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Recently a reader asked me if I thought it was appropriate for a married couple to have sex while visiting the in-laws (or any place where they are overnight guests).
This usually is more of an issue for the wife, who now as an adult, finds herself back in her childhood bedroom -- with a frisky husband.
And it all starts to feel just plain weird. (All those years you weren't allowed to have a boy in your bedroom -- and now here you are. With a boy. In your bedroom.)
Whether it's the wife who has the hang-up about this or the husband, the mental roadblocks can begin to feel overwhelming. Maybe even a tad bit goofy.
(Is your Hollie Hobby doll still in the corner staring at you? Do you have bunk-beds? A canopy bed? David Cassidy or Farrah Fawcett peering down at you from a poster on the wall? Good Lord, all the flashbacks of your youth line up to start messing with your sex life).
Even if the bedroom looks like your average everyday guest bedroom, you as a married couple may still feel odd about sex when spending the night at the home of your parents, grandparents, aunt or friend.
And you wonder, "Just because we have the opportunity to have sex, is this really a good idea?"
In my opinion, there is nothing morally or biblically wrong with having sex anywhere as a married couple, as long as you can maintain privacy and exclusivity. Back in the day when multiple generations lived together, or even in current times and cultures where this happens, married couples are indeed having sex when relatives are a mere bedroom or living room away.
But hey, let's be real. This usually isn't a moral disagreement surfacing in these situations.
Some people just feel it is disrespectful or, at the minimum, awkward to have sex when you are a house guest, especially at a relative's house.
While each couple has to decide for themselves, here are my insights (for what they are worth):
1. You are a married couple. Your parents or other relatives know you have sex (or reasonably can assume that you do).
If they would assume otherwise, or dare I say, if they would expect otherwise, then they have big unhealthy issues. You just can't let those issues be your gage on the appropriateness of sex with your spouse (who, after all, is the person to whom you cleaved when you left your family).
2. Keep the volume down.
Hey, I like loud wild sex as much as the next person (or maybe I like loud sex a lot more than the next person). Either way, I do have the self-control to keep my vocals to a minimum if my husband and I are having sex at someone else's house. While your parents may know you have sex, they don't really need the soundtrack to prove it.
3. Be sensitive to who is doing the laundry.
Okay, you may think this is way too much information, but let's cut to the chase. Sex can be messy. Grab a towel to protect linens before you get hot and heavy beneath the sheets. As with the previous point, your relatives may know you have sex, but they don't really need the evidence hanging around after you leave.
4. Squeaky creaky bed?!
Ahhh.... this is often the deal-breaker for some couples. One spouse wants to have sex and the other is thinking, "Are you crazy?! We barely sat down on this bed and it made more noise than putting away metal pans after Thanksgiving dinner. No way!"
As we all know, some beds are just plain noisy, no matter the attempts to keep them quiet.
Don't have intercourse. Do other sexual activity that still gets you across the finish line without a lot of noise. Oral sex? Mutual masturbation? Just some ideas. Get creative. What about sex in the shower or bathroom where you can lock the door? (I could tell you a story here about my husband and me. But wisdom tells me it would be good to keep that hot visual to myself).
If you are a spouse who insists on no sex when you are house guests -- or if the situation really isn't accommodating for sex (such as your kiddos staying in the room with you or no access to genuine privacy), then plan ahead.
Have sex the day before you leave for your visit -- as well as the night you come home.
Sadly, some couples are having sex so infrequently that if you add to this regular overnight visits some place where sex is forbidden territory, you can only imagine the tension rising in the marriage.
Which brings me to another point.
Visiting relatives can be stressful -- and sex can be a great stress-releiver. You do the math.
Instead of being so hung up on "we can't have sex at my parents' house," why not see how having sex there could make your visit go smoother?
Pa-lenty of people do not have a good relationship with their in-laws. Call me crazy, but offering yourself sexually to your spouse could actually help them tolerate your parents more during visits. You can be the goodwill ambassador on in-law relationships. Keep your spouse happy sexually and you may even get more visits with the family members you love.
And if we want to take this one step further, you could actually see this all as a fun adventure.
What guy doesn't want to "score" with a girl in the bedroom where he once was a teenager? What girl doesn't want to feel the exhilaration of love and pleasure with the guy who still finds her irresistible long after her younger days of "skinny jeans" and "wrinkle-free complexion" are gone?
Sex at the in-laws?
Count me in.
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Copyright 2011, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.