Sex at the In-Laws? Is this a Good Idea?

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.

A solution?

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.

(Do you like this blog?  You can nominate Intimacy in Marriage as a Top 10 Marriage Blog).

Copyright 2011, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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30 thoughts on “Sex at the In-Laws? Is this a Good Idea?

  1. Sheila Wray Gregoire says:

    Do you remember that movie a while back with Tim Allen and Kirstie Alley, and they were pretending to be Amish? It was so funny because in the movie they EXPECTED you to be loud when you had sex, and everybody else was! I don’t remember anything else about that movie except the squeaky bed.

    And let’s not forget the other way–sure, some people may be nervous about it, but you can also turn the tables. You could whisper stuff like: “Remember when we were just dating and we just WISHED we could do something, but we weren’t married yet? What did you dream of doing when you were sleeping in the guest bedroom back then?” I think that could be kinda fun…. 🙂

    Sheila from To Love, Honor and Vacuum!

  2. J (Hot, Holy & Humorous) says:

    I remember dealing with this issue the very first time we visited my in-laws and my husband suggested . . . you know. I was appalled at the thought at first, but he’s a pretty persuasive guy. Once that line was crossed, we never looked back.

    And you and your hubby can visit anytime. I’ll show you where the clothes washer is.

  3. JulieSibert says:

    Ahhh… Mrs. Hot Holy Humorous… I’d love to come visit you. I’d probably feel so grateful and “satisfied” that I may do all the laundry in the house. You’ll want me visiting all the time. Ha!

  4. R says:

    My parents’ guest room has the aforementioned squeaky bed. But the room also has a solid non-squeaky chair that has come in handy in the past. Sometimes “awkward” situations breed creativity 🙂

  5. thop says:

    We have had both sets of parents extended relatives living with us at different times…sometimes having to stay on the couch in our living room. Our bed is noisy, no matter how easy we try to be….oh well. We go ahead any way, like you said, we are married and it does relieve the tension of all of us being together under one roof. If either set of parents were still alive and we had to visit them, we would be discreet, but we would still be intimate. It helps in every way imaginable 🙂 🙂 Stress, mood, sleep, closeness, attitude and on and on… Go for it, with discretion!

  6. anonimo says:

    I do live with my in-laws (I live in a different country than the US). It has been kind of awkward to be intimate with my husband, knowing my parents-in-law are in the room below us, and that my sister-in-law is in the room next door. We just keep the noise down =)

  7. Matthew says:

    Count me in too! It can seem like my wife and I don’t have free time together unless we’re visiting family… which just means we have to be creative! And creativity doesn’t have to be complicated, sometimes just a blanket spread on the floor gets the job done (except for that one spot in the corner with the loud creaky board).

  8. David says:

    Very well written post, Julie. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. This past weekend, my wife and I tried following what might be described as your “Plan B” advice -> being intimate the night before the trip, and the night returning from the trip. I actually like visiting with my in-laws for the most part, but this gives me new found anticipation for those trips!

  9. lookin2Him says:

    We have never been hesitant to mess around while visiting. My parent’s, her parent’s, siblings, etc… what is the problem? (First time in my “old” bed was awesome!) Noise isn’t an issue since we aren’t normally very vocal anyway. So timing and cleanup are the only hurdles (nothing like running blocker so my wife can make it to the hallway bathroom !) It’s all good. 🙂

  10. RandomDH says:

    I have to admit that one of my top priorities the first few times we visited my wife’s family after getting married was being intimate with her in her old bedroom. It’s been a long time but I remember thinking of it like a closing of a phase of life. Yes there were still stuffed animals on the shelf but that room and that bed were now places where she gave herself to her husband and not just the room of a sweet young innocent girl. That room has been converted to a guest room now complete with a new bed but I’m glad I got to spend many nights with her there before it was converted. 🙂

  11. Paul H Byerly says:

    As to “grab a towel” – you can go one better than that by packing a few hand towels in your luggage.

    BTW, I really like what RandomDH said (just above me). I know a lot of guys get a thrill doing it in their or her childhood bedroom, and this is a very nice take on that!

  12. Gina Parris says:

    Shoot!! Sex at the in-laws is not nearly as challenging as the trip Mr. Parris & I took as newlyweds to the City of Lovers. Aaaah Paris, France. Did I mention HIS grandmother paid for the trip, AND came with us, AND stayed IN our tiny hotel room, AND she coughed all night with bronchitis? Poor thing, but I promise, we were not going to be in Paris and not get the heat on! Oy. Sex around the grand-parent in-laws. You tell me.

    I loved your tips though.

  13. Justina says:

    Ditto on the bringing your own towel comment, that takes care of that problem and we do that most of the time we travel. However, the one thing neither one of us could get past one time was when my mom put us in THEIR bed. We had a 2 sec discussion and agreed that the creepy factor of having sex in their bed was just too much to get past! Luckily, it was only a 2 day trip!

