Group of middle-aged women

Just the Tip is a sex and relationship column hosted by queer non-monogamous kinkster Jera Brown. Here you will find interviews with sexuality researchers and educators as well as smart and compassionate responses to anonymous questions. If you would like to be interviewed or have a sex or love question you’d like Jera to answer, email or DM Jera on Instagram or Twitter @thejerabrown.

My mother was a distant figure and I wonder if that continues to shape me. I fantasize about mother figures from my past and occasionally about my mother herself. Even when engaged in sex with very sexy women (I’m Single), to have an orgasm I go back and fantasize about these women. I am present during sex and tell these women how wonderful and sexy they are, but to have an orgasm, I fantasize. It doesn’t seem right and I would like to break this habit. Any advice on how to do that? 

(Everything has a flip side, lol. I love to please women, so spend an hour or two giving them multiple orgasms (5 last night) before having an orgasm myself. Sometimes I don’t even have one. I can walk away happy if they are happy). 

Thank you for any advice you can offer. 


I’m glad to hear you’re aware that your interest in mother figures or even your fantasies about your own mom are connected to the fact that she is/was a distant figure. You’re probably aware, as well, of the deep psychological wounds that can form from having an absent parent.

Nothing I am suggesting in this article should be a replacement for doing the emotional work of identifying what wounds may have formed as a result and engaging with those wounds with self-compassion. Professional help may be needed here.

But, I do have some questions for you and recommendations for things to try.

1. Where’s your body?

Okay so you wrote that you’re present during sex, but that’s not necessarily the same thing as being present in your body. I noticed there was no mention of enjoying what you’re feeling from these beautiful women.

You mentioned loving to please others, which is great, but it’s all about your partners’ bodies. And I know from experience it’s really easy to lose track of your own body when you’re focused on someone else and their pleasure.

And when you’re fantasizing in order to orgasm, you’re by default less “in the moment.” 

So a heavy follow-up question is: Are you allowing yourself to feel worthy of pleasure in the moment? Is something preventing you from being in your body? That’s the kind of work you might want to do with a therapist.

But there are some mindfulness strategies you can try, as well.

Let’s separate out the need to fantasize in order to orgasm. Are you present in your body beforehand? What are ways that you can be mindful in your skin during everything that happens before an orgasm? 

There are playful ways to work on this. For instance, during sexy times, try blindfolding each other and just spend time touching each other. Or take turns asking each other for unique acts of affection. Make it less about straight-on genital play and more about enjoying each other’s bodies. Since you’re adept at focusing on someone else, be intentional about focusing on what it feels like to be touched in return.

Note how much intimacy is required to play in this way as opposed to following a traditional sex script: go down on a woman, climb on top of her, and hump until you cum. 

The more you challenge whatever scripts you follow during sex, the more true intimacy you’ll experience. You might find yourself shifting away from these fantasies and being more present in the moment.

Not ready for all that? There are ways you can work on a better connection to your body on your own, as well. What makes you feel connected to your body in a pleasurable way besides sex? Things like steamy saunas or massages or working out. The same mindfulness practices apply. Try to keep helping your consciousness come back to your body and how it feels.

And then there’s masturbation. What if you don’t make the focus to cum and you don’t use porn? It’s totally fine to fantasize about mother figures, but what if you spend time coming back to how good your body feels when you’re stroking yourself? Try out different kinds of lube. Try a hot washcloth on your skin. This is erotic meditation, and it’ll pay off when you’re with a lover.

2. What about legit mommy play?

In the BDSM world, mommy play is totally a thing and can be part of that deep psychological work I was referring to above. Especially if there’s shame wrapped up in fantasizing about maternal figures, then actively participating in play where this is embraced can be healing.

If this sounds interesting to you (or even if it’s something you currently engage in), I do recommend talking to a kink-knowledgeable therapist about it. Because you’re likely going to be playing with trauma.

Working with a kink-positive therapist is a lot like working with a knowledgeable personal trainer. You don’t have to use one, but it can make things more rewarding and safer.

3. Are you dating the right people?

So I want to make the distinction here between fantasizing about specific mother figures from your past and mother figures in general. I’m curious if older, maternal women turn you on.

You didn’t mention your age, so when I talk about being interested in older women, I’m not sure what that means for you. But if interest does lean toward the cougars, there’s nothing wrong with that — even if that interest is connected to issues from your past.

There can be a stigma around age differences when dating, but if two people are fully capable of consenting to each other and having an emotionally mature relationship, then it’s nobody else’s business.

There is a danger of attempting to put your unmet emotional needs onto another person. But this is the danger of any relationship with ongoing attachment issues.

The solution? Keep doing your own emotional work. And be honest from the get-go about everything.

I think it can be easy to feel ashamed of who we desire when that desire is based on shit that happened to us in our past. I’m guilty of this, as well. And it’s tricky because sometimes we desire people who are unhealthy for us because of it. But if you find someone who helps you feel really worthy of love, engaged in your own body, and capable of an honest and loving relationship, then what’s the harm?

Just keep doing your own work. We all have to remember that no person can heal us. They can be an active part of our healing, but ultimately, it’s up to us.

Disclaimer: As always, there’s no perfect solution to any relationship issue and you may benefit from the help of a neutral, trained professional. Jera is not a licensed mental health professional, just a writer living as authentically as they can.

Photo by Centre for Ageing Better on Unsplash

Jera writes about sexuality, spirituality, and social justice. They are the author of Just the Tip, a queer-friendly, sex-positive, relationship advice column and the editor of Sacred and Subversive,...