Parents Caught Having Sex
Getting caught in the act can be embarrassing for both parties, but is also an opportunity to open the doors of communication with your teen.
My husband and I have recently "rediscovered" our passion after nearly 20 years of marriage. For six months, we had sex every day (on average), and then it evened out to at least 3-4 times per week. I can't get enough of him. It has been wonderful and our relationship—sexual and otherwise—has never been better. Unfortunately, our 16-year-old daughter caught us. Once over the summer she heard some things, once she read a naughty text, and most recently she again heard some things. Each time it was due to our carelessness. We didn't know she was home.
She is very upset and I am very upset with myself. The hardest part is that it happened again, and we are having a hard time regaining her trust, which is understandable. My husband and I have vowed to cool it, and make discretion a priority. What is the best way to handle this? I feel awful and am very worried about her.
* Listen to the podcast response, Episode 146 with Dr. Trina Read
Some of the words that you never wanted to say to your spouse are, "Honey, we got caught making love by the kids!" So, the cat is out of the bag and what do you do?
Asking this question brings up some very important points for all parents who may feel uncomfortable talking about sex with their children. Yet, this is also one of the most important times to have this candid conversation, or have it with a qualified sex or family therapist so that your child will grow to understand that your sexual needs are also perfectly normal and that your marriage is a priority.
You feeling badly about this scenario is also normal, since it’s awkward to know that your child is aware that you’re having sex. But you should not put your physical needs as a couple aside because it may show your daughter that sex is wrong or dirty, which is not a good message to be teaching her at this point. We have found that couples who remain intimate ultimately make better parents! So do not feel guilty for enjoying the benefits of your wonderful relationship!
Your daughter, from a sexology perspective is fighting that child/grown-up line in life. She may be having sexual feelings herself, but because of her age (which allows her to be sexual by law), she may be conflicted as to whether she is ready for sexual activity, including masturbation.
There are many conflicts in information that this age group often gets, and the fact remains that she may not have access to privacy or contraception, and that she may have her own guilty feelings about feeling sexual herself or her body image.
Although we truly understand that you feel guilty, you actually have a great opportunity to open the doors of communication with your daughter about the blessings of a healthy relationship and the benefits of allowing yourselves to have and explore that marital bliss.
While many parents have difficulty in having this conversation, especially about masturbation, remember that masturbation is normal and the best stress reliever that you or a young adult can use and is the safest sex act that a budding adult can learn. It has been proven that masturbation is self-affirming, helps frustrated young adults reclaim their body and helps to ensure a healthy self-image that will help her to have a sexually satisfying sexual life when she has a partner.
It is unfortunate that in this country we send so many mixed messages about sexuality that are contradictory and confusing. Perhaps your daughter is wondering why you can be sexual and she cannot. Perhaps she is embarrassed for having witnessed a private act between couples that most adolescents know exists, but wish that they did not witness. Similarly, most parents don’t want to hear that their children are beginning to become sexually aware and they are mourning the loss of their "baby." So, it’s time to have a mutually respectful conversation that you and your spouse deserve "couple time," and that includes privacy. Children are best served by accurate information, endorsing of the normalcy of sexual feelings and desires and their right to ultimately become sexual and the opportunity to have a happy, healthy relationship with their own body and when to share it with another.
As we have entered the college speaking arena, we have learned that teens are more sexually aware than we give them credit for. The need for proper information for prevention of diseases, let alone pregnancy and the right to having a healthy sexual self-image must be discussed—you can find more information on our website.
We are confident that the love you have expressed for your family will help to guide your daughter back from being upset. So, please try to ask her what it is that has her upset. The answers may bring you all to a new level of respect for honesty between you as a family and how to communicate through these awkward moments.
There is also a hidden blessing in all of this: your daughter now has a very real role model for what it means to be in a happy, healthy and loving relationship over the course of a lifetime. Your example will help her create a loving and romantic relationship of her own when she is ready. This is the ultimate win-win scenario for parents and their children.
Stay tuned as we are going to continue this topic in a "how to" approach to having a conversation with your teenage children about sex, what is appropriate for them and what that really means for their healthy sexological development.
Dr. Joni Frater & Esther Lastique are the founders of www.LoveHerRight.com and www.PassionateLifeClub.com and the authors of "Love Her Right: The Married Man’s Guide to Lesbian Secrets for Great Sex!" Visit their sites for more information on their Love Warrior Challenge, live appearances, and seminar classes. At www.LoveHerRightStore.com use the discount code HITCHED for a 15% discount! To purchase their book, please click here.