5 Free, Sexy, Fun, Stay-at-Home Dates for Tired Parents

Ariel Swift

Before I sat down to write this, I asked my husband for five ideas for stay-at-home dates. And he legit held up his fingers and said, “Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Xfinity, and, um…sex?”

To be fair, I don’t think he’s wrong, but that may not feel very different than a normal night after the kids are in bed. What if you are looking for a connection but don’t have the time, energy, or money to go out?

Here are five easy and cheap date night ideas that don’t require you to leave your house, or even put on pants!

1. Share your memories of the first time you had a consensual intimate encounter

Hear me out. Being vulnerable in this way with each other is a hard and possibly hilarious exercise. It’s nostalgic. It’s captivating. And you may not have ever talked about it before, even if you're still with the person you are remembering! But letting your partner into your mental space for such a personal moment has the potential to get oxytocin flowing, either through trust building or laughter! It’s not a competition, and most likely it wasn’t a perfect experience.

Perhaps surprisingly, couples don’t always talk about their own sexual experiences. There may be hints, or signals, or an occasional, “We’re good, right?” But making the topic the center of attention can bring you closer together, and maybe even loosen up the tongue to discuss other sexual preferences or desires that have never come up before.

2. Throw things at each other

If you’ve never made popcorn and tried to throw it in your partner’s mouth from across the table, I hope this shoots to the top of your to-do list. If you don’t have popcorn, maybe grapes, or M&Ms (but you might want to brush up on your airway obstruction techniques for those!). Making a sport out of snacking combines team building, drama, and silliness – a trifecta of fun to bring you closer together.

3. Tipsy Twister

Bust out the board games or Dance Dance Revolution (be sure to stretch first). Physically maneuvering your bodies to music or around each other means you’ll get a boost of endorphins from the activity, and for many, you will share a playful moment that helps loosen those iron grips of resentment and contempt that can build up with endless chores, misunderstandings, and day-to-day stress. If you are the type of folks to enjoy a glass of wine or a beer, adding a little bit of alcoholic lubrication to the activity may also help wear down the hesitation to engage in this. But really, being with a person who is willing to demonstrate why they will never be a Janet Jackson back-up dancer is endearing.

4. Meme-off

For those who just don’t want to put down their phones, I suggest a meme-off. Searching and sending memes to each other with the goal of making the other person laugh is downright hysterical. And when that’s done, look up dad jokes verses on YouTube and laugh some more hearing semi-famous people spitting jokes back and forth. Sharing humor together is a direct link to building connection and trust, and you’ll both benefit from the side effects of all those hormones surging through your body. Reduce stress and encourage connection when you add laughter to your evening together.

5. Get Handsy

Western cultures are severely touch deprived. We rarely hug or embrace people we know, and almost never touch strangers. Touch is essential to mental and physical health. So when you’re with your partner, take some time to be intentionally physically connected. Rub each other’s back. Hug each other. Or just ask where they would like to be touched and how. If all that feels awkward, put on some music and slow dance. Snuggle on the couch or bed. Maybe grab body oils and do a full on rub down. When you and your partner help each other feel good through touch, it is good medicine and great mojo. As long as you are checking in and making sure your touch is still appreciated and consensual (yes, that is necessary even with your partner), you can explore with gusto. There is no better way to connect with your romantic partner than to pay careful physical and mental attention to them for an evening.

These are as many fun ideas for date nights in as there are couples. These are a few of mine; what are yours?

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