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BABYLOVE
By Christen Clifford

Written and performed by Christen Clifford
Developed with and directed by Julie Kramer
Choreography: Julie Atlas Muz
Sound design: Elizabeth Rhodes
Costume design: Melissa Schlachtmeyer

Preshow music- upbeat “Baby” songs mixed with sex songs—“Mommy”- Missy Elliot, “Baby Baby Baby Baby”- Sweet Baby, “Y Que Mami”- Suficiente, “Baby Love”-Supersnazz, “Baby, I Love You”-Ronettes/Ramones, “Hanky Panky” Tommy James and the Shondells- mixed in with some Barry White, Prince, Al Green, etc.

Stage is simple. A very sturdy rectangular table, one chair- Some props in a TOY BOX, water. - Costume: sexy jeans and top.

(In a Blackout the actor enters during Tommy James’ “Hanky Panky” and gets onto the table and starts writhing in arousal/pain. Song fades and we hear the actor. Breaths, grunts. Lights slowly fade up into a red glow. Some highly pitched noises, a few low grunts. This goes on for an uncomfortably long time. Sex? Labor?)

“Ummm…should we use a condom?......NO? …….Whoa.”

(Lights up)
(beat)
See, we had had a huge party the night before, the party was like a last hurrah, now we were ready, to have sex without a condom for the first time. It was like, Let’s have a huge rockin’ party! And then, Let’s get pregnant.

But then I remembered that he had to go out of town for work that night and I didn't want it to be like that, I wanted it to be like the movies, lying in bed afterwards, dreaming about THE BABY.

Plus, I was really hungover. So I decided- condom this time, and then when he gets back we can start.

But he said, "No.”

And I said, "Well, I'm a little worried that I'll be sad because you're leaving tonight and…but I might not get sad…but I'd take the chance that I might get sad, it could be okay." He kissed me again, deep and hard and the red light was on- I had put a red light bulb in the bedside lamp for the party, but then I was thinking: Do I want the first trying to get pregnant sex to be with the red light?

Then I was thinking: “ He's not looking at me. I want you to look at me! This is HUGE, we could be making a baby right now, our lives could be changing and our eyes should be locked.” (look down)“There's nothing down there what are you looking at down there? There's nothing to see, I'm up here!” I wanted to be SEEN, to be gazed upon like a child, there were three babies at our party, and the six new parents all gazed at their babies with love, romantic love- that happy joyous pure new love, pure pure new love, falling in love for the first time falling in love with their child, that hormonal biological thing that evolution gave us so we don't kill them so the species will survive and prosper. THAT look. That was what I wanted.

And then he did look at me, and then it seemed a little weird, like I was forcing it to be too serious or something and then I was worried that I wasn’t wet enough, that I didn’t want it enough. And then I was worried that I was worrying too much and I was forgetting to enjoy it so I put my head back and closed my eyes and I forgot- HOW COULD I FORGET? That this was one of my favorite things, that hardness against that softness, that moment of danger, of right before, and I wanted him to get past that first ridge and then--- it was over.

I started to laugh, it was funny, we were trying to get pregnant and we could barely …and then he started to laugh and I loved him so much that it hurt and we were crazy trying to do this thing, bring another human being into the world, who did we think we were?

(sound cue:. Rick James “Give It to Me Baby”)

I’ve always seen the world through sex colored glasses.

I was the one wearing lipstick in pre-k, hyper aware of Mrs. Genco’s knockers in first grade and trying to French my sister’s fiancé when I was seven. As I grew up, I confused sex with love and because of that, I fucked around- a lot: men, women, oral, anal, orgies, S&M, B&D, pretty much anything you can think of, I’ve done. When I’m on the subway, I look around and think- who would I fuck? I still confuse intimacy and sex and love- even now that I’m a mother I’m still seeing the world though sex colored glasses. And that makes me feel pretty fucked up.

I met Ken when I was 25. He’s Australian- “G”Day mate, how you going?” and an intellectual. “I’ve gone off the Foucault, but I still read Deleuze.” We were roommates and one night we both came home drunk and I said, “I’m going to the bathroom and when I come out I want to find you naked in my bed.” We fell in love (sound cue) and three years later got married.

