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This Mother's Day, some alternative greeting-card company should challenge Hallmark with a missive stating, "I'm lucky to be married to a MILF." The acronym, popularized by American Pie, stands for "Mom I'd Like to Fuck." It's become a popular porn term for women between 35 and 50 (see MILF Squirters, titmilker.com, and milfopia.com), but some mamas are claiming its lusty nuance as their own. A recent baby-book boom has ushered in Betty Londergan's I'm Too Sexy for My Volvo, Heidi Raykeil's Confessions of a Naughty Mommy, Jessica Denay's The Hot Mom Handbook, Sharon McKenna's Sex and the Single Mom, and even The MILF Anthology, an erotica collection edited by Lori Perkins and Cecilia Tan. With the intense scrutiny of celeb moms like Katie Holmes and Angelina Jolie, it seemed time to let MILFs have their say.
First, is MILF a dirty acronym? Not for everyone. Perkins is happy to see the feminine ideal switch from physical perfection to an attainable image. "As a woman in my forties with a teenage son, I'm often overlooked by guys who want the model/porn star. It's great to be an object of attention again," she states. Actress Jenny McCarthy (jennylaughs.com) likes its positive spin, claiming that seven years ago, if you were a mom in a miniskirt, "you would've been considered skanky and inappropriate. I still like dressing cute and cool." The blonde bombshell has morphed into a tell-all mama, authoring Belly Laughs, Baby Laughs, and her latest, Life Laughs: The Naked Truth About Motherhood, Marriage, and Moving On. Written in the aftermath of her divorce from director John Asher, Life Laughs finds her dishing tips on faking orgasms and "the power of the pussy," while boldly admitting she only gets aroused four days a month. McCarthy writes, "Can I be worked up to a horny place instead of waiting for those four days? Sure. But the older and busier women get the more warming up we need. Most of the time a husband's foreplay is him pulling his dick out of his pants."
Los Angeles alterna-moms Brett Paesel and Stefanie Wilder-Taylor have contributed Mommies Who Drink and Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay, respectively. Paesel's conflicted about the MILF terminology. "I'd like to consider myself 'fuckable' and since I'm a mom, why wouldn't I want to be a MILF? But I realize it's a response to a core belief that most moms aren't women we'd like to fuck," she expounds. "There isn't an acronym for 22-year-old models we'd like to fuck. Why? Because we all want to fuck 22-year-old models. It goes without saying."
MILFitude, as the partner of one woman called it, is all about attitude. MILFs aren't just objects of desire, lusted after by the pool boy; they pursue pleasureon their terms. They refute the negative stereotypes of moms as cheerfully perfect Martha Stewart clones or haggard, saggy-boobed housewives, in favor of a realistic approach, savoring rare moments of erotic pleasure. They know being a parent is a life-changing experience but don't need to toss their fishnets and eyeliner to make room for the onesies.
Brenda Staudenmaier: Mom of Hayden, Burning Angel photographer, self-proclaimed MILF
photo: Emily Rawlings
In the throes of new-baby life, many moms report having little interest in sex, barely able to see past the dirty laundry on a few hours' sleep. Aside from securing sacred "me" time, McCarthy, who has a new beau, advises putting on some makeup to perk yourself up. And don't think just because she's a celebrity she's escaped the body image woes. "I had a C-section, so I'm a little insecure that the man I want to be with wasn't there for the birth. As a single mom, that's a roadblock I have to get over," she admits. "I try to do things like having sex in the dark."
Carolyn Castiglia (carolyncastiglia.com), who's producing the comedy show Got MILF? as part of Mamapalooza (mamapalooza.com), got hit on a lot while pregnant. Her favorite comment went like this: "Hey man, you see that girl over there? She's swollen," followed by "Nah man, she's ripe!" When she's not telling jokes about breastfeeding, she's trying to get it on. Says Castiglia, "Having a baby means having less sex, but the sex you do have is pretty fricking hot. And really, really fast."
For men looking to seduce their MILFs all over again, McCarthy advises, "Compliments are the best aphrodisiac." Instead of asking what's for dinner, tell her you love how her hair smells. "You lift that person's spirits up so much. If guys knew such simple words would change a woman's life, they'd have all the sex they want."
So is "MILF" just a new term for a timeless stereotype? Mamapalooza organizer Alyson Palmer cites June Cleaver, Samantha from Bewitched, and MILF icon Mrs. Robinson to back up her idea that "there's always been a sexy-mom mystique." Palmer acknowledges that mothers may approach life differently from their childless peers. "There's a vulnerability and openness many mothers have that's vastly different from the tight, protective masks many women feel they need to wear in this city."
What have I learned from these MILFs (who, for the record, I adore and admire but don't personally want to fuck)? That being sexy, strong, and sassy doesn't stop once you have a baby. For many, it's less about one's status as a mom than what the role stands formaturity, nurturing, and wisdom, with a hint of cleavage. "Now that I'm older, I know so much more. A MILF is a powerful sexual being and should be a feminist symbol for both women and men," claims Perkins. As for Staudenmaier, "I don't think a MILF has anything to do with age. It has to do with your attitude and your style. I'm confident I'll still be a MILF when I'm 65."
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