Help! My roommate is SUPER loud while doin’ it

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“Shut up” sleep mask, courtesy of Etsy seller AnAcornAndAThimble
My roommate keeps having loud crazy monkey sex when I’m wide awake and in the next room. She’s like really LOUD. The cats wig out. She doesn’t even bother to turn on music! While I’m very happy for her that she’s found someone she’s so into… I just want to chill out and catch up on Hulu in peace. So I find it extremely obnoxious.

One friend said I just need to get better headphones, and another friend said that she is being totally inconsiderate, and that there are rules with the roommate-having while boning.

Are there rules? What are the rules? How does everyone else deal with this issue? -megglesworth

Homies with roommates, living in dorm rooms, or with multiple partners: how do you approach each other about keeping it down while you’re getting down?

Comments on Help! My roommate is SUPER loud while doin’ it

  1. Well, coming from the other side of the issue: I was once in a LDR, and my partner would visit my apartment once every other month. I lived with 2 room mates at the time, and my bedroom door was right by the living room. My one (actually very social) room mate had a habit of sitting in the living room for HOURS at a time when my partner would visit, even though other weekends she would spend entirely out with other friends. I gave her space when she had a “special friend” over to play, so I could never figure out why she wouldn’t leave the apartment and essentially sit right outside my bedroom door. So… one day we just banged against the door. I am not the best room mate!

    So I guess the point of this story is… how frequently is this happening? I don’t think leaving for a couple hours every 2 months was too much to ask. But I would be very annoyed if this was happening on weeknights before I had to work early or if it was happening almost every night.

    And maybe you could just send her this article as the passive-aggressive option:

  2. I’m thinking the best thing to do here is communicate. You can’t force her to be quiet obviously, but you live there and pay rent too, so you should have the right to be comfortable in your home (as should she). Sit her down, tell her how you’ve been affected by the activities in the apartment (use lots of I statements), and discuss ways to work out the situation. Perhaps she can be quiet when you’re home. Perhaps you can agree to be out of the house for two hours at a time a few times a week so she can enjoy the apartment and her partner. Try to find a solution that gets you both what you need/want at least some of the time, and make sure she knows you’re not angry or judging her. This is a pretty normal roommate discussion to have, though it’s more awkward than who does the dishes. And better headphones can’t hurt 🙂

  3. A conversation about this with her is definitely worth having.

    I fall pretty firmly into the “better headphones” camp here. A big part of my enjoyment of sex comes from good noises, so toning it down to make someone else more comfortable would be a big turn off for me. “I have really loud, porn-star sex” is a disclaimer I make up front with all of my potential roommates, though–too bad you’re finding this out the hard way, rather than having your expectations set in advance.

    If you want, ask your roommate to chip in for a very nice pair. 😉

  4. I’m loud, and proud. As a loud partner I’m not going to curb my sounds, but we do try not to get freaky late at night or early in the morning. So we don’t wake people up. I’m also open about my loudness my friends know they can tease me about it because it’s no different than if I had a twitch. I can’t help it. Part of my breathing/loudness actually helps me climax. If sex sounds wig you out perhaps communal living isn’t for you? I’d say if you have another room you can go into then put as much space between you and them, or go for a walk. Unless you share an actual bedroom with only a tapestry between you and them, moving at the end of the lease might be a good alternative.

    • Actually, I would say if you feel the need to be incredibly loud, then perhaps communal living isn’t for YOU. I like to be loud, but knowing how uncomfortable that makes others, I would tone it down when I lived with others, and as soon as I could afford it, I moved into my own place. It surprises me how much people are saying that the responsibility falls onto the person being made uncomfortable here. I think a conversation with the offending person is totally appropriate, and they should be respectful. Occasional loud sex is to be expected when you live with others, but so, also, is respect.

      • Well, this is part of the push/pull of communal living, right? If you have to live with a roommate you’re not banging, you should be able to navigate the awkward moments of cohabitation without the equivalent of a scorched earth agreement (“One of us needs to move out.”)

        This is awkward and inconvenient to talk about, but no more morally weighted than if someone had stinky poop. No one’s doing anything wrong here–it’s just a set of mismatched behaviors. I would argue that an aspect of disrespect or inconsideration would enter this relationship only after the OP had talked to her roommate and her roommate hadn’t been receptive, or had been unwilling to make some adjustments, or had made an agreement and later broken it.

        As a more general commentary: I’m not reading a lot of sex positivity on this thread, which I find kind of disappointing. We’re all adults–we should be able to talk and make agreements about the kind of sex we have, and when, without getting all shamey about it.

        • I don’t think the poo analogy fits. You can’t do anything about poo smell (or very little), you can control your outbursts.

