I recently wrote about Parental Displays of Affection.  In it, I talked about how we tend to desexualize our parents.

A guy friend of mine was a big fan of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  Actually he still is.  He told me he used to go to the late night shows with his friends in high school and college and that they would all get dressed up as characters in the movie and be active participants.  His costume was Dr. Frank N Furter.
The mental picture of this friend dressing up in the corset, fishnet stockings, and heels always gave me a giggle; He’s a tall guy with thick black hair so I imagine he probably pulled it off very well.

Not too long ago we were driving in the car together.  We used to talk about my blog topics on a regular basis and it was nice. This particular afternoon, I was talking about PDA, and things we did as teens and Rocky Horror came up again.  This time I simply inquired where he got the supplies for his costume.  He said, “Oh, my mom had them.”  I commented, “You got a corset, fishnets, and garter belts from your mom?  How cool is that?!”  It was as I said this that he took a huge pause… and realized for the first time in 20+ years that his MOM had a corset, fishnets and garter that he could use!  He nearly drove off the road as he said, “Oh man!  My mom!”  A huge wave of embarrassment seemed to wash over him as he probably got a mental image of his mom as a sexual being.

I don’t want to minimize the pain or discomfort he probably felt in thinking of his mother in this way and why she had those things, but it was so funny to witness and talk through his thought process – a sort of post mortem.  First the rationalization: there must be a function other than for sex.  Then wondering, “Why would she have these?  There must be a legitimate, purposeful reason.”  That quickly went out the window. Then the realization as he put two and two together.  There are better solutions if you need stockings, so garter belts aren’t necessary anymore.  There isn’t another decorative or symbolic use for corsets.  Last came reality: it hit him like a ton of bricks, a shudder – he could now picture her wearing it and – “oh my god…Mommy!”

I have the privilege of knowing his mom as well; She is an incredible, beautiful, loving, accepting, non-judging woman who raised her own children in an atmosphere where love and sex were taught without shame or guilt (the result is a grown son who respects women and is very mindful of when and with whom he is intimate).  She is exactly the way I imagine lots of people wish their own mothers were.  Anyway, I called her when we arrived at our destination and shared our conversation from the car ride. Her reaction was as loving and unembarrassed as I could have ever hoped.  We chuckled a bit at the ridiculous notion that kids can’t think of their parents as sexual beings.  All the while, my friend was still pacing the floor as he contemplated this newfound revelation. (He’s OK now. No worse for the wear).

I enjoy this story for a couple different reasons.  First, I love that my male friend was confident enough to dress in lingerie.  He is now a big bear of a man, a passionate, hot Kinsey 0, and disproves a number of the myths about men who cross dress. (Read myths here.) Let me just say how sexy I think confidence like that is.

Second, I get a kick out of those Ah Ha moments when we realize something we once thought to be true is actually not — namely, our parents were “doing it” long before we ever figured it out. Why do parents try to hide this fact from their kids?  Shouldn’t our kids understand that a loving relationship is what got most of them here in the first place?  When and why do we stop thinking of our parents as sexual beings?

Sadly, my friend doesn’t dress as Frank-N-Furter anymore but Oh! what I wouldn’t do to see him in this costume again!


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