• Petra Vandecasteele

Should Parents Have Sex on Holiday?

Updated: Jan 31, 2020

"Absolutely not!" was the unanimous opinion of my son (16) and daughter (18). The conversation ended as abruptly as it had started when I asked them "Why not?" They rolled their eyes in disgust and cut me short with "You're gross. Stop it!"

I still don't understand their reaction. These are not 6 year olds, but young adults. It all started when we did a site inspection at one of the Big Five game lodges in the bush. The beautifully appointed safari tents overlook the river where elephants and waterbuck come to refresh during the heat of the day. I found that the family units lacked privacy for parents travelling with children due to the openness of the interleading sections between the main bedroom and the bathroom. It's a common thing with family accommodation in general. As a rule, I would book an entirely separate room for older kids, but on safari it can get overwhelming to sleep alone when you hear lions roar just outside your glamping safari tent, far enough away for your parents not to hear you. Let alone the disaster scenarios playing in the heads of the parents.

Inspired by a fabulous time in the bush, I wouldn't want to miss out on a romantic moment under the sheets or in the outdoor shower, so the last thing you want is to have to be on guard in case one of the kids (or both God forbid) needs to pass through. Or walk in unexpectedly when they're supposed to be at the swimming pool while you're having a particularly sizzling siesta.

All I got out of them was, "Sex is something you do at home or when you're on holiday without your children." "But for many parents life gets too busy and one often gets too stressed or too tired to enjoy relaxing intimate moments," I clumsily tried to justify. But nope, they wouldn't hear of it. "There is no need for extra parental privacy in these family safari tents," was their verdict. "Parents just need to get a grip and control themselves when they travel with their kids. It's a FAMILY vacation, not a couple's retreat." End of story.

I remain speechless. What is your take on this? Do your children also think parents should not have sex on a 'family vacation'? And, as a parent, how much privacy do you need (want)?


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