The Smoking Ruins of Your Sexual-Romantic Life

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About Tim Myers

Tim Myers is a writer, storyteller, and songwriter who living in Santa Clara, California, where he also teaches at Santa Clara University. His work has made the New York Times bestseller list for children's books, been reviewed with art in the Times, been read aloud on NPR, and has won other honors. His website is at


  1. My parents had a method of maintaining their adult space, which seems to have fallen out of favor now: their bedroom was off limits to children. We were simply not allowed in their bedroom, day or night! They were also very cranky about being disturbed after bedtime. Needing a glass of water, wanting another story, being “scared” – the parental response was irritable and perfunctory at best, except in the case of a legitimate and serious emergency. My parents’ bedroom was next to mine, so by the time I was a teenager, I’d figured out what the noises were in there. Let’s just say that despite a lotof challenges in their marriage, they seemed to have a pretty health sex life.

    Most couples I know these days co-sleep with their kids, and often their pets. The master bedroom is like a second family room. My mother shakes her head in disbelief at the very idea.

    • My parents’ bedroom was next to mine too, but they had a waterbed all my life – maybe that’s why I never heard any noises that I had to figure out! ;-) LOL.

    • Co-sleeping…Hah! Yup yup….

      We used to let our child fall asleep with us in 2 twin mattresses pushed together on the floor in his room and then sneak off to our room when he was sound asleep…often he would wake up in the middle of the night and run to our big warm king size bed and fall asleep right in the middle!

    • Nick, mostly says:

      I have my own special sleeping place. It’s called the couch, and it’s where I go if I don’t want to be bothered by a child or animal. Sleeping with a foot in your back – or mouth – isn’t the most restful thing in the world.

      Hasn’t affected my sex life though, because when it’s bedtime, sex is the last thing on my wife’s mind. Sleep is sacred to her, and in fifteen years of marriage not once has there been any wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night shenanigans. Makes the choice about where to sleep a bit clearer if you ask me.

  2. Too funny, too true! My parents had the Sunday afternoon nap. They never locked their door any other time of the week. We were happy to left alone to watch old Elvis movies!

    Now I have 9 kids so there must be some lov’in going on around here. Still a weekend get away is always welcome. With a mess of kids you still have have to have a relationship. It is a good thing for kids to know there parents actually have sex still, and they enjoy it.

  3. One of my ex’s had a young kid who spent a lot of time living with us (we actually lived with this kid’s mom for awhile too). Sex didn’t suffer. And I was flat out exhausted at the end of the day because I was the primary care taker for the kid with the ex working (intermittently) and the kid’s mom working and going to college it was on me to do all the daily kid care taking.

    We had ground rules though. Bed time was bed time. It was not a negotiable thing. Even a young kid like that figured that one out. We had a weekly date night free from the kid. And it was completely guilt free. We inserted romance in our glances, touches and jokes through out the afternoons when his kid was awake. Our affection for each other did not cease to exist becuase there was a child around.

    Our sleeping space was our sleeping space. Our bed was our bed. It was not a community area. It was not a gathering place. Same with his mother’s room. It was not a community place. And that child seemed to survive just fine. His mother had a healthy sex life, we had a healthy sex life for awhile (it ceased being healthy due to other reasons).

    I’m of the firm belief that a bed room is for sleeping or adult activities (if it’s an adult bedroom). I’m not comfortable going into any other adult’s bedroom even now in my life without an invitation. It’s not a hangout space. It’s a personal place. Since that relationship my bedroom hasn’t had anything fun like TV’s or computers in it. The phone is on silent in there. It’s a distraction free zone and wholly unentertaining to all children.

    My parents were the same way. The bedroom is just not a hangout place. If one puts boundaries out there they can carve out space for sex. If they fill their together time with affection and adult conversation sex will naturally follow. If the adults in the relationship make each other and the relationship a priority instead of the singular priority of rearing children sex and love will follow.

  4. If I ever had kids, co-sleeping would be absolutely unacceptable. I am a light sleeper. I have trouble sleeping with my boyfriend! Kids and pets – no way. my boyfriend and I talk about moving in together but having separate bedrooms because we are both so restless at night. (I hope that wouldn’t kill our sex life. Hmm.) But seriously, I don’t know how parents cope.

    • Nick, mostly says:

      Parenting leaves less time, energy, and opportunity for sex, of that there is little doubt. By the time the kids are in school both advancing age and exhaustion have taken their toll, so I wouldn’t expect a rebound to pre-kids levels of sexual activity.

      Having separate bedrooms won’t kill your sex life, but neglect will. You’ll need to make a conscious effort to maintain it because there will be fewer opportunities to simply “slide into” sex when you go to bed separately.

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