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The roommate can bone at will, but while her roommate is home, she is going to have to have quiet sex.
I think the roommate is putting on a show, as most loud sex usually is.
Letter writer should threaten to move out, and be prepared to make good on that threat.
Perhaps they could spend more time at the boyfriend's as well - if there's a 50/50 split between homes it might not feel so oppressive to LW when they're doing it in her home.
Lady Gaga - any song, any album. (I love Lady Gaga, I listen to her almost daily, but I cannot fuck to Lady Gaga, because it just feels soooo.....Gay? It makes me feel like I'm having gay sex, which is interesting since I am a man having sex with a woman, and I have tried this three times with the same results)
Anything soundscapey, like Dull Knife, some sort of "wa wa wa wa" sounding ambient music.
For this to work, you'll have to play it loud. I almost promise you that your roomate will ask you to turn it down, and if she doesn't, you need to turn it up very very loud, until she does so. If you want, I can rent you some speakers if you don't have any suitable models.
lol. this will work, and no, it's not passive aggressive, it's aggressive aggressive, aka, Joe Style!!!
WARNING: Do not play any Miami Bass, Ghetto Tech, Hip Hop, and definitely don't dare play Daft Punk, as all of these will result in more fucking, louder fucking, rhythmic fucking....trust me.
She's not asking them to not fuck only to not carry on like someone's shoving a rabid weasel up the roomies urethra. That's not an unreasonable request.
Or she could take advantage of the time to learn to play an instrument of her own: the trumpet? Trombone? Oboe? What's the most irritating instrument to hear played ineptly? Violin, surely? Just keep playing scales and fluffing the fourth or fifth note and starting over every time.
I vote for "move out".
Or record it and change the answering machine message, doorbell, ringtone, etc.
Well, it sounds like she has already talked to the roommate; problem is the roommate is an asshole.
Another problem with situations like this is, in my experience at least, when young straight adults are fucking, the guy always stays over at the girl's house. Always. Because his living situation is fucking nasty.
Roomie's boyfriend is going to be a de facto third roommate, if he isn't already, and this is the shit test for whether these two women (plus boyfriend) can continue to live together. It's not looking good.
As someone is is a screamer, I can tell the roomie to buy a pillow and bite it. Roomie should turn on some music and a fan to muffle some of the sound, then try to keep the sex at a level than can be muffled. I had various roomies off and on for over ten years, and (unless you both think sex noises are hilarious) it's just proper etiquette.
If she can't talk to the roomie and get her to bend a little, she needs to move out. Living together is a compromise on both parts, and you can't live well with someone who doesn't understand that.
Or they could both be adults about it - the LW isn't asking for no sex, ever. All the LW wants is the ability to eat in peace without a porn soundtrack in the background. I don't think that's a particularly unreasonable request, unless mealtimes for some reason take up three hour blocks per meal. Which I doubt.
I mean, yeah, the roommate has the right to do whatever she wants in her own room. But the thing is, the sound of her fucking is leaving the space that is 'hers', and is entering common spaces. She wouldn't fuck in the living room or kitchen while LW was home and objecting, she shouldn't let the sounds of her fucking enter those spaces, either. If LW was listening to FOX News obnoxiously loud, her roommate would be entirely within her rights to ask her to turn down the volume until it was largely contained within her own bedroom.
LW: A ray of hope - either your roommate is going to break up with her bf (no more sex sounds!) or, her relationship is going to go the way of most long-term relationships, and the new-relationship sexathon will likely die down a bit and give you some peace.
Next, probably should look for another place to live. it isn'
t fair but you're probably never going top have peace with this inconsiderate asshole.
In the meantime, #11 is good. A nice touch would be to crank it up loud and leave for a couple of hours...
But #16 wins. See young Forest Gump for inspiration. Your roommate is showing out, mockery will pop her balloon quickest.
That seems fair, and that way nobody ends up looking like a passive-aggressive turdbucket. They don't have to restrict their coital spontaneity, the housemate doesn't have to hear the unmitigated honks of passion, and nobody has to back down entirely and feel resentful over having to give in.
A) Move out, or threaten to move out (Kind of painful, and sucks on your part)
B) Start a sound war [Fight fire with fire; start watching movies with fighting and gunfire at very loud volumes; Or, maybe watch Saved by the Bell or at least The Pointer Sisters' I'm So Excited] (Kind of fun, but everybody loses)
C) Passive-aggressively leave this letter laying around in public places (How Seattle...it may work)
D) Keep pitching a fit (which will likely lead to her continuing the behavior just to spite you if you get icky enough)
E) Accept it and move on as Dan said (which means it'll happen again and again with every new boyfriend)
Choose your options.
