Sex & Love
Awkward moments, solved
It’s the holiday season—and soon cheer (and the smell of turkey) won’t be the only thing filling up your house. November is also the start of houseguest season, which means that with parents in the guest room and nephews on every couch, it’ll be even harder than usual to find the time and the mood for romance. What’s a couple to do? Here, a few ways to keep your sex life humming along when the hordes descend.
PROBLEM: Your grandma, your brother, or your in-laws are sleeping in the next room— and the walls are thin.
SOLUTION: Make an excuse to head to bed early (the yawn-inducing effects of tryptophan, maybe?) and have a contest with your partner to see who can be quieter. This could be fun—or not. Being unable to let go and vocalize your pleasure may inhibit your ability to get aroused. Try concentrating on your breathing to take the focus off your vocal cords, or muffle your noises with a pillow when things get intense. It also may help to do some furniture rearranging before your guests arrive (headboard as far from mother-in-law as possible).
And just for good measure, some padding between the headboard and the wall can stifle any thumps in the night.
If the thought of your family in the next room is too much of a libido killer, get them out of there: Set up a touristy activity they can do without you. Or have fun looking for couple time outside the bedroom— sex in the shower tends to guarantee at least 15 minutes of privacy. Or pretend you’re teenagers and sneak out to the car in the garage.
PROBLEM: You get caught—and things get awkward around the house. SOLUTION: It probably doesn’t need to be said, but
Rachel Zar, LMFT, is a relationship and sex therapist at Spark Chicago Therapy and the Northwestern Medicine Center for Sexual Medicine & Menopause.