This particular conversation among three sisters started with a problem. There was a knot in the fishnet catsuit Anita's husband had purchased for her. She had been trying for days to work the knot out. But as you know, fishnet is tricky. Sitting around her kitchen table with her sisters, she was reminded of it.
Anita and her sisters, Evette and Larissa, are all over 50. Larissa, the eldest, is over sixty. And the fishnet catsuit provided the perfect segue into a conversation about marriage, children, and sex after a certain age.
Anita: “Girl he was just snoring and as soon as I came in the door, he shot up! I said,
‘Victor, you were just asleep.’
‘No I wasn’t.’
I said, ‘You were snoring!’
‘Well girl, just come on!’”
Larissa: Girl, that’s like Darius tipping in there with that gel stuff.
Anita: They’re funny.
Anita: But I’m so grateful that he wants me. You’ve just got to wait a minute.
Larissa: Yeah...yeah. And I’m glad that Darius understands. He doesn’t try to force me to do anything like that.
Anita: Like what?
Larissa: Anything sexual. He understands. He doesn’t try to force me to do anything...
Me: You said but he still tries to what?
Larissa: Other things, he’s still controlling in other areas.
Realizing that she was sitting around not doing anything at the moment, Anita ran upstairs to her bedroom to go see if she could figure out how to untangle the catsuit.
Me: When did arousal change for you all?
Larissa: You know it’s a whole host of things. It’s not just a sexual thing either. For me, it’s hard to want to have sex if my husband doesn’t fulfill his duties the way I think that he should. If your spouse is not going to work, the stop and go period of work, just helping out with home duties. Men don’t want to help with that kind of stuff. Recognizing when I’m tired and when I don’t want to cook! That was a big thing for me. After my children were out of the house, it was a huge thing to have to be in the kitchen every night. Because I felt like, we’re both grown. And when you’re hungry, go fix yourself something to eat. Don’t sit and wait for me to come through the door and then ask me ‘What are we having for dinner?’ Oh, my God! I hated that!
Evette: I do too. I always say, ‘Well, what do you want?’
Larissa: Well, I don’t do that. Because that’s too nice. And they’ll think ‘Oh, well she gon’ fix whatever I like.’
Anita reenters the room, jumping right back into the conversation.
Anita: That’ll open up another door.
I look over at Anita and notice something about the fishnet catsuit.
Me: It’s purple! I was imagining black.
Anita: No girl. And it’s so funny, when he gave it to me, he said, ‘And it’s purple.’
The sisters laugh, complete with yelps and handclaps. Purple, I would learn, is Anita’s favorite color.
Larissa jumped right back into her initial train of thought.
Larissa: And I’m like you sat here all this time. You get home at 3 and you sat there until I get home at six. And then you talkin’ bout hungry. You’re not too hungry.
Me: So that affects arousal?
Larissa: Yes. It affected me.
Me: Did you ever say that?
It doesn’t matter.
Anita: But they don’t believe…
Larissa: No, they don’t believe it.
Anita: Even though I’ve never had that situation. A lot of times they just don’t believe you. And I don’t know if it’s really that they don’t believe you or if it’s irrelevant to them. Because for me, it’s like, ‘The bedroom is a mess. What you wanna do?’ Cleanliness that heightens me up. But for him, it doesn’t. He can go. But for me, I like the room to be clean. That just makes me...I don’t know. It just helps for me. But I don’t think he understands that. How you are with the kids…You know? All of that stuff.
Larissa: That was a big turn on for me. A big one. When I would see how he would interact with our kids; girl, I’d be ready to take him to bed right then. Yes. And I told him that too.
Anita: And sometimes you have to allow yourself to mentally go back, may it be a day in time that was so special. Because that helps.
Evette: Umm-hmm. So true.
Anita: Because sometimes after you do your motherly duties, you’ve got the kids on your mind about one thing or another; girl, the last thing on your mind is sex. But you’ve got to find a way to go there because just like how your kids have needs, you have needs, the husband has needs. So, you have to find a way to go there. And majority of the time, you just want to relax. And relaxing for them is different.
Larissa: Yeah, sex is relaxing for them.
Anita: And for me, just sitting down talking…
Larissa: ...and cuddling. I love to cuddle. We used to sit in the recliner together, watch television. And we used to lay on the sofa together and watch television...Not here recently, because I’m tired. I’m sick.
Larissa was battling a debilitating illness at the time of this interview. (She's since recovered.)
But when you have your kids all of that is on the backburner. And this is why when your children leave the home, you and your husband need to do something to reconnect. And like I was telling Darius, ‘We don’t know each other the way we did before.’ We were good parents so we didn’t focus on ourselves.
Anita: Anymore. Not that you never used to.
Larissa: Right...And after our children came it was no more Larissa and Darius, it was Andrew and Ava and then Larissa and Darius. And that rarely happened because…
Me: ..all of your energy.
Larissa: Yeah! We worked, we took care of our kids, they got home, they had homework, and then it was time to --- and then we were exhausted. It was like ‘Ok, we’re going to bed.’
