How big is your backseat?: Sex after moving back with your parents

September 5 | Guest post by Rachel Wilkerson
It's a boomerang orgy! Let's hope their boomerang parents aren't watching. Boomerangs © by mikecogh, used under Creative Commons license.
In the past few years, with the economy tanking and all, the "boomerang generation" has really made a name for itself. You go to school, leave home, and then… you come back.

That's exactly what I did. Was it my ideal plan? Nope. Did it allow me to get back on my feet after my first job turned out to be anything but dreamy? Absolutely. I did it for a year, and would have loved to do it longer, but I eventually had to say, "See ya!" to the family.

The thing is, as much as I loved free rent, I hated the logistics of trying to have sex.

To be fair, being a boomerang kid isn't the worst thing in the world. It's annoying, yes, and your carpal tunnel will get bad because seriously, there are no truly silent vibrators, but it's manageable… until you meet a boomerang boy.

When you first meet one, you think it's great! OK, I have this slightly awkward aspect of my life that I'm self-conscious about, but at least I've finally met someone who gets that! We're so on the same page here! You bond over it and then… then you stop recognizing your sex life.

It's like high school, but with way more sexual frustration — who knew that was possible? Believe me, it is. At the age of 25, you're probably pretty cool telling guys what you want, and vice versa. And you probably just want it more than you did in high school. So just like any cute twentysomething chick, you're getting texts saying, "I want to fuck." And you're responding, "OMG I want to fuck you so bad. Is your mom home?"

And then it's like, "Ugh, seriously?? Well, how big is your backseat?"

And even if you get lucky and Mom is away, having sex in the old bedroom isn't quite the same once you graduate from high school. You're looking around for things to spice up the act and it's like, "Hey, do you think we could do something with those old soccer trophies?"

At that point I had just sort of given up on the idea of having a normal relationship until I moved out. When boomerang girl meets boomerang boy, there's very little booming out going on, and that can be really hard to deal with. And for all the sneaking around and hassle, the sex has to be pretty amazing.

I finally moved out and I'll be honest: I'm broke. But it's been worth it. Suze Orman might disagree, but there simply comes a point when the need to get laid is greater than the need to save money.

Alright, Homies. We know a lot of you are living with parents. What are your tips for stealth-mode sexy times? (Or do you figure "we're all adults here!" and have given up trying to hide?)

  1. I lived with my mom for 2 months after I moved home from working on my PhD. Dude was temporarily between places, crashing on couches, and in the process of buying a house. It was a very long and frustrating time. Movie theatres suddenly seemed way more socially acceptable than they had for quite a few years and empty parking lots or fields are very appealing. Let's just say we rejoiced when he got his house and when I moved into the one I was renting. I think my mom did too, not that she walked in on much more than kissing. Our new neighbours did not.

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  2. I've never had a problem, when I was living at home or when I go to visit on the weekends. And I have a wrought iron bedstead.
    Sorry, Mom.
    The key is to keep it super quiet and don't get crazy. While gettin' crazy is part of the point, you've just got to dial it in.
    Like how you don't think about your parents having sex, they don't think about you having sex or your need to do so. If that's a conversation you can have, do it up. Your parents will probably be embarrassed, but they'll get it–they remember trying to have secret sex while you were asleep in the next room. They persevered through that level of squickiness, and so shall you.

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    • Good point. If you plan on having kids, you had better get used to quieter sex!

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  3. To be honest, this is a big part of why I have to live alone. I'm naturally quite loud and if I have to be quiet during sex I kind of freak out a bit, maybe because it makes me struggle for breath.

    I have to say though, I want sex far less than I did in high school. Now I'm happy enough with once every 3 days or so, whereas at 15 I genuinely couldn't think straight I was so desperate all the time, even with solo sessions (sorry about the tmi!). Going on The Pill was one of the best decisions I've ever made!

    I know that everyone's different, but I do find sexual frustration quite mind-bending; as Little Red Lupine says above, it can start you thinking that things are a good idea when they're really not. So I don't think anyone should feel bad if they factor it into decisions on their living situation. It can be an important part of mental health.