(sound: WEDDING DANCE: BARRY MANILOW! “Weekend In New England” dancing)

Once we decided to get pregnant we went at with a determined fury: reading the latest books and magazines to figure out the best way to conceive: I was obsessed with ovulation: I watched the calendar and took my temperature every in the morning. After that first time, we took things a little more slowly, we loved fucking without a condom- but we eventually settled into a routine where we’d fuck like bunnies for a week or so around the time we thought I was ovulating, and then hands off for the three weeks in between. But every time after we had sex, I’d put my legs on the wall, trying to get that sperm deep into my uterus.

(In the following sequence, the actor puts her legs up, an “ on the wall” gesture, a shoulder stand in the air on table. The legs on the wall after each sex should reflect the emotional quality of the sex.)

“No Ken, there is no evidence that this works.”

Then one day I saw egg white in my underpants! When you are ovulating, your- vaginal mucous- is supposed to be stringy like uncooked egg white. So I leaned in the doorway naked. (sound cue, Erykah Badu) Eryka Badu was on the stereo. Afterwards (legs on wall) he said, “Can you feel me come in you?” "Kind of.” But I was lying.

Ken was on the phone with his family in Australia at three in the morning. The idea of sex as an extension of humanity (legs on wall) totally turned me on.

After yoga. "I was hoping you'd take a shower with me and join me in the bedroom.” This time I put in the red light bulb on purpose, put on a Portishead CD, (sound cue morphs into portishead) and (legs on wall) even wore a black silk slip with perfume.

Away for a weekend. Sex with no intercourse. Maybe he was feeling pressured. (legs gesture, but not up)

"Uh, we still have a short window of time, so let's get down to it." I didn't bother to come and honestly, I couldn’t tell if he did.
(legs on wall)

I forced myself on him in the morning when he was half asleep.
(legs on wall)

After we watched a gay porn movie called The Plowboys—It was research for an article I was assigned! (legs up) “If this works we'll have to name the baby "Pornstar".”

"Is this working, at all?!" his erection melted (legs barely up) and then we laid there feeling sorry for ourselves.

And then in my old room in my parent’s house in Buffalo, on Christmas Eve, it happened. (legs up, arms out, stop gesture)

(Music cue: “Mommy” Missy Elliot… actor inserts pregnant belly and boobs, music fades over speech.)

When I got pregnant, everybody said that having a baby would change my life. So I somehow thought that meant it would change me- that I would transform into a maternal, patient, generous woman. I didn’t.

I at least thought I’d feel sick, or freak out that an alien was invading my body, but I loved being pregnant. I exercised every day, didn’t drink or smoke and ate practically all organic foods. I felt better than I had in my entire life. I had 50% more blood running through my body- that was 50% more blood rushing to my clitoris—for the first time in my life I could come like that. Plus I had these brand new 38C breasts. They were amazing. And pregnant sex interrupted the boredom of monogamy—instead of having sex with someone else, it was like I was someone else.

One day I was walking though Union Square Park. (music cue, underscore) I had on knee high black boots and a tight wrap dress that showed off my tits and belly. A man yelled out of a yellow delivery truck, “Yea! Sexy mommy!” He was about 25, dark, handsome, thick black hair. He’s had sex with a pregnant woman before. He knows how horny I am. He knows. I wanted him to fuck me right there.

2.

I tried to remind myself that it wasn’t all about me and my body; that I was actually going to have a baby, so I bought tons of books about pregnancy and motherhood. I found out that the only time your body changes more than it does during childbirth, is when you die. I read about all natural, fully sexualized births where the woman is practically orgasming her way through labor and everybody’s sucking on her nipples like at a big orgy, but it was pretty clear that wasn’t an option, so I planned an all natural birth in a free standing birth center. But the baby would not have it that way.

My due date was September 18th. Early on the morning of August 7th, (throw water balloon, which hits wall and sprays water) my water, broke.

We rushed to the midwife, who said, ”Congratulations! You’re going to have to go to the hospital and I can’t come with you. You’re going to have that baby today,”

“No. No, I’m not having that baby today. I’m not ready. I haven’t even packed a bag!”

She let us go home to pack, but we just walked from room to room aimlessly. We were totally freaking out and wound up in bed –because in times of trouble, I need to fuck around.

