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Lauren Brim on Rewriting the Rules of Love, Sex, and Family

Photo credit: Mary Janicki

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Lauren Brim on Rewriting the Rules of Love, Sex, and Family

Lauren Brim sounds like a lot of young mothers when she talks about how the birth of her daughter changed her life.

“I have this beautiful, funny two-year-old now who makes me go to the beach more often and grow as a human, and gives me thousands of hugs and kisses every day.”

But there is more, much more, to Lauren’s version of modern motherhood than meets the eye.

Desiring to be a mother but without a partner, Brim and a platonic friend who desired the same things made a big decision. They would conceive a child together and co-parent while maintaining their platonic bond.

Brim says the decision has allowed her to experience motherhood unlike many other parents she knows,

“We are really present with our daughter when we’re with her because we’re not totally overwhelmed by parenthood. I see a lot of my friends lose so much to becoming parents. They don’t have enough help, enough money, enough sleep, or enough support to take care of themselves in addition to their child.”

Not so for Brim and her co-parent. The two maintain separate households and alternate parenting time.

“This gives me three nights a week to go out with friends or on dates, or to stay home and work on a book I’m writing and get a solid night’s sleep.”

What’s more? Brim gets to do all that without paying a babysitter.

While she admits that this lifestyle choice certainly isn’t for everyone, for her it is the perfect solution.

Brim is no stranger to upending gender norms. As a sexual coach for women, she has an intimate look at the experiences of a lot of women. Brim advocates for women finding their voices in the bedroom.

“This can be as simple as letting their partner know when they want to have sex, asking them to do something differently than they’re doing it, and being truly transparent about what they want, feel, need, or desire from their partners.”

Brim sees women’s sexual suppression as an intricately layered result of societal pressures. Fear of pregnancy, labeling, religious punishment, or the power of sexual energy holds many women back.

“Many still believe that sex is dirty, bad, and only acceptable under a certain context, mainly, within procreative years, with one opposite sex partner, and not too frequently or with too much pleasure.”

This ban on pleasure, Brim says, is far more prevalent than we may realize.

Many of Brim’s ideas speak to our efforts to override what may be natural tendencies. For example, Brim says,

“I believe that polyamory is a very natural expression of what it is to be human. Many of us are not designed to love and have sex with one person for the entirety of our lives in the same way we don’t work in the same career for a lifetime.”

The spectrum of polyamory and monogamy is vast, for single people this could mean openly dating more than one person at a time while couples might open their relationships to flirting, threesomes, or conduct relationships outside their primary partnership.

“Love is bigger than us and the walls we try to set up around it,” Brim says. “I think we’re exploring something different and there’s a lot of evolution that needs to happen there. We are definitely in a second sexual revolution.”

Lauren Brim is the author of The New Rules of Sex and The New American Family. She is a sexual wellness coach and educator. Visit Lauren’s website and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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Julia Tolstrup is a freelance writer situated in the northeast corner of things. When she isn't typing, she raises vegetables, a small flock of chickens, and and even smaller flock of children. She is inspired most by her mother who is one of the bravest people she's ever known.

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