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    • Random late addition to my comment for the benefit of anyone who doesn't know: The Pill can bring your sex drive right down. I went on it originally for menstrual pain, but a managable sex drive is a nice side-effect. I didn't know that it was a side effect actually and assumed my declining interest was due to exhaustion and stress. It shows how little importance is still placed on sexual matters in some ways, that we're all meant to aspire to non-stop athletic sex uninterrupted by tiredness or nosy housemates, but it's rare to find anyone talking about the practicalities. So I think this article and comments section are a great idea.

      I'm rambling now. It's 00:25 where I am and I'm a bit drunk. Sorry. :)

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  4. I have been dating a wonderful man for 2 years. When we moved out to different places for the first time, sex was a non-issue. At the end of last summer though we both had to move home and have been there for over a year. I HATE HAVING SEX AT HOME!!! The only time we can do it is when my parents are home and we can't do it at his house what with his large conservative family. We're saving for a deposit and moving in December.

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  5. One month after getting married we found ourselves living in my husband's childhood bedroom in his Mom's house. We just waited until she and her boyfriend went to sleep and we kept the vocals to a minimum. We saved the loud stuff for when they were both out. It actually wasn't too much of a hassle for us, but then again we moved out in two months.

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  6. My adult daughter still lives at home. She's 18. We are very open about sex (think dharma and Greg) as long as I don't hear it and as long as she is responsible she can do what she needs to do. It might make me a little different from the other moms in TN, but I know my girl is safe, happy and healthy. And I know she will and does come to me with questions and concerns.

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  7. For the brief period that I was home after college, I wasn't getting much ass, so it really wasn't a thing. A couple years later, though, I moved away and was dating a guy in my home town who was living with his parents. It was about a year and a half of long distance, usually with me travelling because I had a very flexible work schedule. So, that left us with parents' houses. His family was always very cool and gracious…I met his dad while he was having cornflakes in his robe in the kitchen and he acted like it was perfectly normal. My parents, however, gave my then 25 year old self a big old ration of shit and my mom very snidely said, "why don't you ever bring C here? Are you afraid we'll hear you?" I responded, "in part." So, that night, I brought C home and he left in the morning. I knew that my parents wouldn't be rude to him…they'd save the judging and the ranting for me. So, after he was on his way, my mom started in, "what, did his family kick you out or are you just being brazen?" Yes, my mother, who knew my virginity ship had sailed years before, called me brazen. One of the most retrospectively hilarious conversations of my life. But, it gave me the opening to say, "look, you're going to give me all kinds of hell no matter what I do, so what's the difference." That's the last word she ever said about premarital sex or boys sleeping over or anything else of the sort. It was a liberating moment, although may not work for everybody.

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    • Side story: my mom threw out my vibrator when I was home for the summer before senior year of college. We never spoke of it (she made a habit of making things she didn't approve of just disappear, so there was no point having that uncomfortable conversation). I just bought another, but it prompted my boyfriend senior year to title a mix tape (dating myself, there) "My Mommy Stole My Hardware," which was, ironically, stolen a decade later with the car it was in.

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      • I am so glad I'm not the only person with a mom that makes things disappear!

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        • To this day I'm not 100% sure if my mom ever found out about my vibrator. She's fairly "unspokenly" open to things like that. She always had a habit of cleaning my room if it ever got to cluttered, however, and it's not like the nightstand by my bed was a very discrete hiding place. If she did find it, however, out of respect for my privacy (or perhaps awkwardness?) she never mentioned it.