My recommended solution is the very loud playing of gay male porn on the tv in the community area whenever she is going at it during mealtimes.
Not everyone is cut out for group living. If you need your peace and quiet, get your own place.
Or maybe a bit more explanation as to your response, because the comments have included a whole lot of 'being reasonable' notwithstanding the 'big ass speakers'
What say you Dan?
It's not that her roommate is having sex, it's that she's having noisy sex that is making the LW feel vaguely uncomfortable.
And like I said in my previous comment - the roommate is of course free to do whatever she likes in the privacy of her own room. But the sounds of their fucking isn't contained by just the bedroom, it's leaking out into the common areas. I imagine the LW wouldn't have a problem if the roomie had quiet sex or sex drowned out by inoffensive music. But her roommate's actions are making the LW uncomfortable. And like any shared living situation, one should accommodate reasonable requests to make one's roommates more comfortable. And that includes 'not letting sex noises drift into rooms other than the one in which sex is happening.'
I've been the boyfriend in this scenario, and in that case, the issue wasn't the noise - I'm not a loud fucker and neither was my girlfriend - it was the fact that the roommate was in a miserable relationship, hated her life, and couldn't stand seeing us so happy. We ended up spending most evenings at my place (@17!) until my girlfriend moved out, as did the bitch's boyfriend.
My take - if LW doesn't want to hear people fuck, she should pony up some $ for a house with thicker walls or get her own place.
No. Read the letter again. The problem isn't that the sex is unusually noisy, it's that "the walls are thin."
I've lived in shitty apartments with cheap constructions where you could hear everything your neighbors did and said. It sure did suck at times, but it never occurred to me to blame the neighbors for living their lives.
@5 Oh yes, because people never have sex in the third world and never share their living quarters with anyone else.
Or find another place to live. The LW's request is more than reasonable.
PRUDE needs to get her own place or share one with other miserable people. If she gets another place with a shared wall she's still going to have to hear people boff, she should be happy not to be listening to them fight.
I'm shocked (SHOCKED!) that most folks even think that her problem is also her house mates problem.
PRUDE needs to lighten the fuck up. If (s)he feels the need to get back at the fuckers, try recording a particuarly loud session, then playing it back at full volume during the next go. But really, a dick move only makes PRUDE look like a dick.
I guess I just feel like there are some concessions you make when living with roommates. In exchange for cheap rent, splitting the cost of utility bills & companionship (and any other attributes such a situation may offer) it wouldn't be unreasonable to be expected to curtail certain behaviors and under certain circumstances (certainly LW isn't home ALL the time and so couldn't they perhaps try to reserve noisy sessions for when he's not around?)
I dunno -- I'm pretty freaking self-conscious and think that if I were confronted about this type of thing I'd want to downplay it however possible. Perhaps that's just me.
Really, it doesn't matter the source of the noise, if there's noise-bleed in the house, it's a legitimate issue for everyone involved.
Sometimes you don't want to hear music (loud enough to damage your hearing), and those big clunky looking earcovers are a clear "I'm not listening (because I can't)" message. In fact, wear them all the time, especially when the roomie wants to talk, and the message may get across that the apartment is a shared living space.
Here's to hoping the roommate isn't trying to drive Prude out.
"Rick Santorum Tells Iowa To Vote for Him Because He Sticks it to the Man"
Oh he does, does he?
I know...in places like Kenya they're fucking for the survival of their bloodline. who gives a shit is someone hears you in a situation like that!
@ everyone else
re-read the letter, obviously the LW is the one with the problem here and they even go far enough to acknowledge that. if the roommate isn't cool with the kibosh being put on screwing during meal times, it's probably because what the hell constitutes meal times?? let's say 12-1 each lunch and 6:30-7:30 each evening. but then what if the LW goes out to lunch? that's prime afternoon delight being squandered. what if the LW is making a stew? that takes hours, so throw the 6:30-7:30 out and reconfigure; same if Celebrity Jeopardy is on, or if a friend is over for coffee and souffle after dinner. these are arbitrary timelines that won't actually work in reality with people's schedules and libidos in play. I think the LW needs to find another living situation.
That's kinda funny
It seems obvious that it's not the volume that's the problem, it's the content. The fact that she's aware that her roommate is having sex. Witness the signing acronym "PRUDE" and the LW's admission that she has some weird hangups about sex.
We'd really need more information to be sure of what's going on, but I'm siding with Dan, only recommending the noise-canceling earmuffs over the mp3 player.
- Being asked to put up with the loud sounding sex that someone else is having is unreasonable.
- Being asked to not have loud sex because it makes someone uncomfortable is unreasonable.
