: When your son was eight months old, you and his dad split up. When did you start thinking about dating again?
: During the first years of Gabe’s life, I was nursing so much, and I was so tired, it was hard for me to imagine wanting to allow anyone else access to that part of my body…
Katie: Hmmm, I suppose that could put a damper on one’s sex life.
Carla: Yeah, particularly for a lesbian. My cousins Stuart and Novella told me that I should just forget about having the energy for anything other than existing during those early years, but another friend told me that—as much as I had wanted to have that first child—and then a second (which was more than anything else)—I would someday long for a partner with the same furiousness.
They were right.
Katie: And, as your son got older, how did that affect your dating and sex life?
Carla: Hey, did you hear about the single mom who thought her teenage son wouldn’t be home until later, and then he walked in on her with her newish girlfriend?
Disaster. She tried to tell him they were only napping—without clothes—but her son insisted that she had forever ruined his ability to enjoy lesbian porn.
Katie: Ouch. So, what can parents do to set a foundation for discussions on sex?
Carla: I tried to teach my kids that it is very important to have a solid relationship before considering sex, since it’s not just pregnancy and STDs to worry about; their hearts could also get hurt. And they should wait until they are old enough to handle that. I soon realized that that conversation was a waste. Hormones trump all.
My mom told us something like: making love is beautiful provided the following conditions are met: 1) you have your college education 2) the person is Jewish 3) you are married and 4) most important—you are financially independent.
Katie: Wow, that must be hard during a recession.
Carla: When I hit 50 and had the blended and unblended family experience behind me, I decided I could make my own rules. Broke and not married, I could still choose to have a relationship. My rules included: my partner should not be married to someone else, should not try to parent my teenage son, and should realize that if “they fall in love with my soul,” it is the soul of a mother.
Katie: Okay, stay tuned next time for my thoughts on “Single Moms and Sex.” Meanwhile, feel free to contribute your own.
Patch Asks: How do you teach your kids about sex and relationships? Has your own dating life served as a talking point?