          I never said she shouldn’t talk about it, I absolutely said a conversation needed to happen. I do, however, think that it is already an act of disrespect. I’m not saying people “should” be quiet, or trying to shame anyone’s kind of sex that they have. I’m saying people should make an effort to be aware of the impact that ANY of their behaviour has on others. I see this as no different to having your stereo up really loud all the time, or making loud grunty noises while on the toilet. As an adult, you shouldn’t need to wait for someone to point out that maybe your behaviour is a little inappropriate before you think about moderating it.

        • Its not about shaming its about living with people who have solid boundaries. Who wants to live in the middle of a sex party? The more space you take up, the more you pay. Get your own damn apartment to give your body what it really needs. The more roommates you have, the more money you $ave or $$$ you may not have access to- the less SPACE you should feel ENTITLED TO TAKE. I never heard my parents have sex, and they were actively in love. The older I get, the more I think that my family were the best housemates I ever had. Fuck Americas entitled upper middle class attitude!

      • The bigger issue is that if you can’t talk to your roommate about sex how can you talk about other issues that come up? Dishes, laundry schedules, TV schedules. I’m the friend that everyone talks to about sex so I guess it’s been easier for them to talk to me about the sex I was having. I’ve lived with roommates in different situations. The only time any issues come up is when we didn’t talk about them as soon as it was a problem. For me at least, I just bottle my annoyances until I explode.

        I don’t think that someone should live with someone that they can’t talk to. Going into a conversation about someone’s sexual habits is not the same as asking them to do their dishes within 72 hours. Expecting someone to change how they orgasm because of how it makes you (their non partner) feel is unreasonable.

  5. If she’s doing it while you’re awake, I say she’s doing her part in the ‘be considerate’ roommate sex tango. Monkey sex in the middle of the night is one thing, but if it’s the daytime, yeah, you just need better headphones.

    • I actually totally agree here. If she’s waking you up in the middle of the night, then she’s definitely gotten into inconsiderate asshole territory (and I say this as an inconsiderate asshole who does exactly this a couple times a month…)
      You can talk to her about it–there’s a chance she either doesn’t realize how loud she is, or doesn’t realize it’s bugging you–but I feel like you need to come to the table with a clear idea of a compromise, including what you’re willing to give up to accommodate her a little. You’re not wrong for wanting peace in your apartment, but you also need to appreciate that she’s almost certainly not ruining your day intentionally. Don’t let resentment build about this! Get it out on the table, and find a solution that works for both of you.
      If it’s really freaking the cats out to the point of possible harm–my cat runs into walls when she’s truly freaked out–that’s worth bringing up.

  6. I fear that I’ve been the “loud sex” roommate in the past… the last time I had roommates who weren’t my manfriend, he and I were still in the long distance phase of our relationship. When we saw each other once a month or so, we had loud, enthusiastic sex. But I don’t know if it bothered my roommates, because they never told me! So, I think communication is the way to go here. It’s embarrassing for sure, but I bet your roommate would be glad to know so she can try and do something about it.

  7. It doesn’t sound like she’s keeping you awake or preventing you from doing anything other than watching Hulu in peace. Honestly, it sounds like you’re asking your roommate to stop doing what she wants so you can do what you want, which isn’t really fair to her. I mean, how long can this sex possibly last, an hour at most? I’m absolutely in the camp that says you need to suck it up. Your hulu watching is so much less of a basic need than a good sex life.

  8. No advice, just sympathy. While I was still living with my parents I would spend weekends at my partner’s place. he had a roommate who not only was loud, but had a terrible bed (an old “youth hostel dorm style” metal twin, and they were a big boy and a big girl) that would make a lot of noises, too.
    they woke us up at night, sometimes several times a night. Asking him to be quieter, be more considerate of times or get a better bed didn’t help.
    I can understand that for someone being loud is part of the enjoyment, but I still don’t think it’s fine and dandy to invade the whole house with sex noises.
    Sex for a lot of people is a private thing, forcing someone who isn’t willing to listen is really not ok, just like it wouldn’t be ok forcing someone to watch porn.
    For me, it really killed my sex drive.

    • I would agree with you. Sex is a deeply personal thing (regardless of how many consenting adults participate, of course), not something you share with the world by making superloud noises, regardless of your ‘sex-style’. While some commenters suggest that communal living might not be for the OP, I would reverse that statement: if you feel the need to bang like no-one’s listening, get your own friggin’ pad. And if you can’t afford it, don’t force your sounds on someone who might not be able to afford her own place either. It’s not like the OP is complaining about the sound of the TV or squeaky shoes.

      Therefore I suggest megglesworth talk to her roommate and find a way to make this work. Some sort of timeframe in which to bang, and should the sex happen while megglesworth is at home, ask her to tone it down. I would also invest in better headphones, but that is *not* the best solution. It’s not solely up to the OP to find ways to be comfortable in her own home. This is not to say I don’t recognize that megglesworth’s roommate doesn’t also have that right, it’s a two-way street.

