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How Kids Ruin Vacation Sex

Photograph by Getty Images

Ah, vacation sex. Remember what that was like before children? You had a hotel room that someone would clean up for you so didn't care about getting messy, you spent the day in the sun all warm and happy, and you could drink too much at dinner and get really uninhibited with your guy at night. The days were long and stress-free, and the sex in the evening was plentiful and hot. But then . . . you had kids to bring along with you.

There are myriad ways that children mess with your sex life, but maybe none so apparent as when you're away on holiday. You always think you're going to catch up on long lost nookie just because you're away from home, but no. It doesn't work like that. Having just come back from a week at the beach with my husband and our wild-child 3-year-old, allow me to count the ways he continually interrupted the vacation romance.

1. He was in the room right next to ours, and we have to leave the door open a crack because he is scared of who knows what. I know some couples don't mind (quietly) doing it when their children are nearby, but I'm the kind of person who one time couldn't get it on because my boyfriend's cat seemed like he was looking at us. Also, sex is a lot less appealing when someone is constantly whispering, "Shhh! Be quiet! Jesus why is this bed so squeaky? Wait, can you hear him? Is he up? Get off of me!" Sex, ruined!

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2. Our son decided he couldn't sleep in his travel cot, and came into our room at all hours of the night, every night, asking me to come sit by his bed until he fell back asleep. Normally I might let him cry it out a little bit, but because we weren't at home I couldn't really do that. My husband and I whispered about doing it a few nights, but were so paranoid we'd get busted by him sneaking in mid-coitus that we didn't really have the guts to follow through with it. Sex, ruined!

3. Vacationing with kids can actually be way more exhausting than staying at home with them. At home we do a nanny share, and he goes to a preschool for a few hours a day three times a week, so mama and daddy get little breaks to do our work. On vacation, we were with him all day, every day; and trying to keep a toddler with suspected ADD entertained is exhausting. It meant countless trips to playgrounds, beaches, ice cream stores, going fishing, kicking the ball around, playing catch, basketball, going out for more ice cream, long walks, more playgrounds, more kicking the ball around. We were so pooped each night we could barely even smooch goodnight. Sex, ruined!

During his naptime, we seized the opportunity to sit and actually read magazines.

4. I was so busy trying to make sure our son didn't get sunburned—battling with him over the SPF 60, the goofy hats, the long sleeved shirts—that I forgot to take care of myself and my skin got completely fried. The same thing happened to my husband. In the first few painful, tender days, the idea of my husband's vacation scruff coming anywhere near my beef carpaccio-like body was enough to make me scoot far, far away once we were in bed. Not only that, because I got burned in horribly patchy ways (side boob, inner thighs) I looked like I had a tropical skin disease. Sex, ruined!

5. We were so desperate to relax that when we did have the time to squeeze in some alone time, we wanted to just sit in the sun and read. See, when you have kids, the beach isn't a place to chill, but rather one giant danger zone. The ocean beckons little kids with its inviting, gently warm waves, but one slip up and your kid is pulled out to sea. Creepy seagulls linger ever so close, eyeing those dropped Goldfish and pretzels on your towels. Our son spent most of his time running down from the towel to the water, so everyday at the beach, we would just look at each other and say, "Your turn." During his naptime, we seized the opportunity to sit and actually read magazines. Sex, ruined!

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6. This time we weren't at a hotel, but at my parent's place in Florida. The upside to this is that we saved a ton of money on the hotel and food bills. The downside was that no dude ever wants to get busy when his in-laws are within potential earshot, no matter how horny he is. So even when I cajoled and eventually begged one evening, he was like, "Ew, it's weird at your parents place." Sex, ruined!

That said, it was still an awesome holiday and now that I'm back to reality in grungy old Brooklyn, I'd give anything to be able to wake up and go down to the beach again. But we're also back on track on the bedroom, which is great. Even though the tops of my boobs are peeling.

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