Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Unbeknownst to her, I already had a well-rounded understanding about sexual basics when my mother sat me at the kitchen table, took a breath, and started talking. Once I grasped what the subject at hand would be, my nervousness was more because of her own obvious discomfort than because of the subject.

"This is really your father's job, but he's not here, so...," she began, almost apologetically and definitely with annoyance. I tried to contain my smirk as she pointed to the electric socket that was in the wall, just over my shoulder from where I sat, and described it as being "female." Producing an extension cord from my father's toolbox (oh, the irony), she held the plug between her thumb and index finger, wagging it almost scoldingly before me as she pronounced it as the "male." From there, I shifted in my seat as little as possible as Mom did her best to clue me into the world of intercourse, puberty, vaginas, and childbirth. It was a rudimentary discussion. If the nature of pleasure, or even condoms, was mentioned, I have no memory of it.

It was with my mother when, quite by accident, I saw my first erotic film. HBO had just been installed in our Brooklyn apartment (any of you remember the days when "paying for TV" seemed like a ludicrous idea?), when she asked if I'd enjoy catching a sci-fi flick with her. Both of us were completely unprepared when Hanoi Jane, as Barbarella, came on the screen. I sat still and stayed quiet as the scenes of erotic "torture" (not to mention the space-age titties) gradually infused themselves into my already testosterone-laden head. Still, I'm certain that adolescent me was a stark, beet-red as I hid the pulsing, oh-so-young erection in my crossed legs.

My mother remained calm. She didn't instruct me to leave; after all, I was watching this movie at her completely-innocent invitation, wasn't I? When the credits started rolling, she looked at me from across the room and heartfully complimented me on how maturely I had handled myself. I breathed a sigh of relief and went back to the short stories I had been tinkering with, eyes as wide as dinner plates.

With only the rarest of exceptions, she never harshly judged my girlfriends. She gave me my privacy when, at age eighteen, I began working at bdsm clubs, concerned only if I was safe and would be home at the (incredibly late) hour I said I would be. She disliked the idea of me bringing girlfriends to the house when I was a kid, but accepted it gracefully as I grew older and life partners (such as Diva or The Grrl) came with me for the holidays.

I would like to say that I knew more about my mother's sexuality. She came of age during the mid-1950s, so she was part of that pin-up girl, rollerskating waitress, poodle-skirt period that's so back in vogue today. While she was perhaps half a generation away from being a personal part of the sexual revolution, she witnessed it first-hand. While she may have never burned her own bra or brought herself to take The Pill, she had heard the earliest cries of women's renewed sociopolitical empowerment as the "Establishment" values of her generation were ravaged by the Kerouacs, Thompsons, Joplins, Twiggys, Jongs, and Steinhems of the world. While we lived in a politically conservative Brooklyn neighborhood full of Italian and Irish immigrant families, I never heard her utter a sexist or homophobic word.

Yet she never so much as had an affair after her separation from my father in 1968. To the best of my knowledge, the social part of her sexuality stopped dead then, although I would occasionally tease her about finding a boyfriend again.

She had bravely persevered through a myriad of life-affecting illnesses, but always with courage and defiance. Last Wednesday, I held her close and spoke quietly into her ear as she gently passed on.

A sexblog really isn't the place to eulogize one's mother. Still, I have to say that while I am far from perfect as a man and as a mate, it was she who taught me the vital (and often forgotten) basics of what it means to be good at both for oneself and for a woman. Mom gave me so many important gifts, and as I continue to see elder women in the world while my own life moves forward, I hope to see her face from time to time.

Love you, Mom. Thanks for everything. You did good.


Sweethart said...

Oh Rogue honey, I know there is nothing I can say, but just know that I am thinking about you and I am deeply sorry for your loss.

Lilly said...

Oh hon....I'm so sorry *hugs*

Anonymous said...

my deepest condolences to you

and thanks for the writing.

Merlin said...

Very sorry to read about this. Loss of a mother is always devastating to a child. She tried to teach you about everything, including sex. You are the product of her lessons; never be ashamed of that.

thedirtyblonde said...

I'm so sorry, she seems like a grand woman and the world will be poorer without her presence x.

Betty Rocket said...

She really did do well....

Wishing peace to you and yours in this hard time...


Anonymous said...

Rogue..I'm so sorry, honey. I had a feeling this was coming based on your last entry but it was still awful to come here and read it. Your mom did a fantastic job with you. You are not only a fantastic writer with a heart of gold, but I think you just may be one of the world's last great gentleman. So kudos to her. May she rest in peace.


Rogue said...

Thank you kindly, all of youse guys.

We, the rest of the dysfunctional family and me, knew this was coming. My mother's health had been an issue of major concern for many, many years, and there were enough dress rehearsals for this event that most of us were reasonably prepared. She passed gently and among those who love her, which is all anyone can probably really hope for.

Sometimes I think its unfortunate that my Mom never really took advantage of the sensual world that opened around her between the late 50s and late 80s. I know her mind and spirit were open enough to have enjoyed the joyful vibe of others, of any orientation, as she smiled to herself while people watching.

I think we should all pursue that spirit, and then some. Life is too short to not have affairs when your marriage ends, or dismiss opportunities for passionate affection when unwelcome changes wreak havoc in our lives. We all deserve to laugh, get silly, dance, feast, kiss, and fuck ourselves blissful into the glorious hereafter.

But I want to see a platter of terroni from DiPalo in New York's Little Italy on the sex party's buffet table. Mom would have adored it.

jayne said...

Yes, she did do good. As evidenced everywhere in this blog of your's. I hope that my own son's will hold me in such esteem.
A wise women raised a wise man.

All the best Rogue.

Rogue said...

Thank you.