Giving up sex for knitting?

by singlemomseeking on April 16, 2009


Just put the words “sex” and “single mom” together, and you’re bound to incite a riot.

Remember when I decided to become a virgin again? (Impossible, I know. But I DID have one of my longest sex-free spells ever this past year.)

While I was still contemplating my sex-free life, posted my excerpt on Lust and the Lactating Mother, I was reminded how touchy some folks can get. The nastiest comments in response to my post had little do to with lactating while dating. Instead, they focused on what a horrible mother I was.

One reader referred to my incident as “one night stand sluttiness.”

Another called me a “a certified, 14K Gold, 5 star mess…You are the latest bit of evidence that America is over.” then blogged — Should Single Moms Have a Sex Life? — and that post remained of the most popular for weeks on the site.

Many (married) moms there didn’t hold back: they made it clear that we, as single moms, should put our needs on the back burner until our kids have left home.

Let’s be real, shall we? Of course, your children’s needs come first. You put everything you have into raising happy, healthy kids. But, how about you?

“What was she supposed to do? Sit at home knitting?,” one reader wrote, sarcastically. (Thank  you!)

“She might as well slip stitch her vagina closed since clearly she is no longer a sexual or sexually desirable person.”


I’d love to hear from Moms and Dads on this one: What’s the longest you’ve gone without gettin’ some?….

For those of you who haven’t dated yet, is this kind of stigma holding you back? I understand if it is.

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

badmuthablogger April 17, 2009 at 8:24 pm

The longest I’ve gone without sex is right now. It’s been 22 months, so that’s nearly 2 years. The last time was a wild one night stand with someone I barely knew when I was 4 weeks pregnant. I didn’t know I was pregnant at the time, but I rememeber I was gasping for some physical action. Must have been the hormones raging. It wasn’t the F.O.B. because we had broken up (if it can even be said that we were ever together). I can’t even begin to imagine what “sexy” feels like. I can’t imagine fitting some guy into my bed, into my life, with the bunny being only a year old. I am knackered all the time. I have saggy boobs and a flabby tummy. I want a lover, a partner even, but it all feels like too much bother and trouble. I can barely get it together to do the household chores, nevermind dress up and go on a date, nevermind remember how to give a man pleasure. Sigh. I just feel like my days as a sensual, sexual woman are over, at least until the bunny gets older and by that time I’m be a wrinkled old prune.

badmuthablogger´s last blog post…Wandering wayfarer woman


walt April 17, 2009 at 7:41 pm

The longest was a little less than a year, right after my separation, but I don’t want to talk about me. What I want to talk about is the ridiculous idea that somehow there is an inconsistency between between having a dating/sex life and being a parent. Are married couples supposed to ignore each other while they raise kids? Obviously not. So if married couples are encouraged to spend time working on their relationship, why can’t single parents spend time working on their important relationships, including making an effort to establish such relationships? Kids don’t need us every minute. That’s not even good for them. I think that most people who say “I’m too busy with my kids to have time for a relationship/sex life” are using their kids as an excuse to not do something they don’t want to do anyway. If that’s your choice, that’s fine, but don’t try to impose it on other people through some false guilt trip.


avigail74 April 17, 2009 at 7:05 pm

Wow! I’m amazed at the amount of months and years that many single mothers have gone without sex.

I wanted to “purify” myself after getting for divorce for one year. It ended up being 1 year and 15 months. But, I love sex–and will not deny myself sex–so until I find the “right” man to make love to, I will continue to have sex here and there. I’ve always separated sex from parenting. No, my daughter is not in the house when I’m having sex with someone that is not my boyfriend.

I do wish more single parents would focus more on their needs and wants. I feel that too many single parents live their lives soley for their children–and forget about pampering him/herself. I think it’s a shame. I really want my daughter to learn how to love herself and treat herself well—I go Salsa dancing almost every Thursday, get my hair done every 3 weeks, my daughter helps me find beautiful clothes—single parents, especially singe mothers (please understand, this is what I see, so please don’t shoot me) tend to lose and forget themselves–just for the sake of raising children. No, no! Take care of yourself first–love yourself–pamper yourself–have fun for yourself–and I promise, the rest will follow! Happy moms create happy children!


Erica April 17, 2009 at 1:19 pm

I just wish I could understand how people go years without sex. I start jonesing after a couple of months.

Erica´s last blog post…Mother Fucking Shit


Mike April 17, 2009 at 12:22 pm

2 1/2 years from after my ex and I split. I dated in that time, but it never went anywhere.

