It’s the first thing you dreaded before you had children. Or maybe the second after discovering you’d never sleep past 6 a.m. again. I speak of sex, and more specifically, of having sex with your partner when you also have curious, loud, we-refuse-to-stay-asleep children roaming your home.
As difficult as it might seem to continue having a satisfying sex life after you created these adorable little beings, it’s also super-important. After all, we’re sexual beings. What mom in her right mind would want to deprive herself of an orgasm (and an after-sex glass of wine) after dealing with lunatic toddlers all day?
The trick to having sex with children under the same roof is to have quiet sex. And despite what we’ve all learned from watching over-the-top porno films, quiet sex can be hot as hell. We spoke with a handful of sex experts and have the pleasure (get it?) of presenting you with 20 tips on having quiet sex after the kids have fallen asleep. Now get to it!
Sex and intimacy coach Rebekah Beneteau, who is the founder of Pleasure Evolution, offered the following advice:
1. Make love face-to-face and kiss when you are tempted to shout. This will muffle the noise and increase the connection between couples.
2. Practice new ways to communicate in bed, like using words instead of grunting or moaning.
3. Pull an Edward Cullen in Twilight and become a pillow biter. Whenever you’re tempted to make loud noise, bite on a pillow, a rolled up wash cloth or even your partner (um, be gentle, please). That last one definitely amps up the sexy.
4. Invest in a good white noise machine. When placed outside the bedroom door, it will block a lot of the sound from escaping.
Sex and kink educator Cassie Fuller, a co-founder of Touch of Flavor adult education company, has the following to say:
5. Make your bed quieter. There are a few tricks you can do to make your bed quieter. Move your bed away from the wall so it doesn’t bump. Put a blanket under the legs of the bed to keep it from sliding, and tighten the bed frame so it doesn’t squeak.
6. Forgo your bed. Try a standing position or switch up where you are having sex in your room. Try a more stable chair or toss a comforter on the floor.
7. Do it in the shower. Running water has an amazing ability to drown out sound and even if the kids do happen to wake up for a moment they will only hear the water running.
8. Make other noise. Try putting on some music, leaving the television on or simply creating some form of white noise. These sounds will make it harder to hear the sounds you are making.
9. Be a little kinky! If your partner is making too much noise when he is enjoying himself, try using a gag. No need to buy one from a store. You can make one in a pinch by shoving a piece of clothing into his mouth. Underwear, a rolled up T-shirt, or balled up (clean) socks work well.
10. Keep your mouth busy. A surprisingly quiet position is 69. Not only do both of you get to enjoy receiving stimulation from the other partner, but both people have their mouths too occupied to be too loud. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Sex therapist Vanessa Marin says couples should think of having quiet sex as a fun challenge rather than a drawback:
11. You can set it up as a little competition between you and your partner — “I bet I can be quieter than you. Want to see who wins this game?”
12. You can also play up your dominant or submissive sides by telling your partner, “You’d better be quiet,” or having your partner put his hand over your mouth.
If you’re looking for specifics about quiet sex positions, sex educator Nikki Alfred suggests one to try:
13. Spooning position or where the woman is lying flat on her stomach while the man penetrates her deeply from the rear. Other positions can work too, you just want to avoid making your movements too drastic, which will cause the bed to shake, thump and squeak more.
Astroglide’s Resident Sexologist Dr. Jess’s tips will make you wonder if you’ll ever miss loud sex again:
14. Extend your breath to slow down. The benefits can include more intense and multiple orgasms as well as a quieter ride.
15. Try S-L-O-W sex to keep the bed and floor creaking to a minimum. When you slide an object inside of you as s-l-o-w-l-y as possible, your nerve endings react in the most explosive of ways. Not only does that object feel like it never ends (read: huge), but as the arousal sensations build, so too will the power of your orgasm.
16. Better yet, give a slow job (a super-slow blow job); slide him into your lips inch by inch and then press your tongue hard against his underside as you gradually release him a little at a time. He won’t know what hit him. You’ll love it too, as you show off your powerful oral skills and drive him into a frenzy.
17. Put a humidifier (or dehumidifier depending on the climate) in your kids’ bedrooms to drown out any amorous sounds from down the hall.
18. Embrace the challenge. Tease, titillate and pull out all the stops to drive your lover wild and watch him struggle to control his moans and groans.
19. Make eye contact and use facial expressions (e.g., smiles) to communicate appreciation and desire. Also make note of physical changes (e.g., curled toes, arched back, tense pelvic region) to gauge your lover’s reaction.
And, finally, Dr. Jess says — as thrilling as quiet sex may be:
20. Get away once in a while to let loose if you can. Silent sex is hot, but a bit of variety that includes some loud, uninhibited hotel sex keeps the flame burning.
A version of this article was originally published in January 2015.