When we got to the hospital that evening, I was hoping they wouldn’t have to give me drugs to induce labor. A nurse settled us into a private room and hooked me up to a fetal monitor and we waited…. I had read that nipple stimulation and orgasm could help get labor going; so Ken got into bed with me. But everytime I was about to come, a nurse would rush in, “The baby’s heart rate is rising!”

They gave me a drug called Pitocin a few hours later because I wasn’t “progressing.” OK…Imagine you’re in an old fashioned western movie and it’s the bar brawl scene and it’s all chairs smashing over heads and everybody kicking the shit out of each other. (actor acts this out ) That’s what was happening in my uterus. (More) This went on for six hours. I refused an epidural, the painkiller, because I (sound cue, Rock star lights up loud rock power cord.) was gonna be a rock star in there (sound and lights out) (I get a little grandiose sometimes) but I was in so much pain I couldn’t speak to ask for it. I was a naked mute bear, pawing around, tearing the room apart, shitting here and there. (Lowing and growling and standing on table.) “I’m not having the baby, I’m just taking a shit. Put something underneath me now.”

I went through what they call “transition” in the bathroom by myself. Transition is this totally weird feeling that happens right before you start pushing the baby out. You know those floater things you see when you close your eyes? They look like little worms? Well, when I went into transition they were huge and friendly and IN THE ROOM WITH ME. This was the best part of having the baby, hallucinating in the bathroom by myself. I would have had the baby in there if the nurse hadn’t dragged me out.

She hoisted me up on the bed and went to get the doctor. Ten minutes later, I was thinking "Just get it out of me, I don't care if it’s dead or alive.” I pushed really fucking hard, which was fun, and then it was over and they said “It’s a boy!” The nurse put him on me for a few seconds but I could barely see the baby, the cord was hypnotizing me, it was this neon blue pulsing snake... Then they rushed him off to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, (actor puts belly in toy box)- he was fine, he stayed for 4 days, just for observation, they didn’t want to take any chances.

(put belly into Toy Box. Moment of not being pregnant anymore, lay all the way down)

“I think a number one?”

“No, we better go with a number four.”

“Did you see the one Dr. Lee did?”

“Yeah, Good work.”

Nobody told me two men I had never met, who didn’t bother to introduce themselves to me, would be having this conversation while they put stitches in my perineum.

One of them finally spoke to me:

“I know you might not think you’re going to have sex again any time soon, and I’m not supposed to say this, because this is a Catholic Hospital, but use birth control or you’ll be right back here like this before you know it.”

He made to leave with the slop bucket.

“Um, excuse me, that’s my placenta. I’d like to keep it.”

It’s still in my freezer. I don’t know what to do with it. I’d gotten it into my head from one of my hippie birth books that I was going to have a big ritual and cook it and eat it, but I’m kindof grossed out by that now. And it would have freezer burn anyway. Someday I till hope to plant it under a tree.

“By the way, how many stitches did you put in?”

Twenty?

Fuck. I’m never going to have sex again.

“Ken, take a picture of that right now.”

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a photograph of a woman’s vagina right after she’s given birth, but I have one. (pull out photo from back pocket, put it back in) Don’t worry, I won’t show you. Ken says I have to … stop showing it to people. And that our son can never see it— it would ruin him for life.

Then I didn’t know what to do. I do remember thinking that… if someone came in and offered me a billion dollars cash to do that again, I’d say no.

When Ken wheeled me up to the NICU a few hours later, I was a momma lion roaring to protect my cub, but I didn’t know which one it was.

Ken stopped the wheelchair. “That’s him? That’s ours?”

“Hello, hello baby. You’ll be just fine, I promise. I’m going to be a good mother to you. You’ll get better and we’ll all go home and love you so much. You’ll be fine.”

I loved him.

Loved him more than I’d ever loved anybody and he didn’t even talk. He was a little five and half pound worm. He had blue eyes and blonde hair- he was one of those old man babies- he looked like Winston Churchill.

We named him Felix. An old name. It means “Good fortune.” “Happy.”

All of the sudden, everything I did mattered: how long I held him, when I crossed the street, what I ate and drank, my health, my happiness-- these all affected him.