Mike´s last blog post…All Gone


Jim Everson (Depot Dad) April 17, 2009 at 11:25 am

As Ray Ramano said….”I love married sex. Every time I have it, I remember to pay my quarterly taxes. Every time I have oral sex, I renew my driver’s license.”

Jim Everson (Depot Dad)´s last blog post…Seven Minutes of Perfection


judy April 17, 2009 at 10:19 am

hmmm most people when are judging do so because of who are they. IOW all those married who don’t want us to have sex aren’t having it either but can’t admit it.

sex and parenting are very different issues as we know

As for knitting I am almost through an amazing cabled sweater and then will be starting to knit either pastys, a sweater for my DD, a beaded bra or chemo caps to donated.
Thus sometimes knitting is about not having sex and sometimes its about getting it…..


April April 17, 2009 at 9:37 am

My longest was a year and 5 months. I thought I’d be going nuts by the 12-month-mark, but I realized, like everything else, the longing has a beginning, a middle, and an end.

April´s last blog post…Thank You!


Amy April 17, 2009 at 9:20 am

Midwest here. And this is a hot topic. I adore sex – I truly do. And I miss it greatly.

But I can’t get past it the way I was raised. As in – “don’t have sex outside of a serious relationship- preferably marriage”. It isn’t that I agree with that – I just can’t get it out of my head.

I know that I do not want – nor could I handle a serious long term relationship right now. So I condemn myself being “sex-less” as well. I sometimes think I will just leave those old ideas behind and just let what happens happen – but I am afraid that I would emotionally get attached and that I could not be okay with just casual sex. Can we change our long held attitudes and beliefs about something like sex?

If not – I am screwed – and not in the good way either.

Amy´s last blog post…Journal 126: March 2009 A Long Day


MindyMom April 17, 2009 at 9:09 am

The longest for me was 2.3 years – from the time I concieved my fourth child (her father and I broke up just afterward) until she was 18 months old!

May that NEVER happen agian!

MindyMom´s last blog post…Single Mom Goes Out


judy April 17, 2009 at 8:46 am

Honestly, when there is a blog with married folks concealing when their last time was, then I’ll let you know when my last time was. Just because I am a SM (single mom not…) does not mean I have to air such intimacy for acceptance or understanding. either you know mme and know I am a terrific mom or you don’t.

ITMT I am just about finished knitting another awesome summer sweater and when my Sunday brunch knitters group meets in a few days I am sure one married woman will be revealing her sexual life as she usually does. My theory is if you have to talk about it, share it, find out about what others are doing, yours must be pretty bad!


Janet April 17, 2009 at 7:23 am

Wow.. I am glad I am not the only one who didn’t have sex for the longest time after my babe was born.. no one would believe me when I told them that I didn’t have sex with my then husband (now ex and you wonder why) from the time my babe was born till she was 14 months old. And people asked me how could he waited that long… actually I want to do it and he was the one who is holding out – for what, only God knows!


singlemomseeking April 17, 2009 at 8:02 am

Speaking from my, uh, own experience, Janet, I don’t think it’s unusual… a new father not wanting to have sex for a long spell post-birth. In my case, it was his depression, I believe.


MC April 17, 2009 at 6:58 am

Oh geez, sorry, my posts always get ridiculously long, I just carried away typing in the little box. I’ll try to be briefer next time, I promise!


singlemomseeking April 17, 2009 at 8:00 am

MC: Be as long as you please! I love your comment.

And I also believe there IS a good man out there who’d love to have a fulfilling, healthy, loving relationship with you… that includes great sex! Even in the Midwest? Jeesh, I hope so! Anyone in the Midwest want to chime in on this one?


MC April 17, 2009 at 6:56 am

The longest? While I was still married to the ex-Mr MC, from the time I got pregnant until the babies were 5 years old. NO way would I ever do that again! Pure torture. While single post-divorce? 4-5 months, max.

However, one thing does worry me…….I don’t want to go around hurting otherwise nice guys. Which is what I’ve apparently done with the last (4!!!!) men I’ve dated semi-seriously because we’ve had sexual relationships but I eventually broke it off with them around 6 months because of other problems that surfaced in our relationships by that time.

It was such a surprise to me that it deeply hurt them (because the incompatibilities were obvious to us both), yet it’s making me feel like a heartless jerk. Apparently, these guys felt that when we started sleeping together (usually by the 3rd or 4th date–I don’t believe in being a tease, besides, as I mentioned, I like sex!), and were exclusive, it meant that I wanted to marry them someday soon (OMG, NO! What sane person could decide that soon? Arg!).

