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!
10 thoughts on “Sex when the kids are home”
When our daughters were home the one said she heard it and knew what was going on but t did not really bother her…. The other daughter said when she heard us she knew it was time to put in the ear buds and turn up her music… There bedroom was next to ours so they knew when mom and dad were making love… We do make some noise but it is not extreme unless we are alone or in a motel…..
Our kids are all older and they frequently know when we are having sex since we have a Do No Disturb sign we put on the doorknob. We don’t try to keep it quiet but usually they are asleep or downstairs or out when we do it, (not because we wait for that though), and they all have headphones. We think if they are close enough to hear it is their job to move away or mask it. There have been times when they have heard us though and said so after. It doesn’t bother us, we see it as a teaching moment. They know sex is an important part of marriage and a pleasure and a joy for both husband and wife because they see that in our lives. They also clearly know that we are still madly in love with each other and in spite of the ‘ewww gross’ reaction it gives them a feeling of security knowing our marriage is strong. I think they are more open to coming to us with their questions about sex when they see that we know a thing or two about it and are not shy about it.
We are empty nesters. When our adult kids/grandkids are staying overnight, sex is not permitted by my wife.. I respect her wishes and I do not make it a big deal.
There is an easier solution. Simply drag the mattress onto the floor. A mattress on the floor is silent,. You can still scream when you
climax, just scream into a pillow, your kids won’t hear it but your spouse will
A lock on your bedroom door is a must. Children need to know that mommy and daddy need alone time and be taught to respect that. We are also empty nesters and have quiet sex when our family is staying over night. The same goes for when visiting family. Lock the door and be quieter out of respect. You can do things other than intercourse that satisfy each other but no one has to know. Sex is healthy and a healthy attitude will help your children understand God’s gift to married couples. Relax. Enjoy.
We try not to be too loud but it maybe happens. It is fun and we tend to have a good time. I remember when my precocious little son heard us. We were down the hall and he was irritated that he could not sleep over us messing around. I think he was about three or so. He said in a very commanding voice, “Stop. that. laughing!”
The next day we moved in a big TV into our bedroom. We would put it loud on the weather channel. I have no idea if our boys caught on or not. We are farmers and it’s normal to listen to the weather.
I wanted to show the boys that there is such a thing as a good marriage relationship. We seldom fight. We might have disagreements but we play fair. Sex in marriage is awesome. I want them to have a marriage like ours.
We, too, are on the cusp of being empty nesters. When our youngest moves out in June, I will tell him to call first before arriving back home unexpectedly. I will warn him that he doesn’t want to stop by, just in case he might find us in a compromising position. ; )
Hey, FAR. Makes you wish for a place with a long flight of stairs for them to climb so you could hear them coming, huh? 😉
Hey, FAR. Makes you wish for someplace with a long flight of stairs so you could hear those kid coming, huh? 😉
My wife and I have on occasion pushed the envelope and taken some risks but to date we’ve never been caught in the act by our son. Bottom line is that you have to adjust to the circumstances. If your kids are awake, lock the door and keep it quiet. If they’re asleep, lock the door and let it get wild. Over the years, we have come to grips with the fact that sex has to happen just in our bedroom and no where else in the house, which does take away from the spontaneous factor but it is what it is. That’s OK with us because the last thing we want is for our son to walk in on us.
My husband and I have had quiet quickies when our kids are busy doing chores, playing with their toys or watching TV. We use whatever room is available and furthest away. Being spontaneous like that is so refreshing and fun. When they are sleeping, we are not quiet. If they ask about anything, we are not ashamed to talk about sex with them. I’d rather be open and honest and teach about it in a respectable manner.