      • I can’t believe the number of people suggesting this is the OP’s problem. Respect goes both ways people. Just because you’re open and comfortable with sex, it does not mean that you get to impose it on everyone around and tell them it is wrong that they are made to be uncomfortable in their own home. Geez. Being a room mate is about sharing a space, and even though she’s in the other room, it sounds like the room mate is taking up a lot of space with her noise. And it sounds like it’s a frequent thing too. Can’t she go to her partner’s place once in a while?
        I’m all for lound sex. I’m loud too, and it is more exciting. But I made sure I toned it down when my room mates were around.

  9. I’ve been there, as the loud one. We were in a sticky financial situation and needed roomies. But I’m also a nice person so I’d at least try to muffle the sound by biting a pillow or something similar. And while I am all about everyone having an awesome, loud, sweaty, smelly sex life… I also totally support everyone’s right to couch potatoing in peace. I have those days, too, so I get it.

    I personally feel like your roommate should look into getting her own place if she’s that loud. My man and I got our own place again for a number of reasons, but absolutely, loud sex was on the list (close to the top, actually). As fun as it is, it’s still rude. And if roomie isn’t willing to move on, then you really should look into getting another place without her if possible. Even if you have a conversation with her, it’s likely she’ll still continue to have loud sex. Even if it’s at much less frequent intervals, it’ll probably still happen and feel like it’s getting in your way.

  10. I think the best way to approach this conversation is with “Hey, you know I can hear you guys, right?” Some people really don’t realize how loud they are, and it’s possible she’ll be embarrassed and tone it down on her own. If she’s fine with the fact that you can hear her, talk about how you guys can coexist and compromise on this. It’s important for her to know that it bothers you, but also important for you to respect the way she enjoys sex. Maybe that means that she warns you ahead of time so you can grab your headphones, or maybe it means she puts on music and you hang out in a different room. No matter what you work out, it should come from a place of mutual respect.

  11. I had to confront my upstairs neighbors at one point because of this. We lived in an old house that had been turned into a duplex. The layout of the house was such that our bedrooms were stacked one upon the other. They were loud, regularly at 5 in the morning. The floors were also wooden, and the wife would put on her shoes and then clomp around the house while getting ready for work. I did’t really care about the loud sex, except that it was waking me up multiple mornings in a row.

    I first brought up the noise of the shoes and asked if either they could get area rugs (I’d help pay!!) or if she could wait to put on her shoes. Then the husband said “you probably hear us bumping too” and I nodded. Never heard either the shoes or the sex at 5 am again!!

  12. To paraphrase someone else’s piece of advice on this issue, there’s a big difference between a screaming orgasm and being a Screamer. Is she loudly carrying on and letting loose involuntary, cat-frightening noises when she’s masturbating? I highly doubt it.

    Talk to her about it and explain that being regularly bombarded with loud sex through thin walls is making you uncomfortable. If she’s considerate she’ll try to reign it in or find better options. Can her partner host? Are there other locations where they can have more privacy? She obviously doesn’t have to be celibate but a shared living space means being courteous more often than not, and not having to constantly listen to your roommate’s sex-yowls is not too much to ask.

  13. I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that both you and your roomie NEED to be roomies because neither of you can afford the luxury of solo living. SO! That being said, this is a two-way street:

    1. She needs to be respectful of you that you don’t want to hear her sex noises all the time.

    2. You need to be respectful of her that she is allowed to make all the sex noises she wants.

    I think this needs to be a blunt conversation; don’t dick around the issue. Just be like, “Hey, I don’t know if you’ve realized…but I can totally hear EVERYTHING when you and partner are banging.” See what her response is. She might be totally embarrassed (I would be), or she might be like, “Sooo…what?”

    If the first, tell her no big deal. And strike a deal between her toning it down a little, and you perhaps vacating the apartment during some of their romp sessions (I’m going to assume you can’t leave for all of them because perhaps it’s too late for you to just up and leave). If the second, then say while you don’t care what she does during sex, it does infringe upon your enjoyment of whatever (sleeping, TV watching, banging your partner), and if you can come to some sort of arrangement (giving you a head’s up so you can vacate for an hour, tone it down after certain hours, maybe they bang at the partner’s place for a while, etc.). If she won’t even hear you out, then someone needs to find a new place…either her or you (might depend on who’s name is on the lease, etc.). OR, if she’s being loud at bad times – such as early morning or late late night – then she needs to adjust her behaviour.

    I would also echo people’s comments on a better pair of headphones. The earbuds you insert completely into your ear are pretty good (I own a pair from Panasonic for $20), my husband uses these if he’s up watching Netflix in bed while I go to sleep. Ditch those crappy iPod/iPhone ones.

