Thanksgiving Misgivings

DEAR LADY A: My question is Thanksgiving based, but it could apply to any major holiday.

My partner and I have been together for almost half a year. We’re committed, in love and best of all still in that honeymoon-can’t-keep-our-hands-off-each-other period. I got invited to my mom’s house for the big turkey day feast, so come Thursday we’re trekking from Chicago to the Michigan ‘burbs to spend three days with my family including my sweet, little ‘Precious Moments’ ornament-collecting, and church going mom. She totally accepts me and understands that gay is not “a choice,” but I don’t know about the rest of the congregation if you know what I mean. My whole family likes my boyfriend, and since we’re the opposite of closeted, I thought we’d be acting like a normal couple, but he just informed me that he’s weirded out by the idea of being sexually active around my mom and her big-eyed religious figurines, and that there will be no hanky-panky at all at my moms house.

Nothing at all for three whole days.

Now, I’ve never gone three days with him without having an orgasm and I don’t intend to start now. Or to put it a different way, I thought I’d get my buns buttered and my turkey basted but it seems the most I can look forward to is pulling my own wishbone. At this point, I’m not sure he’ll even sleep in the same bed with me while we’re there! Am I wrong to think that we’re all adults here, we’re not sitting at the kids table anymore and we should act like the couple we are?

— Angstgiving

DEAR ANGSTY KITTEN: I think you may both have a point. You don’t belong at the kids table and your mother and the rest of the family must be ready to acknowledge that fact, plus your relationship, plus all the things adult relationships include, like sleeping in the same bed together. But your guy’s Thanksgiving misgivings are also correct because mature relationships have dignity; propriety concordant with the circumstances of each situation as it comes, not in spite of it. Respectable grown ups act differently at mom’s house than they would at their own, and a pull-out sofa bed in your parents’ den, for instance, is actually not an appropriate place to get your butterballs basted.

Not that I’m saying sex is necessarily a no-no. Aside from your boyfriend’s comfort level, it really depends on your specific homecoming (or should I say “homecumming?”) circumstances.

Do you have your own guest bedroom with a lock? Or are you camping out in a common area through which dad must walk to get to his morning coffee? The key to having adult people sex in your childhood home is discretion. If your guy can trust you to forego the whips and leather; keep it in a bedroom with the door locked; and, of course, mute your grunty noises, he might be more amenable to a turkey day dalliance. But if you’re unwilling to admit that your coupledom does not technically afford you the right to fuck whenever and wherever you choose, including up against mom’s prized creepy pastel baby figurine case, then well, I guarantee your long holiday weekend will culminate in an even longer holiday-themed argument. And probably many more nights than just the three, spent orgasm-free. So, if just to spare yourself the grief, put his needs before yours. Even if that means rubbing one out solo in the shower every morning. You know, like you did when you were still living with mom and dad.

One thing I do know for sure, is you won’t get anywhere goading your boyfriend, touching him inappropriately in front of people, or whining about your low orgasm tally. As any long term partner should be, he’s uncomfortable pushing boundaries at your mom’s house. He wants to make a good impression on the woman who brings orange slices to the Sunday school class, and that’s good news for you because it means he’s serious about this relationship. And since you’re just as committed to a future with him, you really should respect his wish to impress her in the long term. If you’ve got the private room and the lock and the promise to keep quiet and the respect and he still doesn’t want to have sex in your mom’s house, tell him he’s right and let the issue drop. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun.

Three days is a long time to wait to get your cavity stuffed, I’ll admit. Tell mom you need to give your future husband a tour of the town, drive him to the makeout place you had when you were a teenager (you know you had one), and give him a tour of your underpants. The next day, take him “out to lunch,” stop at a cheap hotel and sample his dark meat. In other words, if you want to get laid, simply leave the house! You don’t have to take your family with you on a date, you’re under no obligation to justify going somewhere, and you don’t have to describe what you’re up to every minute of the day. That’s the best thing about no longer sitting at the kids table: You are no longer a kid.

Now, be the grown up man that you are. Do what it takes to make your partner feel welcomed in your family, fuck him discreetly like a civilized gentleman, and don’t let your mom walk in on you getting your cranberries sauced in the living room. Because it’s just not the precious moment any mother wants immortalized through creepy pastel baby figurines or unspeakable carpet stains.

And now, a note to all my kittenreaders. It’s that stressful, guilty, depressed and desperate time of year again (someone should write THAT in a carol). The holidays are tough for many people in the LGBTQ community. Money is tight, people get lonely, dealing with family (or a lack thereof) can be hell. But I want you to know that I am here for you, I’m listening, I care. And with every question and comment I receive, I am honored to see firsthand how diverse, kind, fierce and truly special our rainbow community is. I respect, approve of and love you all, exactly as you are. And most importantly, I am always working to get you laid. Never forget. Laid.

Happy Thanksgiving, kittens.

What do you think?

About Lady A

Lady A is a relationship and sex columnist for OpusChicago. Her blog is Have a question? Send it to or tweet @dearladya.