As one woman admits to sex sessions while her two-year-old sleeps, another says on This Morning it’s ‘verging on child abuse’
A recent study revealed that a third of Swedish women have sex while their child sleeps in the same bed.
Today, one woman who has regularly done just that appeared on This Morning to defend her stance against another who believes such behaviour is ‘verging on child abuse.’
Mother of two Lynnea Shrief admits that she has had sex with her husband while their baby was in the bed, confessing to hiding her ‘squeals of delight’ with a pillow.
Journalist Sonia Poulten, on the other hand, says to make love while a child is in the same room is ‘disgusting’.
‘I co-slept with both my children and breastfed them until they were between nine and 12 months,’ Lynnea said on the ITV breakfast chat show today. ‘If the baby woke up I would roll over and breastfeed, and then go back to sleep.
‘Occasionally if my husband and I felt like kissing or making love, we did it. It would always be an intimate and passionate act. It wasn’t this noisy, wild act of sex that I think some people are imagining.
‘It was a very calm and loving, natural thing – especially given that there was a baby in the room.’
Presenter Holly Willoughby pointed out that the couple could have gone downstairs, or to the bathroom, but Lynnea defended her position.
‘Sex is important. It’s my bedroom, it’s my bed,’ she said. ‘I deserve to make love to my husband in the very bed my baby was created in.’
Lynnea went on to say that when she and her husband made love, it would be on the other side of the bed to the child, when the baby was fast asleep and ‘had no knowledge of it whatsoever.’
But Sonia Poulten believes that even a sleeping baby can be affected by their parents making love in the same room.
‘The only time you should mix a child with sex is when you are creating them,’ she said today.
‘People automatically assume if you have issues with such things that you are uptight about sex, some sort of Victorian throwback cultural issue. It isn’t that at all.
‘My gut instinct just says ‘”this isn’t okay,”‘ she added.
Sonia went on to say she had looked through numerous casebooks of children of two or older who had been damaged by witnessing their parents make love.
‘I know a woman my age whose first memory is of hearing her parents having sex in the next room,’ she says.
‘She thought at the time that her father was killing her mother. She is disturbed by it to this day.’
Lynnea points out to Sonia that she and her husband only had sex while their child was soundly sleeping – but Sonia says in that instance, ‘vibrations’ become the enemy.
‘There are issues with the vibrations,’ Sonia says. ‘The vibration and rocking that the children can feel.
‘I’m of the attitude that children are like sponges – they soak things up.
‘That’s not to take anything away from the lovemaking, that is a wonderful thing,’ she said. ‘But it’s an adult thing.’
That’s hogwash,’ Lynnea says. ‘There are all sorts of toys available out there which rock and vibrate our children so we can finish doing the washing up. The vibrations do no harm.’
But Sonia disagrees, commenting that it is not just the vibrations that are the problem. It is the ‘human moaning and groaning that goes with it.’
‘I don’t moan and groan my way through my lovemaking,’ Lynnea says. ‘It’s a peaceful and calm moment.’
Holly interjects to ask Sonia how having sex when your four week old baby is sleeping in the same room differs from the potentially rampant lovemaking some women enjoy when they are nine months pregnant.
‘That is in utero, it’s different,’ she says. ‘There are issues with boundaries here. We are dealing with a highly sexualised society.
‘People use the argument that in some cultures it’s seen as okay, or that going back centuries in this country we have shared rooms with our babies.
‘But hundreds of years ago, men used to club women over the head and drag them back to their caves. We have evolved and moved on in many respects.’
Lynnea replies that for her, a loving family where a couple ‘enjoys each other’ and makes love frequently near their sleeping baby is a healthier environment for a child than, for instance, a family that screams and shouts when their child is awake – something that is seemingly less controversial in our society.
‘When you are making love to your partner, there are high levels of oxytocin in the room that will benefit the baby,’ she says.
‘And you have to be a tiny bit selfish as a mother. You have to keep your relationship going for the sake of your family.’
‘It’s a positive loving event happening next to them when they’re asleep.’
But Sonia is not convinced. ‘I don’t understand this need to involve children in your sex life,’ she goes on.
‘They are not involved,’ says Lynnea. ‘There is no participation whatsoever.’
Sonia disagrees, saying such behaviour is ‘frightening’ for the child. ‘They don’t know why they are scared. They can’t articulate what’s going into their heads. They can’t express themselves,’ she says.
Presenter Philip Schofield points out that along with the 33 per cent of Swedish families who admitted to doing this, in a separate study, 59 per cent of American mothers admitted to having sex while their baby was in the same room.
‘That would mean an awful lot of messed up children, wouldn’t it?’ he asks. ‘Do you really think that it is, as you said, “verging on child abuse”?’
‘Well it doesn’t seem right to me,’ says Sonia.
‘That’s very different from saying it is verging on abuse,’ Philip points out.
”Well, I do think it is verging on child abuse,’ she decides. ‘I wouldn’t do it with you in the room. Sex shouldn’t be a spectator sport.’
‘But the baby is asleep,’ Lynnea says.
‘Baby is still present,’ Sonia says. ‘You ask people – the gut instinct is that it’s not right.
‘What is that very basic instinct that says these two things should be absolutely separate and never the twain shall meet?’
Lynnea answers definitively that the difference is ‘cultural’. ‘It’s about where you are in the world,’ Lynnea says.
‘It must be, says Sonia, pointing out that she wouldn’t be able to get ‘turned on’ with her baby in the room. ‘And I’ve never only met one person in my life who has done it, so I’d like to know where this 59 per cent of people.’