Mom Didn’t Throw Away My Best Porno Mag

When I was fifteen, my mom found my Playboys.  Most mothers would’ve tossed them in the trash or left them hidden under the fake Christmas tree where I’d hidden them in the attic, but my mom lined them up and down the stairs, like a prosecutor might lay out 8x10s of a serial killer’s victims in court.  All those pretty faces smiling up at me, each one taunting me with her breasts.  Up until that moment, if you’d suggested there’d come a time when I’d want to burn my Playboys, I’d have punched you in the face.  These weren’t just magazines, you see; they’d seen me masturbate.  I don’t care if it’s crass.  Ask any adult male, and he’ll tell you the first three years of self-gratification aren’t pretty.  I’m not saying it gets better, but those first years of discovery are too violent and ferocious for human consumption.  That’s why my Playboys were so special.  They didn’t judge.  They didn’t look away.

But my mom ruined that.  She told me that touching my pecker was nothing to be ashamed of, even though she’d effectively loaded me with enough shame to fill every confession booth in Kansas City. 

My mom said, “If you want to keep them, you can.  But just know, that’s not what real women look like.”

I told her to throw them away, but a year later, when my mom asked me to go into her room to get her checkbook, I opened her dresser drawer.  And there, buried beneath her socks and pantyhose, were my Playboys.  She’d kept them.

People always ask if I knew my mom was gay, and the truth is, I didn’t, even after the Playboy incident.  I’d just assumed she was planning on giving them back, but was too embarrassed to fork them over.  Also, my mom didn’t…look gay.  She wore lipstick and worked the cosmetics counter at Macy’s.  She was always dyeing her long hair.  She belonged to the P.T.A. and wore skirts.  She baked cookies.

I’m not saying gay people don’t do those things; I’m just saying my mom wasn’t rebuilding a motorcycle engine in our driveway or sanding the deck or sitting an inch from the TV during a WNBA game.  She was feminine.  She drank wine coolers.

Sure, she’d been to every Mellissa Etheridge concert in Kansas City and bought a t-shirt from every show.  She also lifted free weights for a while and went on trips to Bennet Springs, Missouri with a group of women for “art fairs.”  And yes, whenever I brought home a girlfriend, my mom would gush about how pretty she was and sometimes casually massage the girl’s shoulders.  But none of this made me think my mom was a lesbian.  Not just because she was feminine and she was my mom and she’d been married to my dad for twenty-five years, but because we lived in a house with paper-thin walls, meaning I heard my parents having a lot of sex.

16 thoughts on “Mom Didn’t Throw Away My Best Porno Mag

  1. Really enjoying your blog. I think we might have had sisters for mothers. In our case, it was me, the gay son finding mom’s Playgirl magazines! Yup. That’s right. :)

    • Son of Walt, it’s like we’re living in parallel universes and WordPress is a wormhole connecting them. If any of that doesn’t make sense, I should state I don’t know shit about physics, astronomy, or basic science.

  2. I love how you *casually* mention the “I heard my parents having lots of sex!” I literally get through my day by believing that my parents NEVER had sex; I’m artificial insemination, I can do that.

    As much as I LOVE this blog, you also kinda make me sad at times. It’s hard to think that your mom must have wanted this idyllic, apple-pie life, and pretended for so long that she was something she wasn’t in order to have it. I have to believe that a part of her must love your dad, though maybe not sexually. You just don’t stay married to someone for 25 years, go through raising kids and all that, and not have some love there. Still, with every post you write, I find myself more and more impressed at the fact that she came out, and that you clearly love her and support her very much.

    Well, I’m not AMAZED you love her. But you know, supporting such a change in YOUR life, too, has to be tough.

    • Well, I hope your artificial insemination conception turns out to be true.
      I actually asked my mom how she was able to stay in a marriage for 25 years, and she said that she just loved her family. She felt she had a good marriage, even if her feelings weren’t all there sexually. My father is a good man and they worked well together as parents. She did and still does love him as a person and father. I think that’s what made all of this so difficult, but ultimately bonding. Her coming out was shocking and tough at first, but it forced us to really look at each other, to remember the reasons we love each other. For a long time, we’d been taking that for granted, and my mom’s declaration, in some ways, saved our family.

  3. Well, I am the Gay Mom!! I got pregnant and married at age 15, and we remained married for two weeks shy of thirty years, the marriage ended because of a whole lot of circumstances not related to my coming out. When I told my ex that I was dating women, he was not in the least bit surprised. MY oldest daughter (30yr old at te time) stated “that must be where I got it from, as she is bi-sexual. Told my mother I was dating women and she stated, Well, if your happy, great! I knew that I was interested in women since a young age, but that was NOT done. I spent many years being proud of the fact that we had remained married for many years, even if the marriage wasn’t great, it wasn’t horrible either. You can ask my girls, they were brought up in a very loving home with the mom who also wore lipstick and dresses and baked cookies!. I also owned a motorcycle, was an EMT with our sm town EMS system and could repair our faucets and most anything else in the home better than my spouse! I watched you on Riki this AM as we had snow and were able to come into work late today. You can bet I will be following your blog!! thanks

    • That is a wonderful story, and I’m so happy to hear your family responded with love. I’m a big fan of your mother’s words.
      It’s amazing how much society has changed over the last 30 years. As my mom said, “Being gay in Kansas City wasn’t really an option in the 70s.”
      My mom, like you, is also quite handy around the home, but I hope to never see her on a motorcycle, mainly for her safety. She’s easily distracted.
      Thank you so much for the kind words and for stopping by. I hope I’ll continue to entertain.

  4. This is a fabulous blog. You are hilarious but not afraid to be sincere!! A wonderful combination! I’m a mom with a not completely dissimilar story but not completely similar either. I think I will be following your blog. Thanks for sharing. BTW how might one get their hands on the Ricki Lake episode on which you were a guest? Keep writing and sharing as clearly there are many people, myself included, who appreciate your perspective.

    • Aw, you’re making me blush! Thanks so much for your kind words and for reading. I’m not sure how to get your hands on the Ricki Lake episode I was on; I’m trying to figure it out myself. But I will keep you posted.
      Thank you again. It’s feedback like yours that keeps me sharing!

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