What have I done?

I’m not ready to be a mother.

But as a mother, I felt like Eve in Garden of Eden, I felt like I suddenly understood everything! Ice cream, my parents, the human race - other people, they were born!

But when I stood up- Omigod my cunt. I couldn’t walk for two days. When I got home, Ken helped me pour witch hazel onto maxi pads and put them in the freezer before I stuck them between my legs for some relief.

I couldn’t even take a shit. This was worse than having a baby. In labor and delivery I was in an altered state of consciousness, but going to the bathroom I was stone cold sober and scared, “OK, god? Please don’t let me tear any more.”

I had never been injured. I'd never had even stitches before, and this really sucked. When I finally got the courage to look, I discovered a womb with a view. I was relived that my clitoris was still there, and in the same place. The things I had heard from women, not in complete sentences even, just mumblings of "never the same again" — that was what they were talking about. A swollen mass of red flesh. A gaping hole where tightness had been. I swore I could see my cervix.

Ken tried to reassure me: that I would heal, that intercourse wouldn’t be unbearably painful, that we would get back to normal. But I didn’t believe him.

I thought of Felix all the time. I wrote down when he ate and slept and shat. By the time Felix was six weeks old, I was deep in BabyLand, always breastfeeding. I didn’t even think of my body as mine anymore. I didn’t sleep for more than three hours at a time. I still had all that fetal tissue swimming around in my bloodstream, I felt like he was still attached to me even though he was outside my body now.

We went to mommy/baby yoga and I felt my muscles and bones for the first time in weeks. I met other Brooklyn mothers who had babies around Felix’s age; Gisele was a theatre artist, Dana a jewelry designer and Jessie a writer, the kind of people I’d want to hang out with even if we all weren’t new mommies. Ken referred to us as “The Mommy Cult”.

Jessie said, “I just realized- they never go away…I’m never getting my old life back.”

Dana said, “I think that’s it, I think I just want to be a mom now. I understand why some women have so many kids!”

I said, “Okay— am I the only person here who thinks it’s weird to watch an infant get a hard on!”

Gisele said, “Christina. Don’t use ‘hard on’ when you talk about Felix. You say ‘hard on’ when you talk about Ken. When you talk about Felix say “erection”, okay?”

One of the babies was so cool; his name was Malachy. He looked like Sean Cassidy.

“If you’re anything like your baby self when you are older, I want to fuck you. I want to be your Mrs. Robinson.”

Dana was so understanding- she was only slightly repulsed.

I had sexual fantasies about my mommy friends, that they licked and healed my scar. We’d all given birth and we would all heal each other. I dreamt I was nursing all of their babies; I could nourish the world! I was starting to feel sexual again, but it was a little confusing.

Generally, you’re allowed to “resume sexual intercourse” after you stop bleeding, which takes about six weeks. I went for my checkup. The midwife’s two fingers hurt. Nobody had told me about this. The saggy belly and painful breasts, yes, but this…this was extreme. I finally understood why some women chose optional cesareans.

The midwife said, “You’re healing well! Are you having sex?”

“Noooo.”

“Are you thinking of having sex, ever again in your life?”

"Not with my husband he’s the one who got me pregnant in the first place. Maybe I’ll have sex with George Clooney. Ugh….. I guess I’ll have sex with Ken."

But I didn’t.

I barely spoke to Ken; I didn’t even look at him. I talked to the baby about him, “Look, there’s Daddy!” I talked to him through the baby. “Daddy will come over here and hold you and change your diaper while mommy goes to the bathroom. And then Daddy will get Mommy a glass of water? And a cup of Mother’s Milk tea? OK, Daddy?”

Ken withdrew into his third place status. He referred to himself as “the man formerly known as Ken.” I didn’t care.

A month later, I felt around and masturbated, tentatively. When I got aroused, my breasts squirted milk (Actor squirts water pistols.) When I told this to the mommy cult, Gisele said, "You should try masturbating while breastfeeding. It's amazing."

I ran home, got out my mini-massager and settled into the Glider rocking chair with Felix at my breast.

Then the doorbell rang.

