Role Reversal

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I don’t really remember the first time my mom talked to me about sex. I remember her buying me a book called “Where Do Babies Come From?” before I went to sleep away camp for the first time, the summer after second grade. She was worried that kids would tell me things that were untrue and wanted me to have some understanding about it before the rumor mill got to me.

The only other explicit conversation I remember having with my mom was in 7th or 8th grade. I said, “Mom? What is ‘eating out’?” She told me that it was “when a guy stuck his tongue in your ‘hole.’”

When I was 17, I told my mother that I was thinking about having sex with my boyfriend, and my mother took me to get birth control. And that was the extent of our talks.

Because my mother and I never really spoke about sex and sexuality, I never really thought about my mother’s views on sex and sexuality. When I was in college, I became very interested in the subject of sexuality and did a ton of research on the topic. I began exploring my own. I got a job working at an adult toy store. Sex and sexuality were a huge part of my life.

My mother knew this and accepted it. We would have general conversations about things that had happened at work or I would relate stories of customers that had come in, but we never talked about OUR sex lives. However, I believe that it was because of my openness and open-mindedness about the subject that my mother eventually came to me to talk about her own sex life. I don’t know that my mother had ever been able to talk to anyone about her sex life before. She is fairly conservative, as are most of her friends, and it was not a subject that was seen as acceptable to talk about. So, I was a little shocked when she brought it up.

She came to visit me at school and we went out for drinks. And once she started talking, it all came out. The years and years of being unsatisfied with her sex life with my father. How, when they were first married, she would try to wear sexy lingerie for him and he never paid her any mind. How, in their 25 years of marriage, he had never let her give him a blow job, even though she always wanted to. How conservative and afraid to try new things he was. How, as he had gotten older, he began to have erectile difficulties and that made him so insecure that he was afraid to even attempt to have sex. And she cried.

I bought my mother her first vibrator shortly after that conversation. She thanked me profusely, and she loved it. And then she asked me to go shopping with her for things to bring on their 25th anniversary trip. We picked out things that would be fun, but wouldn’t intimidate my conservative father. Some lubricant. Some flavored massage oils. Edible body paints. A small vibrating cock ring. And through talking with me, and with my encouragement, my mother brought these things with her on the trip. And she got up the confidence to tell my father that she wanted to try them. She told him what she wanted. And he listened.

Their sex life is still a work in progress, and some people may find it odd that it ended up being her daughter that ended up helping my mother to begin to find her sexual self. But we are from two different generations, and my generation is more open to discussing issues of sex and sexuality. And it was my openness about the subject that finally encouraged my mother to come to me for help. I love that my mother and I have this kind of relationship. It may not be typical, and it may be a reversal of roles in a lot of ways, but it works for us.

And I couldn’t be more proud of my mother. She is proof that it’s never too late to find sexual satisfaction.

–Submitted by Britni from Oh My God, That Britni’s Shameless

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