♥ Raising kids with healthy sexualities

Submitted by tornfromabook on
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As I mentioned before on this blog, my husband and I are about to have our first child (a son) at the end of next month. We both feel really strongly that we want to have an open attitude about sexuality as parents, but we have no role models in how to do this!

We plan on practicing the family bed, first of all. Bed-sharing is part of the whole Attachment Parenting movement, of which the basic idea is that parents and children should bond with each other through bed sharing, babywearing, breast feeding, and compassionate parenting practices. It's a lot of the same ideas behind Karezza, really. But the first thing people always ask when they hear you're going to share a bed with your kids is... but what about your sex life??

Since we have started practicing Karezza, it seems a lot easier to picture how sex will fit in with this kind of parenting. It doesn't seem weird to picture us having sex while our child sleeps nearby, and it doesn't seem embarrassing or possibly traumatic if the kid wakes up and catches us in the act (because there is nothing "dirty" about our sex anymore! It's just mommy and daddy giving love to one another). As a former anthropology student, I am well aware that most families in the world sleep in all one bed together, or at least all in one room, and sex takes places whenever the kids fall asleep or whenever there is time during the day to sneak away. Seems reasonable to me but... I was hoping there were some couples out there who could give advice from first-hand experience. One of the nice things about Karezza is that it can go on for hours but... I can't picture realistically having a whole hour or more with my husband when there are young kids to take care of (unless they are super great nappers). But daily bonding behaviors seem doable...

-Mrs. Tornfromabook

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I talked about this in

I talked about this in another thread but I'll expand a little here. As I said, we would go to another room when we wanted to engage sexually. I do agree that there's nothing wrong with sexuality in the family bed when the kids are infants. I think the main reason we went to another room is so there was no chance of waking them. Once you get your kids down and asleep the last thing we'd want to do is accidentally wake them up. The sound of sleeping children is the sound of peace for parents.

We called it "going to the hotel" and really ended up liking it. We discovered that we liked separating sex and sleep. Yes, its nice to make love and then fall asleep but somehow it felt more intentional and a bit more sacred to go to a space, that to us was just for being sexual in. Also, as much as we liked and enjoyed the family bed it was nice to stretch out in a place that just included our two bodies. I think it helped the both of us to see ourselves as a couple rather than always "the family". A happy connected couple makes for better parenting. That's been our experience.

In another post, you

In another post, you mentioned that often your kids would pop in to ask questions or whatever while you were engaging. I don't see anything wrong with this, but did it ever get annoying? Did they ever say anything in front of friends/family that was hard to explain or made you afraid that someone would call child services on you?? I live in the american south so I'm a bit worried about this.

We never minded when they

We never minded when they came in to ask something, they were just so cute the way they would peek in. They always gave a courtesy knock which allowed us a moment to stop, throw the covers over us, if they were off, and say, "come in" It just looked like we were cuddling so there was nothing graphic to describe to neighbors and realitives had they been so inclined.

A funny story for you. At one point when the kids were still pretty little, my wife got me a pair of underwear that had glow in the dark sayings on them. It said, "service with a smile", "come in, always open for business" and other insinuating slogans. After my wife and I finished laughing about them, I put them in front of a bright light, then put them on, and hollered to my kids to come see something. We all piled into a closet and I turned off the light. The kids absolutely loved it. They were too little to read and I think I even read the slogans to them which meant nothing. We then went out shopping, and at some point my older son walked right up to a complete stranger and said, "my dad is wearing glow in the dark underwear". Coming from this little sqeeky voiced toddler, it was totally hilarious.

That's a good point... with

That's a good point... with Karezza there is not much to tell the neighbors about! Did you have a word for this mommy/daddy alone time? I imagine "mommy and daddy want to cuddle", would work alright, but I'd like to be able to use the word "cuddle" with them and with the pets as well. I'd rather there were a special set of vocabulary to use that set love-making apart from other bonding activities... without putting it on a pedestal. And if they yelled about it in the grocery store, it wouldn't raise any eyebrows (otherwise I would just say "love-making").

It's funny~

You mention what you are doing is not "dirty" and I had the same thought the other day while we were lying there, covers over us, in the scissors position, both of us in a blissful trance, eyes, closed, not really moving...I had a brief thought that if someone were to walk in, they would never in a million years know what was going on (I'm sure they would think we were sleeping), yet so much *is* going on and how it has gone from feeling like "sex" to "sharing love between our bodies," much like a French kiss~

And I also had another thought about how karezza is perfect roommate/hotel/in-law sex because the headboard isn't pounding against the wall and there aren't any orgasmic screams, lol~

Rachel (formerly known as rediscovered)

~Be present when you are with people. Breathe deeply and listen not only with your ears but more importantly with your heart~~

Yeah, my husband used to

Yeah, my husband used to tease me and call me a prude because sex scenes in movies/TV would sometimes bother me, and especially jokes about sex made me wrinkle my nose. But now that we are practicing Karezza, he totally gets it! There's nothing to be embarrassed about with Karezza... because nothing negative is going on between us. There is a lot of talk in our society about casting off the shame associated with sex, and while I agree it isn't healthy to feel guilty about something as normal as sexuality... I can understand where some of that shame is coming from now (I think our inner moral compasses can sense there is something wrong with conventional sex! It is selfish, indulgent... no wonder we don't want to be caught doing it).