It was the FedEx man. I buzzed him in, but he couldn't get through the second front door, which stuck. So I went to the door, with Felix still on my breast, wearing a black sports bra and yoga pants. I signed for the envelope. When the FedEx man turned to leave, I realized I still had the vibrator in my hand, not my keys, and the second door had closed behind me. I was now stuck in the vestibule with a baby and a vibrator. I rang the bells to my neighbor's apartments but no one answered.

I started to cry. It was sleeting and below zero. I was barefoot and practically naked with an infant. Where could I go like that and what the fuck was I doing anyway? Only a sick person tries to masturbate with a baby, for God's sake. And I'm locked out of the house and everyone will know what I was doing and . . .

Luckily the Fed Ex Man turned around and noticed my distress, and rang the bell at the house next door. My neighbor — a blue-collar father of three fond of revving his motorcycle at eight in the morning — waved me over. I hid the vibrator under the vestibule rug and ran. He settled us on his couch and he went to break into my apartment. He came back and asked if I wanted to finish feeding. "No, thank you, thank you."

I ran home, still crying, retrieved the dastardly vibrator, threw it in the back of my drawer and fed Felix tenderly from the other breast, “It’s okay sweetie, I’m so sorry, I love you, I’m so sorry sweetie…” I vowed never to masturbate again.

But an hour later I was already thinking how hot that was of my neighbor — taking control and saving me, all knight-in-shining-armor-like, when I was so vulnerable.

The FEDEX incident crystallized the whole (sound cue) Madonna/Whore thing: It just proveds to me that motherhood and sex didn’t go together. (Other than that you have to have sex to have a baby.) At two and half months postpartum, the mommy cult wasn’t having sex – “I just don’t feel like it” was the usual refrain – which made me feel better, but I kept feeling like I should be having sex- that’s who I was - I felt like no one looked at me since I became a mother, so I started to wear really low cut shirts and even bought a nipple revealing sex bra instead of a plain nursing bra, but - I was terrified of intercourse. So my shrink suggested a “sex hour” while the baby napped. The idea was to experience the pain I anticipated, by myself, so that I would know what to expect when I finally had sex with Ken. While Felix gurgled in my arms, I put a towel in my rocking chair. On the coffee table I lined up two dildos, a butt plug, some lesbian porn, three vibrators and two bottles of lube.

As soon as Felix was asleep and situated in his crib, I put in Lez Be Friends. But the close-ups just made me think of changing diapers. I used a lot of lubricant and inserted the narrowest dildo carefully. It didn't hurt as much as I thought it would. I added a vibrator because I was determined to get turned on, and when I did, it felt like it was happening to someone else. My orgasm was almost in spite of itself.

I wasn’t even really into it- so why was I still thinking about sex? I had used sex to fill every possible hole in my life up until the day I gave birth. (Well, actually on the day.) I wanted sex; I needed sex. But I didn’t want actual sex. I wanted love and affection and safety and I was getting that from Felix, but not that feeling of being out of myself and at the same time, the most myself I ever am— somehow I couldn’t get there, to that orgasm that I thought would make everything better.

Not by myself and certainly not with Ken.

Ken and I just looked at Felix, then looked each other and said, “I love him.” And that was the closest we were. Most days, Ken came home from work, kissed me, and said, “I need to lie down for ten minutes.”

And I was like “I’m with this baby, all day, every day, he needs me every second. You get need to lie down for ten minutes?!? I need to lie down for ten minutes. I don’t get a break, I don’t get to take the subway by myself, or go out for lunch by myself.”

I was not “myself.” I was a mother.
(break, take drink of water)

And the all other mothers I knew had similar stories. Lots of anger, no sex. And then, after three months, the other mommies in the mommy cult reported actually having sex. And then, after four months, they were starting to complain that their partners wanted sex on a regular basis. Gisele said, “I have to give Ernesto a blowjob every three days to keep him happy!” Ken didn’t even seem interested. Okay, I knew I was angrier than I’d ever been in my life; and more controlling, and that I didn't want to have sex, but wasn't he supposed to want to? I couldn’t believe that everyone else was having sex and we weren’t.

One night I said, "I think you need a non-sexual tour of the region, so that when we do have sex again, you know what you're getting yourself into. Literally." I spread my legs and directed the reading light between them. I opened my sex with my fingers and showed Ken the ridge of scar tissue that stretched diagonally from the right side of my vagina to the left side of my anus. I took his hand so he could feel it. "This still hurts.”

