Sex as a single mother

Let me share some intimate truths.  Pregnancy and child birth left me with piles.  I fart more often.  After a three course meal, I look like I am three months pregnant again because my stomach muscles aren’t what they were before I carried a baby.

sex as a single motherI am pleased to say that my pelvic floor is still in very good shape.  I can happily bounce around on a trampoline and keep all of my urine in my body.  That’s an achievement.  I can even do a seat drop.  I am sorry if I sound smug, but about my pelvic floor, I am.

I am not smug about my breasts.  I always had one slightly larger than the other.  In fact, when I was twelve my mother took me to the doctor because she was worried because my left breast was the size of a golf ball compared to my right breast which was the size of a marble.  The delights of puberty! The doctor reassured her that this was normal.  I don’t feel normal. 

When I was breastfeeding, my left breast produced three times as much milk as my right.  In the end, I gave up the battle of trying to feed from my right breast when Cygnet was six months old.  He carried on feeding from my left breast until he was nearly two years old.  For eighteen months or so, I had a melon and a plum for breasts. I definitely looked a bit strange. 

Now that my breastfeeding journey has ended, I have two empty socks.  My left breast is still larger and when I lean forward it is probably an inch and a half longer than my right.  It is not a pretty sight. 

Reproduction has ravaged my body.

We should feel proud of our bodies.  I don’t feel ashamed of my body.  I am conscious of its freakish abnormalities, but not ashamed or embarrassed.  My body tells my story and motherhood is a pretty cool story. 

Women’s bodies are incredible machines.

No offence guys, but the only thing remarkable about your bodies is that your penises get hard and then some white, salty stuff comes out, that can eventually turn into a baby, but only if it meets one of our glorious eggs and is housed in a nice womb for about 40 weeks (give or take). 

Yeah, whatever.

A man’s throbbing member (as Mills and Boon authors like to call it) is nothing compared to the mysteries of a woman’s clitoris, the wonders of our wombs, the sweet milky nectar that our breasts produce which is all our babies need for six months.  I know breastfeeding doesn’t always work out like that, in fact it didn’t for me, but you cannot deny that our bodies are still amazing.

I think men most get this, or at least, I think fathers, husbands, partners … whatever … get how brilliant women’s bodies are and love the bodies of the mothers of their children for all of their glorious imperfections. 

My ex didn’t, but that’s another story.

sex as a single mother

A male friend of mine recently became a father.  I went round to see him, his girlfriend and their squishy and wrinkled new baby.  He spent ten minutes telling me how amazing women’s bodies are.  He told me about pregnancy, about childbirth, about breastfeeding, about his girlfriend and her incredible and beautiful body. He was full of awe, genuine awe, and it I loved listening to him.

She told me about her scars, her cracked nipples, her fat stomach, her stretch marks.  These are the imperfections that tell our beautiful stories.  Her partner could see that and I beamed as I watched and listened to the three of them on the sofa opposite me.

What has this got to do with sex as a single mother?  I suspect you are wondering when I am finally going to get to the point of this post.

Well here it is. Sex as a single mother is different.  I am really conscious that the men who I have slept with since becoming a single mother, and who I will sleep with in the future, do not and cannot see the beauty in my imperfections. 

I never hide the fact that I am a mother.  I always tell my dates before we meet that I have a child.

But, my dates haven’t seen the amazing things that I have done, that my body has done, all they can see is the scars, the battle lines and the lopsided breasts resembling empty socks.  Not sexy!

The problem is that my scars don’t tell a story that my dates have been part of. 

My friend could see that his story, his child, was etched in the imperfections of his girlfriend’s body and I think this is why he was so full of awe and wonder.  Her body doesn’t just tell her story, it tells his story, it tells their story and it is a beautiful one. 

My body tells my story, it tells the story of my son, but it is also tells a story of another man and another man’s child. 

Sex as a single mother is different.  For a man, sex with a single mother, a relationship with a single mother must be like starting a novel half way through…

P.S.  Female masturbation and what do women really want?  

