How an Adult Furniture Item Became a Sad Metaphor for My Sex Life

Parenthood can be spectacularly unsexy. Now, I’m sure there are people who would vehemently disagree with me on that statement—possibly while gesturing to the Sybian lurking in their hall closet, ready to erupt into full 120 RPM power as soon as the kids go down for their afternoon nap—but as far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing like living with a couple of kids to really put a cramp in your adult-content style. I mean, there’s the spontaneity issue, or should I say lack thereof; there’s the issue of feeling physically drained after a day in Crazytown, Population: YOU; and as the mother of two boys, there’s the nontrivial amount of head-fuckery that goes on when you deal with minuscule penises all the time and you’re suddenly confronted with an adult-sized one. It’s like ... well, it’s a little like seeing some kind of freaky yet faintly comical space creature. Like something in the Mos Eisley Cantina.


("Hi, I’m an admin for a group called Exotic Sex Toy and Nerdy Star Wars References, and we’d love to have this added to the group!”)

Plus, there is nothing, NOTHING that can kill a mood faster than hearing someone’s happy little singsong voice during a Critical Moment as they chat with their stuffed cow in the adjoining bedroom. I suppose actually having a child barge into the room and demand to know why Daddy’s [REDACTED] is on Mommy’s [HILARIOUS EUPHEMISM] would be worse, but any reminder whatsoever that your children exist during, ah, business time is basically like a Titanic’s worth of ice-water right on your privates.

The sad truth is, it's been years since the letter G has been associated with anything other than "General Audience" in my mind. Spot? What spot, did someone spill something on the carpet again?

A prime example of the effect parenthood can have on one’s sex life: I laughed out loud at the scene in Burn After Reading when a Liberator sex wedge made its appearance (thus outing myself to the entire viewing audience as a person who recognized that triangular shape for what it was, which is to say, not a reflux pillow), because oh, the LIBERATOR. Have I got a story for you about one woman's struggle to get rid of her SEX WEDGE.

See, I used to own one. Back when things in my household were a little more, shall we say, free spirited. Then I had a kid and before I knew it, the Liberator sex wedge had not only gathered dust for months on end, it had eventually been repurposed as a children’s slide. (Shut up, of course I washed the cover first.) That's when I knew I had to get rid of it: once you’ve seen a toddler joyously rolling down the incline of a Liberator sex wedge, you can never really imagine it being used for any other activity ever again.

The problem was, I couldn't figure out how to get it out of my house. It's ENORMOUS, this stupid wedge, and not exactly the sort of thing you can picture dropping off at Goodwill. I posted my conundrum on Twitter (because come on, what else is Twitter for?) and the prevailing advice was to put it on Craigslist, which was appealing if only for the chance to write the ad. But of course then there was the whole awkward situation of having someone come out to my house in order to take away my gently-used sex furniture. I pictured myself handing it over, the brief moment when my hands and a stranger’s hands were simultaneously touching its plush microfiber covering. No.

A crafty person could have probably whipped up a jolly new cover for the thing and permanently relocate it to the kids’ rooms, but isn’t there just something ... awful about that? Like gluing fins on your vibrator and giving it to your kid to use as a “rocket”—it’s both a horrific little secret that would surely scar your child for life should they ever learn the story behind Space Shuttle Jack Rabbit’s origins, and a pathetic statement about the less-than-exotic nature of your sex life.

So here's what my husband and I did: we hacked up the foam innards and crammed it, gruesomely dismembered, in the trash. I imagined its bleak future, being ferried away to some landfill, probably taking about a thousand years to biodegrade. Crows would pick holes in it, seagulls would spackle it with droppings. The Liberator logo would bleach in the sun. Wall-E would eventually pack it in a cube.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that sex is over once you have children. Not at all! I'm just saying that like everything else, it changes. Maybe it even gets better in many ways, as you and your partner form a deeper bond, and your marriage matures and grows. But someday you may find yourself side by side with the man you love, hunkered industriously over a decimated Liberator pillow ... engaged in the metaphorical act of stuffing your once-red-hot sex life on top of a pile of used diapers.

Image via Liberator

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