Eroticizing Motherhood

Tue, 04/07/2015 - 08:18
Submitted by Carlin Ross

When I was talking about sleep sharing, Betty remembered this Shunga print depicting a couple having sex as the woman nursed their baby. 

I think her exact words were, "I'm going to masturbate to that image tonight".  If only more of us found natural images of sexuality and motherhood stimulating, the world would be a less violent place. 

Editor in Chief & Keeper of All Things Betty Dodson

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Less violent?

Tue, 04/07/2015 - 10:15

It might work that way or it might make a couple of new mothers want to kill their husbands even more at the 2am feed as they snuggle up erection at the ready.

As I recall, the first 12 weeks were a grey haze, feeding every three hours and desperately trying to find enough time in the day to sleep, nevermind have sex. It was the first time in my life I truly understood how sleep deprivation worked as torture.

I looked at the print and my first thought was how preoccupied the mother was with the needs of her baby. Sexually satisfying the man, the other "baby" in the picture seems to be taking a very secondary role. 

If it works for you great, if it doesn't fine.

But of course!

Jenn Muncy's picture
Tue, 04/07/2015 - 15:32
Jenn Muncy

Our significant others can often be considered our first baby prior to procreating.  Perhaps that baby is a little older, his mother a little less tired, as she says to her man, "Sure honey, I'll make love with you, as long as you don't mind Junior nursing while we do it."  Then, after she lays their sleeping son down next to them, maybe he returns the favor ;)

I agree on realizing the

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 07:30
Carlin Ross

I agree on realizing the power of sleep deprivation as torture.  Everything is in a haze and I'm counting the days till I'm through the hard part and can enjoy the 3rd and 4th months of Grayson's life.

If you're nursing and having an orgasm, it would be a double oxytocin hit.  When I'm in bed and drowsy sex doesn't wake me.  So maybe I saw this image as sleep sex/sleep nursing with mommy getting some much needed sextention.  But you could also see it as the quintessential threesome with the woman serving both partners - taking it from both ends.

!! Ignorance is bliss and so are children !!

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 08:50
feminist indignation (not verified)

     These are trying times to reach for and receive each other in support. The more connection between parents the larger nest you create.

      Not sure if the picture captures the romanticized times after the entrance of a baby into a couples life or the reality of the changed roles that birth introduces. I recall being amazed when our second one arrived how much we had forgotten about how hard that adjustment
to care for someone so dependent. Ignorance is bliss and so are children.

         It is a hard adjustment for couples and especially for women, a wonderful and difficult
journey which is so much worth every minute so when you feel overwhelmed,
Carlin, it's ok, you are just joining a club, congratulations!


Wed, 04/08/2015 - 11:48

You're doing amazing things right now - this is the most physically demanding time of life for most women, not to mention the emotional changes you and your partner are negotiating as you get to know and love your son.

Be careful to grab every minute possible for yourself as well. Be ruthlessly selfish looking after yourself because a happy mother really does make for a happy child!

And isn't drowsy sex great?

I wonder though if this

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 16:50

I wonder though if this picture portrays a woman who is free to say no to sex and owns her own body. I dobt it. All for sexualizing motherhood, though! Really, to not seen motherhood - the ultimate consequence of sex - as asexual, is completely warped.

Attachment modeling for children.

Thu, 04/09/2015 - 14:49
feminist indignation (not verified)

     Selfishness when seen as meeting ones needs is a wonderful thing. But selfishness when it means meeting ones needs at the expense of another; others or the community is harmful.

     "What is good for the goose is also good for the gander." It's not a gender joke about how many babies a woman has with one newborn.
        Families have difficulty sorting their individual and collective needs out even before
the stress of a newborn. It is even more difficult afterwards. The rewards of
being mindful of each other; being able to reach for each other's support, and
being available to be reached for; strengthens and build bonds. Better
cooperation and meeting needs mutually increases the likelihood of better
emotional connection, attachment modeling for children and yes better sex for
the parents.

I think motherhood is sexy

Fri, 06/05/2015 - 15:13
Anonymous313 (not verified)

I think motherhood is sexy but I would never have been ok with this.  Not saying there is anything necessarily wrong with it.  When looking at the print I think you also need to take into account that most likely she couldn't have told her husband no at that point in history.  I personally would have thought it much more sexy if after putting the baby to sleep my partner excitedly wanted to enjoy the miracle that is a mothers milk!

I was this mother!

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 03:37
Sleepymom (not verified)

I'll admit it! I was this mother at least once in my life. The baby would only sleep while cosleeping, and was nursing every 90 minutes. After several months, I wanted my sex life back and that occasionally meant settling the baby back to sleep with a breast while my husband concentrated his efforts lower. It never seemed weird or gross, nursing feels nice, but not sexual, but the double whammy of prolactin and oxytocin after was enough to let me get some really good, deep sleep!