I was raised by an encouraging father who challenged my limiting beliefs, and tried propelling me forward the best he could. He would hug me and whisper in my ear, “you are kind, strong, compassionate; you are talented and can do anything you set your mind to. I love you.” My mother was unconditional with her love and patience, never looking to change us kids, but rather shine a light on all the wonderful qualities we possessed. On top of their beautiful dichotomy, they were (and still remain) deeply in love with one another. To say I was lucky to have grown up in such a warm environment is an understatement. That didn’t, however, make the most recent conversation with my mom an easy one.
We were on one of our regular Skype calls. She was in NYC visiting my sister while her boyfriend was away, shooting a film in Nigeria. Mom would tell you that I was the one to bring up the subject of sex – which isn’t unbelievable, considering; however, for once, I swear it was all her.
I can’t remember what lead to it, all I know is she was beating around the bush for some time, before finally saying, “be careful who you bring into your bed.” Here, her use of the term “you” referred to Master J and I: our bed. My response to this is a blur, but I know it opened a door that I couldn’t shut without reaching an understanding.
Days later, when I asked my sister how mom was during this conversation, she laughed, “I’ve never seen her pace so much in my life.” My mom, just knowing a few details about my sex life (that I frequent sex clubs, I’m into BDSM…) had her suspicions about my relationship. She was clever, for I would mention my blog on numerous occasions during most of our conversations – not in detail, just how I enjoy writing about sex – and this time, she used it as her opening.
“What if someone comes up to me and asks if I know what you and your husband do? I’m going to want to protect you.”
You have to understand, we come from a very small town, and this kind of gossip (you know, me being a submissive, pansexual cuckquean) is for the drama queens (and kings) what fine china is to my grandmother. Let’s just say, invaluable. As an added kind of disadvantage (thankfully!) my mother does not read my blog. I specifically told her, my father and my brother to never go there for this exact reason: unnecessary worry.
So, to my mom’s question, I responded:
“There’s no need to protect me. If anyone has the audacity to walk up to you and confront you about my sex life, especially in public, tell them to reach out to me and I’ll answer any questions they have. Of course, depending on the context and the person, you respond the way you see fit. But always, always, remember: I am happy. Like truly happy and in love. Not a single opinion will ever diminish the peace I’ve found in my relationship, within my self, my sexuality, you name it. The truth is simple: if anyone tries to call you out on my choices in life, it’s either because they are struggling with some internal piece of themselves, and perhaps find comfort in my truth; or, they want to stir shit up, make you feel uncomfortable. If they’re a part of the second group, I can guarantee these people aren’t a part of my life, and for obvious reasons; therefore, you shouldn’t waste any of your precious time or headspace on them, because I promise you, I don’t.”
Mom was relieved by this, but of course, had some serious follow up questions. One moment she was telling me she didn’t need to know details, and the other, she asked, point blank, “well, what kind of things are you sharing on your blog about you and J?”
The conversation became very one-sided for a while as I confessed, to my mother, that my husband and I sleep with other people, and that opening the relationship up in this way was my idea; that one of J’s biggest fears is for people to think he forced me into this kind of relationship structure.
I imagine it was about here she began pacing anxiously.
“I hope you took J into consideration. I’ve had friends in my past give into their partner’s desires because they loved them, but it only caused pain because deep down it wasn’t for them.” I could appreciate her standpoint. I reassured her that Master J and I speak about everything; there is no topic of limits, and if one of us, at any point, becomes uncomfortable with anything that’s going on, it all comes to a stop. Our relationship is priority.
This is when my mother, in words I cannot recall, eluded to the fact that I was sleeping with other men, whereby I responded in laughter, “oh no, I’m not sleeping with other men.” I hadn’t meant to, but through this admission, I’d inadvertently made it clear that one, or both of us, were sleeping with women. This is where her fear fully surfaced.
“You know, Mo, one of the concerns I’ve had about you is that since you had and recovered from bulimia, you’ve always sought control over things in your life; specifically relationships. I worry that maybe you’ve allowed J to sleep with other women as a means to protect yourself from something you may believe is inevitable…” Infidelity. Heart break. Grief.
I stopped in my tracks. I could tell this was a difficult thing for her to say, but my god was it beautifully articulated. Interwoven in this statement was her love for me, and her profound understanding of something I’d never really recognized in myself. I took a breath, feeling so loved, and exhaled these words:
“Mom, that is incredibly insightful. I really appreciate your concern, but…we’re sleeping with people together, never apart. The truth is, being with J has only allowed me to be more myself sexually than ever before. I know that it may sound strange because you and dad have your own specific boundaries and relationship [monogamy, monogamy, monogamy], but, sex for J and I, especially with other people…think of it as another way we like to explore each other and life. It’s recreational for us, and the people involved.”
“So you do it together? Never apart?” Turns out that’s all she heard. When I confirmed this, she was relieved. She had imagined J was going out on his own, hooking up with women and then coming back to me when he felt ready. I told her that was so far from what we do; however, even that kind of relationship, so long as both parties are happy, isn’t uncommon in my world. I assured her that nothing goes on in my relationship that I don’t want. She ended with, “Alright. Maybe we won’t tell your dad about this right now.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. The conversation concluded with one last encouragement from me: “I may not volunteer information about my relationship and sexuality, but if you or dad, or anyone, ever have questions, I’ll never lie to you. Just don’t ask anything you don’t want to know.”
She snorted, “I’ll try my best!”
To be honest, I was relieved after hanging up with her. Not because the conversation was finished, but because it even happened in the first place. I am close with my parents, and it’s because of their love, honesty and acceptance that I find it so easy to walk in these shoes – wear them proudly. But even if I feel so grateful for the support I have in my life, I can’t imagine the struggle it must be for those out there who aren’t embraced so gracefully. So, please, if anyone reading this requires some form of support or community, reach out to me. Sometimes just connecting to a like minded person, and hearing those words spoken to you – “you’re normal, you’re magic, you’re important, you’re enough” – can be the first stone on the path to self acceptance and healing.
If I was granted one wish, it would be to eliminate shame altogether. I’ve experienced it in many forms, and understand the havoc it can wreak. No one deserves that kind of humiliation, no one deserves that kind of distress. So, again, with all the sincerity I can muster: reach out to me if you need someone to talk to about the trials you face. You are not required to do this alone.
On that note, my friends, I will be taking a short hiatus from COTQ to pursue much larger things, in the hopes of meeting some of you this coming summer and shortly thereafter. As always, you can contact me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or through my social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) @callofthequean, and join Curios Cat to ask me questions anonymously. I’m also always encouraging new Clients to reach out to me for Sex Coaching sessions.
And if you are passionate about a more sexually liberated tomorrow, please support our upcoming project, Sex In America. We hope to meet you when we visit your city!
Until next time,
Fuck well, fuck freely, love yourselves and each other!