"I saw a baby come out of there. It's not for fun anymore."

I don’t know that I’d want to fuck him if I saw a baby come out of his dick, but that was not what I wanted to hear! I knew he shouldn’t have watched the birth. He should have been behind me, rubbing my shoulders.

I hated him for making me feel so undesirable. I hated myself for not talking to him about it. And I hated Felix for ripping me open.

Five months after the birth, I still felt kindof weak down there. It felt like the top and bottom muscles of my vagina were strong, but the sides weren't. And there were little "pockets" in the corners. I had to get back in shape.

(sound cue, Olivia Newton John Let’s Get Physical; Kegelciser areobics)

This is called a Kegelciser. It’s like a barbell for your coochie. For those of you who don’t know, Kegels are pelvic floor exercises. You don’t need to use this. You can figure out which muscles to use by stopping your urine flow while you are peeing. Then you squeeze. I’m doing them now. (beat) You should all do them too. Even if you haven’t had a baby. Even if if you’re a guy – just lift!- They’re ...useful. (SEX TOY GIVEAWAY! Now I’ve just showed you mine, so …ad lib…any new mothers in the audience? You might need this, it’s hard, I know for new mothers to get back into it. give sex toy to audience member)

Five months in, that (gesture downstairs) may have felt fucked up, but these… I loved my boobs.

Breastfeeding was really hard for me. My milk came in and then went away because Felix was premature and didn’t have a strong enough suck and a nurse told me to stop pumping, so then I had to pump to get the milk back. I would try to nurse Felix, then gave him a bottle, then pump every three hours for two weeks- until my nipples were cracked and bleeding.

But when my milk did come in, and I was finally nursing him- it was the best thing ever – I was keeping this tiny human alive with milk from my breasts.

I felt like a good mother. I felt like my body was doing what it was meant to do. I felt like I had the biggest, most awesome boobs in the entire world.

So, I wanted to show them off. I breastfed in cafes, on the subway, walking down the street. ( teddy at breast) But suddenly, no one wanted to see my boobs. I finally had breasts worth showing off but now they made people uncomfortable because there was a baby attached.

This made no sense to me. The surgeon general is currently spending millions of dollars right now trying to get more women to breastfeed--less than %14 of women exclusively breastfeed their babies by 6 months of age and yet- I didn’t actually see anyone doing this. Outside of educational pamphlets, I couldn’t even find any pictures of people breastfeeding. Online, I found paintings with titles like “The Virgin Of The Milk” by Bernejo and “The Holy Family” by El Greco. And of course I found lactation pornography. I Googled “Celebrity Breastfeeding” and found one lone photo of Jerry Hall- Mick Jagger’s ex?- from twenty years ago. One time on a subway platform a handsome man leaned in “So how’s old’s your – WHOA!”

“It’s okay- that’s what they’re for.”

People always say of breastfeeding, "It's sensual, not sexual." But for me it was sexual. In fact it was the closest thing I had to a sex life/It was closest I was getting to getting laid/It was the most sexually intimate thing I had going on my life. I loved Felix so intimately when he was nursing. The fat from my thighs was literally transferring to his thighs. He nuzzled and pawed at me, grunted, threw his head from side to side when he latched on, his pink mouth warm on my nipple. He tried to get as much as he could into his mouth, his whole body burrowed into me, his little heels dug into my still-soft belly. He kneaded the breast he was nursing from with his hand to get more milk, and used his free hand to gently stroke my collarbone.

(music cue Ramones)

At six months postpartum, Ken and I still hadn’t had sex.

Felix was in a co-sleeper attached to the bed; every night I slept between Ken and Felix. This might have had something to do with it. But …really…

Felix was sooo cute! He was cuter than Ken! Do you want to see a picture? (get huge poster sized picture of Felix as an infant..) I just thought he was the cutest baby in the entire history of the world! I had wanted a little boy who looked just like Ken, and then when I got one… I was kind of pissed. I wanted him to look like me.

