Wildflowers

Perfect Buds

The If-Busters

Late Bloomers

Early Bloomers

Living-Togethers

Sexual Explorers

Sexually Dissatisfied Wives

Overcoming Rejection

Why Sacrifice Pleasure?

A Way of Classifying Sexual Identity

How Pleasure-Claimers Get Better Orgasms

Some Observations from the Survey

The Clock Women

"I broke up with a wonderful man. The sex was good, but he didn't want to get married. He's been married, had a child. I can't afford to waste my time with him,"

-a thirty-eight-year-old victim of the ticking biological clock

            Whether married or single, she wants to get pregnant before her biological time runs out. Now her sex life is run by her biology. If single, she puts tremendous pressure on herself and the men she dates to make a commitment early. If married, she has sex by the calendar. Desire is a casualty in the military campaign launched to fill her womb.

            Because I became a mother at twenty-one, I've never known what it is to yearn for a child. He was there, before I scarcely had time to think about what it would be like to be a mother or how not being a mother could feel. The clock woman, on the other hand, may have postponed thinking about motherhood, then suddenly discovered one day she had trouble thinking about anything else.

            "I never wanted a child before, and I'm astonished at how much I want one now," explains a thirty-seven-year-old professional, who has had five abortions, the most recent one four years ago. "I wish I'd known then what I know now. I wouldn't have had the last abortion. I've kept looking for the right man so I could have it all, the perfect little family. I was so picky. Everything had to be perfect buds, may be to make up for the hell that was my own childhood. My father abused my mother. He didn't actually beat us kids, but most of the time we were scared to death.

            "So, I kept looking for the Hallmark card relationship, or as, one of my friends puts it, the International Coffee commercial marriage. There always seemed to be time to start over again with someone else, to get it right. But I'm ready to think about being a single mother. If something doesn't work out within the next year or so, I'm going to get pregnant by any reasonable gene pool. I know I'm fertile.

            "I recently broke up with a man I love, and he loves me. But, he doesn't want to marry and have another child. He has two by a previous marriage, and he says he's not prepared to take on the responsibility again. I don't blame him, really. He was two kids to put though college now.

            "The sex was good in this relationship, some of the best sex I'd ever had. We had fun with sex. He's playful, and so am I. One of the best things about him was the way he didn't come unglued when I did whatever I need to do to come, whether it's use my hand or lock around his leg and rub after he's come. He was great. But, it got to the point where I was crying after sex. I was so sad that he didn't want to marry me and give me a child.

            "We had all these horrible long talks. And I cried and cried. I had to stop seeing him. I couldn't do it his way.

            "Ironically, this is the sexual relationship I longed to have in my twenties when I didn't know how to get what I needed in bed at my early bloomer. I went into sex therapy . I learned how to get my needs met. And in my thirties I'm walking away from that to try to get my womb filled."

Who Is She?

I defined the clock woman as:

  • A childless single or married women over thirty, who anxiously wants to get pregnant as soon as possible.

            Almost 40 percent of the survey respondents are in their thirties, and slightly over half that group are childless. But married or single, fewer of them are anxious to have a child than I anticipated-with, ironically, the single women being more anxious than their married sisters. A mere one-fourth of the married and childless women say they are "desperate" to conceive. Though media coverage of infertile couple would lead one to believe the bedrooms of thirty something America are little more than would-be breeding grounds, only a handful of married women wrote about their long and futile efforts to become pregnant. Perhaps a woman who is fixated on her biological clock isn't as likely to respond to a sex survey as other women are. After all, sex isn't uppermost in her mind.

            Because she has been the subject of numerous newspaper and magazines pieces in the past several years, the woman whose clock is ticking has come to epitomize the career woman in her mid-to late-thirties. According to the stereotype, she's hard-driving executive who didn't think about having children until she'd accomplished everything else, and then suddenly realized she was nearly out of biological time coffee mugs, greeting cards, and T-Shirts bear a version of her epigram: "Oh, no! I forgot to have kids!"

Why Did She Wait So Long?

Many women, who did have children earlier whether they could afford them or not, regard her as a self-centered conspicuous consumer of lifestyles who wants a baby now because motherhood is the only lifestyle badge she hasn't sewn on her scarf filled with merit badges. Other women consider her naive for believing that Mr. Perfect Father would show up at the right moment and then her womb would just as magically be filled with his perfect seed. "Nobody really gets to have it all," they delight in telling her.

            But in reality many clock women haven't achieved enormous success. Some of them would like to become single mothers, but can barely afford to be single women on their salaries. Some delayed marriage and pregnancy because they were on arduous personal journeys, working through the psychological problems caused by childhood abuse. Others may have been married-to alcoholics, abusive men, or simply men with whom they weren't compatible. For whatever reason, they decided that having a child in that marriage wasn't a good idea. Still others didn't find the man they wanted to marry until they were over thirty.

            However she got to post-thirty-five and childless, she likely didn't reach this destination by planning to wait until the last possible moment to conceive.

            "I thought I had time," explains a thirty-eight-year-old office manager, who is childless after two divorces, both from alcoholic men who physically abused her. "I wanted a child, but I wanted to do it right. Both my marriages were disasters, the kind you don't bring a child into. And, I wasn't capable of mothering until only recently. Now I know I would make a good mother. It's taken me this long to get my life living together."

Next >>

Sexual Victims

Discarded Women

The Clock Women

Independent Women

Revirginized Women

Monogamous Women

Second-Chance Women

Surviving the Droughts

Wives Who Have Affairs

The Saboteurs of Pleasure

Conclusion: Your Sexual Turning Point?

The Women Who Doesn't "Need" an Orgasm

What Does She Know About Sex that You Don't?