And this happened no matter what I said to counter the marriage assumption. For me, sex is part of enjoying another person and sharing and getting to know each other. It doesn’t mean that I expect our relationship to totally, for sure, absolutely, work out in the long-term! It just means being I’m being open to the possibility of greater intimacy and that I’m enjoying getting to know my partner in a more intimate way.

On the other hand,, another marriage for me would be a really, really, REALLY serious step, and I intend to be totally sure before I go there again, if I ever do. I have to–I have kids depending on me (the last thing they need is *another* set of “parents” who don’t get along). And I’m old enough (47) to not have a chance to recover after screwing it up again. I don’t need to be “rescued” financially or otherwise, and I don’t want/can’t have more babies at my age.

So I’m stuck in a dilemma: I don’t want to wait until I’m “engaged to be married” to have sex with a man! I think that’s idiotic and I reject the whole idea as sexist. I like and need sex. It’s enjoyable for both of us! It’s a great way to get to know a man better. And I need to know if we’re sexually compatible early on in a relationship (because I won’t tolerate another LTR with a lame sex life).

So…. what do I do?? How do I find good men who are comfortable with including sex in a dating relationship and consider it part of exploring and sharing with a partner who has “potential”, but who do not focus on marrying soon just because of the sex? Particularly in the Midwest (where I live?). Probably I’m asking too much……………..


Single Mom April 17, 2009 at 6:23 am

I think the presumption is that single moms are irresponsible, it goes hand in hand with the believe that single moms are on welfare.

I think all women (& men) need a sex life and can have it, in conjunction with being a good parent. It is healthy for mom to have an adult social life, although I know a bunch of us do not….

Single Mom´s last blog post…Extra $1250 to pay towards debt !!!


John F April 17, 2009 at 6:10 am

Well there was that period I refer to as …marriage LOL.

But seriously, I don;t focus on it too much. If it happens, it happens but I know that priorities will shift over time due to work stress, kid stress, etc. So there are dry seasons and (pardon the pun) wet seasons!

I do tend to focus more on my kids while they are still young and actually like me (17, 14, and 12) so I know my days for that are numbered, then I can go out and be the Energizer Bunny of Dating and Mating.

And to the mom whose hubby wouldn’t touch you during pregnancy, it was the opposite for me. Upon conception her body was a No Work Zone. Very unfortunate because I find that women are perhaps their most sexually attractive and alluring while preggers. BUT, I am still holding out on that whole Lactating Dating deal Rachel had going for a while! 🙂

John F´s last blog post…Single Parents And Customs


Erin April 17, 2009 at 5:58 am

These comments are cracking me up, and giving me some solace. I agree with Angie’s post about dating, that it just doesn’t fit into my life right now, and I know that it will eventually. Depot Dad cracks me up, I know what you mean. I think the stigma is ridiculous. Married folks still have sex (sometimes) and still raise their children. Why should single parents not be allowed the same thing?

Erin´s last blog post…Bluebonnets


Canadian Bald Guy April 17, 2009 at 5:37 am

The longest I went without sex was at the end of my marriage and well-into the separation…3 years and 3 months in total. Not that I was counting or anything. 😛

Canadian Bald Guy´s last blog post…Twitter Tales: 04-16-09


singlemomseeking April 17, 2009 at 7:58 am

I don’t know why I’m relieved to hear that some guys also had a long holding-out period without any…. It’s not always a gender thing. Glad you’re back on track Canadian Bald Guy! Any other men?


Wondermom April 16, 2009 at 10:43 pm

Well, I’m glad to see that I don’t hold the record here, but it has been a while. Actually though, the longest I’ve been without was during my marriage. From the night Squirt was conceived until he was 8 months old. It was another 6 months after that…which was the night Pork Chop was conceived. I’m embarrassed to say this but from then there was nothing (maybe once?) until Pork Chop was 14 months old and guess what? I got pregnant again (I miscarried). That was the last time for us. A year later I had one night with FG and that was four months ago.

And no, it wasn’t me holding out on the Ex. And no, I don’t let FG even kiss me passionately without a condom!