  14. Tom says:

    No joke… My mom in law encourages it when we go to her house cor holiday. They have been a great example of red hot monogamy for 40+ years. She giggles and says something like “I made you guys a little love nest downstairs.” (wink/wink) she has told us over the years to sneak away from the family and go have some alone time while she keeps the kids. Yep. A lil embarrassing for me but “welcome to the family!” 😉

  15. Victoria says:

    I think this is an awesome post, especially with the holidays coming up. My husband and I are military and moving next month. We expect to be without a home of our own for close to 3 months. Our excursion will take us all over the country to friends and family, and we will certainly be having sex. I love all the tips you gave. Thanks.

  16. Surprise! says:

    Haha we’ve done this a few times! Actually, our son was conceived on Christmas night at my parents house last year. Here’s to hoping that they never do the math on that one ; )

    Anyways, great article!!

  17. Snow_Angel says:

    Actually, 4 of our 5 children were conceived at my in-laws home. 😉 They happen to live far away from us so we rarely visited for a short enough amount of time to abstain while we were on the trip. They live in a large house so we don’t ever worry about being heard but we still are much quieter than at home, out of respect for their place. My mother-in-law is one of those people that tries to convince herself that we had immaculate conceptions (her sweet boy doesn’t do THAT) so we are very careful to be discreet.

  18. tarce420 says:

    We had a week at my parents house recently. First time I’d ever brought a guy home! And we had our 15 month old daughter with us. We slept in the guest room, which is my parents old bedroom.
    So there we were, hubby and I, with bubs sleeping in her portacot in the corner, in the same bed my parents shared for 30 years of their marriage. I’m pretty sure it’s the bed my brother and I were conceived on.

    And yes, we had sex. Quietly, so as not to wake bubs, but we did it. I didn’t tell hubby the beds ‘vintage’. That would’ve been too weird. Best that fact stayed in my head only!

    And it was great! And so relaxing.

    We used a towel. But then, we always do. Neither of us can stand that nasty wet spot.

  19. Bob says:

    My in-laws were very happy that their very first grandchild was conceived under their roof (we counted backwards to determine that). He has a special bond with his Nana (partly) because of that. 🙂

  20. Sharon (Mommy Joys) says:

    My husband’s family has a very open and positive attitude towards married sex, probably much like Tom’s (comment above) mother-in-law. It’s been refreshing for me, since I grew up in a family where the subject was almost never discussed. And as a bonus, when we stay with my mom-in-law, I know I don’t have to be embarrassed about being intimate with my husband, although we do have to be creative sometimes, since we usually have a small child sharing the room with us. When we travel, we *always* take along an old cloth diaper or two to protect whatever bed we happen to be sleeping on.

  21. AJ says:

    For my wife and me, the “naughtiness” of being in her old room and trying to keep it discreet is an extra thrill.

    This isn’t something we do just at the in-laws’, however. We’ve been guests for a long weekend at a friend’s house, just the two of us. And we did it. But the bed was too squeaky (our friend was in the next room!). So we got on the floor! Naughty – and fun!

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  24. Ken says:

    We had been married for a year or so when we visited my parents. Since we lived a long distance apart we visted only infrequently ad usually stayed several days. On this occasion we had been there for a couple of days when they announced that they had a meeting to go to and would not be back until late afternoon. This seemed strange as theyhad not mentioioned it earlier and did not say what the meeting was aout. At any rate as soon as they had been gone for 15 minutes or so I suggested that we have sex while they were gone. At first my wife was reluctant as she is very shy about such activities. but eventually she agreed. The novelty of the afternoon made it more exciting than usual and we were inspired to try some diffient approaches nclding making love in my parents bedroom. In the end it was some of the best sex we ever expereinced.

  25. Jeff says:

    We are missionaries (insert position joke here), with an extremely active intimate life. Right now our “job” is to travel the country and present our work to churches to raise funds. We often stay with families from the church we are visiting and are away from home for weeks or months at a time. We are in the 5or more times a week club and have never thought twice about spending alone time together at someone else’s house. Sometimes we have to go to the floor of the bed is noisy (or an inflatable) and we often have to keep our noise down, but we always assumed people would presume we were intimate because we are married with kids!
    Anyways, another missionary wife talked to my wife and when she found out that we will spend time together anywhere we stay she was shocked! It never occurred to her that people would actually have sex in OTHER peoples’ homes. My wife was very amused and surprised, because we couldn’t imagine having to wait to be home or in a hotel for our rendezvous.

  26. Abjparent says:

    Been visiting with my mother in law for the last week. Its not the house he grew up in, but she lives in florida, so its a great place to stay on vaca. Hubby and I had a rough week… kind of short-tempered w/eachother most of the week… so my m.i.l. brought our son to the pool and i said hey… come bend me over. Suprisingly he didnt object.. and for the first time in our 8.5 years, we had a midday quickie. It was great!

  27. Ric Carter says:

    My mother in law didn’t understand the concept of knocking on doors, and the bedroom door didn’t have a lock. My wife was on top, bouncing away, when MIL opened the door. She was surprised, stood and watched for a few seconds, and in the future was pretty good about knocking on doors.

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