After our first child was born, there wasn’t a huge shift in our sexual practice as a couple. We could feel pretty rest-assured that she would stay in her bedroom most of the night, and we could still fool around on the downstairs sofa or outside on the patio for example. It wasn’t until she hit her early teens that we realized the freedom we had was gone for a while. When she started staying up as late as we do, or even later than we do, it became clear that the only way we’d have sex on the dining room table again is to get the kids out of the house. It’s not that we have a particularly comfortable dining room table, but use it as a metaphor for freedom. The ability to take our clothes off where ever we were at the moment and get to business was reduced to nothing. And, as a consequence, a little bit of the excitement of just falling into a hot and heavy lovemaking session at random times and places died with it. We’re at the stage where we still kiss–and even in front of the kids–and maybe do a little touching through clothes if we don’t think anyone can see us, followed by a quick trip up the stairs and to the bedroom behind a closed and locked door. I’d normally be very excited by the idea of someone walking in on us in the middle of sex, but that doesn’t count when it comes to my kids. I know the oldest knows we have sex, but when she’s around I find myself being more quiet than I would like. My urge is to scream loudly during orgasm and let the whole world know I’m a very happy woman, but I’ve managed to curb that a lot. Sometimes, I feel like I need to bury my head in the pillow and scream to let something out. One night I let loose with a long and loud satisfied moan and realized my daughter was in the hallway close outside the door, hovering to knock to ask a question. I hope she realized I was having a good moment, but I haven’t actually brought it up with her. I imagine the conversation we might have. “Erm…did you hear anything, unusual last night,” I would ask. She’d look at me and roll her eyes, “You mean the loud noises you were making? Yuck.” “Oh…did it bother you?” “Mom…eeeuw. I know what you were doing in there. I don’t want to talk about it.” So, I figure it’s better to let her draw her own conclusions when she sees us kissing at the kitchen sink. She’s become way more adept at catching our meaningful glances and has gone so far as to remark on them with a casual, “oh…gross, you guys!” Being demonstrative and open about sex with my kids has always been something I’ve wanted, but there are limits. So when they are home, it’s a show that’s behind a locked door and the sound effects are turned way, way down low.