Questions about love and sex in the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids area can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org, or anonymously using this form. Questions may be edited for clarity and length, and may appear either in print or online.
I miss having night sex. The kids are always home and are old enough that they stay up past my bedtime (10 p.m.).
The other night I stayed up until the coast was clear and even texted my husband to come upstairs. Then we heard one get up to go to the bathroom! It’s unfair! They never leave and they never sleep! I’m not like those people who can compartmentalize erotic feelings from fully conscious, walking-around, going-to-the-bathroom kids. I get skeezed by the thought of them hearing sounds from the bedroom. No thank you! Any suggestions?
Ah, privacy issues during a pandemic! Who knew that the greatest test of the modern era would be whether we can actually stand being around the people we love? Being trapped inside a home of any size with the same people for months on end is bound to break even the least discreet of us.
You say you miss having “night sex,” which implies that you are, in fact, able to find time to be intimate at other points during the day. Congrats! Maybe your kids are attending in-person school; maybe you’re able to wake before they do in the morning. Either way, at least some of your needs are being met. That’s awesome! I know it’s not “enough,” but it’s worth relishing. Are there ways you can make your current escapades more like the ones you desire? Blackout curtains on the windows, perhaps?
Beyond that, consider setting an alarm. Go to bed at your regular time, wake up for a little midnight tumble, then conk back out. Disturbing your sleep schedule isn’t ideal, but if it’s a night when neither you nor your husband has to work the next day (so you can sleep in a bit), you might give it a try.
Then of course there are the old stand-by techniques: Play loud music to drown out the sounds. Give your kids hard labor (shoveling; cleaning the garage) to accomplish in the late evening so they pass out early. Buy them each a new video game they’ve been wanting so they don’t leave their rooms for a while. Or you could just try to be as quiet as possible — it’s not a long-term solution, but as a one-off you might find the switch-up is erotic. Get something to bite down on so you don’t scream; slow things way down so the bed doesn’t creak.
Worst-case scenario, if you can afford it, book a night or two at a hotel. That might sound frightening if you’ve been strictly isolating during the pandemic, but charts of risk factors tend to rank staying at a hotel as low-to-moderate, in the same category as sitting in a doctor’s office waiting room and having an outdoor meal at a restaurant. And the CDC has a list of suggestions to make hotel stays safer.
Bottom line: Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Make sure you enlist your husband’s help in trying to solve this conundrum; working on a problem together can provide some lovely moments of intimacy, even if it’s not the specific release you desire—and talking openly about both of your needs and what you’re currently missing is both sexy and invaluable to your relationship.