When you’re 31 and single and living at home with your parents, one is instantly relegated back to her adolescence: sneaking, lying, exaggerating, blaring music so loud over your vibrator’s whiny battery, all in the hopes that she won’t be founded out by her parents that she is, indeed, a sexual human being.
I know my mom knows I’ve had sex at least once; she was the first person I called after I lost my virginity to which she immediately replied: “Finally.”
My dad, on the other hand, sees me as sexless, and I’m fine with that; I’d like to think he’s sexless, too, and not the person whose orgasm created me.
I didn’t always used to live with my parents. Before, resentfully, returning to my home city of Toronto, I once lived in Florence, next was Manhattan, and then Vancouver. I met guys, went out on dates, and sometimes fell in love. There were also late nights and early mornings of crazy (mostly good) sex whenever and wherever I wanted it – floor, couch, glass-top kitchen table, Central Park.
Then I moved home. I wasn’t supposed to come back. New York was supposed to be my one-stop destination. As an artsy teen, like so many starry-eyed teens before me, I was convinced New York was where I belonged; that it would solve my problems of fitting in, that New York would be the place that “got” me. New York did get me, but, like so many other starving artists before me, it also broke my heart. And just like the bad boyfriend that you don’t want to leave, but you know you have to in order to become whole again, I left New York (as well as a bad boyfriend).
And now I’m having sex at 31 next door to my parents. Well, actually, I’m not because that’s gross. Let me clarify. I don’t do it while my parents are home. I think that’s just common courtesy and respect. Actually, I don’t do it at all at my parents’ house (at least not yet).
What I mean is, I don’t have sex with another person at my parents’ house, but I sure as hell masturbate. As soon as my mom hits the garage door opener and zooms away to her horseback riding lesson, I grab my MacBook, click on over to YouTube, search through “sex scenes” (is it weird I find Drew Barrymore’s “Poison Ivy” titillating?) and then I grab myself. I’ve never masturbated so much in my life since I’ve moved back home with my parents (and that includes whether I’m single or attached). Could my “me time” suggest I’m a bit more stressed than usual (since masturbation is a natural stress-reliever)? Probably. But I also think that at 31, I am way more in tune with my body than I ever have been, and now that I know what I want – and like – I’m having better sex when I’m having sex with a man – which, by the way, now always goes down at “his” place.
Having sex at a location other than my parents’ home has been the key for me in getting some while living at home. I’ve done it on a crummy mattress in some frat house-like apartment lived. I’ve done it in a park. I’ve done it in LA, New York, and Europe. For someone who loves her down-filled duvet and her side of the bed, doing it anywhere but what’s familiar to me has been an adjustment. But my having sex away from home has shown me — besides proving exotic locals can be hot and exciting and reveal a new side of my “inner goddess” – that compromise and sharing is important for both sex and relationships. When I’m not on my home turf, I am more vulnerable and less assured, and it’s scary. As I’ve grown to own my sexuality, I’ve also had to own my shit. Since I’ve moved home, I’ve struggled with insecurity. I’ve wondered where I belong, where I will end up and who will want to date me. Now I’ve learned it’s not where I live, but who I am. Men have wanted to spend time with because they care and like me, period. A good connection is a good connection, regardless of what my address is, and that includes the connection I have with myself.
One day I won’t sleep next door to my parents’ bedroom, and it will be sad and I’ll probably cry.
But, really, a grownup, whilst in the midst of cunnilingus, should never have to send a “Hey, won’t be home tonight — don’t wait up!” text to her mother. Ever.