Now the last time I made love? Yeah, I’m pretty sure there was a democrat in the white house back then. I hope to do it again someday…

Wondermom´s last blog post…Still around…


Apples April 16, 2009 at 9:54 pm

I am annoyed with this idea that we are suppose to not do anything and if we do we are bad parents. Yes there are some woman out there that just shouldn’t date. And for some reason they put their kid on the back burner when they do. HOWEVER that is not the majority of us! The fact one is or isn’t having sex has nothing to do with their parenting good or bad. A bad parent is going to be a bad parent regardless of their having or not having sex.

If married couples should have date night why shouldn’t we! ANNOYING!

Bottom line, I don’t go into your bedroom please stay out of mine!

And just for the record this is coming from a person who hasn’t dated much less had sex since the ex husband. Someone who is pretty conservative in her beliefs on the subject and yet it still bugs even me.


Jim Everson (Depot Dad) April 16, 2009 at 9:38 pm

I think I remember having sex. I think I remember liking it.

Jim Everson (Depot Dad)´s last blog post…Seven Minutes of Perfection


Bad Mummy April 16, 2009 at 8:39 pm

Hell, the longest I went was while I was still married! He wouldn’t touch me from the time I was six months preggers until The Mook was 8 months old. That was the last time we had sex. We split up when she was 13 months.

It’s been about six weeks since I’ve had sex….it was alright. I think we talked about our kids afterwards.

But it’s been about 2 years since I’ve made love…to a wonderful man who remains a friend to this day.

Sex is easy enough to come by; I miss love-making.

Bad Mummy´s last blog post…Not Well


Coachdad April 16, 2009 at 8:27 pm

Oh shit… first time I read your blog and this what I am reading? Single dad who blogs. Does that tell you how long it has been for me? Rather depressing. Right now four girls are sleeping on my couch and I have a laptop in my hands reading blogs. Do I have to answer, though? Ok… here goes. We have elected a new President since the last time. Not when he took office, whe we elected him. Alright…. I need a drink.

Coachdad´s last blog post…Catching up with Mom


won April 16, 2009 at 8:18 pm

Hmmm…deep breath and I’ll be ready to say this out loud.

4.5 years.

When I lost my daughter, I lost that part of me.

How to get it back? Will I even remember how to do it?

I want to. I am just not sure how to get there.

won´s last blog post…Effort


T April 16, 2009 at 8:04 pm

Um… how about 12 months waiting for a man to come home from war?

And prior to that 9 months.

And at this point… 5 months and counting…


Seriously, we’re supposed to wait til the kid have left home?!? This is again proof that people shouldn’t comment on something they don’t fully understand. Don’t try to sound like you know what’s best when you have never been there.

That’s all I’m sayin’.

Oh and for the record, I have rarely met a better mom or child than you, Rachel, and your sweet M M.

So there.

T´s last blog post…What’s my type?


Mike April 16, 2009 at 7:59 pm

Give up sex? Well, that may be ok for you, but not for this boy. The only reason to give up sex is if you don’t have someone you want to have that level of relationship with or if you legally have to (e.g. going through a divorce). And even then it’s only for a given period of time (check laws in your state, since they differ).


syd April 16, 2009 at 7:43 pm

I wish someone would comment, already – I’m dying to know how other people survive these damned dry spells without having to spill my own beans. 😀

syd´s last blog post…my love life (or, never say never)


Canadian Bald Guy April 16, 2009 at 7:23 pm

I think it’s ridiculous that a single parent somehow needs to be celibate. That’s just a ridiculous thought process.

A healthy sex life has NOTHING to do with one’s ability to be a solid parent.

Canadian Bald Guy´s last blog post…Twitter Tales: 04-16-09


Angela April 16, 2009 at 7:03 pm

Okay, at some point I WILL have a sex life. Kids or not. They have time with their dad and if they didn’t there would always be baby-sitters. Just because life handed up this single road does not mean we are no longer sexual beings.

If nothing else it is even more precious because we aren’t guarenteed it when we want as we would probably be in a marriage (at least I was in mine…) but just because that part worked didn’t mean we did! Obviously…

Angela´s last blog post…Ugh.


Angie April 16, 2009 at 6:58 pm

Right now. Going on three years with no relief in sight.

I have no hangups about being a single mom and a sexual person. I simply don’t have the time or energy to invest in a relationship. It was so much easier when the kids were little and clueless. Finding time without them to date, exhausting!

I know ways to do it, but find it last on my list of priorities right now.

I was telling a friend the other day. With women you get to a certain point where you lose that craving. You almost (almost) forget what it feels like to touch, kiss, have sex. When you get to that place it seems ludicrous to juggle your schedule to fit it in…

There are moments of remembrance though!


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