When he was born, I was happy he was a boy. With a girl, I knew I’d be too competitive. For my husband’s attention. For attention from boys. I’d be jealous of her youth and beauty. I’d be that mother that flirts with her daughter’s boyfriends (or girlfriends) just a little too much, a little too seriously. You know the kind I mean.

Now that I have a boy, the problem is I already know I’ll be jealous of his girlfriends, the little sluts. But somehow I don’t think I’d be jealous if he had a boyfriend.

So I’d like to make sure that he’s gay. I wish I could dress him up like Boy George and fill his room with Tinky Winky’s, never let him out of my sight or ….feed him something to make him gay. I’ll be okay if he’s not gay, but I don’t want him to be confined to a rigid gender role.

Recently I said, “You’re not a baby anymore, you’re a little boy now,” and he said, “Or a girl! Or a girl!”

Oh…but I had been talking about how Ken and I hadn’t had sex in …a long time.

When Felix was seven months old, the three of us came home from an afternoon walk. Felix was still asleep in his stroller and I suddenly said, "How about we take a chance he'll stay asleep and actually have sex?" Ken was like, “Great, meet you in the bedroom!”

Ken undressed and got into bed. I went to the bathroom to take off my clothes- except my t-shirt which I took off only after I was under the covers. We didn't look at each other, just hugged hard and tight for a long time, then loosened up and kissed. I noticed his ass was softer and I was glad that I wasn't the only one who was out of shape. I had forgotten that just the feeling of his cock in my hand could turn me on. He put his hand on me, opened me, found my wetness inside, rubbed my clitoris until I said, “Fuck me”. He put on a condom and entered me gently, missionary position. I kept asking him to look at me. I wanted not to be invisible.

Afterward, I asked the million-dollar question. "Does it feel different inside?"

“Not really, maybe a little, to tell you the truth, it's been so long . . .”

I realized I missed the afterwards as much as the sex: the talking, the hormone high, the smell.

And a month later, we took a vacation in Paris. We were in Paris! In the springtime! The weather was beautiful and the men actually looked at women pushing strollers.

One night, Felix was sleeping between us on the hotel bed. He woke up, I nursed him. Ken started to stroke my thigh and kissed my neck. Felix finished the right breast and slid off the nipple, asleep. I lifted myself up from Felix gently and slid in between them. Ken and I fucked a little, silently. I was worried about waking Felix, so I took Ken in my mouth. When Felix started to fuss a little I patted him, not losing my rhythm. Right before Ken came, Felix cried out- he went right back to sleep and as I nursed Ken, I realized- I‘m in a threesome, the kinkiest threesome ever, a permanent threesome-

(Threesome DANCE SEQUENCE (choreography Julie Atlas Muz) music “Love to Love You Baby”-Donna Summer)

For Valentine’s Day, instead of Ken and I going out for an overpriced dinner, I decided to have a big party for the three of us.

We invited over the extended Brooklyn Baby Cult, which now included over thirty babies. We bought cases of prosecco, made tons of quiches and a few flourless, sugarless cakes and loads of healthy snacks. I started drinking at two. It was amazing what three minutes of unbridled flirting with a hot daddy could do: it brought me back to that time when I was young and free and maybe would have gone home with him. By nine-thirty, after the last guests left, I said to Ken, "I love Felix more than I love you."

"And you love Felix more than you love me. What's up with that? I want you to love me more than you love him, but I still want it to be okay for me to love him more than I love you."

Ken was patient. "It's different, that's all. It's a different kind of love.”

“Whatever.” (pass out).

The threesome wasn’t working. It was the worst kind of threesome – the kind where someone else- not me- gets all the attention.

So I tried to take care of myself. Sometimes when Felix took his nap, I got out the Hitachi. I didn't think about my husband. Nor did I think about Johnny Knoxville, or that butch dyke at the coffee shop, or being taken from behind by a faceless stranger, or even the mommies.

I kept thinking about Felix. I had a hard time concentrating on my clitoris, even with all that roaring power on it. I would think of when his next doctor's appointment was, or how cute it was that "yellow" and "sausage" were his first multisyllabic words.

He looked in my eyes for so long, so deeply, “Brown Eyes. Mommy Brown Eyes.” I loved the feel of his skin, his touch, his wet open mouth kisses that I didn’t tell him to stop. I liked his babyness, his nakedness, his body ….But was it okay to think of my baby when I masturbated?

