Being a millennial sucks. Previous generations have dropped some bombs on us, and we’ve been left alone to struggle and pick up the remaining pieces. To make ends meet, many of us have returned home to mom and dad in order to save a little cash. According to Pew Research Center, the percentage of millennials who live with their parents has grown by 7% over the last 10 years, and that’s a major statistic. As they say, times are tough.
Save a year, I lived with my parents from age 22 to 28. I’m now 30 and in my own place (Trust! It will happen!), but the trauma of being confined to my childhood bedroom as an adult remains. The hardest part of those six years? Romance.
I’m talking about sex, baby.
Making love under your parents’ roof ain’t easy. Parents can be embarrassing, strict, prying or all of the above, and living with them can definitely deter some from traversing the dating scene. But I’ll let you in on a secret: you don’t have to let your parents cramp your style. Casual sex under their watch is totally doable, you just have to be a ‘lil sneaky.
Don’t know how to pull it off? Here are eight simple rules to help you get down while shacking up with the ‘rents:
1. Be Honest With Your Date
First things first, you have to let your date know that you live at home. This is definitely one of the worst parts of being a homebound millennial, but there’s no way around it if you plan on inviting a date over for some late night action. Admitting that you live with your parents may be mortifying, but really, if the person you’re seeing actually cares and makes you feel bad about it, you should probably kick them to the curb anyway.
2. Maintain Your Privacy
My parents are super nosy and ask all sorts of super intrusive questions: “Where are you going?” “Who are you going with?” “When will you be home?” What did you eat for lunch?” Etc, etc. Yours may do the same. But, remember one thing: you are an adult. There may be inherent power play involved, but at the end of the day, you’re no longer a child and you are old (and mature!) enough to do your own thing and make your own decisions. If you don’t want your parents to be privy to your romantic life, don’t feel bad about omitting the details. You deserve the right to privacy.
3. Come Home Late
There is nothing like coming home to two wide-awake parents watching Seinfeld reruns in the living room after a long night out, and there is nothing quite like coming home to the same scene with a date. (I’ll tell you, it’s awkward.) If you want to avoid a potentially uncomfortable encounter, it’s best to always come home a little later than mom and dad’s bedtime. I’m not saying you have to stay out ‘til the wee a.m., but it wouldn’t hurt.
4. Provide Some Geographical Direction
I once had a guy leave my bedroom to take a shower in the middle of the night without my knowing. (First of all, why??) He then ended up getting lost in my house, only to find my parents’ bedroom where he barged in, wet and only wearing a towel. Oops.
There are two solutions here: either next time I lock the door to my room from the outside or I create a map of my family home to share with my new potential mate. I jest, of course, but it is essential to point out the parental master bedroom and mark it as a definite DO NOT ENTER zone.
5. Learn How To Be Quiet
“Was someone over last night? I heard voices.” I don’t know how, but my parents seem to have ears everywhere. I can be on the opposite side of the house, and yet my mother can still hear my every word, rustle and movement. (And, yes, she asks questions about all of them.) Mom ears + loud sex = not a comfortable combination, so try to keep it down. Trust me, your parents don’t want to hear you orgasm either. Maybe it’s time to buy that ball gag after all?
6. Leave No Trace
My bedroom is directly across from my parents’. Because of this, I often use the guest room down the hall as my boudoir. The room doubles as my mom’s sewing and craft room, so it’s imperative I leave it looking intact after every rendezvous. I always make sure not to ruffle any bed feathers, and I always lay down a towel on the comforter just in case. Hey, things can get messy.
Additionally, don’t forget to take out your trash. Empty condom wrappers are a sure giveaway that some hanky-panky went on. And, if you don’t have your own private bathroom, make sure to put the toilet seat down after a guy leaves, or you risk some unpleasant questioning.
7. Hustle Them Out Early
I don’t know about yours, but my dad gets up at 6 a.m. to go to work. While that’s a great work ethic, it’s not conducive to a one-night-stand lifestyle. My mom wakes up at 8, so this leaves only a small window of opportunity to get a date out of the house. My MO? Kick ‘em out as early as possible. This may be hard to do considering you both probably only got a few hours of sleep, but it is overall vital.
8. Be Respectful
In the end, you live in your parents’ home and not your own, so respect their wishes, and if they have rules, listen. You are inviting a stranger into their house, and it’s only fair to treat your parents’ property with the courtesy you would want them to treat yours. If your parents have a strict rule to not invite people over, man or woman, it’s probably best not to potentially surprise them with a guest. You do still want a roof to live under, right?
Ultimately, you can get around this secrecy. How? Have a mature discussion with your parents about your love life. Your parents aren’t idiots, they know what kids in their 20s and 30s do, so why not be open about it? This sounds difficult, but you may be surprised by what your parents think and have to say. (They were your age once, after all.) And if they aren’t down for you to pound, consider the following two words: car sex.