10 Black Moms Tell Us What Gets Their Motors Running.
“I like a big build-up,” says Carmen. She has been married for more than five years and is the mother of a toddler. “I don’t like spontaneity, last-minute stuff like bubble baths. A planned evening excites me—a romantic dinner, an after-dinner jazz club. Nothing impromptu.”
What Carmen considers “impromptu” sexually invigorates Danielle, however. “My aphrodisiac is the unexpected,” she says. “A large part of being a wife and mother is maintaining the routine—anything that disturbs it is taboo. But when it comes to romance and sexual intimacy…I like for my husband to just hit me out of the blue,” comments Danielle, 30, sighing. “Sexually, nothing can be more exciting than a break from the norm.”
…newlywebs make love about 3 times a week.
And the normal, everyday things not only float Bette’s boat, but practically capsize it. “I love Gregory’s whiskers, that shadowy growth he has every morning. And oh, when he repairs things!” Bette chuckles. “When I watch him working on the car, or anything manly that gets him all sweaty, mmmm, mmmm, mmmm.”
Like, Bette, practicality also rates high on Claire’s sexual barometer. Married three years with a spirited toddler, Claire says, “If I come home to a clean house and there are scented candles burning, I instantly feel relaxed and in the mood. It may be basic, but that’s what I like.”
Simple things, gestures like a deliciously prepared meal, a beautifully set table, candlelight, and wine, turn on Bette, Claire, and others. But Gwynne has more eclectic tastes. When asked what she finds appealing, Gwynne replies with a glimmer in her eye, “Raisin cakes.” Smiling, she explains, “My husband and I attended a wonderful marriage seminar based on the Song of Solomon [a book of the Bible]—truly, truly, truly a lovemaking book. In it, the couple feed each other raisin cakes, an aphrodisiac.” Gwynne, 41, a mother of two young children, has been married six years. She and her husband have taken a page from the good Book, and it works considerably well for them.
“The first step in getting a woman interested in sexual intimacy is simple: Get away from the children.”
Other women agree with Gwynne—not specifically about raisin cakes, but about the idea that food, and a little creativity, can feed the libido as well as the body. Sarah, 39, laughing, provides a few examples. “As you get older, you have to get real creative. The other day, Matthew dipped some big strawberries in melted white chocolate. It was sweet—literally!” Sarah continues, “Women need and want to feel appreciated. It’s the words, the gestures—like the strawberries, or some red wine—that are comforting and sensual.”
And what is sex without sensuality? Many women need to be reminded that they were women long before they began changing diapers and will be women long after the children have headed to parts unknown. But often, women become so immersed in their every day activities that they subjugate sexual desire. So, what does it take for women to focus more on their own bodies and less on those tiny ones running around the house? Often, it means investing a little time.
“I get aroused gradually. I like getting little notes or calls throughout the day,” says Cathy, 36, a mother of three. “I can’t just turn it on on a dime. It’s a process that involves touching and caressing, sharing.”
Marva, married almost 39 years, agrees. “I love a tight hug, a firm squeeze. When Charles pulls me really close around the waist and kisses me behind the ear…” Marva pauses for a moment, lost in thought. “Just thinking about it will get me in the mood.” Marva has time to lose herself. Her children are grown.
For many women, making time alone is the key to a blissful interlude. Valerie, having raised five children during twenty-nine years of marriage advises, “Sometimes the first step toward getting a woman interested in sexual intimacy is simple: Get away from the children. I would get somewhere away from my children where I could be a woman, and my husband could be a man—not a mother, not a father. It freed us to enjoy each other, and that was very, very sexy.”
Lisa, 38, and mother of three says simply, “Hiring a babysitter excites me; just knowing the kids are gone. If you want to kill the mood fast, remind me of them.”