For a number of years back in the 2000s, I wrote a monthly column for Vital Source magazine called the Slightly Crunchy Parent. In it, I chronicled my life as a mom to three young kids. MKE SEX is a different sort of column, more detached and information-based. I love writing it just as much as I loved being the Slightly Crunchy Parent. But this week, I’m time-traveling back to the old days—talking about my own feelings, my own experiences, and my very own family. I tried to write about something else, y’all. I really, really did. But again and again, the words that came up were about my family and my love for them in this moment. Thanks for reading.

As I write this it’s the day before Thanksgiving, and it’s eerily quiet in my home. Like so many of us, I’ve spent most of my holidays in the crush of family and friends. As the mother of three kids, I had two decades in which there were plenty of small hands for potato peeling, apple slicing, marshmallow applying, and the like. I was never alone on a holiday, or even on the day before. But my children are grown and in their homes now. Despite the fact that we’ve all intentionally stayed in the Milwaukee metro area to be close to each other, we’re not together right this minute. This damn pandemic, am I right? What I wouldn’t give to crowd around my tiny kitchen counter and make mashed potatoes with my middle kid while my youngest stirs a pot on the stove and my oldest squeezes in to sneak a taste and a quick hug from the side.

As a nation, we’re experiencing a shared phenomenon that, by its very nature, isn’t often shared. It’s touch starvation. We are hungry for touch, and even hungrier for the myriad of intimate moments that are part and parcel of holiday gatherings. It’s been months of this. We were promised that we’d flatten the curve and be reunited with loved ones by Memorial Day. Then we hoped for July Fourth, then Labor Day. When that didn’t happen, I gave up hope for Halloween and Thanksgiving but still thought maybe, just maybe, I’d see my kids (even briefly) for Christmas afternoon. Now it’s clear that we’re going to keep making due with phone calls, Zoom rooms, and Facetime conversations.

Staying distant is the right thing to do, and it’s also the hard thing to do. I am grateful I have had 25 years (so far) of holidays with my now-adult children. I am in love with the traditions we’ve built and repeated. I’m honored when one of them asks how to re-create a dish or decoration from our family’s history. I’m delighted when one of them does something differently, exploring other foods and ideas to build their own new traditions. And I’m proud. I’m so fucking proud that even though we’d all love to run at each other, masks off and arms open, and fall into the most glorious cuddle puddle—we won’t do it. Each of them understands the importance of staying home for the greater good. They have all spoken their fears of catching and spreading a virus that we still don’t fully understand. None of them is willing to take unnecessary risks with their own lives, and the lives of people around them.

Still. I ache. It hurts. I am grateful, yes, so grateful. And definitely bursting open with pride. And so, so lonely.

Though your feet my take you far from me, I know
Wherever is your heart, I call home.
– Hanseroth, Hanseroth, Carlile

Curious about cunnilingus? Anxious about anal? Do you have questions about queefs or problems with your prostate? Lucky Tomaszek is the education coordinator at The Tool Shed: An Erotic Boutique, Milwaukee’s only mission-driven, education-focused sex toy store. Send her an email at mkesex@gmail.com and she’ll get back to you with an answer.

About The Author

Contributor

Lucky Tomaszek, LM, CPM, is the education coordinator at The Tool Shed: An Erotic Boutique, Milwaukee's only mission-driven, education-focused sex toy store. Most mornings you can find her balancing her cat and her keyboard in her lap, working to make the world a smarter, safer place for people of all genders and orientations.

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