August 09, 2005

Sex on the Beach

Conventional wisdom has it that the parents of teenagers spend lots of time preventing their kids from having sex. Actually, the reverse is true. One of the biggest challenges of camping with teenagers is trying to find ways that the adults can have sex. At my parents' camp, privacy is not an issue because they have acres of land, and consenting adults can pitch a tent far away from the teenage tent. But at a state park, we live in much closer quarters, all gathered in the same tent. Having sex while a couple of toddlers sleep soundly on their side of their tent is one thing, but if what you've got is a gang of teenagers playing cards by flashlight, you better have a Plan B.

When you travel with teenagers, you suddenly find yourself reverting to that adolescent state, looking desperately for ways to sneak off with your spouse for a little privacy. You find yourself constantly taking note of possibilities: a deserted country road where a vehicle can be parked, a picnic table in a pavilion that will be dark and empty after sunset, a drive-in movie theater in town. For those of you with children who are taking notes, let me stress that it is important to always leave a blanket in your vehicle. Tell the kids it's for picnics. And while the beach at night sounds like an ideal spot for romance, it is crucial that you carry a large beach towel slung casually on your shoulders as you head off for that walk with your spouse. Because sand rubbing against delicate body parts - let's just say, it can really ruin a moment. Deserted life guard chairs are a real find: make note of where they are during the day.

Be prepared for sarcastic comments from the your teenagers when you and your spouse leave for your evening walk. "Walk on the beach? That what we are calling it now?" And your own teenagers will not be the only obstacles. Last week my husband and I were pulling into a parking spot near the beach, just the two of us, when we were approached by a young man - he could not have been more than seventeen - who was wearing a ranger outfit and carrying a powerful flashlight. He informed us that the beach parking lot closed at 11 pm and we had to leave. And he stood there watching us until we did. See, even teenagers who don't know you will conspire against you.

Of course, gone too are the days when you can cuddle peacefully in a tent afterwards, talking about what parts you liked best. No, we will return to the tent after a nice walk on the beach to hear Daughter say into her cell phone, "Yeah, Mom and Dad just got back from having sex." This kind of thing horrifies my husband, who would prefer that our kids somehow not know that we have ever had sex. Ever. Boy in Black, who takes after his father, will ignore his sister completely and became suddenly intent on the card game, doing everything but putting his fingers in his ears. Certainly the forbidden fruit aspect adds a little excitement to vacation sex, but a week of camping with teenagers also gives me a new appreciation for the wonders of a locked bedroom door.

26 comments:

Mona Buonanotte said...

When I was 17, my boyfriend and I got 'busted' in the back seat at the drive-in movie. And the pseudo-cop stood there with the flashlight shining on us, while I quickly pulled all the straps and such back up. I don't think it was 'security' as much as 'voyeurism'.

Thanks for the tips on 'getting away for sex', they'll come in very handy as our kids get older!

dr. m(mmm) aka The Notorious P.H.D. said...

Funny, jo(e)! The trials and tribulations of some horn dogs.

ccw said...

I just spit coffee. We are already having to get more creative with a 9 year old because the shut bedroom door drives her crazy, but I hadn't even thought about when the kids know what you are doing.

Thanks for the hints, I will remember those.

timna said...

sharing a hotel room with them is also difficult. my wise daughter turned bright red when son asked "what took you so long?" when their dad and I took a shower before dinner. We didn't really answer.

Running2Ks said...

I laughed when my gyno was asking if I had adequate birth control measures in place. Yeah, it's called 2 children!

halloweenlover said...

OH MY GOSH! I am dying, Jo(e), DYING. Your daughter is honestly the coolest, I wish I was friends with her. I would never have had the guts to say that my parents just had sex right in front of them. Well, my parents have never had sex, except for that one time when they conceived me. I'm sure of it.

I am taking notes on your sexual exploits, I think I can use it to get away from my inlaws too.

Lisa V said...

My children would die if there was any actual acknowledgement of us having a sex life.

My Dad's girlfriend recently made some joke implying my Dad wore a fireman's hat sometimes. Daughter #1 and I both tried to sink into the floor.

Pilgrim/Heretic said...

