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My Mother And Her Vibrator

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My Mother And Her Vibrator

Three years ago, this Shameless Woman convinced my sister to go in on a vibrator as a gift for our mother for her birthday. I think my mom must have been turning 78 or 79 at the time. My mother is a very sexy lady — in fact she wears a necklace that we bought her when our kids were born that says “Sexy Grandma.”

My father has been dead for over 26 years. Mom has been a widow for a very long time, since her fifties. There were boyfriends along the way, but the last one died years ago. I had spoken to my mother about masturbation and how important it would be for her to give herself this kind of pleasure, but she usually dismissed me.

And I understand that most people don’t ever want to think about their mother masturbating — and frankly, I really understand that! But I am not most people! I am a sex educator after all! I wanted my mother to be able to continue to have some kind of sexual pleasure in her life, so I thought if we got her a vibrator it might open up an entire new world for her. So we bought the vibrator. It was a very simple one. It wasn’t a pink-striped, pulsing, and twisting dildo….no not that. I didn’t want to scare her after all!

We settled on an old fashioned vibrator, the one that has a little “special applicator” attachment. It looked a little like a small mixer but without the beaters. We wrapped it up pretty with a bow and when my mother opened it, she laughed. And then she looked at us and said, “Maybe.”

It lived in her closet for years, until my mother turned 81. Every time I brought it up, mom would tell me that she was frightened of hurting herself. I would talk to her about this. “Come on mom, how are you going to hurt yourself?”

She could never explain to me her fears, and in the end the vibrator remained unused.

And then one afternoon my mother called me. I knew something was up at “Hello.” She had this cat-who-had-caught-the-canary kind of voice….

“Well, I used it!” She gushed.

“Used what?”

“The vibrator!!! I was watching this show on television today and they had this expert on the elderly, and she was taking about how important it was for good overall health for older people to continue to have sex, and how unfortunate it was that many women lose their mates…and that the elderly should be encouraged to masturbate, and this really impressed me! It is the Today Show after all. And then the expert said that we should all go and find a quiet place and explore….so I got the box down!”

Okay, I tried to not be insulted that after three years or more of having this very same conversation with my mother, and even buying her a vibrator, and giving her lube (think about that a moment — I gave my mother lube!). It took this stranger who was on the Today Show to impress her!

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Read more: Aging, Blogs, Family, Health, Healthy Aging, Love, Recharge Your Life, Relationships, Sex, Sexual Health, Women's Health, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Pamela Madsen

Pamela Madsen is an Integrative Life Coach Specializing In Women's Issues: Sexuality, Fertility, Body Image, Wellness and Rejuvenation. Pamela is also author of the best selling memoir Shameless (Rodale, Jan 2011), and founder of The American Fertility Association.Her websites BeingShameless.com and her daily blog, thefertilityadvocate.com, are a breakfast essential for reporters, writers and policymakers.

120 comments

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1:48PM PDT on Sep 12, 2013

I laughed SO hard at your son's reaction! One of the saddest things about our culture is the amount of shame that has been attached to sex and to masturbation. Good for you; good for your Mother!

To those who think it's gross? I really, truly feel sorry for you since you have such fear and anxiety attached to the most normal and wonderful responses of our own bodies. If, as you may believe, God created us in his image, why would he create something shameful or disgusting? Have you even considered that?

10:01AM PDT on Aug 14, 2013

Thanks for sharing!

1:22PM PDT on Jul 11, 2013

Teresa, said half jokingly, if you lived in this area, I would be looking to see if you were related to my wife. The one area of my life that I would be classified a liberal in that I would do whatever it took for it to be enjoyable for her, she for the most part is like you. We did not grow up together so I can't know of her BG but w/the few courses of psych I took yr ago, she gives off vibes of having been raped or abused. B4 you come across w/'the lustfilled oversexed male', I will say it was over 3 mo. after we exchanged vows b4 we had sex. I knew she was not ready when we married & would not force the issue. I do not know your BG but from what you say here & your profile, somewhere in your BG is an 'unpleasant' event that is the basis for your attitude. Do not judge the many for the actions of 1. I grew up in a family without love & had about given up when I found my wife. I was abused as a child through early adulthood & it took 'forever' to work through it to get to where I could open up to another. Yes, it was worth the trip.

7:43AM PDT on Jul 11, 2013

I feel sorry for you Teresa, if you really believe sex is gross.
(The only people I know who feel that way - are virgins0

7:12AM PDT on Jul 11, 2013

Robynne, it IS gross. It's the most disgusting thing in the world!

4:08AM PDT on Jul 7, 2013

One are never to old to explore :-)

5:55PM PDT on Jul 6, 2013

love the article. sex is important even at 81 :)

1:50PM PDT on Jul 5, 2013

Thanks...great article...I totally lmao. I feel the more a society talks about sex, the more progressive and healthier its attitude toward sex will be. I think sex should be celebrated, not shushed. And the fact that the author is discussing sex with her octogenarian mother is awesome. That said, it's always a good idea to know your audience. I think that a woman having a discussion with her mother about using a vibrator is a conversation that her son probably shouldn't hear, but it's pretty funny having a bird's eye view of it!

12:52PM PDT on Jul 5, 2013

Been watching the comments on this from the start. Love it. Overwhelmingly in most parts of my life I am the super conservative but in matters such as this, quite liberal-If it feels good and ain't hurting anyone else, go for it. Makes m think of the last family reunion I attended. The cousins of one branch of the family tree were having an XXX rated discussion of their sexual habits, turn ons, turn offs and in walks their mother, my Aunt. (Sidebar here-she is in her mid to late 60s. I am the oldest of the next generation at 60. These cousins range from mid 40s-mid 50s). All of a sudden there is total silence. She turns to them saying-What's the matter? You think your generation invented the blow job? Got news for ya...I could not help but bust out laughing while all my cousins were standing there dying. Later the middle one was sitting there and started shivering with a twisted face like she had bit into a bitter lemon. Asked her WTH? She tells me her mother just ruined the entire weekend with that comment that she had the picture in her head, could not get it to leave and just totally grossed her out. Of course I had to laugh until it hurt. Her hitting me with that purse may have been part of it.

11:18AM PDT on Jul 5, 2013

this made me smile!

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