Why the Whole World Loves a MILF

For their book, A Billion Wicked Thoughts, neuroscientists Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam analyzed the contents of over a billion searches on the world’s most popular porn site.

Among the many fascinating results of their research was that one of the most common search terms on Pornhub was “mom.”

Yeah, that’s right. Read it again. Mom.

There was a time when society would have deemed the idea aberrant – even tragic. But we now live in a glorious era in which motherhood has become perversely conflated with a kind of brazen sexuality.

We call this particular subject of (apparently) every young man’s fantasy, the MILF – an acronym* that is at once repulsive and deliciously alluring.

She’s the older lady next door who is stunningly more attractive than she ought to be. She dresses like a Mafia chieftain’s wife and struts her stuff like a runway model, her eye perpetually poised to sneak a suggestive wink.

Our fascination for her is undeniably sexual.  The evidence surrounds us, from the more than 25,000 MILF-branded items on Café Press to an array of “yummy mummy” narratives in movies and erotic fiction.

For social psychologists and students of human behavior, the fetish intrigues not only for its lurid pop appeal, but for many other complex and layered reasons.

Research shows that one of the most common search terms on Pornhub is “mom.”
Research shows that one of the most common search terms on Pornhub is “mom.”

What Makes Stacy’s Mom so Hot?

It is no secret that our society disparages the ageing female body with the same reckless generalities with which it celebrates and objectifies its more nubile pubescent manifestation.

Traditionally, ours has been a culture that’s nonchalantly at ease with sexualizing the young, fertile female physique while relegating older women to a kind of asexual purgatory.

We take little or no effort at all to conceal a desire to take the female body back to its pre-pubescent state. We aspire for the size zero feminine body and mostly prefer a Brazilian wax job over a full-on bush.

But the MILF is not the 16-year old girl who is the subject of 1979’s rock n’ roll classic, My Sharona. She’s the woman behind 2003’s catchy pop tune, Stacy’s Mom.

So, how exactly did a once-taboo erotic fetish for older women become a widespread, culturally sanctioned sexual ideal?

Modern society is nonchalantly at ease with sexualizing the young, fertile female physique while relegating older women to a kind of asexual purgatory.
Modern society is nonchalantly at ease with sexualizing the young, fertile female physique while relegating older women to a kind of asexual purgatory.

The Older Woman Takes Charge

In order to understand their appeal, researchers at the Kinsey Institute in Indiana investigated the way MILFs tend to be depicted in the world of porn.

Their main finding is that that older, physically attractive women were almost always placed in more dominant roles, sexually and otherwise.

“There are all these halftime commercials for Viagra shouting at men to take the lead sexually and make love like porn stars,” says Ian Kerner, therapist-author of He Comes Next. “There’s a lot of performance pressure on guys, so I think the idea of submitting to an older woman who can take charge is incredibly alluring.”

True enough, a whopping 88 percent of heterosexual men said they had fantasized about MILFs, according to Kinsey Institute researcher Justin Lehmiller. Some 42 percent of them said they fantasize about MILFs often.

Ogas and Gaddam also found that MILFs were usually depicted as having higher occupational status over their male partners.

The two neuroscientists confirmed this element in all the teen videos they investigated for their book.

Specifically, more than four out of five porn star MILFs were shown having high status jobs, such as being the boss, judge, or teacher.

In the same videos, men were usually depicted as students, lowly employees, or – yes – plumbers.

Some 88 percent of heterosexual men have fantasized about MILFs before, according to recent research.
Some 88 percent of heterosexual men have fantasized about MILFs before, according to recent research.

“Older Women Have Experience”

These findings suggest that the men who are drawn to MILF porn may like the idea of playing a submissive role to a powerful and dominant woman. She not only knows what she wants, she also has enough experience to know what men enjoy in bed.

Tanya Tate took the MILF porn genre by storm when she was only 35 years old.
Tanya Tate took the MILF genre by storm.
(Photo: AVN Adult Entertainment Expo/Wikimedia Commons)

“I remember when I was younger, I didn’t know how to please a guy properly or what to do with him,” says Tanya Tate, who took the MILF porn genre by storm when she was only 35 years old. “It takes time to learn and older women have years of experience.”

The fetish itself branches out into a myriad strange – and definitely more bizarre – iterations. For example, consistent with the MILF notion, researchers have linked men’s fantasies about older women more broadly to fantasies about being nurtured.

“Men who fantasized about MILFs were also more likely to fantasize about breast milk,” says Lehmiller, who did extensive research on the subject for his book, Tell Me What You Want.

“This suggests that breast milk fetishes might be part of why some men are drawn to moms, too.”

To be clear, this was a small association, which means that being into MILFs is far from a reliable sign that a man is a closeted mama’s boy.

However, the fact that there’s a link at all suggests that there is at least a small percentage of men who take some psychological comfort in the idea of MILFs.

“When looking at the appeal of MILF porn and erotica, it’s clear that there’s a very rich underlying psychology, but also that different men may be drawn to MILFs for very different reasons,” says Lehmiller.

Timeless Beauty and Sexuality

But perhaps the weirdest aspect of the MILF phenomenon is how many moms themselves have embraced the term. You see them everywhere these days, unapologetically sexy older women wearing short skirts and frankly bodacious MILF t-shirts.

This might all seem questionable from a feminist standpoint. Are today’s mothers really so afraid of seeming past their prime that they accept objectification as a compliment?

But the optimist in us hopes that the MILF trend is dictated less by the vagaries of social fashion and more by a gradual awakening.

The sexually active middle-aged woman has – for far too long, been unfairly portrayed as a slightly desperate figure of fun, after all. She may be garish, even a bit awkward if you like, yet we can’t help but cheer for her.

Different men may be drawn to MILFs for very different reasons, say experts.
Different men may be drawn to MILFs for very different reasons, say experts.

There’s something disarming about an archetype that lets older women take back the sexy lingerie they wear so much better than their younger counterparts, anyway.

The fact is, just like the distinguished older gentleman, there is no age past which women must keep their bodies and sexuality under wraps.

In fact, the allure of the MILF lies to a large extent in her refutation of the idea that sex belongs solely to the young and youthful.

Hers is a confident, easygoing kind of beauty and sex appeal that is not premised on turning back time, but exists firmly along the ever-evolving nuances of womanhood.

What’s your story? Have you fantasized about older women. Perhaps you are that woman and loving it. Why not share your thoughts by reviewing this article below?

  • MILF – Mother I’d Like to Fuck

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