Should Dogs Be Allowed in the Bedroom During Sex?
YES, Why Dogs in Bedrooms Can Be OK
Being a pet owner has its perks—loyal companionship, constant affection, and even your own personal bodyguard sometimes. One thing is for sure our furry friend loves being close to us, and the sleeping area is no exception. This is great until you are trying to get it on with that special someone. Prudishness about sexual intercourse, like the wheel, is an entirely human invention. Dogs don't care if you're having sex, so why bother about whether the dog is in the room while you're doing it?
Daniel Caughill, founder of pet-care site the Dog Tale, agreed: "Your dog isn't judging you. If they were, they wouldn't be so cavalier when humping other dogs at the dog park—or their stuffed toys, your mother-in-law's leg, your couch cushion. Even if the dog has any awareness of what you're doing, they probably don't care."
Animation by Frida Bejarano
At most, your pooch will be mildly curious or will take your sounds of, um, enthusiasm, as an invitation to add their voice to the mix. And while that might be annoying momentarily, it's less annoying than having to go through the entire production of ushering your dog out of the room, giving them a treat to keep them quiet, and then scurrying back to make sure the bedroom door is shut securely every time you want to get intimate. Half the fun of sex is in its spontaneity, and interrupting foreplay to drag your pet to the dog's bed or to its crate is no fun for anyone—least of all the dog.
It's true some dogs may misinterpret the sensations of intimacy—the heavy breathing, vigorous movements, strangled cries and so on—as a threat to their owner's person.
"Some pets can get riled up by the sounds they hear and the intimacy they witness," said Brandon Werber, founder of Airvet, an online animal service. "If the pet, for example, is very protective of their pet parent, they may see the sexual advances as a threat to their human and try to intervene."
Even if that is the case, shutting your pup out of the room probably won't help: They'll just bark and whine at the bedroom door.
Everyone knows that part of being a dog owner is engaging in the occasional battle of wills with your pup in order to "Show Them Who's Boss," so you may as well tough out those first few awkward encounters until sex loses its novelty and your dog settles down. Once they get used to the fact that you are not, in fact, being accosted, they'll calm down and learn to sleep through it.
Just maybe don't let them onto the bed. That's weird.
Dogs in the bedroom, yes. Dog on the bed, no.
There are many occasions when dogs belong in the bedroom—sleeping peacefully between you and your partner, waking you in the morning with a wet nose in the face—but sex is not one of them. The last thing you want when you're trying to have sex is another creature in the room demanding the same attention that you're trying to lavish on your partner.
"It's super-distracting—you've got a dog looking, and licking and sniffing, when you're trying to be in the moment," said Kyle Zrenchik, a sex and couples therapist and co-founder of All In Therapy Clinic in Minnetonka, Minnesota. "When it comes to being erotic, your primary focus needs to be on your senses. Anything that takes your mind out of that space, where you start worrying about something else, like the dog scratching at the bed, is really going to interrupt your mood."
This is especially true if you already struggle with sexual anxiety or performance issues, which tend to worsen with the addition of onlookers, canine or otherwise.
The last thing you want when you're trying to have sex is another creature in the room demanding the same attention that you're trying to lavish on your partner.
Nothing could be worse than riding the wave of an oncoming orgasm only to have it interrupted by a wet and curious nose. Dogs take up both physical and mental space in a situation where you should feel uninhibited. This goes double if you're with someone new. First-time sexual encounters are fraught enough without adding a third party to the mix—because whatever veterinarians might claim about dogs being indifferent to sex, those of us who have had the postcoital afterglow ruined by their judgmental sniffs know better.
Better to shut the dog out of the room and focus all your attention on your partner. Even if most dogs will probably just nap in the corner, Caughill said, very defensive or excitable dogs are going to get riled up by any kind of commotion.
Try tossing them a bone or a treat (out in the hall or in the dog crate or in another room) that will keep them occupied for a while—preferably before you start unbuttoning and stripping down, so you don't have to interrupt foreplay to cater to your curious hound.
As Zrenchik said, "if you and your dog are so entangled with each other that you can't let the dog be out of your sight for more than five minutes while you're trying to get busy, then you're probably not devoting enough of your attention to your partner anyway."