I have three young children. Therefore it should come as no surprise to any of you that portions of this article were written in the small hours of the morning, squeezed into stolen portions of time under suboptimal circumstances. When you’ve got small kids around your to-do list might as well be a roulette wheel — the odds are stacked against getting any particular item accomplished. But you probably know that already.
What you likely don’t realize is that the whole idea of queer people having kids was thought up by an ultraconservative think tank bent on eradicating the gay lifestyle.
Transcript of said ultraconservative think tank, as recorded in a top-secret location:
CHAIR: Order. Order. I call this meeting to order!
SECRETARY: Sorry I’m late. The twins parallel puked on my suit just as I was leaving.
CHAIR: Can we get down to it? My babysitter phones her long-distance boyfriend if I stay out past 8pm.
SECRETARY: Okay, so the plan to establish homosexual families and thereby put an end to homosexual sex is well underway. A definite rise in the rates of homosexuals who have children has been tracked in most urban centres. Now it’s just a matter of time.
MEMBER 1: No more designer clothes!
MEMBER 2: No more fancy restaurants where they sneer at you if you bring your kids!
MEMBER 3: No more Pride parades, homosexual dance bars or any other activity that runs past naptime!
SECRETARY: And best of all homosexual sex itself will disappear by the year 2012 by which point homosexuals will be dressing in ratty, puke-stained clothes and trapped in sexless marriages, just like us!
It’s a dastardly plan and it’s our duty as homosexuals to thwart it.
So how do we put the gay back in gay parenting? How do we ensure that same-sex parents everywhere are still getting some? I’m not an expert on this by any means, but I do have some ideas.
First, we need to go back to basics. Having sex used to have a fairly short prep list:
1) Find mate
2) Find private/semiprivate area
3) Go to it.
You would think that over the course of the four to five years between when I had kids and when they’ll be ready to be sent to school that I’d be able to find the 15 minutes or so to satisfy these conditions, especially since I already have a mate and we live in the same house. But now that we have kids the prep list is a bit longer:
1) Take a shower. For real this time, not just sticking my head under the kitchen tap
2) Wash some clothing. It’s very, very important that I not smell like puke, sour milk or poop when I’m trying to be sexy
3) Finish eating breakfast. Or lunch. Or dinner. Or any meal, really, that I’ve prepared and then abandoned on plates scattered around the house
4) Find mate — somewhere under all that laundry
5) Find private/semiprivate area. Since we converted our bedroom into a baby playroom this now means a car or maybe a park, back alley or possibly a vacation resort that’s far, far away
6) Catch up on sleep. At which point the vacation is probably over anyway.
So clearly having sex is more complicated than it used to be, but my partner and I figured we were up to the challenge. After all if we gave up on being gay it would mean giving back the toaster oven, for starters, and that’s come in pretty handy.
We tried some of the usual strategies well-meaning folks tout as crucial to restoring your sex life, like the ever-popular “Designate adult time that’s just for you.” The theory goes that once the kids are in bed it’s a time for couples to reconnect as adults. During the day it’s easy for your focus on kids to overwhelm your personal relationship. But at night, or at least between the hours of 7:45pm and 9pm, you should be able to have a real conversation with a human being who is actually capable of articulating complex thoughts.
ME: Hi, honey.
ME: How was your day?
ME: I was hoping to have a conversation that involved complete sentences. And also, possibly, making out.
ME: Good point. I can’t actually find the couch and I was thinking we could lie down together or something.
WIFE: Why don’t we lie down in our bed?
ME: The lost diapers have gone toxic in that room. Combined with all the half-eaten food we leave lying around, I’m worried the bacteria clouds are mutating. We can’t go back in there.
WIFE: Right. Well, I guess necking on the couch will remind us of our fun teen years.
ME: Sure. It’ll be hot.
WIFE: Okay, we just need to clean off all these toys, vacuum the crud off the floor, load the dishwasher, unclog the bath toys out of the toilet, run the laundry and figure out how to get peanut butter out of that light socket before the wiring short-circuits and we’ll have some free time to ourselves. And then we can make out.
WIFE: I’m so tired.
ME: Maybe we could start with you massaging me.
WIFE: Why don’t you massage me instead? I’m exhausted.
ME: No, I’m more tired.
WIFE: No, I’m…. [snoring ensues]
Then there’s the “Make a regular date night together” advice, which will supposedly ensure that you spend quality time with your honey.
ME: Did you get tickets to the drag show? I want to go see Tammy the Ten Foot Drag Queen so I can feel gay again.
WIFE: Um, we can’t. Apparently she’s only booking for children’s parties these days.
ME: Hey, great idea for a theme party! But seriously, let’s go to a lesbian bar and do something explicitly homosexual.
WIFE: Actually, they’ve all closed down and turned into Montessori schools.
ME: Really? Why haven’t we enrolled our kids yet?
WIFE: I did last week, actually. But really, where are we going to go on our date?
ME: I don’t know. Maybe we should stay in and watch a movie instead.
WIFE: I’ve got Dora the Explorer and the Backyardigans to choose from….
ME: You know how I love sing-alongs. That’s still kind of gay, right?
After several less-than-successful at-home date nights we decided it was time for the get-the-hell-out-of-the-house edition. So we headed for a hotel to get some privacy.
We were excited to be out of the house even if it is well after our bedtime. We tried to relax, as if our date wasn’t costing us $55 per minute, what with the babysitter, restaurant, taxi and hotel fees.
WIFE: Wow, there’s a shower in here and it’s been cleaned recently.
ME: A shower? Is it shower day already?
WIFE: We’ll even have time to use soap.
ME: Now you’re talking!
WIFE: This room is so clean! I’ve walked all the way across the room and yet nothing has stuck to my feet.
ME: This is so exciting. Finally a quiet place where we can get naked.
WIFE: I feel pretty naked already without the baby monitor strapped to my body.
ME: And it makes you look hot too. Hey, I think the bedroom is down this hall.
WIFE: Really? A bedroom?
ME: Yup. It’s pretty small, but we can go in and lock the door and not be interrupted.
WIFE: Not… interrupted?
ME: Well, not until 7am when a stranger will wake us up to clean up after us.
WIFE: Cleaning? For us? My fantasy! I’m living my fantasy!
ME: Yeah. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
WIFE: Oh, baby, yes. We’re booked in here for another five hours.
ME: Yup. Five luxurious hours of uninterrupted sleep. And I even get to lie down, instead of dozing against the kitchen counter while the coffee brews.
WIFE: Oh, darling! But the bed seems to have these slight hollows worn into the mattress.
ME: I wonder what caused that? I hear they are sometimes used for… other activities. What were they again?
WIFE: I think it’s sex. Remember that? Hey, we could have sex. I think I remember how.
ME: Let me call the front desk. I think we need to book for the week.