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Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

{NSFW}For those who have children, are there signs of your intimate life around your home?

Asked by Simone_De_Beauvoir (38922points) August 17th, 2011

Read: intimate life=sex life

I’ve been reading about Pat Califia’s fascinating life living as a BDSM female-to-male transgender (FTM) person in a relationship with another FTM raising a child. Reading his work long ago was my first introduction into some of the things the BDSM community faces in terms of outside forces. Parenting, apparently, is especially difficult for people practicing BDSM because other people judge them to be incompetent parents, parents who put their children in proximity to an ‘unhealthy lifestyle’ and there have been many documented cases of children being taken away from parents who are in the BDSM scene because reactionary people tell on parents who practice BDSM (away from kids, in the privacy of clubs or what have you) and CPS (child services) are merciless. Califia was interested in interviewing parents interested in a BDSM lifestyle to see how they attempted to protect their families from those who think they can tell others how to live their lives.

One person said “By the time I was with my second husband, the kids were in their early teens and very interested in the new husband and what went on behind the closed doors. Luckily they went off to Grandma’s when my partner and I would be most boisterous, but there were times that it was obvious the next day that we’d been partying. We were fairly open about the bondage, and I supposed they saw some ropes around the bed.”

And so I wondered what signs of my own sex life are around the house that my children notice or can see and all I could come up with is that there are condoms everywhere (though neither of them know what they’re for, they just like shiny things). The sex toys aren’t often in use and are in a bag in a closet but they’re not hidden, they’re just there and I wouldn’t care if the kids found the bag, would be a good opportunity to talk about the playful and pleasurable aspects of sex.

Anyway, I wondered how you balance that kind of thing in your life…if you, as a parent, hide certain things from your kids…or hide what goes on ‘behind closed doors’ or are more open…I wondered why people are so uncomfortable about BDSM practitioners being sexual in their own homes even though they are parents….Should the ropes be put away, in your opinion? Clearly, I think the ropes are fine but I know that when I read that portion of the book I thought that many people would be uncomfortable at the notion.

You can also talk about (if you don’t have children) how your own parents handled these kinds of things.

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15 Answers

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Just sitting around where they can be seen? Definitely not. But we have condoms in the drawer of our bedside table and a few toys in my lingerie drawer. If the kids went snooping and asked about them, I’m not really sure what I would say.

YARNLADY's avatar

I’m not sure what you mean by signs. We hug and kiss, and hold each other very close in the presence of children, but they don’t come in the room while we are having intimate contact. Both toddlers come in our bed in the middle of the night, after being put to bed in their own room, but we are usually asleep by then.

When we had small children living with us full time, they would occasionally find us sleeping very close in the bed, and we asked them to please return to their room.

I have never had intimate relations while children were in the same room.

Supacase's avatar

We don’t use condoms and there isn’t much of anything else to hide or be found. If there were things to be found, I would hide them. I have no interest in discussing the finer details of sex or sexual pleasure with a 5 y/o.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@YARNLADY By signs, I mean objects related to your sex life.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Somehow, I don’t see Yarnlady using ropes and dildos, lol.

The more I think about it, the more I really feel that leaving anything lying out for young kids to see would be poor parenting. Teens wouldn’t bother me as much, as they are quite definitely aware of what mom and dad do in their bedroom/shower/whatever. But younger kids? I think having sexual objects in view of my ten and five year olds would be uncomfortable and wrong. My ten year old knows about sex, but she doesn’t know about sexual “accessories”. =0)

YARNLADY's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Why, oh why don’t I read the details? Sorry about that.

We have no such objects.


Anything that pertains to me and my wife’s intimate life is ALWAYS hidden from our children. Everything is in our bedroom, and the kids know that that is our private domain. We are very diligent about keeping things hidden from them, but if they happen to come across any item that was erringly left somewhere out (eg., prophylactics), we wouldn’t react with awkwardness or shame.

bkcunningham's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir, I went to a nude beach once. Many of the people there had their children with them. From very young toddlers to teenagers. I tried very long and hard to understand and really grasp the naturist lifestyle. I got it. I really did. I understand it now. But somehow, and I can’t explain it, I couldn’t get past the children on the beach that day. That was my first encounter with the naturist lifestyle that involved kids. I know I was the one with the problem. But in plain sight of the kids were couples having sex on the beach. Now it was just a little too weird for me.

I know it isn’t the exact same thing as your question. But I think it is similar in many aspects. I am past having small children in my house except for guests and our two year old granddaughter on occasion. I keep my sex toys and other indications of my personal life with my husband just that. Personal.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES I’m trying to tease the two apart – if there is no shame or awkwardness around these objects, why are words like ‘always hidden’ used in talking about them. I get that you should keep them in a place, for whatever reason, but why hidden?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@bkcunningham To be clear, living a nudist lifestyle doesn’t necessarily equate having sex in front of children. That beach is an outliar.

bkcunningham's avatar

Well, they were naturist, not nudists. (Not that it matters.) But in other settings we were in, families were welcomed. Similar things happened only there weren’t children present. The beach was the first with kids there. From my personal experience the majority of the people present and people I know who are naturists felt just like me and wouldn’t have had sex in front of children. I realize being a naturist isn’t being a swinger. It was just weird.

casheroo's avatar

Hm, well we keep condoms (yes, we’re married, yes we use them for birth control..) and sometimes they are left out. Neither child has noticed.
The dog ate my vibrator not too long ago. I noticed the blue of it on the floor and ran to my room (the dog chews up every fucking thing I own!) and my 4 year old followed, and asked what happened. He had seen it before since I left it in my drawer next to my bed. Never really talked about it, I told him it’s mommys. I don’t know how to talk about that at such a young age but I also don’t go out of my way to make it a secret if that makes sense.


@Simone_De_Beauvoir I believe that children don’t need to have access to adult things. First of all, they don’t have any use for such things. They are children and adult things are of no use to them. Second, what benefit does it serve for them to be exposed to such things? At their young age, they don’t know what they are and what they are used for. Third, many of these adult items are not cheap——if children get their hands on them, they may be damaged or destroyed. It’s not like they’re tissue paper or paper cups that can be easily replaced. This is probably the main reason why we hide these items from our children——to guard important and rather costly adult items from curious eyes and fingers. It has more to do with safeguarding these items from damage than guarding them from “shame” and “embarrassment”.

ucme's avatar

No. Well, there’s a bed!

Shippy's avatar

I found this question really interesting. Because most of us have children, and most of us have sex, either with partners, or on our own etc., perhaps that is why certain objects are deemed personal affects. Since they belong to us in our own personal capacity… So my thoughts are, if I would not leave my tampons in the living room, or vibrator there for visitors to see, I should then probably find a place to keep such things away from my kids (if I had any).

The part that I find interesting though is how open violence is in homes, and all over. This of course is so damaging and so off topic. But I thought important to bring up.

If a child finds an object that is placed away, by accident, the course would be to simply answer the questions she or he asks. And not embark on a huge over explanation. Kid’s brains can only understand so much (frames of reference).

In my own household sex was very hushed and shut away, and I wish it had not been. I think I would have had a happier and healthier approach to sex, and my body had it not been.

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