Anita: And making sure that your kids have a life. You know, you’re making sure that your kids are satisfied, not just physically, making sure they have food....but you want to make sure their mind is right. Because that’s more important than anything.
Larissa: And that they know that you...
Anita and Larissa: love them!
Anita: Yes. Yeah. But not that you’re going to be crazy. Because they can worry you to death. And that’s another thing! When you have multiple kids, you’ve got to know each child. One child can be smooth sailing and then the next one, the complete opposite. So girl, many a nights I used to wake Victor up! Especially those nights when he was trying to do a little something and I couldn’t go there because one of the kids was on my mind. Then once he went to sleep, I had the nerves to wake him up. But he knew if I had to wake him up, it wasn’t about that, it was about one of the kids.
And what I love is that men can be--a man can be very mean when they can’t get that physical side satisfied. And he’s never ever shown any signs of ever being mad at me...maybe a little bit disappointed.
Larissa: Yes! Disappointed but never mad. And you can see that. Then, girl, I feel so guilty. It’s like, ‘Can you break him off just a little bit?’
Anita: So that’s when you go back into the memory bank.
Larissa: ...to psyche yourself up. Marriage is a job. It’s literally a job. If you’re not ready for it...shrugs.
Anita: But when you’re in love with that person, you’re ready to take on that job. Because it’s love. And you’ve got to grow and learn and know each other. That’s just what it is. But don’t do it before you’re ready because you’ll be ready to tell him to get out.
And it’s fun. But you just have to know how to work through your moments.
Larissa: It was fun raising my kids. It was fun raising them.
Anita got the knot out of her purple catsuit.
Anita: Oh! I did it! Whew! Thank you, Lord.
Larissa: Now just hang it up over a hanger. Don’t just…
Anita: I’m going to put it on this hanger on the door.
Larissa: Girl, Niecy [Anita’s daughter] don’t want to see that!
Anita: Girl, she saw the other one on the bed that I put on and fell asleep in that one.
Larissa: Girl, you don’t want her to see that one. That’s a lot. That’s a whole lot.
Me: She’ll be alright. I think we all saw stuff.
Anita: She saw it and went to her dad and said, ‘Ugh!’
Larissa: Ava told me that she heard me and Darius. She came to me and said, ‘Mom, I know that sex is a natural thing.’ ...something to that effect... She said, ‘But could you and dad please be a little more quiet so that I could go to sleep.’
Girl, I fell out laughing! When I told Darius what she said, he got embarrassed.
Me: What did he say?
Larissa: Girl, nothing! He was embarrassed! And I was laughing. He said, ‘That’s not funny. I said, ‘But it’s for real.’ He said, ‘You think everything’s cute.’
Anita: Niecy just confessed to me--this was around Christmas time-- she said, ‘You know mom, I was in the backseat and I was talking to Ivan. (Niecy’s brother.) I said, ‘Ivan, you ever hear mom and dad?’ And I said, ‘Well the only way to hear is if you all come to the door.’ She said, ‘Well, yeah.’ I said, ‘Well, what are you all coming to the door for?!’ She said, ‘Mom, we may have been coming for a reason and then we hear all that going on, so we just turn back around.’ I said, ‘Well, ok!’
Evette: That is so cute!
Anita: And I remember Jordan (Anita’s other son) asked me…
Larissa: Do you all still do it?
Anita: I said 'Yeah!' He said, ‘Oh, that is gross!’
Evette: That’s what my son said, ‘I can’t believe that you guys still do it.’
Larissa: Why do children think that you don’t do it anymore?
Anita: They thought, as boys, that it was all because of a process of having babies. ‘You’re only doing this so you can produce.’ I said, ‘No.’
Me: I thought the opposite. I thought that sex was just for pleasure and that you prayed for a baby.
Anita: Really? Aww!
Me: Before my mom explained. I just thought they were separate.
Evette: It’s just funny how they just think that at a certain age, you don’t do it anymore. It was so funny when Joshua asked that.
Larissa: But I never thought that about mommy and daddy.
Anita: Well girl, no. Because Daddy...there’s was always pajamas on the floor.
Larissa: And the door was always shut!
Anita: So, wait girl. When Niecy asked Jordan if he ever heard us, he said, ‘I don’t know!’ She said, ‘Why don’t you ever remember anything?!’
Me: Evette, so what did your son ask you?
Evette: He said, ‘I thought you all were done with that.’ I said, ‘Oh no honey, that never ends.’
Larissa: Not as long as you can do it!
Anita: Do you feel like it got better after he was gone away or was it always the same throughout?
Evette: Oh, it got better! It got better when he left because he was always inquisitive.
Anita: Because they promote tension, girl.
Larissa: Girl, not for me!
Anita: They do for me. Here I am not wanting them to hear.
Anita: And find out these kids been hearing anyway!
Me: Larissa, that never occurred to you?
Larissa: No! No.
And I did not care! Darius would be freaked out but not me. I’m like, ‘That’s normal.’