Sex

The Era of the MILF Is Upon Us. Here’s Proof

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Since I had my daughter 15 months ago, reinhabiting my body and my sex life has been an uneven, stepwise process. The furniture was rearranged a bit downstairs, I had a new scar and new breasts, and of course, now time alone with my partner has to be wedged in between naps and feedings. What also surprised me was how I had to reevaluate where sexiness and being desirable ranked among my many roles — in addition to being a professional, wife, friend, and woman on the street, I was now also a mother. On date night or at the playground, was it acceptable to wear short dresses, skinny jeans, and low-cut tops? Did I look hot, or just silly? As a 32-year-old woman I still got compliments on the sidewalk, but what about as a 32-year-old mama?

Not too long ago, women were expected to stow their sexuality away in their apron pockets when they became mothers. But in the last 15 to 20 years, a new sexual archetype has emerged: that of the MILF (“Mother I’d Like to F**k,” for the 12 people left who haven’t heard the term).  Want proof that MILFs are the new paradigm of sexy?  Just look at our porn habits. This interactive infographic shows the top 10 search terms entered in a six-month period by people looking for online pornography in all 50 states. The most interesting element? “MILF” finished in the top 10 in every state but Hawaii, and was the number one search term over all.

MILFs had their original day in the sun in the mid-2000s — think of “Stacy’s Mom,”

“Stifler’s Mom” and the Desperate Housewives. But it it seems their sexual power, not to mention ubiquity, has only grown. Mainstream media’s celebrity machine increasingly focuses on gorgeous women flaunting their fertility for the world — think of Heidi Klum, Jessica Alba, nearly every “Real Housewife,” or my personal favorite, Beyonce. MILFs have spawned (sorry) an entirely new genre of pornography, and can be thanked for the revival of the careers of older porn stars such as Nina Hartley [NSFW].

Why all the interest in sexy mamas? Lux Alptraum, porn expert with Fleshbot, says that it may not be the motherhood aspect per se — in porn, MILF isn’t always a literal reference to mothers, but more of a catchall term that is the opposite of “teen” (another perennial, top-ten search). She sees, for many, “a desire to watch a woman with experience and confidence showcase her sexual talents,” and specifically, points to stars like Lisa Ann [NSFW], women “on the later edge of thirty, who have been on the earth for a while and carry themselves with a certain wisdom and maturity.”

All of which is an interesting statement about sexuality in the U.S. Here’s evidence that what men (and women) find sexy is an experienced women who knows her way around the bedroom. The idea of the ultra-young virgin seems to have taken a backseat to a sexually-liberated seductress. In an era where women are fully taking charge of their sexual experiences, this is somewhat cool (we wouldnt go so far as to say it’s a victory for feminism – it’s still porn – but it’s worth noting).

Porn doesn’t play a huge role in my sex or love life. But I’m happy for any positive cultural images of confident women that extend our roles and potential choices. As for my own sex appeal, I choose to wear the MILF mantle as a vein of energy I can tap into whenever I want to claim my sexy self.

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