The Emancipation of the MILF

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A good friend of mine texted me an article this week from The Cut, The Emancipation of the MILF. Does sexual freedom belong only to the young? Claire Dederer doesn’t think so by Kim Brooks. Two things came to mind. One, the acronym, MILF, being used in the title of a serious article in a respected publication. And two, the need to read this article because my experience is that sexual freedom happens or can happen in midlife. We’re older, were more confident, we know our bodies better, we aren’t afraid to ask for what we need. What’s the fuss?

Since my new singleness of two years now, as a 46-year-old woman, I promise you the MILF thing is reality. I admit to having been a bit offended the first time I found myself being classified as such (I’m not old.)  And I am not a mother but younger men being attracted to older women is real. In fact it’s kind of unbelievable how many men love to be with older women (that is something to fuss over!) I have written about this many times and I have personally experienced a sexual Renaissance as a result of the MILF phenomenon being so mainstream.

Claire Dederer has written a memoir, Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning, out this week. She is married but “tells the story of what happens when a devoted wife and mother in her 40s, a woman in a basically loving and healthy marriage, stops taking care of everyone, stops subsuming her own needs to those of her children and husband, stops repressing her unruly sexual desires, and starts acting like, well … a man.”

There is a shift happening. A shift where older women can talk about and express their sexuality. According to the author of the article. “In our last conversation, I asked Dederer if she thought this new willingness to confront our fears of midlife female power (sexual or political), or to represent the lively erotic lives of older and sometimes married women without mockery or judgement, might suggest the presence of a larger cultural shift on the horizon…. But as a woman, she is setting out into the uncharted territory, suggesting, as a few brave souls have now begun to do, that the MILF might not just be a male fetish and a focus of male desire, but a person in her own right, not just an object, but a subject with things she herself would like to do.” Yes. Yes. YES!!! Now I LOVE being a MILF!

Sometimes I forget that my talking about my sexual experiences, at my age, is not exactly mainstream. Sometimes I forget this is a brave move. Millennial women have no problem talking about and expressing their sexuality. (Hello Lena Dunham…). But many women in their 40’s and 50’s are not discussing. I do believe we are on the cusp of a sexual revolution for older women – married or single. We are beginning to acknowledge that we have needs and some of us are exploring and articulating those needs. Let’s keep writing and talking about midlife sexuality. Thank you Claire Dederer. Ordering now.

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