Doula Mode, Lifestyle, Mamahood, Mamazine Moment, The Journey

A Mama Glow Doula Poem: Intergenerational Teachings of Sex & Intimacy

Kris Elle | September 28, 2021

My sexual education growing up has proven to be an incredibly influential factor in my adult life. And most certainly, the education I am providing as a parent to a new generation of young folk has much to do with what l learned then. As I reminisced about my childhood from this particular lense, the juxtaposition of mine with theirs – I penned a poetic piece that highlights pivotal moments of my youthful experience. Those moments continue to inspire how I teach body literacy to my children and model the crafting of a healthy relationship with one’s own body, and eventual romantic and sexual exploration beyond self …

I witnessed them kiss just a handful of times over the course of their

twenty-something year marriage, my parents.

And when I say ‘kiss’, I mean a quick little thing you might give your relatives

when its time for everyone to head on home for the night.

It was factual, with a sensible tie to an occasion like, say, a birthday,

or maybe even Valentine’s Day.

It wasn’t careless or without thought, but the urgency of depth

or the gleeful haste of fulfillment were without

visibly tender, soft places

to sow, root, develop,

grow.

 

Gathered, is what I might call my knowings.

Neither holistically nor explicitly educated.

Bellows from the preacher’s pulpit,

“Sex is for the confines of marriage!”

The amen of walls and electric lights.

 

Posted in a relatively empty classroom,

one of few whose parents or guardians opted out of health class,

the welcoming of sex-ed,

not to be replaced by an informative sit-down

about the business of bees and the trees where the birds might nest.

 

Before my mother, who gave what she knew,

during a little talk on our hefty brown love seat.

After I’d entered our local grocery store as a girl,

and exited on the brink of young womanhood.

 

Juvenile sage from my crew of girlfriends –

late nights and road trips, whispers of butterflies like Alicia sang

and the times I spent alone, preoccupied with daydreams like Mariah fantasized

with the oxytocin of what might await my future.

 

But the pinnacle of my adolescent sexual education came

on a dry, hot, average Southern California Summer day.

3:45pm.

When he walked down that staircase at the home of my very first time

blood-scattered all over his white t-shirt,

grinning with achievement, a showcase for the gathering below –

seventeen year old me learned my very first lesson in such communion with another – intimacy is neither instinctual, nor is it required.

 

They see our embrace,

the kiss of generous exchanges of love made visible,

our children.

On Mondays and Tuesdays and whenever,

everyday valentines.

It’s thoughtful yet whimsical

flowing naturally throughout each day

and watering the garden we’ve cultivated as parents,

our longing to see them reach heights beyond those who came before,

growth.

 

Gifted, is what I might call their introduction to knowing.

They’re adorned with our wisdom,

guidance to undergird the now –

unpacking anything that presents, later.

They know that they are magnificently created, sustained.

We’ll teach them that their bodies are a beautiful place

to exist, explore, on their own.

 

And when the time comes for the awakening of love beyond them,

a hopeful love like something they’ve gathered,

a knowing that flourished during the peripherals of their childhood

and precipice of their adulthood,

a place that I’ve known –

may the spine of this literature be filled with:

a gathering of tenderness,

a communion of intimacy,

a knowing of love.


Kris Elle is a writer, Southern California native, and graduate of the College of Communication and Fine Arts at LMU/LA. After more than thirteen years of a beautiful marriage + partnership combined with intentional motherhood + parenting – she offers her nurturing guidance in solidarity and promotion of holistic wellness for the Black American family – mothers in particular. A doula & lactation counselor in training, Elle continues to deepen her knowledge of and resources for those within the birth continuum to address the intricate needs of her community. She currently resides just outside of Charlotte, NC with her husband and their five young children.

You can connect with her on Instagram @thisblackhome!

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