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        • I don't know about New Year resolutions, but I do know that a new year gives a new coeaitnmnnt field. Past failings are relegated to 'last year', while 'this year' offers promise and hope. (Well, until we bugger everything up again!!)Inspired by your monigotes, this year I hope to sketch something every day. (The 3 Jan piece, with the additional scribblings, is very cool!)And since this is my first entry, can I tell you how much I dig your style. When I first saw it in Draw! magazine (the Illustrator tutorial issue) I freaked: it's bawdy, but so beautiful and measured. Muy bonita!Do you still have sketchbooks for sale? And do you ship Internationally? (I live in Australia.) I'd be interested in purchasing one. (Not an Australia, a sketchbook!)Well, all the best for '06!Oh, and you're right about the sex and marriage business…But there's always the flip side. At least we get some. *And* it comes without regrets, or the need for paper bags! :)

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      • I've since moved out… but I used to find it hilarious that my mom used to hide t-shirts she didn't like (I found a dozen in the basement when I moved out), but when she found my sex toys, she didn't do a damn thing to them, aside from look confused until it dawned on her what they were (she honestly had no idea what a vibe looked like!).

        1 agrees
        • I never found anything. Imagine she knew (how, I don't know) what the vibe was or it wouldn't have disappeared. Thankfully, I've been gone almost a decade at this point…if she got into my shit now, I wouldn't be too embarrassed to ask her what the hell she did with my hardware. As for the shirts, my age has doubled since those days, so I'd only wear them once (just to bug her) and get rid of them myself. Although, the fiancé might like the "porn kitten" one. ;-)

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  8. When I lived back in with my parents, and they went out of town, they actually invited my boyfriend over. See, they live in a fairly rural area, and didn't want me home alone in the middle of the woods. They also probably knew I would invite him anyway, and liked to pretend that it was their idea.

    When they were home, they mostly just left us alone. It helped a lot that he's Catholic — I think they just assumed that he was waiting until marriage. It's actually gotten a lot MORE awkward now that we've shacked up and gotten engaged and they know that we're either having sex now or planning to in the foreseeable future.

    1 agrees
  9. Great topic! Had moved in with parents after a divorce, and the sex was a little tricky to navigate considering the schedules and the deluxe air mattress, but totally worth it.

    Fortunately my parents are college sports buffs so they were out a lot. However, I knew my time was almost up when I shorted out half the house with my vibrator. Twice.

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  10. I cant wait to see all the responses to this as I just got into a tussle with my boyfriend about this very topic. . . Back story, we have been living on a mattress on the floor of my fathers office for 3 months now while we save for a big move across country. I am firmly in the "lets just be quiet, we don't have a headboard or bed to squeak" camp and he has solidly set down roots in the "Eww your Dad's asleep down the hall" village. . . Thank gawd for (as Eureka put it) hardwear!!

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  11. Wow I am so lucky my mother is who she is. I still lived at home when I started dating my Viking, but the entirety of the conversation about sex was basically "You on the pill?"
    "No, Mom. We're not having sex yet"
    "Well you should get some condoms then. Just in case."

    I love my mother. She's neurotic about many things, but sex is not one of them.

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    • When I was 20, while I was single, my mom suggested I go on birth control and trust me when I say I was the one totally wigged out by the conversation! Incidentally, the guy I started dating later that year was my first, but the fact my mom had raised the issue made it a total non-issue when I did go on it a few months later, and they even pay for it too!

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  12. My husband and lived with his parents for almost a year after we graduated college and were planning our wedding. While they have a good sized house (ranch with a 2nd story addition) all the bedrooms had already been claimed. His older sister and her boyfriend with their dog and 2 cats had already moved in plus my husband's brother also had moved in. We ended up in the basement with what we not so fondly called "the yurt." We partitioned off part of the basement with sheets to make a small room. White sheets that end 1 foot above the ground do not hide ANYTHING. We got married while living there, and that made it even worse. Instead of having tons of crazy newlywed sex (we didn't wait, but it's still newlywed sex) we were constantly hoping that no one would come down the stairs or hear through the vents. After 4 months thankfully our jobs were stable enough for us to move out. I agree Rachel sometimes sex is more important than fiscal responsibility.

