My husband and I were getting snappy with each other, never a good sign. I ran through the possible reasons in my head: Tired? Always. Ill? Nope. Hungry? Sort of. Wait, that’s not hunger I’m feeling, but it does seem familiar.
Yes, that’s it! But wait didn’t we just… nope that was last week. I see my husband looking at me like a Snickers bar as he says the magic words: We need to Fold Laundry.
That’s our special “it’s time to be alone with each other, no kids, no pets,” sex-code. Clothing optional.
Is that the signal?
Getting remarried with boys who were ages three and seven along with visiting teenage step daughters, we had a challenge in the love life department. When our sons hit middle school, they were grossed out by even the simplest public display of affection, let alone the idea of us doing something more! Even a kiss between us would elicit an “Oh sick!” to which my husband replied, “It’s okay we have a license.”
We needed to develop a way to communicate our desires to one another preferably without the kids knowing. What could be our sex-code signal?
Dance the Horizontal Mambo? No, too obvious. Watch a movie? Nope, the kids would want to join us. It had to be something the kids would never want to do. Of course! They hate to fold laundry! From then on, our go to sex-code signal was always “Fold Laundry“.
Our kids still wonder why we smile when suggesting such a chore to our mate!
What’s Your Signal?
How do you let your spouse know you’re interested? What’s your sex-code or signal? Recently my Yer Mom’s Comedy Show comedian moms had a fun discussion on sex-code signals with our spouses. I also asked several other moms and whether it was folding laundry, shenanigans, doing taxes, wrestling, doing the dishes, baking chicken, pineapple flowers, or nonverbal-over-exaggerated wink the message was clear— “Let’s get busy!”
A sex-code is also important to avoid sending mixed signals! When I hug, kiss, or snuggle with my husband, I’m not necessarily looking for anything more, so the code word keeps us on the same page.
Find the time
There is an interesting commercial on TV. It opens with parents of a teenager anxiously watching their son lace up his running shoes while they prep a meal in the kitchen. As he leaves we see a stopwatch start, the parents make eye contact, then a closeup of playful dolphins. Upon returning from his run the son finds his parents back in the kitchen with large smiles on their glowing faces. The message from KY “make the most of a few minutes” was obviously written by a smart parent.
Ten tips for keeping your marriage hot!
1. Come up with a good sex-code
It should be something the kids will NEVER want to do! A code word is also important to avoid sending mixed signals!
2. Avoid the rut of same day same place—change things up!
Try different days & times, new places: bathtub, spare room, anywhere with a door if the kids are home, and get creative if they’re not!
3. Get a Lock!
Speaking of doors get a good lock on your bedroom door that neither kids or pets can open. (We have a very smart cat!)
4. Saturday Showers
We told our kids we’re “helping to save the planet by conserving water” by showering together. When done showering leave the cold water running for extra fun time!
5. Don’t helicopter if you don’t have to!
While kids are in a supervised activity go enjoy each other. Quick can be fun!
Switch off sleepover nights with a friend for a monthly date night of freedom.
7. Don’t Rush
For those extended evenings of fun, take your time, be romantic, bubble bath with wine, lotion and massage, the works with no rushing!
Lunch is the perfect time of the day—you’re not too tired, the kids are in school, and it adds an element of excitement with its spontaneity.
Remind relatives how much they enjoy having the kids for the weekend!
10. For the Divorced
In families of divorce, keep in mind visitation= couple time! During the summer, we had six whole weeks without kids, free from responsibilities until we got a puppy.
Sometimes moms turn the sexual part of ourselves off while we take care of the world. When we do have a moment, we think of a bath or sleep as our basic need, but nothing could be further from the truth. While sex may put our partners to sleep, it energizes us or at least it does me. Sex strengthens the love bond between us, we’re kinder and more affectionate for days afterwards, and I’m much more patient with everyone.
Who knew “folding laundry” could make a mom so happy?
This post was originally written in 2020 and has been updated in 2023.