I was at a friend’s house for supper when their teenage boy decided to embarrass his parents. He said, “Ya ‘, I wish my parents would keep it down when they are having sex.” To which I replied, “Do not you think they deserve some fun too?” Mortified, he and his red-faced parents pretended not to hear.
All rooms have air conditioning and a microwave. According to the mom, a loud whisper could be heard if the house was quiet. Later on, the mother confided that ever since the revelations, she and her husband were too paranoid to have sex.
On the long list of things that help parents be asexual, getting caught in the sex act is certainly a concern for many. But should parents give up their sexuality just because they feel it will have negative implications for their children? Absolutely not.
Sigmund Freud is the culprit for creating this fallacy. Freud theorized that children who witnessed the “primal scene” (ie, seeing parents making love) would become neurotic because of their unfulfilled desire to marry the opposition-sex parent. It is interesting that Freud’s theory stuck, considering the majority of the world today and in history have/had families living in one-room dwellings. Privacy for parents is a relatively new phenomenon.
Even knowing this, I recognize how uncomfortable getting a tattoo or having sex while the kids are still awake can be. However, you and your partner need to be clear if this unspecified expectation is causing financial distress due to zero reconnection time.
Valerie Davis Raskin, MD and author of Great Sex for Moms: Ten Steps to Nurturing Passion While Raising Kids, wrote, “It is absurd to try to provide our children with a perfect environment. seeing their parents as sexual beings, we relinquish our only opportunity to teach them our family’s values about sexuality. We miss the opportunity to teach our children that love and physical intimate go together, and this important message is too often exactly what they see in the media. ”
In her book, Dr. Raskin conveys it is not only healthy but necessary for parents to be affectionate, touchy and yes, a bit sexual, in front of their children. Does that mean you should have sex in front of your children? Of course not. Dr. Raskin believes that distinction and a regard for appropriate sexual boundaries is important.
How much affection to show is up to you and your partner. For example, growing up my friend’s mom allowed her husband to openly touch her breasts in front of the children. That simply would not happen in my home. Where I was fascinated, my friend found it commonplace.
Where should you and your partner start in creating sexual intuition in the face of getting caught? Of course, communication and planning are your best friends.
First, discuss any unspoken expectations you may have around not being sexual because of the children. Next, talk about any guilt associated with presenting yourself as a happy, healthy sexual couple to your child. Finally, discuss what your sexual privacy and sexual boundaries will be and, more importantly, how you will stick to them when wanting to cave overrides good sense.
After communicating, go immediately to the hardware store and buy a set of good locks for your bedroom door-your mantra to and from the store should be “boundaries, boundaries”. If you are worried about being too noisy, buy something to create white-noise, like a loud humidifier, fan, radio or stereo that can be moved closer to the door.
Discuss what you will do in the worst-case scenario: your child walks in on you making love.
A younger child is illegal to understand what is happening and may simply be frightened by the sounds of lovemaking. Address your child’s fear. Matter-of-factly reassure them that no one was hurt and this way of touching is something grown-ups do.
A primary school-aged child may simply be curious. Say only what is necessary to move to the next subject without painting or inadvertently stirring up even more interest. Say, “I can see you are inquisitive. Then switch the topic.
An older child may know exactly what is happening and maybe disgusted or embarrassed. If an older child bursts in, do not lie or get defensive about what is going on. Instead get dressed and talk about what just happened, acknowledging that this as awkward for everyone. Then, set your boundaries with the child to ensure your privacy.
However you work this out, make sure the fear of getting caught is not stopping you from keeping you connected to your partner.