    1 agrees
  13. We have been fortunate enough not to need to live in parents' houses, but for the first half of this summer (before I got married), I was working at my brother's farm, and living there. Of course, my now-husband visited there pretty often, too. My brother is totally cool with whatever, but my parents live there too. Fortunately the rooms where we stayed (well, to be honest, they only *thought* we were using both of them…) are at the far end of the house from my parents' room, and in the basement. Things actually got worse when we got married and made the point that we'd rather not be in twin beds now that we're married — so we wound up with essentially no privacy in the basement living room instead. My dad did walk in on us the other day, and it was never discussed — we were being quiet, and we don't know whether he even noticed, but it was still awkward. At this point, I'm refusing to spend the night there until they work out better sleeping arrangements for us.

    My brother is now dating a girl, and he's planning to just be upfront with them about where she's sleeping — in his room, with him. He figures that since they always said it was our decision, he's going to hold them to it. At least his bedroom is at the opposite end of the house from our parents' — and they can't pull the "not in our house" argument, since it's his house, not theirs.

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  14. There was a stretch of about three years when my boyfriend and I both lived with our respective parents. He'd boomeranged after a roommate didn't renew the lease, I'd never moved out because I was commuting to school. My parents went out of town for the weekend often enough that he could usually come over for one a month at least. The rest of the time we'd stick to whatever we had time for while they were out or room for in his car. Once or twice we used his grandma's house when she was out of town, too, because he had a key. His parents were almost never the ones out of town.

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  15. My husband and I are living with my mom as a medium term solution after a family emergency caused us to need to move, and the only reason we still have a comfortable sex life is that we sleep in the basement and my mom's on the second floor. space helps.

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    • Wow. Replace 'mom' with 'dad & sister' and we have the exact same story.
      We only lived there for two years before moving across the country, though.

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      • My story is exactly the same, except "stepfather-in-law". It makes me feel less alone to know there's other people in the same situation.

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  16. My man and I each live separately from our parents (and each other) and we aren't having sex until marriage. But I can definitely picture us as a married couple coming back to spend holidays at my parents' or his parents' and trying to have sex on my pink floral childhood twin bed or his bunk bed (top bunk) with siblings, parents, (and in his case, grandmother) in earshot. Probably awkward as hell, but I'm oddly excited about it.

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  17. The gentleman and I are both in grad school right now (in different states), so on holidays we visit our parents… and have very, very quiet sex. I live in fear of getting caught on my post-coital nude run to the bathroom, but it hasn't happened yet…

    Even so, he and I have been together for 5 years – so the parents don't seem to care what we do anymore, finally. It was definitely a big break-through when we went to visit my parents and they offered us a double bed to sleep in, instead of a bed upstairs and a bed in the basement :)

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  18. When I was 23, in-between jobs, and applying for masters programs, I moved in with my folks while I got my shit figured out. After a few weeks of getting settled, spending most nights with my boyfriend R of 18 months (now husband, 4 years later), I casually invited R to stay one night after a rather wine-laden dinner. Everything was well and good, until a few days later my mom corners me and says "Dad wants me to let you know he's uncomfortable with R spending the night." Jeez, Da-AAAD. Waita put Mom up to doing your dirty work!

    After quickly assessing my predicament, I swiftly packed my bags and moved in with R, who was living in a Hostess Cupcake step-van at the time. *awww* our first home <3 Was that move the result of a rebellious streak reawakened from circa 1997? Perhaps. Regardless, that move was one of the best decisions I ever made, because it brought me (at times uncomfortably) close to the man I love.

    As a funny side note, I later found out that my Dad didn't really give a shit; it was my BROTHER who called him asking questions like "are you going to stand for that under your roof?". It occurred to me that my Dad's brain never actually went there, out of self-preservation I'm sure. Well, the joke's on my brother – he was the best man at our wedding :)

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  19. One thing this article doesn't cover is BED SIZES, and that was where our trouble was. Two years ago, the Mister and I were in-between apartments and, through a series of complicated circumstances, wound up sharing a twin-sized futon in Mister's Mom's utility room among three entities: my 6'2", broad-shouldered Mister; my overweight self; and our cat, who demanded snuggles whenever one and/or both of us were lying down. SPOONING HAS NEVER BEEN MORE NECESSARY. Everything else aside, there was just no. dang. ROOM. for the mattress mambo. Frustrating as all hell.

