Our sons’ bedrooms have never had locks on the doors—until last week.
Although we respected their privacy as they grew up, we wanted easy access to our children’s rooms. Even the possibility of your parents walking in at any time can keep a kid from doing something he/she shouldn’t.
But our older son got married last summer, and Thanksgiving weekend was his and his wife’s first visit since the wedding. I pulled my son aside soon after they arrived and pointed out the new door lock, letting him know that we honor their full and complete privacy. And whatever they do in their room is between the two of them.
I don’t know if they did or didn’t, and it’s none of my business. But it’s surprising how many couples report having zero opportunity to make love while visiting relatives, even during extended visits.
So let’s look at how you can make your own home more sex-friendly for married couples who visit this season.
When planning for guests, we can unintentionally create sleeping arrangements that preclude any possibility of physical contact between spouses. Well, unless the couple has sex ninja skills whereby they can do it in a cramped bathroom at 3:00 a.m. without making a sound.
Most of us do not live in palatial residences, so we have to do some rearranging to make space. If you have options, place the couple in a room:
Separate from your bedroom and/or the main living areas. Spouses often worry about making noise and thus being “found out.” Give them a buffer, so sounds won’t easily travel to where you or other guests are.
With a full-size or larger bed. If the room has twin beds, consider pushing them together, just like a cruise line does in anticipation of a couple sharing a room. You then convey your recognition that most married couples want to be close while in bed.
With a lock on the door. It took little time and effort for my husband to install a new doorknob with a lock, and it’s easy to switch out after your guests are gone. But it’s a nice gesture to provide the certainty of privacy.
Without children. It’s tempting to give the whole family one room, but if possible, let the couple have their own space. Many people fondly remember visits to see grandparents, where the grownups had their own rooms while the grandkids spread out in sleeping bags in the living room, game room, or screened-in porch. Keep the kids safe, of course, but it’s okay for Mom and Dad to have their own room.
What if none of this possible? What if your house precludes such sleeping arrangements?
Consider the holiday schedule. Have you plotted out every day with the precision of an event planner? Is everyone expected to be at everything? Are couples given any opportunity for alone time?
Even if you give a couple their own space, if their schedule is full, they won’t have a chance to engage. But with no space of their own, it’s even more important that they have time to duck out on their own for a bit. If the couple has kids, offer to watch their kids one night while the parents go on a date or take the kids out for a treat while parents stay back at the house.
Think through the calendar and make sure everyone has a bit of down time. Maybe suggest a nap or set an example by heading off for a nap yourself, showing that time in bed in the middle of the day is a-okay in your house.
Also, allow guests to pass on an activity. As introverts, I can tell you how welcome that is, even if hubby and I do nothing during that time but lie on the bed and stare at the ceiling.
How’s the intimacy atmosphere in your home? You can create small touches in the room where a couple is staying to help. Here are a few ideas:
- Decent bedding. Nothing scratchy, and avoid a Strawberry Shortcake or Spiderman comforter. You can find cheap but nice bedding sets during the holidays to keep on hand for guests.
- Low-light lamp or candle (battery-operated, if you’re concerned about a flame).
- Bedside radio or sound machine, to mask noises if needed.
- Extra blanket(s) and a fan, so the couple can adjust temperature to what they want.
See? It doesn’t have to be fancy, just conducive to lovemaking without panic.
Another part of the atmosphere is how comfortable your guests feel displaying affection in your home. Now of course they shouldn’t be sitting on your couch groping each other. However, if you treat small gestures of affection, like hand-holding or hugs, as inappropriate, you’re sending an unspoken message that nooky in the home would be intolerable.
The easiest way to establish the standard is to display it yourselves. Pull your own beloved in for a hug and a peck, sit close together on the couch and hold hands, even flirt a little. Don’t go out of your way to make your guests uncomfortable, but let them know your home welcomes marital affection.
Finally, respect their privacy by keeping your mouth shut. If you do hear them or find other evidence of their lovemaking, don’t comment about it. You might embarrass them enough that they’ll never do that again.
Just be hospitable, thank them for coming (no pun intended), and wash the sheets when they’re gone. In other words, treat them the way you’d want to be treated (Luke 6:31).
What other suggestions do you have for making your home more sex-friendly for married guests?
And if you’re the ones doing the visiting, see 7 Tips for Having Sex at the Parents’ House.