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Sex and the Suburbs: Getting It On without Traumatizing Your Children

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One of life’s inevitabilities as a parent (besides tax credits) is the knowledge that at some point, your kids are going to catch you in delicto flagrante. So—do you cease all sexual activity until they’re 18, or do you invest heavily in Disney? there another option?

  Mommy, Why Are You and Daddy Wrestling?

So what do you do when the pitter-patter of little feet interrupts your hot and heavy love-making session in the middle of the night? It’s almost unavoidable that at some point during your 18 years of raising the little anklebiters, they will see you, hear you, or at least harbor a strong suspicion that you and your beloved have done the nasty at least once or twice. And the whole tie-on-the-doorknob trick doesn’t exactly work with kids. Co-existing with your offspring means there will always be the off-chance that one of them will interrupt you mid-coitus or bear mute witness to an adjacent bedroom account of all the noises that go along with it. It happens to the best of us.

So how do you go about keeping the bedroom a-rockin’ without getting caught in the act? For some parents, the constant presence of curious little offspring may be the final nail in the coffin for a long-suffering sex life—but if you are anything like me, you ain’t gonna let no midgets stand in the way of getting your swerve on. I mean, us moms have given up pretty much everything else—our svelte, tight bodies; our social lives (we used to have friends!); our ability to sleep in or eat a meal uninterrupted—so why should we give up our sex lives?

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Mandy, a home-schooling mom of five kids, shared with me the time her son heard the headboard symphony that she and her husband were conducting early one evening:

“One night, we were getting busy a little earlier than usual and, unbeknownst to us, our 7-year-old was apparently still awake. Well, as things got hotter, we must have been moving the bed around a bit and bumping the wall because, before long, we heard 'Bam, bam, bam!' on the other side of the wall (his bed shares a wall with the head of ours). My husband was startled and got up to see what the pounding was about and found that our son was also wondering what all the pounding was about! He informed the boy that we were 'hanging pictures' and told him to go back to sleep. Now we just lay sideways on the bed if we decide to get it on earlier in the night.”

So, yes, I will admit that it’s never an altogether pleasant experience for children catching their parents in the act or realizing that there’s something lurid going on in their bedroom at night. And it certainly raises some questions to be answered (or bullshitted, improv’d, etc.). But I have heard from quite a few adults who were privy to their parents’ nighttime rituals, and, as far as I know, none of them are sexual deviants, nor do they have hang-ups on sex or non-existent relationships with their parents due to them being party to their naughty escapades. Think about it—years ago, families slept in the same room and had 10 or 15 children per family. Do you really think that kids in those days didn’t get a little lesson in Sex 101 when their parents were procreating? At least nowadays our kids can be down the hall, behind closed doors and be spared the front row seats (unless you’re posting it on YouTube).

Which just goes to show you that having children in the house shouldn’t mean that sex goes out the window or that lovemaking has to be relegated strictly to In the Middle of the Night, In a Dark Room, with the two of you trying extra hard to be Vewwy, Vewwy Quiet. It just means that you have to get a little creative. And a little creativity in the bedroom is always a good thing, right? Knowing the kids are in the house and could come knocking on the door can make it more difficult to get in the mood and it certainly makes sex in the kitchen in the middle of the afternoon a long-lost pastime, but there is no reason for it to put the kibosh on your love-making sessions altogether. Nor should it mean that you can’t still enjoy it to the fullest and pull out all the stops. That’s why they invented television.

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You and your partner have been teasing and flirting with each other all afternoon, and he gives you the eye just as you notice that the kids are sitting quietly watching a movie on the couch. He reaches for your hand and tilts his head towards the bedroom, insinuating that he wants a little “afternoon delight.” Do you:

A. Scowl, shake your head and mouth “Not now—what about the CHILLLLL-DREN?!?”
B. Smile mischievously, put your hand on his leg and whisper in his ear, “Later, after Letterman, when the kids are in bed and it is very dark outside.”
C. Start the movie over, give the kids a bag of popcorn, head to the bedroom, lock the door and have a hot, roiling quickie with your honey before the kids even notice that you are gone.

If you answered C, then obviously keeping your sex life hot and heavy after kids isn’t an issue for you. But I have a feeling most moms would choose either A or B—and let’s face it, “later” probably would only involve falling asleep before the promise could be made good on. For those of us, maybe we just need to throw caution to the wind and take advantage of the times when our kids are content and occupied to throw a little gas on that home fire. If you don’t have a lock on your door, get one. As they get bigger, make it a double. And once that little baby is in place, realize that if you don’t make the time for sex, it’s not going to happen.

  Take My Children…Please

Kelly, a young mom of two, had her toddler walk in on her and her husband having a little shag session on the living room couch one night, and yelled “Dada, stop!” because he thought he was hurting her. Her story is not unlike the time that my 6-year-old stepson, now 9, walked in on my husband and me while we were in the middle of a particularly rousing bone-fest. As we were rolling around on the bed, completely ignorant of the fact that he was sneaking into the room in the middle of the night, he was getting an eyeful of what probably looked to him like two pigs in a blanket. By the time we realized he was there, he was next to the bed, looked me right in the eye and said “Why are you wrestling Daddy with no clothes on?” As we scrambled to make sure no flesh or genitalia were exposed, I told him that that was sometimes how mommies and daddies spent alone time together. I promised I would tell him all about it when he got older, but that he honestly didn’t want to know about it now. He accepted that answer, and hasn’t walked in on us since. But we have since put a lock on the door.

These little situations may be embarrassing and force us to be more inhibited when we know the kids are right down the hall; so of course, we all know that the best shagging happens when the kids are far out of sight and mind. That’s where the child care factor comes in. Many parents are hesitant to send their kids to spend time with family overnight, or to take up a friend on an offer to take the kids out for the day. I say, “Why the hell not?” You know why? Because I really enjoy getting laid. And that is A-OK.

So if you have the opportunity to spend some quality ‘mommy and daddy time’ with your partner, take advantage of it posthaste, and let all those sexual desires free. This is where you can do it like it’s 1999 (or whenever you were young, horny and kid-free). Don’t use that time to re-tile the bathroom or work on the garden (unless of course that opens the door for some fun roleplaying); use the time with an empty house to re-christen every room and surface or countertop. Then re-tile the bathroom and work on the garden.

Once you throw caution to the wind and start being less inhibited, whether the kids are there or not, you might just find that the passion ignites a little easier and you can be more relaxed with your partner. Realizing it is not the end of the world if your little ones walk in, hear you, or have questions about the buzzing noise coming from your room at night. Maybe you will just realize how important it is to create opportunities to be without the kids so that you and your partner can have quality intimate moments. Or, you know, the ones where you almost break the bed.

So, you know what to do. Throw in a DVD, lock the door and go at it. Your vagina (and your partner) will thank you for it. Just be sure to stock up on batteries.

And lube.

And Disney movies.

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