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  20. Ah, takes me back to just four months ago when my fiancee and I were living with my mom. And little sister. Sharing the same bedroom as the little sister. Who still thinks kissing is gross (13 year olds are just full of contradictions).

    We just made use of the bathroom (showers etc.) and quickies when the deed had to be done. Thankfully we have our own place now, but we essentially lived in half of a bedroom for about a year. I always felt a little bad for my mom, though, haha.

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  21. When my husband and I first started dating, we were in high school. We were each other's firsts, too, so it was full of all that awkward, 'in your parent's house' stuff. We always did it at my parent's house, since his mom would never give us any privacy, at all, and my parents did. When I moved away to go to college, my family followed. And a year later, so did my boyfriend. So we spent three years living together under my parent's roof. We just learned to be quiet in our shared bedroom.

    Moving out was bliss, and we got married and spent a few good years enjoying the privacy of our apartment.

    But then my dad was diagnosed with a rapidly progressing form of ALS, giving him just a few months left to live. So we dropped everything, moved our stuff into storage, and flew across country to spend some time with him. My aunt has given us a spare room and a California king-sized mattress on the floor, though we don't have our own vehicle to use. Also, now my younger brother is sharing this room and mattress, too. Bathroom sex is really about as romantic and comfortable as it sounds. And I'm paranoid, because when we make it back home after all this, we're going to be moving in with his mother (in what is supposed to be a fully furnished basement). The one who previously gave us zero privacy. I'm hoping she'll be more accepting of our maritals now that we're actually married.

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  22. Memo, I'm awfully sorry to hear of your dad. You're pretty rad for packing up and going to him. Very selfless of you!

    When I was first with my new hubby, I lived on my own it was a trial run be ause I actually had a traumatic accident a year before where I suffered a long list of serious injuries, brain injury, skull fracture, and broken neck the biggest. (I hafta say, I felt like this special guy met me not long after that accident, and fell for what I considered a very broken and worthless version of my previous self. He's the greatest!)

    At some point, I had some seizures and was unable to drive. Given that I was still doing a lot of rehab at the time, like, 4 appointments/specialists daily, I needed my parents to drive me, so I had to move home.
    My husband actually lived in a different city and so we only saw each other on weekends. At first, we both felt weird about sleeping together at my parent's home. As Little Fed said, public places suddenly became totally cool, the backseat, of course, and we camped a lot that year! Camping sex is actually pretty alright!
    It wasn't long before my dad, of all people, said hubby should stay over because he didn't want him driving late at night. Of course. By then we had mastered the über quiet sex, which was kind of thrilling to me because it did sort of make me feel like a kid again!
    Fortunately, we're married in our own home nowadays!

    1 agrees
  23. My partner and I moved in with his Catholic parents to care for them in their old age. it's a ranch house and we have the bedroom that is right in the middle of everything. Mostly we just try to be quiet, mostly to be respectful like you would avoid playing loud music you know will bother people, but we were living together for two years before moving in here. The topic hasnt been discussed, but the fact that we get it on shouldn't be news to anyone.

    We did have hilariously loud sex the other day while the 'Rents were out to lunch. I think we still had shit-eating grins on two days later.

    1 agrees
  24. My stepfather-in-law lives with my husband and I. We generally wait until he's gone or asleep to have sex. If we really need it RIGHT NOW OMG GOING TO DIE, we use the shower. :) In my experience, people don't generally try to come talk to us when they can hear the shower running.

    On a semi-related note, I cannot wait until we finally have our own place. We have never lived by ourselves (married or not) and it's driving me/us crazy. Does anyone have any tips to help me stay sane?

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  25. Hubby and I have been married for 3 months and just relocated to Ohio to live with his mom and sisters. So that's 5 people in a 2 bedroom apartment. We're already in house hunting mode, but the plan is for all of us to stay together because, well, we love our family.

    We want to make our own little village and definitely want kids in the near future, so honestly it's not something we need to tiptoe around. Granted his sisters are teenagers, but they certainly aren't sheltered or naive about this stuff.

    We have quiet sex out of respect, and it's nice :)

    0 agree

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