Brilliant blog posts on

Life Love and Dirty Dishes
Accidental Hipster Mum
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
My Random Musings


  1. May 11, 2017 / 2:16 am

    Omg. Beautifully poignant and deep…

    • thesingleswan
      May 11, 2017 / 8:02 pm

      thank you. Pen x

  2. May 11, 2017 / 9:25 pm

    So well articulated Pen. I hear you, and I totally get what you are saying. I guess when you meet the right man he will love you for your battle wounds, because they are part of YOUR story. The scenario when it just boils down to raw passion and a bit of how’s your father, he’s probably oblivious to your imperfections as much as you are his; you are both just enjoying the moment.
    Thank you for sharing with #coolmumclub
    MMT recently posted…#coolmumclub Linky week 65My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      May 12, 2017 / 7:36 pm

      thank you for such a lovely comment . pen x

  3. May 11, 2017 / 11:37 pm

    This is beautiful . I hear what you’re saying and I wanted to hug you when I read this. Brilliant x

    • thesingleswan
      May 12, 2017 / 7:36 pm

      Thank you. I am enjoying the virtual hug. Pen x

  4. May 12, 2017 / 8:38 am

    This is such a well written and thought out post….to be honest, I have always wondered what it would like to be a single mum and have to do the dating and sex thing all over again, and in my mind it’s basically what you’ve said. I guess some guys are happy to start a novel half way through, and it’s finding the guys that’s open minded enough to have not shared that first part with you….but I think like a LOT of things with us women we probably give ourselves a much harder time than we need to….we have in favour that guys can be really oblivious about stuff sometimes at least!!!? (here’s hoping anyway???!) Thanks for sharing this with #coolmumclub xoxo

    • thesingleswan
      May 12, 2017 / 7:35 pm

      Thanks Talya, Your are right, men are oblivious about a lot of things. Here’s hoping. Loads of love. Pen x

  5. May 12, 2017 / 9:11 am

    Your friend sounds amazing. I have to admit that I struggle with my body and I hate the angry c-section scar as I see it as a reminder that I failed in an act that I should have been able to do. I know that logically that is nuts but it’s how I feel. However, I am lucky because my husband doesn’t see it like that, instead he sees it as a poignant reminder and almost a battle scar for what I endured to bring our child safely into the world.

    • thesingleswan
      May 12, 2017 / 7:34 pm

      Oh my goodness, you absolutely did not fail, I am sorry you feel that way. I think women who went through a C section have it so much harder. My friends who had a C section suffered so much more. Please don’t be so hard on yourself. pen x

    • thesingleswan
      May 12, 2017 / 7:32 pm


  6. May 12, 2017 / 1:44 pm

    I can not imagine how I would ever navigate sex and dating now. Then again with four daughters I doubt the men folk would be lined up outside my door!


    • thesingleswan
      May 12, 2017 / 7:30 pm

      Thanks Kristin,

      I am sure they absolutely would be lined up outside your door. Thanks for your comment. Pen x

  7. May 12, 2017 / 1:56 pm

    I always think this… I used to believe that my ex husband was legally obliged to still find my body sexy after it nurtured and birthed his child, but no other man would have the same obligation. I seem to be doing OK so far – I forget men have their imperfections and saggy bits (even without the excuse of childbearing!) – but it’s a tough one to overcome.
    Alice recently posted…It Takes GutsMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      May 12, 2017 / 7:29 pm

      Hi Alice,
      `yes, you’re right. Men’s bodies aren’t perfect either and if they are perfect they are either a) 22 or younger (too young for me) or b) gay and therefore not remotely interested in me. pen x

  8. May 12, 2017 / 1:56 pm

    Major pelvic floor envy!! This is a lovely written honest post. A good man will understand the story of your body and will love to be a part of the next chapter. But I don’t think men think about things the way us women do….their brains tend to be located somewhere else 😉 xx

    • thesingleswan
      May 12, 2017 / 7:27 pm

      Thanks Laura,

      Sorry to gloat about my pelvic floor. Thanks for leaving such a lovely comment. Pen x

  9. May 12, 2017 / 2:35 pm

    I met my husband after already having 2 kids. I was so sht and nervous the first time he saw me naked, I was waiting for him to grimace and shirk away, but he didn’t. I am lucky that I have finally found someone who appreciates and loves me even with saggy bits. To Quote you, sorry if I sound smug about it, but I am, lol.

    • thesingleswan
      May 12, 2017 / 7:27 pm

      Thanks Ali,

      Lovely story. Thanks for sharing it on my blog. Pen x

  10. May 12, 2017 / 7:29 pm

    I bloody adore you Pen. You have plucked the words for this post, straight from my head, yet I did not know I knew them or felt this.
    Hannah Spannah recently posted…Living Arrows 2017 19/52My Profile

  11. May 12, 2017 / 7:42 pm

    I love this post. It’s so yin-yang. I echo the sentiments of so many other commenters who have observed that the right guy is going to love YOUR battle scars because they’re part of you. Thank you for this out-of-the-blue for me perspective. It’s not one I’ve had occasion to consider and I’m so glad I read this! #blogcrush

