Make Your Home Sex-Friendly for Holiday Guests

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.

Sleeping Arrangements

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?

Schedule

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.

Atmosphere

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.

Confidentiality

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.

33 thoughts on “Make Your Home Sex-Friendly for Holiday Guests”

  1. Come visit for the holidays,
    come and let your true love bloom,
    just navigate the dog-crate maze,
    at least four in every room.
    Yes, that’s an aeroplane wing a-hanging
    from hooks in the bedroom ceiling;
    the holding-cables might start twanging
    if you get that lovin’ feeling.
    But don’t worry, oh, no, please!
    Have at it in your marital bed;
    we won’t catcall, we won’t tease.
    We’ll shout encouragement instead.
    And in the morning, take time to pause
    and receive your well-deserved applause.

  2. My parents’ place is not too bad for this (in fact, it has extra insulation from when my dad slept down there when he worked nights for a few years). The one unfortunate thing is that the bed squeaks SO much! I don’t care if someone just hears bed squeaks, but my husband is more sensitive to that, so sometimes we miss opportunities. Which stinks, because my husband’s drive usually goes up when he’s not working.

    1. Yes! I love the idea of the candle, but as Sara said, a small box of tissues on one of the nightstands would be REALLY convenient…

  3. I had always assumed it to be inappropriate to have sex when in someone else’s house, be it family or a B&B, for the (ahem) sounds but also for the cleanup afterward. Our previous home wasn’t set up for guests even though the in-laws did spend the night on occasion, but as we gear up to build our next house this article gives me some food for thought in outfitting the guest bedrooms.

    1. Ensuite guest rooms make for the easiest clean up, and proper insulation of walls & floors will inhibit most noises.

  4. This was a refreshing post. Early in our marriage we had a little evening fun at a relative’s house. Apparently my mom heard or was somehow aware and made it very clear she felt it was not appropriate.

  5. Wow, I didn’t know married kids would have sex at their parents’ home. My wife would not have sex with me when we visited either parents’ home…too “creepy” for her. I guess we all have our issues when it comes to sex….I know that I have some too.

    1. Ya same here. My wife would never have sex in those circumstances. EVER. But anyways i think the kleenex on the night stand is good advice.

  6. Grandparents often have more discretionary money than families with kids (and dogs!). So if you can afford it, and there’s a nice motel nearby, why not rent a room for the couple, maybe with a king-size bed and a hot tub?

    And do inspect the room yourself before you pay the innkeeper!

    But YOU keep the grandkids (sleeping bags on the floor is fine) and keep the dogs, which the older grandkids can usually care for. Breakfast at nine; or a late brunch, so that the couple doesn’t have to drag out of bed early!

  7. I remember one of the first times my wife and I visited my parents after the wedding. It was during the afternoon and my folks said they needed to go to the store or something like that. We told them we would be fine. We waved by to them and heard the sound of them driving out. Then, without a word spoken to indicate our desire, we both just promptly went to our guest room and took care of business.

  8. Great article! It brought back memories from 1996 when my wife’s best friend and her husband lived in Iowa, they invited us over for New years, they showed us to the guest room and as we carried our stuff in we noticed a gift bag, but assumed it was for someone else, so we moved it aside. Before we went to bed, my wife friend told us the gift bag is for you all to enjoy. We was surprised, and not knowing what was in it, said Thank you we said thanks. My wife of course had to look inside and started emptying the bag, a new Candle, click lighter, new box of lube, box of baby wipes, variety box of condoms, a new large towel with tags and a pad for my wife. This friend of hers planned all this out for us, we didnt use the condoms cause my wife was trying to get pregnant, but on Sept 30 we had our first child 9 months later and it was mostly likely because her friend made her feel comfortable and planned ahead for us that night. Although Breakfast time seemed odd as everyone was blushing and the ladies was giggly. But it made us feel comfortable and we had their Blessing to make love in their house.

    1. My husband and I don’t care about “love sounds”.

      Is it morally wrong to make love in one room (making sounds) while the guests make love in another room (making sounds, too)?

      Thank you.

      1. Hospitality does include making your guests feel welcome. So it would be nice to avoid making sounds that would make guests feel uncomfortable. I’d attempt to be quiet, but if they accidentally heard something, that’s okay.

        1. is it immoral, wrong or sin to make love in one room while another couple make love in another room? don’t you think it’s weird?

