Couples decide not to co-sleep for a variety of reasons. They worry they’ll roll onto the baby. They worry they’ll smother the baby in the covers. They don’t want to start bad habits. But mostly, they fear they’ll never have sex again.
It makes sense, on the surface. All of a sudden, a small person is now sharing your sleeping (sexing) space. As a culture, we have major taboos (with good reason) of having sex near kids. You might wake them up, you might scar them for life, and they’ll end up in therapy 15 years down the line. It seems much easier to put the baby in the crib and forget about it.
But co-sleeping has tons of benefits. Mothers who co-sleep nurse for a longer duration. It’s also easier to maintain a milk supply. Babies and mothers sleep more deeply, and it’s been proven that mothers who co-sleep get more shut-eye than mothers who stumble to the crib at 3 a.m. While there are risks and rules to safe co-sleeping, they aren’t difficult to follow and can promote a host of benefits for parents and child.
Parents who co-sleep do have sex. That’s how second children get born. Co-sleeping parents may have a lot of sex, in fact, because they’re free of the confines of the everyday, on-your-back, missionary position. So fear no more. Let’s lift the veil. Here’s how co-sleeping parents have sex:
In the bed. When the baby’s on a separate sleeping surface, like a co-sleeper, it doesn’t count. Pile some pillows as a screen and go at it. Don’t say you could never do it, you sleep- and sex-deprived maniac.
In the bed. When the baby’s small enough to stay in one place, it doesn’t count. Pile some pillows as a screen and go at it. Again: If you’re desperate enough, you’ll do it.
In the bed. When you’ve given them melatonin and built a pillow-fort large enough to avoid child trauma should they wake up. And if they do wake up, you stop, tend to the baby, and maybe keep going. Or maybe baby killed the mood.
On the bedroom floor. The safest option if you’re worried about a stirring baby. You can even still do it in the missionary position! The carpet’s probably cushy for Mommy, though Daddy may have to worry about rug burn on his knees.
On the bathroom floor. Master bath? Single bath? Doesn’t matter. The bath mats will provide some cush. Just don’t bang your head on the tub, and lock the door if you have older kids.
In the shower. This takes skill. It takes finesse. It takes not conditioning your hair beforehand, or else you’ll slip and slide all over the place. Try for the “pick her up and wrap her knees around your waist” position.
In the tub. A great place for slow, gentle sex with her on top. Make sure to bring some lube, because as we all learned in high school, water ain’t slippery.
On the loveseat. It’s short, which lends itself to all sorts of interesting positions. Make sure to put a towel down for the wet spot.
On the couch. You can do the same old missionary position, just don’t roll off the furniture. Think twice before sitting on the couch of a co-sleeper. It’s the most popular spot for recreational sex.
On the living room floor. Got a carpet? Good! Throw down a blanket to prevent rug burn and wet spots. Try not to be traumatized when the dog spends 15 minutes nosing the spot in the morning.
On the living room wall. Pick her up, pin her down, wrap her legs around your waist. This assumes your partner is strong enough to lift you for a sustained amount of time.
On the kitchen floor. It’s hard. So is he. You don’t really care at this point—unpopular but possible.
On the kitchen counter. Get lifted up. Sit on the edge of the counter and spread your legs. Clorox Clean-up afterwards. You cook food there, you monster.
On the kitchen table. If your kitchen table is empty enough to have sex on, you win some kind of responsibility award.
Under the kitchen table. You likely have some sort of rug under here. There may be food scraps, and you may hit your head. The benefits? No one’s going to find you, and the wet spot doesn’t matter.
On the dining room table. This may have a better angle and height than the kitchen table or counter.
Under the dining room table. Fewer food scraps, higher head room, and harder to crawl in around all those chairs. No one’s finding you under here.
In the car. If your car’s in a garage or you have a baby monitor, you can relive your teenage years by trying to have sex in the front seat of a car. Luckily your minivan is larger than your 10th-grade Geo Metro.
In the attic. The dress-up possibilities are endless. Wigs, hats, dresses—try not to get too into it.
The basement. It’s dank. It’s dark. It’s got a stone floor and that creepy stain in the corner. But if you’re desperate, you’re desperate.
Co-sleepers do it. We just don’t do it in conventional places. None of this stops us from sleeping with our baby. Just remember: Pick up the lube, the protection, and the condom wrapper on your way back to your real bed. Drop them in the bathroom. No one wants to explain a Magnum wrapper under the dining room table.
And no, you can’t blame it on the dog.
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