    • thesingleswan
      May 12, 2017 / 9:04 pm

      Thanks Alisa. I appreciate your comment. Pen x

  12. May 12, 2017 / 9:37 pm

    Soooooo nice to read you again. It’s been ages; probably because I dip in and out of the linky circuit! I do wish my hubby beamed with fascination and pride etc at what my body has done. Alas he doesn’t work that way. Can’t have it all I guess. #coolmumclub
    absolutely prabulous recently posted…My Dream Dinner Party at The Perfect Italian VillaMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      May 13, 2017 / 8:39 pm

      Prab, I am sure he does. He just isn’t very good at telling you. YOur body is amazing anyway. Lovely to see you here again. I am popping across to your site now. Pen x x

  13. May 13, 2017 / 9:19 pm

    Your writing is always honest and to the point, and good for you on your pelvic floor, mine is faring less well at almost 50 and post 6 kids. No more than 4 bounces on a trampoline for me! Don’t do yourself down either, I bet you are drop dead gorgeous to all those new dates. #KCACOLS

    • thesingleswan
      May 13, 2017 / 9:48 pm

      Thank you Fiona. What a lovely comment to read. pen x

  14. May 14, 2017 / 6:29 am

    Such an honest and thought provoking post. Thank you for linking up with #KCACOLS. Hope to see you again. Xx

    • thesingleswan
      May 14, 2017 / 9:11 pm

      Thanks Becky. Pen x

  15. May 14, 2017 / 8:20 am

    Beautifully written and such an accurate observation. I’m sorry that your ex couldn’t see the beauty. It’s his loss #blogstravaganza

    • thesingleswan
      May 14, 2017 / 9:06 pm

      It is indeed. thanks for your comment. Pen x

  16. May 14, 2017 / 1:11 pm

    I’m conscious of my battle scars too, so I totally get you. Your friend sounds like an incredible guy! Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza xx
    The Tale of Mummyhood recently posted…#Blogstravaganza #19My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      May 14, 2017 / 9:06 pm

      Thanks for your comment. pen x

  17. Fred2016
    May 14, 2017 / 2:17 pm

    You may be right when it comes to one night stands however when you meet “the one” he will love you for who you are, with your body being a small part of that package. It would have to be a very shallow man who judged you for the price you paid for giving your son life and no man worthy of you is going to worry about another mans child in this day and age – again you are both part of the package.

    • thesingleswan
      May 14, 2017 / 9:04 pm

      What a lovely comment to read. Thank you. pen x

  18. May 14, 2017 / 6:40 pm

    Perhaps dating a guy who has kids is the way to go. They would know right. Great post. I know my wife worries about her body but she gave birth to a small human in a bathtub. Nothing can ever be as amazing as that and she’s all the more gorgeous for it. #kcacols
    Bread recently posted…Nine Months OldMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      May 14, 2017 / 9:04 pm

      What a lovely comment. thank you for sharing the awesomeness of your wife. Pen x

  19. May 14, 2017 / 9:37 pm

    I won’t lie, I’ve never really thought about this in this way. Standard; there are a whole bunch of extra challenges as a single parent when it comes to dating, but the thought of your new body as part of another man’s story… that really struck me. And it has kind of made me feel a whole new level of respect for the men out there who join a family part way through its story (and they are out there). This is so beautifully written, and I think I’ll be thinking about it for a while! #RV&HT
    Aleena recently posted…Working Mum: Wednesday Is The New Friday!My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      May 15, 2017 / 9:19 pm

      Thanks Aleena, thats a lovely comment to read. I appreciate it. Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      May 15, 2017 / 9:18 pm

      Thank you. Pen x

  20. May 15, 2017 / 1:22 pm

    I loved this. Really well said. It’s scary enough to let someone else see your body before kids, let alone after! Congrats on the pelvic floor 🙂 Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics

    • thesingleswan
      May 15, 2017 / 9:15 pm

      Thanks Claire. Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      May 15, 2017 / 9:15 pm

      Hi Amy,

      I am not that brave really. I am sure your hubs is a keeper. Pen x

  21. May 15, 2017 / 8:31 pm

    I love it when men appreciate what we’ve been through. I remember Hubby’s Grandad thanking me for his Great Grandchild and I know there was a silent acknowledgement of the pregnancy and labour that created this human.
    However, pelvic floor muscles, Im amazed too that they’ve stayed nearly intact! I also can do 4 seat drops before I need a quick trip to the loo but thats also probably more a shock to the system that im exercising rather than my childbirthing after effects!
    I have a few single mums and I think you’ve summed it up perfectly, but to sound like a broken record…. one man will come along and appreciate your wounds and want to know whole heartedly how the first half of the story went and will then want to be your happily ever after =]

    • thesingleswan
      May 15, 2017 / 9:10 pm

      What a lovely comment. Thank you. I am also pleased to have found someone else who is equally smug about their pelvic floor. Pen x

  22. May 16, 2017 / 8:12 am

    Pen, this is so beautifully written. The insecurities that come with post baby body are hard enough when you have a partner that knows why they are there.
    Lopsided breasts are a thing! Like seriously. I moonlight as a bra fitter. All women have a difference in size between breasts, and in some the difference can be 2 or 3 cup sizes.

