Later still, when I was married, and a mother, I liked having this knowledge that my parents' sex life was likely robust throughout their long marriage. My mother is now elderly and in sometime ill health. Recently, during a hospital stay, a young male physical therapist was helping reposition her in bed. Grabbing the sheets to pull her higher in the bed, he advised, "just shimmy up." She laughed and replied, "Young man, I haven't shimmied in a few years!" Since my father has only been dead for four years, I wondered if (and hoped that) their sexual chemistry burned up until the end of the 59 years they were wed. Couple Celebrates 81st Anniversary, Shares Tips
I found myself thinking recently about their physical relationship because, as parents of a teen and a tween, I realize it's not our job to have only requisite talks about sex and sexual health, but also to impart a sense of the wonder, joy and sustainability of a sex life over the course of a marriage. It's not that I want to shout, "By the way, boys, your father and I still do it and we love it!" but in a sense I do want them to know precisely this.
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Not because this information is necessary to them now. Now, of course, too much information would likely be met with eye rolls. But I do want them to know, in some peripheral, subtextual way, that their parents indulged in and had satisfying, frequent, wonderful sex. I want them to know this because I know that, in time, they'll be glad to learn that their parents' lives weren't only about work and car pools, mowing the lawn and watching TV in grungy sweats on a Thursday night. If my own experience is any measure, this insight will give them a unique comfort, and also a kind of confidence about what marriage is and can continue to be years and decades after the honeymoon.
In a way, Frank and I follow my parents' pattern. Physical displays of affection are not hidden behind bedroom doors. We don't hold back our enthusiasm when we are making arrangements to have the house to ourselves overnight. Our door is closed tight plenty of times. While we've never been interrupted in flagrante delicto, when a kid has come through the door and we're spooning, under the covers, in one small corner of the king-sized bed, we don't immediately disentangle.
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After dinner last Saturday night, I teased my husband, who had been diligently crossing things off the honey-do list all day, and even taking care of stuff not yet on it. "Boy, you must want it bad tonight," I chided, snapping the dish towel at his (yes, I'll say it) still nicely rounded butt. It may be that one of my sons overheard it. Or maybe not. But it wouldn't have been such a bad thing if he had.