The Toast does not endorse Drew’s advice, but you can email us if you have questions for her. Don’t, though.
I love that my boyfriend has a close relationship with his parents, but going over to their house for the holidays? Not so much. They live out of town, so whenever we visit, we have to stay in his old room, and having his mom around 24/7 kind of kills our sex vibe. How can I tell my bf that this year that even though I want to spend Christmas with his family, I’d rather he’d unwrap HIS present in a hotel?
Horny in Hartford
I want you to try an exercise. Take out a sheet of paper and with a colored marker (or pen), write down one word: “womanhood.”
Now, take a different colored writing utensil and right between the letters “m” and “a,” I want you to insert a big, uppercase “B.”
You see what you did there? You took the language of the male gaze and rendered it powerless with just one letter. Reclaim your wombanhood.
Sex can be a beautiful, sensual experience without all the hangups of our socially constructed “family units,” laboring under the repressive yoke of “good first impressions.”
When you stop buying into the hegemonic rhetoric that women have to be at odds with their partner’s mothers, your eyes will be open to the fact that you have more in common with her than the phallic life-partner you’ve chosen. Literally: You and his mother both have fallopian tubes, labia, a uterus (probably) and have the ability to bring life into this world. Out of all the people gathered at the Thanksgiving table this year, she is the only other person who has also had your lover grow inside her, and that is a magical thing.
So how do you forge a bond with the one who carried the love of your life for nine hours of grueling labor? One good tip is to take her hand while she’s passing the mashed potatoes, look deep into her eyes and let her know how much you admire her sacrifice.
Something like: “Your son and I were planning on going upstairs later in order to create a new life, and we’d appreciate some privacy.” Visual cues never hurt; rub your belly to let her know you are talking about the miracle of pregnancy. If she’s kind of dense, use some cranberries and creamed corn to simulate the awe-inspiring mysteries of childbirth.
Don’t be surprised if you come across some friction. If your new fam seems to take offense at your inappropriate dinner-table shenanigans–Which, right, women have only been giving birth for billions of year out in fields and forests where the placenta is left attached until it falls off naturally in a month or so; nothing inappropriate about that!–it’s time to play that trump card. Yeah, the one that starts with the letter G. No, not “glans.” Grandkids.
“Oh, I didn’t know you weren’t planning to have any grandchildren,” is a good response, because right, there is nothing old women hate more than to fill their empty, sad little lives by taking your newborn for a month or two while you are busy decompressing at that amazing epicurian afterbirth class-slash-ashram that your DJ/doula told you about. Right. Um, if that is actually the case you might have a monster-in-law on your hands and those vibes are not what you need right now as a beautiful, possibly ovulating flower. Give your bf an ultimatum: He’s got to choose…either his mom, or his pre-pre-natal goddess.
Now, I’ve had boyfriends in the past try to condemn my “inappropriate” mealtime bond session. But you know what? If your guy starts to act cold and distant– all of a sudden it’s like you two didn’t meet at that mandatory Gender Studies seminar senior year at Bard–maybe it’s time you remind him who wears the real Diva Cup in this relationship.
Of course, you can always compromise by sneaking away to the pantry and engaging in furtive mutual masturbation under the guise of looking for the honey pecan pie crumble.
Is that Meemaw knocking at the slatted door? Don’t worry: the element of getting caught makes this red-faced endeavor even more of a sensual thrill-ride.
Who said only the turkey needs to be basted this holiday season?
Drew Grant is a culture writer for The New York Observer. Her work has appeared in Salon, BlackBook, Gotham Magazine, The Huffington Post and FuseTV. She's so funny.