    Also. I’m pretty sure I can jump on the trampoline, but not for long. Jealous of your pelvic floor.

    Best of luck on your singleton adventures!

    • thesingleswan
      May 16, 2017 / 10:17 pm

      You moonlight as a bra fitter. That sounds like an awesome title for a blog post! I am glad I am not the only one with totally lopsided breasts.

      Pen x

  23. May 16, 2017 / 9:47 pm

    I think this is a beautiful line: “his story, his child, was etched in the imperfections of his girlfriend’s body”. We all, as mums, have our children etched, not only in our hearts, but in our physical bodies. That makes our bodies precious and worthy of praise. Thank you for such an interesting, insightful post!

    Also, congratulations because someone loved this post so much, they added it to the #blogcrush linky! Hurray! #blogcrush
    Lucy At Home recently posted…Bloggers Bluff 18: Mummy and LissMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      May 16, 2017 / 10:16 pm

      Thanks Lucy,

      I appreciate your comment. Pen x

  24. May 17, 2017 / 12:13 pm

    What a beautiful post (you write like a dream)-love how in awe your friend was of his girlfriend’s body and rightly so, a good reminder for us all, we are amazing! xx
    Honest Mum recently posted…Sing on DVD and Blu-Ray!My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      May 17, 2017 / 7:38 pm

      Thank you for such a lovely comment Vicki. I appreciate it. Pen x

  25. May 18, 2017 / 7:19 pm

    Very well articulated. And some people like starting novels half way through, right? Or am I just trying to convince myself?! Thanks so much for joining us for #FridayFrolics

    • thesingleswan
      May 18, 2017 / 8:11 pm


      I am not sure. I’ve never liked picking up a novel half way through… Pen x

  26. May 20, 2017 / 7:07 pm

    I totally get this. I try my hardest to love my body and my hubs always loves it regardless. But to show my battle scars to a guy that doesn’t know what triumphs my body has been through would be scary. Even in a swimsuit I feel like I wanna wear labels explaining why everything is the way it is.

    Ps. Total high five for the pelvic floor conquerors. I’m left with diastasis recti (3 finger ab separation) and larger hands and feet, stretch marks on my thighs and tum and a small melasma on my face (pregnancy mask) but my pelvic floor is pretty damn good lol.
    Cassie recently posted…‘Good Bubble’ Bathtime range – a poetic reviewMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      May 21, 2017 / 8:42 pm

      Let’s drink to our pelvic floors Cassie. Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      May 21, 2017 / 8:41 pm


  27. May 21, 2017 / 10:51 am

    This post is absolutely beautiful! I am in awe every day, still, as our littles are 6 and 9 years old, at the magic and miracle that is childbirth. My Mrs., she birthed both of our girls and I got to witness and experience it all. Your attitude towards the miracle that only women can do is so spot on! Truly beautiful and awe inspiring post. #KCACOLS xoxo
    Lisa Pomerantz recently posted…My morning BoyMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      May 21, 2017 / 8:39 pm

      Thank you Lisa. Pen x

  28. May 21, 2017 / 1:27 pm

    Awwww it is lovely to hear that guy say that because hopefully deep down all men think this way even if they don’t say it. #RVHT

    • thesingleswan
      May 21, 2017 / 8:38 pm

      We can but hope. Thanks for your comment Emma. Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      May 21, 2017 / 8:38 pm

      Thanks Debbie. Pen x

  29. May 25, 2017 / 8:23 pm

    I think you’re right, getting involved with a single parent in any way is like picking up a book half way through. There’s a lot of history and a back story that you’re not part of. But the right person wants to hear all about that back story, and to create a new middle and end! And I’m not sure men analyse our bodies anywhere near as much as we do! x #KCACOLS

    • thesingleswan
      May 25, 2017 / 8:51 pm

      Hi Madeline,

      If I thought that men would examine my body anywhere near as much as I do then I would never take my clothes off! thanks for your comment. Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      May 26, 2017 / 8:14 pm


      Pen x

  30. April 8, 2018 / 9:02 am

    What a beautiful blog. Wonderful analogies. I love the description of the awe and wonder your friends hubby feels xxx
    Berni recently posted…Art Sale…My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      April 8, 2018 / 9:01 pm

      thank you. Pen x

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