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The Secret To Sex In The House
Have it in the...

By Karen Karbo

Are we agreed that scheduling time for sex defeats the whole purpose? This is what the experts recommend busy young parents do: get together with your Day Runners, decide on a time and ink it in. Let's be honest. Doesn't this only serve to remind you only how pedestrian and depressingly adult your life has become? No one who has a Tuesday that reads

Meeting w/ client to discuss budget revisions 10:00
lunch w/ Norman 1:15 (don't forget spreadsheets)
chiropractor 5:30

Josh's t-ball game and pot luck 6:00 (hamburger buns)
nookie 10:30

is getting anything more satisfying, sex-wise, than the equivalent of a really good sneeze. Sure, the appointment-in-the-Day Runner may temporarily reassure you that at least you're not one of the losers who gets laid less than the national average of three times a week, but let's face it, it's not the kind of nasty sex you thought you'd be having all the time as an adult, when you were a teenager still stuck living at home.

For most of us the first thing to go after the kids arrive (besides the white sofa and knickknacks on the coffee table) is the kind of deranged humping that used to happen on the spur of the moment, almost never in your own bed. Now that you're a dad, however, that kind of passion is a candle with a short wick in the hurricane of sports camps, orthodontia, and the looming specter of paying for a college education.

My husband and I have been together for five years, married just over two. You may think the brevity of our union disqualifies me from claiming to be an authority on this issue, but we have three large mitigating factors: a fourteen-year-old, an eight-year-old and a seven-year- old, all from previous marriages. From the moment we met it was a gang bang (if you'll excuse the expression), a love affair punctuated by mass outbreaks of strep throat, babysitters canceling at the last minute, and many dispiriting dinners at McDonald's.

So what's our secret? How have we managed to keep the romance, excitement and passion alive in our kid-heavy marriage? It's simple. We do it a lot in the bathroom, the only place in the house where, day or night, we can be certain of not being disturbed.

Forget the master bedroom. Sleep experts and sexologists say the bedroom should be a haven for sleeping and sex, but they're not talking to someone with little kids. The bedroom of the couple with kids is open 24/7. No parent I know would tell a kid who's had a nightmare to go back to bed because it's 10:30, and, according to the schedule, it's time for mommy and daddy to do the nasty. Ditto for the child with a stuffy nose, or one who simply can't sleep. We won't talk about those family bed people who, if they have no sex life, have no one to blame but themselves.

In our house, the bathroom is the only room with a locking door, an added bonus. A lot of moms claim they have trouble relaxing enough to have sex because they're always afraid one of the kids is going to walk in. Change your base of operations to the loo, and the fear of your kindergartner discovering you in flagrante delicto vanishes like magic, leaving you free to behave like the horny teenager that still lurks somewhere in there under the insurance premium-paying soccer coach.

For the thing that cancels out what's supposed to be good about marital sex -- like the 411 operator, it's always available -- is that there's nothing really dirty about it. Sneaking into the bathroom whenever the mood strikes has a way of re-dirtifying sex. The beauty of the bathroom is that it's the part of the house most like the back seat of a car, which for most of us bring back fond memories.

What can you look forward to by moving from the bed to the bath?

Water games. Having sex in the shower always makes you feel as if you're in a Bond movie, and most people look better wet than they do dry. Under the nozzle, there are no bad hair days, and everyone's complexion pinkens up nicely under the steam.

Note to the ladies: You must be willing to get your hair wet or the
requisite sense of abandon is seriously compromised.

Note to you: You've got to be willing to have sore knees, otherwise, getting our hair wet isn't worth it.
Unless you are lucky enough to have one of those giant Jacuzzi jobs, or come from a line of gymnastically-inclined circus midgets, you probably won't be able to get down to any real business in the bath tub. Discomfort is one thing, dislocated knees quite another.

Mirrors. You get to watch! Without feeling as if you're one of those sleazoids who'd go to the trouble of putting a mirror on the ceiling, branding you forever as a pathetic sod who says "yeah, Baby!" and means it.

Bathroom sex is also a good choice for the couple who doesn't mind, indeed enjoys, getting a few bruises in the pursuit of pleasure, especially those dime-size ones inflicted by the corner of the counter, or the larger, half-dollar bumps delivered by the knobs on the drawers. You may eventually want to lie down on the floor, but even with the thickest, plushest mail order towel under you. . .well, what can I say, you're a grown man lying on the bathroom floor. The secret to the success of bathroom sex is that desire trumps comfort, which tells you that even though you're the couple who regularly hosts cub scout sleep overs, you still gotta have it.

And there's nothing sexier than that.

Karen Karbo, our Mrs. Dad columnist, is the author of Motherhood Made a Man Out of Me (Bloomsbury)

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