Was that just a manifestation of Felix’s all-consumingness? Babies are like a gas — they expand to fit all available space. I knew that everybody loves a naked baby and that children are inherently sexual. We had a fatherhood book with a sidebar that told new dads not to get freaked out if they got a hard-on.

But one day, when Felix was about a year old, I wanted to touch him so much I didn’t know what to do. He was little. He was mine. I forgot that he had his own wants and needs. I don’t know what else to say other than that I knew that what I wanted was too much. I didn’t do anything, but it scared me to think that I understood the people who had crossed the line.

I read about a court case where a woman in Syracuse was aroused during breastfeeding and she called a volunteer hotline to ask if sexual arousal during breastfeeding was normal, the “volunteer” contacted the police; the mother was charged with sexual abuse and lost custody of her daughter for a year.

I had a hard time talking to the Mommy Cult about it, we were at Willy Bee’s the koids playing in the back garden, with rocking horses and a pretend grill. “I…I think I’m having some boundary issues. I still feel like we are made of the same body. I think I’m the one having separation anxiety.”

Dana said, “Well, there’s the classic Oeidipal thing, you have to completely separate any sense of sexuality from your child.”

“I don’t think I can that, “ I said.

“Well,” Gisele said, “I just read about this other psychoanalyst who says that a mother’s failure to libidinize her child may result in hysteria. So take your pick.”

“I don’t know what that means but I don’t think I want to do it. Didn’t Freud just call it The Family Romance?”

Of course I want Felix to have a healthy sexual life, that’s what everyone wants. For themselves, and eventually for their children. But how?

And now it’s almost three years later, and I’m still struggling with attachment and separation issues with Felix. I don’t want to scare anyone away from having children, really! But they are like appendages- I have one head, two arms, two legs, and a Felix. I did finally stop breastfeeding him when he turned three- I know, I know- Part of me wanted to keep nursing until Felix was like, 15. It’s weird- everyone wants you to breastfeed, but then if you do it more than a year they think you are a freak. I kept going at first because I didn’t want to lose my 38 C’s, but they deflated as soon as he started solid food. (Takes out breast inserts and throws them) I’m sad not to have those.

The Mommy Cult tells me that it takes three years - per child - to get your relationship back, and I think they are right. Felix is 3 and half now and things are much better between Ken and I, we went to couples therapy; we communicate better, we talk more, blah, blah, blah. We have become those people who have to schedule sex. It’s not like it was before, well, occasionally it’s like it was before. We are coming back.

Jessie said, “No, I don’t think it will ever come back.”

Gisele asked, “Maybe something different, but good?”

“No, it’ll never come back. Not with him. Maybe with someone else.”

(something else before this….)

I tried to apply the golden rule of threesomes: play with everyone and take turns, but it’s not always that easy. I don’t really know how I’m going to not fuck Felix up too much, or how Ken and I are really going to keep our relationship together over the long term. I’m still trying to figure out intimacy and sex and love. I’m still trying to integrate sexuality and motherhood—so that they are not mutually exclusive nor inappropriately combined. It’s not what I expected. And BabyLove…is like nothing I ever felt before. It’s more intimate than anything else. It’s no wonder I confused it with sexual love. He came out of my body. He was eating my body. It’s a continuum.

Last week, we were all building cars out of Legos on the living room floor, and Ken started tickling Felix and Felix tickled me and I tickled Ken and we’re all laughing and rolling around in the sunlight on the living room floor. I thought- now this is my favorite ménage a trios….and later that night, we put him to bed, and lit some candles, and put on some Barry White,

Of course Felix came out, “Mooommmy!!!”

I settled him in again, and we got it on---(Big Dance Sex Gesture)

(Maybe music is Barry White Let’s get it on morphs into Joan Jett Hanky Panky?)
(Loud music. “Hanky Panky” by Joan Jett comes up…actress dances… Rock’ Roll lights and haze. Choreographed dance morphs into free form dancing. Dancing reaches crescendo and …
Blackout!)

THE END


This work is copyrighted Christen Clifford 2005-2007, more information at www.christenclifford.com


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