For the next several Mondays, I am tackling questions posed to me by readers in my Q&A for J at HHH post. Here’s a great one from CrawfordFam:
Hi J! I have been following your blog for roughly 6 months now and truly enjoy it! I have been wonderfully married for 6 months and our sex life is great and we are still learning 🙂 We recently had to move back in with my parents-the house we are moving into won’t be ready until August. My parents were more than okay with this, and my husband and I were as well. We get along great with them and it’s going to be a huge blessing! However, our bedroom is right above theirs. I would be more than happy to make love but my husband is more skeptical, which I totally understand! Any creative thoughts on how we can adjust? Of course, we will make most of every chance that we are alone 🙂 I am kinda afraid to google anything with “parents and sex” in the same sentence so when I read this blog, it was such a blessing!
First of all, thanks! Second, here’s a virtual hi-five (*smack*) for the wonderful sex life after only six months of marriage. Not everyone in marriage has a great sex life, so kudos to you both for your attitude of learning and the A+ you’re getting so far. Third, I Google “sex and _____” quite often for this blog, and I don’t recommend it. I’ve learned to get as specific as possible with my searches and I’m a quick-draw eye-averter, but indeed, you never know what will come up.
And now for your question!
You can easily get your parents to give you alone time by making a sign like the one below and hanging it on your door.
At least if your parents are anything like many of ours. I swear my mother and mother-in-law were talking at our wedding reception about how cute our babies would be. One second after I was declared Mrs. Spock, my belly was being eyed like grandkid factory equipment. And the woman who warned me against sex all those growing-up years was nearly throwing us in a room herself and telling us to get busy already. Sheesh!
But seriously, IT IS DIFFICULT to have sex with your husband when your parents, his parents, your children, your guests, or whoever are in the same house with you. Sex is supposed to be a private affair between two married people. No audience, thank you very much.
Even the mere notion that someone can hear you or knows what you’re up to can make it hard to relax and enjoy lovemaking with your spouse. So what’s a couple to do when the presence of others in the home cannot be avoided?
Avoid them. Yes, I know I just said that they cannot be avoided. However, when you can, try having sex when they aren’t there. Make the most of such opportunities. You might even suggest, “Hey, Mom and Dad, didn’t you two want to see that new movie?” “Don’t we need milk from the grocery store, and you could go together?” “How about you two take walk around the block . . . several times?”
Get creative with timing. Couples often think that the night is perfect for making love. But that’s often the time when you’re lying there wondering if the other residents are sleeping yet. You’re whispering to each other, “Do you think they’re still awake?” and “Maybe we should wait a few minutes to make sure.” So try different times when they are not likely to be in their room. Do they eat breakfast in the kitchen in the morning? Have a wake-me-up love session. Do they work in the yard on a Saturday afternoon? Try a little afternoon delight. Do they watch the evening news? Tell them you’re going to watch something in your room and then watch each other undress. If the best time is night, go right ahead. But you may need to work around your schedule a bit to figure out what the best times will be.
Cover the noise. Invest in a radio, a fan, or some other item that will create some background noise. Then you’ll be less worried about the sound factor when you’re gasping, moaning, or rocking their bed like an amusement park ride. Of course, you might want to vary what you play or do; otherwise, your mother will be in her room saying, “They’re playing that same song, Ed. They’re at it again.”
Spend a night away. If you can afford to get a hotel room once a month, do it. Take one night, stay at a place in town, and have a whole night with just the two of you. You should still engage in intimacy at the parents’ house, but this one night will be an opportunity to let go entirely and do whatever the two of you wish to do. Can’t afford a hotel? Get a tent (borrow one if you need to) and go camping for a night. You can probably find some beautiful locations in your neck of the woods. Do a little online research or ask around for recommendations of where to go. Make it a romantic night with a picnic, a quick tent-raising, and then some tent-ceiling raising with a night of ecstasy.
Change your location. You don’t even need a whole night away. Where can you go for an hour? How about having sex in your car? Or grabbing a blanket and a bottle of wine or sparkling cider and finding a private outdoor spot? Perhaps the bathroom in your house is more conducive to lovemaking? You might make some of your best newlywed memories by thinking outside the box and figuring out where else you can engage with one another sexually. I recently posted on Where to Have Sex.
Remember they’re rooting for you. Ask yourselves: What’s the worst thing that could happen? They’ll know you’re having married sex. If you love the people in your family, you want the best for them. Even if their own attitudes toward sex are less than perfect, most parents desire their grown children to experience healthy intimacy. Sure, I admit that I don’t want any details about my kids’ sex lives once they are grown and married. But I do want them to have good sex lives! And if I overhear a little “ooh baby” from their bedroom when they are with their spouse, I will make a beeline to the other end of the house . . . with a smile on my face. Your parents probably feel the same about you and your husband. To put it bluntly: Your father has put the shotgun away, and he knows that his son-in-law is doing his daughter.
Imagine them having sex. Hey, for all you know, they’re one floor up saying things like, “Do you think they’re asleep yet? I really want to make love tonight.” At least you hope they are! Don’t we want our parents to have the intimacy God designed for them? — even if we absolutely do not want to hear any of the details! My point is that you might be cramping their style a little too. Consider that your presence may impact their intimacy and then relax as you realize that you’re in the same boat.
The first few times will likely be uncomfortable, but you will both adjust if you make an effort. This is a good experience to work through because, even if you never live with your parents again, you will probably stay in the same house with other people at some point and want to be intimate with your spouse. It can be done.
And now the rest of you can give your best advice below for how you manage being intimate while in your parents’ or in-laws’ house.