If innocence is the first casualty of war, then free time is the first casualty of fatherhood. And it comes with collateral damage: the loss of good, long sex. This isn’t news. Early parenthood, fantastic as it is, is dirty and demanding and when you’re dealing with mountains of diapers and midnight-wailings, your first thought isn’t exactly Let’s bone! Even when kids are old enough to not require constant supervision, stealing away to test out the mattress springs or doing it in the car are about as rare as sleeping in. That’s why, much like having a lot of stain remover and some quality beer-pairings on hand, the quickie is an essential part of parenthood.
Quickies have a weird rap. Sneaking away for 10 minutes to bang in a closet or bathroom is considered the exclusive territory of horny coeds, entirely too obvious couples at office holiday parties, and thinly drawn rom-com characters. They’re also notoriously unsexy. But, executed correctly, the quickie offers a much-needed opportunity to relieve stress, strengthen a relationship, and get off at a time when intimacy, connection, and, well, time, are luxuries. And sometimes that’s exactly what busy parents need. Here are some things to keep in mind.
Lay the Ground Work
Despite the name, quickies take time. First off, they only really work when you have a knowledge of your partner’s body — what makes them roll their eyes back, what makes them just roll their eyes. Secondly, you’ve got to spend time talking it out. Communication not only primes the pump, but, per sex educator Yana Tallon-Hicks, it also helps you and your partner become a sex special-ops team, able to parachute in, deploy, and exit with tactical precision. But instead of standing over a map and pushing pieces on the board like some large-mustached World War II general, you’re plotting out free time and securing an area for a session.
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Talk It Out
Voicing your turn-ons is necessary in any relationship. In the busy, often unsexy world of parenting, where kids, vomit, poo, and sobbing are regularly on the menu? It’s even more so. So don’t keep your desires secret and tell your partner when they do something that turns you on. “Whisper something dirty in their ear and the kids aren’t going to hear it or care,” says Tallon-Hicks. If you’re worried about kids picking up on your X-rated chatter, send videos, GIFs, or some artfully chosen eggplant and peach emojis.
Find a Location
The quickie is sex on the clock and always more fun in an impromptu place. Here, a few parents weigh in on their favorite locations.
“It’s way hotter and more fun than the bedroom. Maybe it’s because you don’t feel lazy if you leave some clothes on. Plus, there’s water for quick cleanups and that nice noisy fan.”
— Mom from Vermont, name withheld
“When our kid has a piano lesson or playdate, it’s the most ideal. When we have the chance, we drive off somewhere and park for 15 minutes.
— Greg H., Atlanta
“The kitchen countertop is the perfect height for us to get down to business; plus, when we’re done it just takes a few swipes of a Clorox wipe on the counter.”
— Jaime L., Seattle
The Laundry Room
“The machines are the perfect height for multiple positions and its vibrations muffle the noise and add to the excitement.
— Mom from New Jersey, name withheld
Don’t Waste Any Time
The quickie is not regular sex and shouldn’t be treated as such. There’s little time for your regular moves, and casual foreplay is out the door. Basically: You need to know what’s up and just do the damn thing. Get those game faces on. If you know your partner likes a certain lick, squeeze, or finger just like that, do it. You’ve built up years of sexual currency; now’s the time to cash it in.
Related: Study Reveals ‘Pphubbing’ as the Newest Screen-Based Relationship Killer
Mix It Up
No, you’re not going to run through the Kama Sutra in a few minutes. And while this may seem like a crisis, it’s really an opportunity. You might not have penetrative sex in multiple positions. But if you get your sexual priorities straight you can get the job done. “If a quickie to you is mutual masturbation in the kitchen, that’s fine,” Tallon-Hicks says. “That’s the best situation you can think of and that’s effective, great.”
Accept the Inevitable
Because the best get-laid plans are often like the best-laid plans, things will go wrong. You’ll fumble, fall, squeal, and laugh. Counters won’t be as high, closets will have sharp corners, and you’ll realize that cars have stick shifts. And, no matter how many episodes of Daniel Tiger you’ve queued up, the kids might come in. Accept all of this as part of the fun. And, if the kids do come in, act accordingly.
The dirty secret about the quickie is that it’s not so dirty at all. It’s a way for time-strapped people to enjoy an intimate moment together. It’s sex, made efficient. And sometimes that’s just what everyone needs.