward sex (as in all kinds,
not just intercourse). The host, a friend we'll call LR, regaled
her guests with a description of a certain technique she had
learned that drove her boyfriend wild.
I tried it out, found it to be successful, and shared it with
another group of 5-6 girlfriends (if you didn't know, we traveled
in packs back then). Those women were thrilled with the results as
well, and they emailed their friends about it. The email spread,
and let's just say there were a lot of happy guys walking around
circa 1996. And a lot of women who were thankful for their gal
Fast forward a few years later, though, and something strange
happened. My friends and I fell in love, got married, and started
families. And during this period, those raucous laughs,
half-whispered tales, and shy but proud disclosures all but
At first I understood the hush-hush attitude and even agreed
with it. I was now in an intimate life-long relationship with my
partner, and we both wanted the details of our private life to
stay, well, private.
But looking around these days, I can't help but notice it's now
the only topic my friends and I don't discuss. We know the color,
density and velocity of our children's vomit, can give a
line-by-line recitation of tense conversations with our in-laws,
and even share our greatest fears about being swallowed up by
marriage and parenthood. But we never talk about sex, one of the
most important, vulnerable, passionate (or not), scary, exciting
and often confusing components of our relationships. Why?
I find it ironic that the greatest symbol of our sexuality,
motherhood, is somehow connected to making us less comfortable
talking about or even engaging in sex. Having young kids is an
often challenging time, and my guess is that most women are
experiencing changes in their bodies, their relationship with their
partners and yes, even their sex lives. Wouldn't a lively,
sensitive and thoughtful conversation with our friends help us
realize we're not alone?
Perhaps there's a new way to talk about sex, a way that protects
the privacy of our loved ones but also reminds us that the fun and
fearless days BM&M are not entirely over. In fact, they're even
better now because motherhood has made us more confident, more
daring, and even more excited about our DM&M (During Motherhood
& Marriage) sexuality.
My bet is that after a few laughs, blushes and timid
confessions, we'd all be a feeling a little bit like our old selves
again. And, I suspect, we'd also have a few new techniques to share
that would bring the 90's back in a whole new way.
-by Wendy Widom
Wendy Widom is CEO of Familes in the Loop (FITL), Chicago's hippest hub for parents and kids.
See more of Wendy 's stories here.
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