LOL! We have the same problem in Spain - not so much kids as just too many other family members. So "going for a hike up the mountain" has definitely become a euphemism for sex. (the problem there being not sand but pokey pine straw, but the "forbidden fruit" angle definitely makes it more fun.)

Friday Mom said...

Great post! Your line about locked bedrooms reminded me of the time when I was 9 years old and walked in on my parents at a rather intimate moment. They forgot to lock the door. I was in the bedroom across the hall and heard noises in the bedroom that made me a little curious. I was ushered out of the room quickly, my dad throwing out a particularly raw string of curse words in my direction. Confused by their response, I sought out my brother who was 16 at the time. His face turned a thousand shades of red and he refused to talk about it. I had the biggest laugh the day many years later when I remembered the scene and realized what it was all about. I could have used a sibling in the know like your daughter!

RussianViolets said...

I about shot Diet Coke out my nose reading this, Jo(e). Your daughter is the coolest, and this post is great!

Songbird said...

This is exactly why we haven't camped with the children. But now that you have provided so many clever suggestions, we may reconsider...

Kathryn said...

It's sooo lovely that getting away together is a priority...gives this old cynic hope, it does!
Your daughter's comment reminds me of when we were staying at my in-laws, soon after we were married, together with my sister in law's family. One morning her younger son, age c3, came down to breakfast alone and when asked were his parents were replied brightly
"oh,they're just messing about in bed"
Not sure which was funnier...his words or my mother-in-law's scandalised expression!!

Anonymous said...

Yikes. Not there yet but it won't be long. The years seem to be flying by.

BTW loved your comment at New Kid's about summer lasting forever.

Michelle

PPB said...

Your daughter has an uncanny sense of timing. I predict stand up comedy in her future.

Yankee T said...

Great story.

academic coach said...

Laughing. Laughing.
Gosh, I was thinking it was going to be easier when my four moved up from elementry school....

Allison said...

So funny. And so true (the parts about the lack of privacy and forbidden fruit -- thankfully, my kids are still too young to know exactly what we're up to).

We once broke the center console of our car in an attempt to not get busted making out in our church parking lot at night. There should be more places a respectable married couple can go to park; too many good spots are heavily patrolled. It's disgraceful how difficult it's become.

Oliver said...

This one made me laugh. I got 'flashlighted' in the cinema once with my girlfriend - and I always thought it was to be expected!

Only midly embarrassed there. Maybe.

Anonymous said...

We once were at a motel (in Salt Lake, no less) and sent the kids (a "yours, mine, no ours" group) down to the pool, and hurriedly did the deed with her in a standing & bending over position so as not to disturb the bed, which would have made it obvious.

SuzanH said...

Oh, man. It just never ends, does it?

Have a wonderful time on your trip. Sounds lovely.

Josie said...

Gosh... Guess I won't stop laughing for some time yet... Great daughter, although the comment might have been a bit more suttle... Thanx for the tips... Isn't there yet, but will be in some time :D..

Julie said...

Oh ha ha ha! What a great post!

Our 9yo Freaks Out at the slightest public display of affection between my husband and me. He'll be the one with fingers in his ears for sure. Still, it's good to be prepared for the future, heh heh. Thanks for the great tips.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

LOL! I love your writing and your stories. Locked bedroom doors certainly don't stop comments from teens! Aiee!

My little one recently asked me why I sometimes cry or scream late at night and said automatically, "Oh, I must have been having a bad dream." Later, I wondered if I should tell him the truth. I am waiting for him to mention it again, though, as I feel weird bringing it up.

Clancy said...

You're the envy of us all. :-)

Anonymous said...

Great story for a blog!!

Like Friday Mom, I too blundered across my parents nocturnal amusement and didn't understand it. All I knew for sure was that it made my mother very embarrassed and father immensely irritated, so I deliberately did it during times when we were arguing or when I wanted my own way.

Years later when I became a teenager I realised what it was all about, but I'm half-hearted about whether it was a bad thing to do. Bursting in was a great way of getting revenge on parents who were too protective and wouldn't let me go on sleepovers.

katty said...

Nice blog, I really enjoy very much every the time when i go at the beach. Actually i will go frequently after to prove costa rica investment opportunities , i hope my travel at the beach can be possible.