I received this question about a week ago from our anonymous Have A Question page:
For the longest time I have been the low drive spouse but as my heart and mind changes in becoming the higher drive spouse. Well my husband is getting older to!! My question is my house is not sound proof! My poor kids sleep under is in the basement and above us upstairs. The upstairs ones are younger so they go to sleep but the older ones are below us right below us! I feel bad and that can take the mood away do you have any suggestions? They have said stuff on liaison how loud we were!!:( I know for me I didn’t want to know when my parents did it gross!! I would appreciate any ideas! I’m always telling my husband to be quite but that’s not fair to him!
Good question. How do you manage to have sex in the house when there are kids who can hear and understand what’s happening.
Don’t be ashamed about sex
I think the first thing to address is that you shouldn’t be ashamed about sex. I’m not sure if you are, but I know some people can’t stand the thought of other’s knowing they’re having sex. I think this is a product of our Christian environment being so sex-negative in general. I think we take the idea that “sex is between you and your spouse” too far sometimes and make it “no one can know you have sex”. I mean, they’ll know, because you have kids, but that’s only confirmation that you had sex as many times as you had kids. I think a lot of couples miss out on opportunities for sex because on or both spouses are afraid someone else will know.
It’s important for our kids to know that we have a healthy marriage. You show this in many ways around the house: holding hands, kissing hello and goodbye, or just in passing, hugging, the way you talk to each other, etc.. And eventually, if your marriage is healthy, they’re going to realize that sometimes you lock the door for a while and spend time together with just to two of you. And one day they’ll wake up and go …. ohh … now I know what those weekend afternoon “naps” were. And yeah, they might go “gross!” … but on some level, it’s giving them a sense of security to know their parents love each other, and it will help them in their own marriages, to know what that looks like in a marriage.
Don’t force others to participate in your sex
The flip side of this is that while we shouldn’t be ashamed or embarrassed to have others know we have sex (or even that we are having sex), we shouldn’t be forcing them participate in our sex life. Now, obviously that means being physically involved, but it also means not being made to hear or see us have sex. This is where there is a problem with having kids who are awake and conscious of what sex is.
So, how do we solve this?
The first, which you already mentioned, is quiet sex. Basically, be quiet while having sex. Now, I know it’s much better to be able to let loose and not be restrained, but there are times when you have to be quiet. And when you have kids your age, this might be the majority of the times. And I don’t think that’s a problem, so long as you both acknowledge it. There we be times when the kids are out of the house and you can be more free. Or when you are on vacation and have a hotel room to yourselves. Times when you can be free, and loud, if you so desire.
Block the noise
The other option is the block or drown out the noise somehow. I’ve heard a few suggestions over the years:
- Turn on the TV or radio in your room. I’ve heard many couples use this method.
- Try a noise generator. The Eco Tones sound generator generates natural noises that both help you sleep and can mask the sounds of sex.
- Buy your kids headphones and tell them to use it. J Parker at Hot, Holy & Humorous suggested this one in a post once.
- Change your bed to lesson the noise if it’s due to the furniture. Find something unsqueaky, or put a pillow between headboard and the wall, or have sex sideways on the bed if it doesn’t squeak that way.
- Put a pillow over the vents so they can’t make out distinct sounds
- Rent the kids a movie, buy them some popcorn and candy, and then disappear into the bedroom. The movie will drown out the noise and the kids will be distracted.
Find other times to have sex
Is there a time when all the kids are out of the house but you and your spouse are home? Make use of those times, even if it’s in the middle of the day and you aren’t particularly in the mood at the moment. You might find you get in the mood quickly when you have a chance to be vocally free.
Or, it might be an opportunity for some middle-of-the-night sex. Set an alarm, wake up at 2am have sex and go back to sleep.
What’s the worse that could happen?
Worst case scenario, your kids know you had sex. If you take precautions, that’s all they’ll know. I mean, you don’t need to be yelling dirty talk at the top of your lungs to enjoy sex. So, all they’ll know is that you’re being intimate. It’s not the worst thing in the world. They might be embarrassed, and they might have some questions, but they’re not going to die from it. Consider that for a great many years, the Israelites lived in tents while in the wilderness, most likely the entire family in a single tent. I guarantee you that some of the kids heard their parents having sex. At least your kids have the option of putting some music on, or turning a movie up loud to drown you out. Those Israelite children had no such luxuries.
It might lead to some awkward conversations, you might have to tell them “use your headphones, because we’re not going to stop having sex”, and that’s not a bad lesson for them to learn about their own future marriages either.Have a Question? Ask it here!