From stripper to Playboy model to reality TV star, Kendra Wilkinson has covered a lot of ground. Now a successful supermom, Kendra describes how she's come through it all intact in "Being Kendra." Here's an excerpt.
Hank and I had sex on the staircase today. Right there, flatout spontaneous sex with our clothes mostly still on. Steps digging into my back, the banister acting as a bedpost. It was quick and skillful. I don’t buy into that whole belief that married couples don’t have sex. Because today was proof that Hank and I still do!
Of course, it wasn’t exactly a stairway to heaven . . .
See, as parents now we have to try to fit in sex whenever we can. This wasn’t a passionate act of sex where we ripped off our clothes and couldn’t wait until we got to the bedroom. I was not a rock star Playboy Bunny getting it on with a stud NFL player. There was no trail of clothes—bra, shoes, socks, and panties—littering the hallway and leading all the way up to our bed. On the contrary, we actually went to the staircase on purpose and hurried through sex. Why the staircase? Hank and I both wanted to have sex, but we weren’t alone in our house, as usual. My assistant, Eddie, was there working, so we sent him to the store to get a toilet plunger (we didn’t really need one, we just wanted him out of the house). And the staircase just happens to give us a great view of the driveway so we could see Eddie’s car pull up. So we did our deed fast and quietly, of course, since baby Hank was upstairs napping. Sure enough, ten minutes later Eddie was back.
In a nutshell, that’s my new sex life as a mom. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Being on a reality show, I’ve got people coming in and out of my house at all hours of the day. Sometimes they’re holding a camera, a set of lights, a microphone, a rack of size zero (finally!) clothes, or even a toilet plunger, but it’s like a revolving door. My life is just one giant production schedule. I may be the boss, I may make a nice living, but I have zero control and have to bust my butt to get it all done by sundown. I’ve learned how to multitask with the best of ’em. Sometimes when I’m doing radio interviews on the phone from home, I’ll press the “mute” button so I can pee. When you gotta go, you gotta go! There are sandwiches to be made, diapers to be changed, and pacifiers to be found (where the hell do they all go?).
My life has been a wild ride: from a stripper to a Playboy girlfriend to a pregnant bride to a mom with milk leaking through her tank top. And every day I wake up thankful to be where I am: in my new house. Of course, it wasn’t always that way. I had hit bottom when I was younger and into drugs, but I clawed my way out. I took chances and found a path that worked for me—and landed me in some pretty interesting territory. Since I’ve already had my “bottom-out” experience, I knew it could only get better. And it did—a whole lot better.
The truth is, if I wasn’t on my reality show, there’s a good chance I’d probably be stripping. I had very little growing up and struggled for money when I was on my own, so now I work extra hard to build security so my son doesn’t have to live that lifestyle. I left it all behind because I knew it wasn’t where I was supposed to be.
My good friend, rapper Too $hort (he sings the “Go Kendra” title track on my show), has a song called “Gettin’ It,” and the lyrics are: “You should be gettin’ it. Get it while the gettin’ is good.” I live by these lyrics to this day. I live by the mantra of “work, work, work” and do whatever I can to take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way. In this industry, you are only good for so long. I’m not just doing it for myself anymore; I’m doing it for the family.
The whole “getting it” mentality has been with me since day one and stayed with me on my crazy journey to where I am today. I started stripping to make money and give myself a little financial freedom. Stripping got me discovered by Hugh Hefner. So I kept on stripping but took it to a bigger level: Playboy. Playboy got me recognition, on a reality show, and a guy like Hank Baskett to know who I was. We fell in love and we had a baby. I got it then, and I’m getting it now.
I still try to live by that. It’s just the way I go about it that’schanged. Instead of stripping to get it, now I’m a mom and that’s what I’m famous for. I’ve let cameras capture my birth, my meltdowns, and my most private of family moments. But I did it all in the name of gettin’ it. Right now is my time, so I’m getting it while the getting is good.
Luckily for me, I’ve had more success post-stripping, and it’s likely I’ll never have to go back to doing it (except for my husband). Where so many other reality stars party for a living, I have left the Hollywood party scene and struggled through the first few years of motherhood and marriage. I dealt with some crazy things as a new mom, including suffering through a dark depression and an uphill battle to lose weight after Hank Jr. was born. But I conquered it all—and, for the most part, I did so under the bright lights of my reality show cameras.
A lot of my success is because of my husband. I try to keep my marriage exciting and make sure Hank is happy, because he’s my support system. I wish I could say that I was his too, but I’m not too sure about that! The first football game I went to after Hank and I started dating was when Hank was on the Philadelphia Eagles and playing the Pittsburgh Steelers. He had the most amazing game; he had a lot of good games early on in his career. In fact, in the three years before Hank got married, he had seventy-one catches and was on his way to a pretty promising future. Then we got married, and all of a sudden his statistics plummeted. In the two seasons since being married (and now having a son), Hank has caught only six passes. We are keeping our heads up, but I can’t help but wonder if maybe being married and having a baby was the curse to his football career. Am I the curse?
Regardless of Hank’s on-the-field struggles and my off-the-field struggles, we’ve somehow managed to get our act together. Being a first-time mom, balancing my work and personal life (which in my career have somehow merged together), and dodging divorce rumors (both false and occasionally slightly, possibly, just a smidge true), Hank and I still managed to find time for dates, sex, and quick cups of morning coffee. I don’t know how we do it. But I danced my way out of all my struggles and to the center stage of America’s primetime TV sets. Being a mom and a wife has changed me in ways I never thought imaginable.
I’ve got a car seat sitting behind my driver’s seat, I’ve got wipes in every bag I own, and just the sound of a kid screaming or crying sends my heart into a sprint. In my perfect world, I would put my son to sleep with a kiss on his forehead, share a bottle of wine with my husband, make love, and drift off into eight restful hours of deep sleep. But in my reality, usually the only thing on that list I do is kiss my son on his forehead. And that’s just fine with me. I’m the person I never even knew I could be. And I love it. This is my new story.
From the book "Being Kendra: Cribs, Cocktails and Getting My Sexy Back" by Kendra Wilkinson Baskett with Jared Shaprio. Copyright © 2011 by Kendra Wilkinson Baskett . Reprinted by arrangement with HarperCollins.