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Sex & The Modern Mother

Happy Mother’s Day from Cosmopolitan and author Kitty Stryker, who offers a touching tale of how her career brought her and her feminist mom closer:

Still, I tried to hide my work in the porn industry from my mother. She’s a second-wave feminist, so I grew up marching next to her at NOW rallies. By the time I was dabbling in the adult industry, I had read enough about the history of feminism to feel pretty confident that she would not welcome my “alternative lifestyle.” I didn’t feel very close to her at the time, and I certainly did not feel prepared to talk to her about this career choice. As I worked and blogged under a different name, I didn’t think she would ever find out.

She did.

Oh no! She talked you out of it, right? Right, Kitty?

My mother didn’t yell at me, or talk over me, or dictate to me what I should or shouldn’t be doing.

She listened.

She listened when I had great days and felt like porn was the most empowering thing I could do for myself, how I was claiming sexuality in a way that felt safe and fun for me. She listened when I felt insecure about my body, loving my fatness and my curves but also aware that being this way would mean fewer jobs and less respect. She listened when I had a tough day, and felt anxious about the weird power dynamics in the industry.

My mother never told me to quit. She never told me I had made a bad decision. She never asked me how I could be a feminist and a sex worker. She made space for me and my experiences, and she gave me advice or sympathy when I asked. So I found myself reaching out to her more often, grateful for her analysis and her wit. Now, I consider her one of my closest friends.

She’s educated herself on various industry issues, becoming a solid and outspoken ally. Knowing she’s proud of me — as an entrepreneur, as a writer, and yes, as a sex worker — has made me feel accepted and loved…

Read the whole thing. Ah, progress. Actually, this account first appeared in, get this, Good Housekeeping. I guess they don’t make housekeeping like they used to.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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