Why is everyone a mommy now?
We dive into why mothers are the kink du jour and explore all the other moments of sexual goodness you need to have on your radar
image Maman, Four Chambers
words Megan Wallace
Hiya shaggers. I'm Megan, and for the past five years I've written about all things sex and relationships: heading to sex parties, reviewing dildos and navigating non-monogamy to find out what's new and exciting in the world of the sexually delighting. Every month, I'm coming to you with sexpert advice: my picks of the best ~sexual wellness~ bits from the world of woo, the science of sex and my (sometimes unhinged) musings from the dating wilderness. Today, I want you to tell me all about your mother (fetish)...
Every once in a while, something major changes in the sexual zeitgeist. Remember when everyone's boyfriend got into pegging? Or eating ass became a standard entrée on the foreplay menu? How about the entry of (often poorly practised) kink-lite into the sex lives of the formerly vanilla - who now turned, en masse, to the internet in order to work out how to do wax play?
Often, we don't talk too much about these changes until they're well and truly enshrined in our collective sex lives and just about everybody seems to be doing it. Which is why it's time to chat about a trend that has been brewing in our sexual subconscious for a while: the mommy kink. Yep: while many of us are still fawning Pedro Pascal, others are worshipping mother figures like Rachel Weisz, Julianne Moore and Lucy Liu - not just as screen icons, but as sexual fantasies.
Having a mother kink shares plenty of parallels with daddy fetishes: the idea of a strong figure to boss you about and allow you to occupy a more vulnerable emotional and erotic space. In lesbian contexts, it also kind of feeds into the Electra complex which, coined by Carl Jung in 1913, is a process of psycho-sexual competition between mother figures and daughter figures. But there's also a switchiness to mother dynamics - you don't just offer yourself up to someone to control and discipline you, you open yourself up to care and they allow themselves to explore a maternal energy that can be full of softness and tenderness on their part.
This kind of scenario is explored in the films Maman and Maman II by the porn auteur Vex Ashley, one of the founders of the erotic arthouse film project Four Chambers. Mixing in all things mommy kink with queer longing and desire (as well as induced lactation) these films are a great primer to everyone looking to explore the beautiful and horny moments enabled by a mothering exchange.
As she explains, mommies are different to traditional femdommes in myriad ways - mostly related to the level of tenderness between sub and domme in a way that collapses these roles altogether. "Lots of traditional femdomme dynamics tend to be about pushing someone away or keeping a distance or maybe pain or violence," Vex says. "[Mother kinks] are about submission and obliteration of the self through caring for someone really deeply and almost reducing them to a kind of needy baby."
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Vex also thinks the move towards exploring mother dynamics in the erotic world is partly a step towards a more nuanced understanding of gender dynamics in the wider world. "I think mommy issues for a lot of people are so much more complex than daddy issues. There's almost this idea in society that you presume that fathers are going to be absent or uncaring but the bond you have with your mother is so primal. It's the first kind of connection that you feel," she adds.
And, of course, there's the opportunity to fuck with gendered norms which strip women of their sexuality once they have children and quickly position them on the Virgin Mary side of the virgin/whore dichotomy. "Society puts mothers on a pedestal and treats them as totally desexualized, as perfect, as chaste objects to be preserved. To really play with that, to buck that and to take that space for yourself is really interesting."
Admittedly, as someone involved in thinking about and exploring emerging sexual dynamics, Vex's approach to the kink is probably more overtly cerebral than that of the people only just catching onto the joys of playing mommy or being mothered. So, what do these kink newbies embracing the maternal think about why these dynamics are so alluring?
Amy*, a 27-year-old bisexual with a sexual interest in mother figures thinks that her kink is rooted in a celebration of the feminine in all its forms, as well as a reappraisal of what power looks like in a social and sexual context. "Daddy kinks, to me, seem wrapped up in problematic patriarchal thinking, domination and control of bodies and money," she says. "Whereas the idea of the mommy seems more a celebration of the feminine but with a masculine energy, soft dominance and care as power."
There's also her history with her own mother, which is inextricable from this kink. "On a subconscious level, I think my interest in mommies is probably tied to my own mommy issues - my mum always wore the trousers and its her I want to impress."
On the other side of things is Lara*, a 26-year-old femme lesbian who noticed that some of her sexual dynamics were veering towards the maternal - and that this really got her off. "One time I was basically cradling this masc [non-binary person] on my lap, stroking their hair while they sucked on my breasts. I remember thinking how fragile this normally tough-seeming person felt in that moment - how much more solid I seemed in contrast, and how powerful it felt to be creating this moment of vulnerability for them," she says.
"After that point, I began to realise I craved this kind of power, the ability to flip gender roles and create a space where I can be in control but only by opening up an atmosphere of utmost softness and tenderness."
While mommy kinks mean different things to Vex, Amy and Lara, there's a common theme: tenderness can be hot as hell. If there's anything to take away from the rising interest in mother fetishes, it's this: sexual power isn't always about being cold or closed off, or being the hottest person in the room, it can also be about emotional attunement, radical vulnerability and not being afraid to open up to people about the ways you want to be cared for. Long may the mommy kink live!
*Names have been changed
Letting us into the intimate details of a week in their sex life is a 32-year-old pansexual exploring power play, domination and submission. Here's a little sneak peek below...
Somebody who I was meant to go on a date with that night told me that they had to cancel because they had gone exclusive with somebody else. But I still wanted a date to happen so again I swiped on an app, matched with someone and within two hours we were on a date
We ended up in a bar talking about some really filthy stuff which we were going to do to each other in bed. I really got off on the potential of people overhearing what we were saying.
Sadly he couldn't sleep over that night because he had a long day the next day so we agreed to get together on Friday, instead. We finished the night off with some sexting on the way home
That whole date felt so empowering because of the anticipation. And it was a good test for me to not feel like I have to fuck everybody on the first date. It can be just as exciting to wait sometimes.
Read the full entry in our monthly anonymous sex diary, as our anonymous BDSM enthusiast explores queening, former drag queens and sexting galore.
Over the past few years there has been waaaay too much discussion of body counts (aka how many people you've had sex with) on TikTok. Whether reeling off an astounding number of flings, asking randoms their number or men shaming others (mostly women) for their quantity of sexual encounters, body counts have been a recurring and often negative theme on social media. And while boasting about your sexual prowess isn't exactly harmful, like slut-shaming is, it's still hard to see the point of all this chat.
See, the number of people you've slept with is a pretty neutral fact - as long as you're taking sexual health precautions, getting tested regularly and being fully transparent about your STI status, that is. What's even the point of keeping track of the quantity of partners you've had? Bragging rights? Policing other people's sexual expression?
Personally, I've basically lost count of how many people I've got with but if you're keeping score out of curiosity about how you measure up to others, we have some interesting news: the average number of sexual partners in the UK has been revealed. A YouGov poll surveying 2,456 people has stated that this figure is, in fact, 4: breaking down to an average of 5 partners for guys and 3 for women, with no data recorded for non-binary people.
When you look at the age breakdowns, things get even more intriguing. As it turns out, the average number of sexual partners for those aged 18 - 29 is drum roll please.... one! Yep, that's a singular person.
So, before you feel like everyone is sooo much more active than you between the sheets, just remember that people aren't always having the kind of wild, regular sex you see discussed online. And if you've had so many more sexual partners than that, remember it's also okay: we all go at our own pace, and can indulge in as much or as little shagging as we fancy.
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