THERE is more than one impediment to great sex. But children, neighbours and parents count up there among them.
If you are a blended family, or even a traditional family, having the teenage daughter right next door to your bedroom is a terrific contraceptive unless you master totally silent sex. I am sure your daughter would agree as no one, no matter what age, wants to hear their parents getting it on. Ever.
A friend of mine says living with her father also makes her husband particularly nervous about intimacy, even though they are in their 30s. He doesn't want her dad hearing him. It may be a hangover from teenage years but it's still real and it cramps their sex life.
Living in a unit also puts particular demands on sexual relations, especially when your bedroom wall is right next to the neighbour's lounge. Really, there's only so much you want the neighbours to know about you, or the person you choose to sleep with.
If you've ever lived in a neighbourhood where someone had particularly loud sex you'll know what it feels like at the other end of the equation. A girlfriend solved this with a polite note letting the couple know that while she was pleased they had such a robust intimacy, she really didn't want to be that involved.
I have friends who have been asked never to return to hotels because of noise complaints, and others who won't be asked to stay in share houses again. You could try excuses like "I wish SBS wouldn't show those movies” to save face but, frankly, who will believe you?
So what is the secret to discreet sex? I would suggest a room that is as far away from others as possible to start with, so you can let go of that overheard feeling, and a lock on the door. Insulated walls are great too, of course, but, failing that, maybe close the windows so the neighbours hear less, or pull the blinds so they don't get a full view. I would suggest that holding up notes like "that feels good” or "a bit to the left” is going a little too far.
Of course you may be the sort of person who thrives on being heard, or observed, and this column isn't really for you. For everyone else, my only other advice is practice, practice, practice. And, if you happen to be with someone who simply can't keep quiet, well, accept that you will be running up a bill on weekends away, where you can only offend strangers.
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