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Is it okay to have sex at my parents' house over the holidays?

Have a sex question? E-mail sexquestions@globeandmail.com or tweet at @amberlym (all questions will be published anonymously).

The Question: I've been with my boyfriend for three years and last year was his first Christmas at my parents' home. We stayed for a week and we shared the same bed – the bed I had when I was a kid. One night I tried to make a move and he wasn't having any of it. He said it's disrespectful with my mom and dad just down the hall.

This Christmas he is already saying no way, that I should "know better." It's turned into a playful little spat in our house. Do you think it's okay to have sex in your parents' house, particularly during the holidays?

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The Answer: First: Mom, Dad, avert your eyes. Close your browser (that's the little X in the corner), have another eggnog and go back to decorating the tree.

Now that's out of the way, here's my short answer: Yes it's okay, and it shouldn't be grounds for banishment to the naughty list, if you ask me. But there are caveats.

For weeks, I struggled with this question. On one hand, you should always respect your parents and their home and ohmygodwhatifmomwalkedin. On the other, Christmas is a time of giving and love, and can be quite sexy (Hugh Grant, Love Actually, need I say more?). I can also guarantee mommy did more than kiss Santa Claus under the mistletoe, kids.

So I don't blame you for feeling the spirit of the season, deep within your flannel pajamas.

I asked my friends who have moved away from home what their strategies are when they return with significant others. All admitted to a little holiday hanky-panky, but none were keen on being interviewed, for fear their parents might read this.

"It's not advisable but certainly possible," says my high-school friend Marielle. "If you must, just be discreet. Because no one wants to hear that from either party."

"As long as you're quiet, all the power to you," says Tom, who shares a home with his mom.

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Still, I hesitate to fully encourage you. Sure, in theory (and in practice, for some) it's possible. But can sex in your childhood bedroom ever be good sex?

And then, as if the sketch-comedy gods shone down upon us, Saturday Night Live aired a segment that can only be understood as a Christmas miracle.

"Let's get wild/in a bed for a child," sang the female cast of SNL in a song called (Do It On My) Twin Bed, a pretty catchy Pussycat-Dolls-esque tune that singlehandedly answered your question: Sex in your parents' home isn't ideal, but when the mood strikes, what choice do you have?

"Now we're going to freak/in my monkey sheets."

"Wish we had more room/but grandma got the guest room."

But even at Christmas, we can't always get what we want. Sex in your parents home can certainly feel a bit risqué – unless your twin bed's box spring is a squeaker, or your bed shares a wall with mom and dad's room.

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Ultimately, your man might only be able to picture a blue Christmas when it comes to holiday sex. If he can't shake the mental image of your dad's omnipresent judging, and your sweet, innocent mother being steps away, it's simply not going to happen. That's just the way your sugar cookie crumbles.

Try to keep in mind that going home for the holidays is only seven-odd nights out of the entire year (and the return-home sex will be its own delightful present)

Sex or no sex, don't forget to feel the love and romance – 'tis the season. And have yourself a very Merry Christmas.

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About the Author
Editor in the Opinion section

Amberly McAteer is an editor in the Opinion section at The Globe and Mail. She has been a homepage editor, online editor and community editor in Features - including Life, Travel, Style, Arts and Books. She's written columns about her quest to run a 10K and find the perfect dog. More

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