August 30, 2012

Sex | Caught By The Kids

Anyone who drove past me on the way to work this morning must have been thinking I had lost my mind. I was laughing and giggling for most of my drive, and then continued to do so most of the day.

On the radio, the morning show jocks were talking about if people had ever caught their parents in an intimate moment. The whole conversation had started following a clip from a recent interview that guitarist Slash had given, stating when he was a young boy, he caught his mother and David Bowie together, naked.

Now, for me, moving past the “ick” factor in this story, the listeners’ comments that followed were the ones that had me giggling. The one host explained that when he was five, he walked in on his Mom and Dad in their bedroom and his father was standing on a step stool, with Mom in front of him. They told the young boy they were changing a light bulb … despite both being totally naked.

Uh huh …

Personally, I never caught my parents in that kind of a situation … and I firmly believe I am much better off for it.

And as a parent, I can’t say that I have been “caught” by my kids, but there have been a few close calls. In our house – not so much lately, but definitely recently – I would have sworn that the sound of my vibrator was like a dog whistle for children. As soon as it came out of the drawer and was turned on, little footsteps would bound up the stairs, pretty much bringing any potential for an orgasm to a sudden stop.

But I think where I differ from my own parents is that I am very open and honest with my children; especially when it comes to relationships between adults. These days they understand that a closed bedroom door is meant for privacy – regardless of the time of day. And when they have asked, I have not made up bizarre stories about chiropractic needs or auditioning for professional wrestling.

My parents were somewhat honest with my siblings and I about how a marriage worked, so we kind of knew that certain intimacies existed. It was a positive environment and has allowed me to be successful in my own marriage. My hubby, I think, would rather not be involved with the conversation when I explain things to my kids – but accepts that it is better they know the truth and not have a twisted sense of a relationship that suggests babies come from storks.

Children get enough mixed messages in their lives – way more than we ever did; and we were exposed even more so than our parents to a confusing storm of what it means to be a sexual being. I just think subjecting them to “little white lies” is not helping them see through the mire … especially when they really need to have positive role models on how to make a marriage work.
Andee     xoxo


Jack and Jill said...

Mention of the lightbulbs being changed reminded me of an episode of the old 1980s sitcom Webster, in which the title character walked in on his adoptive parents having sex, and they told him that they were changing lightbulbs. I watched the show in the presence of older relatives, and I remember becoming visibly embarrassed to the point that I think I left the room.

Our daughter has walked in on us a couple times. Her sleep schedule is unpredictable; her naps can last two and a half hours, or they can last twenty-five minutes. She's only two, of course, but we imagine that we'll need to be more careful in the future. We would like to be very open and honest with her, just as you are with your own kids. We'd like her to understand that Jill's and my sexual relationship is private, but also that it's nothing to be afraid of, or even to giggle about. It's just a part of human life. We figure that if we handle it this way now, she's more likely to be a fully-functioning adult later on. Hopefully it won't be an issue for a couple years.

I've never walked in on my parents during sex - heaven forbid - but they came very close to walking in on Jill and I earlier this year when they were staying with us, and a two- or three-hour block of errands was inexplicably reduced to forty minutes.


Dru said...

I pray that I never catch my parents having sex. I think I would be scarred for life. I like your approach in being honest with your children. I would like to adopt a similar approach but given how I was raised, I just don't think that I could be able to it. I still have quite a long way to go before I can shake off my conservative upbringing.

Wonderful read!

Gemma Jones said...

I sometimes think that Jake and I are either radically ahead of our time or we are exposing our children to innapropriate amounts of sex.

We have never hidden our sex lives from our children and are notoriously bad at closing the bedroom door. Our children have seen us 'in the act' enough times that for them the whole thing is rather meh. I will qualify by saying that walk ins have been to under the blankets type action, not ride em cowboy type of action.

Nudity in our house is regular and not anything to be commented on. My son chooses not to be nude ever but he respects our choice and doesn't have a problem with it.

We speak freely about birds and bees in our house and have moved on, as our children enter puberty and teenagerdom to speak about topics like safe sex, sex outside marraige and other things that they find in their environment. Because of our feelings about monogamy both of us are committed to ensuring our children understand and respect other 'alternative' relationship choices and feel free to make those choices themselves when the time comes.