What's your secret code word for sex?

When one word says so much more.

“Alison, let’s go over the paper work for our home renovations,” suggested my husband last Saturday afternoon.

“Guys, you can watch TV while dad and I sort out some paper work. We’re in the bedroom. Don’t disturb us!” I told the kids who whooped with delight.

No, he didn’t need to use air quotes when he said paper work.

No, he didn’t have to resort to a wink-wink, nudge-nudge.

‘Paper work’ has always been our code word for sex.

Gotta hand it to me, I'm the best contraceptive. Image via iStock.

Not ‘night sex’ after the kids have been tucked into bed. Not 'safe sex’ when the children are at a friend's place.  Not 'it's-date-night-so-we-better-have-sex' sex.

But spontaneous sex in broad daylight. (Well, not literally.) I'm taking about getting jiggy when your children are around the house and in your face.

You know how it is: when the kids come along, getting amorous becomes an 'after-hours' activity. The mere thought of indulging in some afternoon delight is sure to make the kids come knock-knock-knocking on the bedroom door, mid-act. Ah, children, they’re natural contraceptives.

So all you DINKS, take note: bringing sexy back into a marriage after having kids takes ingenuity. It's a covert operation involving spy tactics, signals and code words. Lots of code words.

You can't suggestively ask your partner, "Do you wanna do it?" because the fruit of your loins are always within earshot. Always. Hell, with both of our kids in school now, we can't even spell S-E-X out loud.

Enter stage left, our special code word: ‘paper work’. The kids think it's something borrrrring that we adults do sequestered in our bedroom. They love it when we do ‘paper work’ because they get control over the remote control for the next hour (give or take 20 minutes). For us, the mere thought of doing something risqué brings a frisson of excitement into the bedroom. Win-win!

"Honey, want to give me a hand with this paperwork?"

Turns out, we're not the only ones. A recent dinner party conversation revealed that heaps of our friends have their own secret code for sexy time.


One couple uses ‘headaches’ as their special word. "Mummy's got a splitting ‘headache’ and needs to have a little lie down," explains the Daddy to their kiddiewinks. (I wonder what they think dad's doing in the room all that time?)

Another couple tells the kids they're busy working from home and cannot be disturbed – unless the house is burning down.

An old school friend calls it 'hanky'. Her kids think it's short for an old-fashioned handkerchief; her partner and she know it's time for hanky-panky.

Others use silly words like ‘thingamajig’ or ‘socks’ or ‘gelato’. One of my besties calls it 'cookie'. Yes, a contortion of the word 'quickie'! So she might ask her partner, "Want a cookie?" (No prizes for guessing the answer is always yes.) Remind me never to go over to their place for afternoon tea.

Did you say 'cookie' or 'quickie'?

But I think we're living on borrowed sexy time... After we had done the deed on Saturday, our son thoughtfully suggested, "You took really long with your paper work today. I am learning to read and write in school now. Do you want me to help with your paper work the next time?"

"NOOOOOO!" yelled my husband and me in unison.

We need to come up with another code word, stat. Any suggestions?

Do you and your partner have a code word for sex? C'mon, tell us! 

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