Sex File: Our son has moved home and we miss our sexy empty nest 

Sex File: Our son has moved home and we miss our sexy empty nest 

My husband and I were sad when our grown-up son flew the nest, but I have to say it was a boost for our relationship – especially our sex life. We were naked a lot more often. Now our son has lost his job and moved home, it has ruined things a bit and we can’t be spontaneously romantic around the house. What can we do?

Although sexual frequency declines with age, couples who are in loving, longstanding relationships often find that the sex they do have actually improves. When the psychologist Miriam Forbes at the University of Minnesota analysed patterns in data collected from more than 6,000 people who had been followed over a period of 18 years, she found that as people got older, they placed much more emphasis on the quality rather than the quantity of their sexual encounters.

Other research by Dr Holly Thomas at the University of Pittsburgh found that, despite having less sex, older women have a better understanding of how their bodies work, and because they are more self-confident, they are better at communicating their sexual needs. This enhances sex for both partners. This is true for females of any age, but when adult children leave home, the opportunity to have a second honeymoon in an empty nest is a real bonus.

Unfortunately, privacy has been an unforeseen casualty of the pandemic, whether that’s with flatmates, small children or for the parents of boomeranging adult children. It has, inevitably, put the dampers on many a midlife sexual awakening. It’s understandable that you have prioritised your son’s needs over your own, but in doing so, you have nipped something rather wonderful in the bud.

Young people can’t stand the idea that old people still have sex – or even snog. Particularly their parents. 

The good news is that, with a little creativity, you can actually turn your situation into a sexual incentive. In the same way that being told not to think about a white polar bear ensures that you can’t get them out of your head, feeling that you are not allowed to have sex is a sure-fire way to make yourselves want it even more.

So no, you can’t be freely naked around the house, or pop to the bedroo

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