Q: I am in my 20s and recently while cleaning my mom's wardrobe, I found a packet of condoms. My parents have been divorced for a while and Iam sure mom isn't seeing anyone. How do I bring this up with her?
Ans: Being ashamed, or uncomfortable, of talking to your mom about condoms and sex is perfectly normal. We have all being socialised to think that sex is bad and dirty and that women, specially mothers, are ‘pure’ creatures void of sexual desires. These days they call it patriarchy, but for thousands of years this has been the norm. When you speak to your mom, do you want to follow this outdated societal construct or try out something new?
The former path of conversation would create distance and involve you judging her and making her feel bad, even before finding out why she had condoms in her wardrobe. The latter will get you closer to her and create an environment of mutual respect that eventually will be of more benefit to you – think life without restrictions here!
I am going to stick to the latter because your mom seems to be the coolest kid on the block. Not only she has condoms in her wardrobe but she is also making you clean it! Be candid about your feelings and explain to her that your intention is to have a deeper and more honest connection with her. You might find out that she is seeing someone and having sex and that’s great news.
Good sex boosts your immune system, eases stress and activates all the happy hormones: Oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin. Remember, a happy woman is a happy mother.
You might also find out that those condoms were for you, or someone else. This would make your mom a very kind and smart woman: Condoms greatly decrease the risk of many sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.
(The writer is an Intimacy & Relationship Coach and an Independent People and Culture Specialist focusing on relationships, sexuality, youth and social media in South Asia. Have a query? Send it on firstname.lastname@example.org)