  14. I am all about the better headphones… as annoying as it is, as long as they are still respectful (the roommate’s lover picks up after themselves, doesn’t use up all the hot water, etc), then I think you have to relax about it. Which sort of sucks because it would totally ruin certain dramatic scenes on television shows! Good luck, and I hope your roomie continues to have great but much quieter sex!

  15. I guess I’m an old lady or prude or something, but hearing other people have sex really skeeves me out. I like the analogy above about it being equivalent to someone forcing you to watch porn… I’m just not down. We use to have neighbors who were super loud… they were either screaming angrily at each other or screaming in bed, and it really upset me to feel like a forced witness. I’ve work early shifts for years, so when this would get going at 11pm, that was already “the middle of the night” in my book, and I’d end up wracked with anxiety because I couldn’t sleep and couldn’t escape their bellowing. It was miserable. While loud sex might be fun for the people having the sex, I’ve never been one to enjoy overhearing. It’s one thing if the sex sounds are brief or sporadic, but of it’s constant hollering then that’s not okay to me.

    I think the couple needs to tone it down. All other types of yelling would be considered inappropriate for someone to have to overhear constantly, so why should sex screaming get a free pass? I like the advice everyone has given about having a frank discussion about it and finding a compromise that works for everyone.

  16. I lived in a three story house with three other people at one point. There was one attic bedroom, two bedrooms on the middle level + full bath, and 1 bedroom + living space on the main floor. I had a large dresser/vanity with a big mirror above it in my room on the middle floor. One night, I woke up because the mirror was shaking and banging into the wall as was my bed and the walls. I thought we were having an earthquake (in the middle of Pennsylvania). I ran out of my room, intending to wake up the rest of my housemates to find the other girl who lived on my floor coming out of her room in a similar state. Once in the hall near the attic door, the mystery was revealed. Apparently our roomie who lived above us was having very physical makeup sex with her on-again off-again bf. So physical that it was LITERALLY shaking our entire house.

    This was not an issue that could be solved with headphones. Unfortunately, your cats are probably also not a capable of wearing headphones and I think that’s the bigger issue. Choices are pretty much open and honest communication or suffering until your lease is up and finding a new living situation.

    • In a place I used to live, the configuration of the bedrooms was such that my flatmate and I had our beds on the same place on the wall we shared – so headboard-to-headboard. And I was regularly treated to a rhythmic thudding behind my head at night…not much you can do. If it bothers you, gently point out you can hear them. I never did that because I just accepted it (and they weren’t screaming porn-style) – but I did move my bed out from the wall because it was a bit icky to feel that thudding in my pillows.

      Can’t help wondering what your cats think is going on in there..!

  17. Get a fan. My (assigned) freshman year roommate was very “popular” and very loud. I adored her and we’re still friends, but the walls were barely painted plywood. On the advice of a security guard who could hear her from outside on his nightly rounds, I got a small portable fan, placed it next to my bed, and turned it on high every night. It worked! I’ve upgraded to a Vornado, which, when on high, actually drowns out jackhammers while only making white noise. Fan all the way.

  18. I guess I’m the only pervy voyeur…I totally dig the sounds of other people doin’ it…especially if they don’t know I can hear them…but that’s just me. I’d totally enjoy it. <3, Pervo

  19. Thanks everybody, I didn’t realize this had gone up! I brought it up a few days later in a chill “better thought I’d let you know this bugs me” kinda way, and she had no idea I found it annoying. Everyone’s very different on the hearing people bone hate/love scale.

    I get both sides, but liked the comment about how if she were screaming like that for any other reason it’d be considered rude. It’s all good now, turns out he doesn’t have roommates so they’ve been going over there more and I try to make myself scarce when he does come over. Headphone tips noted!

    The kitties are hers and freak out demanding dinner when I get home from work. I once recorded their hilariously intense dinner meowing (pets who are like their owners?) and played in front of them. Their reaction to hearing that was on par with the sex noise confusion, so I think they’re fine…

    Thanks again for all the advice and stories!

  20. I totally love my current situation. I have probably the dippiest roommate who somehow has a girlfriend and I swear to god they have sex at the dumbest times at night….around 2-3 in the morning. And his bed is right up against the wall that mine is (our rooms are next to each other) and it doesn’t matter how fucking quiet they “try to be”. Not to mention my college only allows 4-5 nights a month to have someone over and “stay” but she’s here all the time and basically living here everyday. I’m just glad to say I’m leaving for good within the week and will likely be leaving a note letting him know what I think of him. Not once has he tried to communicate about when they’d be coming in at late times at night or when they’d be having quiet time. Just gonna blast my music this last week all night long to annoy the fuck out of him.

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