          1. Culturally and historically, plenty of families had a single room for everyone. In some time periods, families even shared housing, such as in tenements. As odd as it may seem to us, in our culture, a married couple having sex in the same room with their children or other relatives, possibly hidden behind something, was not that unusual. While, again, it may seem weird, that certainly wasn’t immoral, wrong, or sin. How else were they to procreate?

            Likewise, having sex in one room while another couple is in another room isn’t immoral, wrong, or sin. We should do what we can to keep that activity private between spouses, but the mere happenstance of it isn’t wrong. I don’t know why you’d think it is. Based on what biblical principle?

  9. This is a great post! My daughter and son in law are coming for Christmas. We don’t have a lot of extra room but I definitely want them to feel welcome to be intimate while here. I’m sure we will be, why shouldn’t they? Lol
    It will be a welcome change from before they were married and we had to watch them like hawks ?

    1. No kidding! That hawk thing got old quick, but I knew they wanted to wait too so it was helping out to be around every corner just checking in. 😉

      Now it’s like, “Go practice making grandbabies!” LOL.

      1. There’s a saying that before you get married, the devil will do all he can to get you to have sex.

        After you’re married, he’ll do all he can to keep you from having sex.

        I don’t agree with the thing about the devil being practically omnipresent, but the point is still there.

  10. My parents’ guest room is directly above their first-floor bedroom, and my brother lives in the bedroom directly next to the guest room (& shares a bathroom with any guests who come to visit). My husband & I and our toddler & infant son sleep in the same room. My husband and I tried to be very stealthy during our last visit & we woke up before anyone else and had sex early in the morning. The bed squeaks, so we hardly moved. My mother (who is a late riser) apparently has bionic ears & heard, then made a comment several weeks later that she was surprised since we’re not usually early risers. Thankfully, I’ve gotten past caring about whether or not my parents know I have sex (even if it is in the bedroom I grew up in lol). I have two son. News flash: I’ve had sex with my husband before… and sometimes it’s in their house. :p hahaha. But I’d prefer they not know when it’s happening. We’ll probably go to our car late at night once everyone in the house is asleep if we want to have sex during our 2 week visit this time for Christmas/New Years.

  11. Lol. J, I love your approach with your visiting son and daughter in law. My husband and I got married the summer we both turned 21, and we stayed the weekend at my parents a month later. On Saturday morning my mom CAME INTO OUR ROOM (!!!) and sat down on the bed and chatted with me. I held the covers tight around me but she could clearly see my bare shoulders above the sheets, indicating I wasn’t wearing a nightie or pajamas or anything! I was so mortified! She was in no hurry to leave or anything, either…

  12. I wonder if this might be a generational difference? My wife and I were married almost 50 years ago at a time when women were divided into “sluts” who enjoyed sex and “good girls” who saved their virginity for their future husbands. We were in the latter group, and while when we stayed with our parents and grandparents we wore pajamas instead of sleeping together naked and tried to be quiet, it never occurred to us that as a married couple we should not have nightly sex.

    1. “Almost 50 years ago at a time when women were divided into ‘sluts’ who enjoyed sex and ‘good girls’ who saved their virginity for their future husbands” — oh, the damage this viewpoint has done over the years! I’m sorry you grew up hearing that so much, because it’s neither biblical nor beneficial to marriage.

      But I do find it curious that you ended up with “it never occurred to us that as a married couple we should not have nightly sex.” So then your wife enjoyed sex? Isn’t that the criteria you used for “sluts”? There’s a disconnect there somehow I’m trying to gasp…

  13. Excellent post. Thanks a lot!!!
    I never thought about it. But I guess my parents and grand parents actually always did because in the first years of marriage they always offers us a separate bedroom while visiting them, like they were expecting we having sex anytime (maybe they were eager for grand/great children, lol).
    Now when my house has become the gathering place, I have a guest room, for them, the older ones… but I’ve failed with my brother. I’ve always put him with wife and three kids in one big room. Next time I’ll put all the kids anywhere else, and give them more privacy and a gift basket, so they can feels like visiting me more often!!!

  14. Louisa McFarland

    Love this article and all the comments. My MIL always used to ask if anything happened last night, so I know if I should change the sheets. Thankfully she doesn’t ask anymore. Maybe now that we have been married for almost 30 years she might think that we don’t do it anymore.

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