LW needs to take charge and resolve this issue for both their self and the roommate: Move out. No threats, no passive-aggressive bullshit. Just. Do it.
You need to frame it in terms of her noisy sex being a nuisance TO YOU, just like any other noise nuisance would be, whether it was her music, her yoga chanting, or the sound of her chainsaw as she chops up boyfriend number 38. Sometimes you deserve a little peace and quiet.
Just because you had one bad experience with your partner's roommate doesn't mean that the LW is the same kind of person.
I used to have a very prudish roommate (mid thirties, still a virgin in any imaginable sense of the word, extremely uncomfortable talking about sex) and while I felt it was my right to have whomever I wanted over to spend the night, I was considerate enough of her feelings to keep it down while she was home. Yeah, I might privately think whatever I want of her and her prudishness. But at the end of the day, it was what it was - two people living together, who both had to make allowances for the other's comfort. And, like me at the time, the LW might not have the financial wherewithal to get a new apartment right now. I live with a partner now, and it's nice to be as loud as I want.
If the roommate was playing loud music, the LW would be within his/her rights to ask the roommate to keep it down. I think the LW is perfectly within her rights to request that s/he not be subjected to the *sounds* of sex from, say, 6-7 in the evening. The roomie can still fuck, just quietly.
However, if the roomie is just really obstinate about having noisy sex whenever she feels like it - yeah, LW has few options other than cope, move or headphones.
I've been in both positions, the roommate trying to just live m' life int he common areas of a place while boinknoise was everywhere *&* the roommate doing the boinking. @36/seandr does have a very solid thought in PRUDE's roommate paying her share of rent, therefore she has every right to privacy. But it's also just a considerate-roomie thing to do to compensate, when one knows one's walls are thin & the sounds of your ardor permeate the home & it bugs your housemate.
PRUDE, were I you, if everything else is groovy w/ you & your roomie & you like the place enough to weather this out, I'd gift the roommate w/ a few thick tapestries & maybe a white noise machine. That acknowledges that the fault of being bugged is on you but asks help in your not being bugged as much. Then gift yourself w/ earplugs or ear covers. (Everyone else above has explained why constant iPod-ing isn't the best plan.) Also maybe some additional therapy or yoga or something that will maybe help you ease out of your issues, more, so perhaps it won't make you as uncomfortable?
But if you're close to the end of your lease & you think any further attempts to make yourself comfortable are gonna be met frostily or become an issue, then maybe think about relocating. But: a lot of city homes have crap walls & a lot of potential other roomies are likely to have sex. Sometimes it's loud. Best of luck to you.
I know that's exactly the sort of passive-aggressive request I've trained myself to take at 100% face value.
Also, everyone being like - move right now! most ppl can't afford to do that lightly, and someone w/ roommates might be unable to afford to live on their own.
Which is not to say that the LW doesn't have a legitimate problem. Problems are defined by suffering, and suffering by expectations.
Seandr above observes that it might be the LW who is being unreasonable, since her roomie isn't guilty of the walls being too thin to keep her sex noises in her living quarters. I can see his point (see third-world slum reference there). And yet I point out the LW is not (unlike the person in the situation seandr refers to) really being unreasonable: she's OK with her roomie having sex, just not at meals time, when s/he (the LW) would need to be in the common space. Which does not strike me as unreasonable.
So... If I were the LW, I'd try talking again to his/her roomie. Maybe making the analogy of loud music: perhaps the roomie herself wouldn't like it if she heard loud music -- of the kind she doesn't like -- every time she went into the common space to eat?
All in all, It's not about sex negativity or jealousy, but about learning to be a roomie. And roomies do have to understand they're not living alone. There are other people in the equation.
Also, if the problem is thumping or something along those lines as opposed to screams and wails, talk to her about moving her bed to another wall. Depending on the kind of bed she has (and especially whether or not she has a headboard), it may be a pretty simple solution to get those thumping noises directed elsewhere.
Look, the LW is being way beyond reasonable and accommodating, and the roommate is just an insensitive jerk, imho. She can always go fuck at the boyfriend's place.
I also have to admit, every time I think about getting a room mate to help cover my costs, I am immediately reminded of why I don't want one. I didn't have to deal with this for years and years - part of a married couple living alone for around two decades. This letter does take me back to my experiences of apartment living with roommates in late adolescence (early 20s), and strikes me as par for the course. Some level of unintentional shared intimacy just happens.
After my divorce, I dated a gal who lived alone in an urban row house (19th century construction) where the joists extended into (and through) the brick walls - creating a convenient way for noise to pass from one house to another, despite some really thick brick walls. She would complain a good bit about having to listen to her neighbors have sex, but you know, we had sex up against that same wall, and while ours was not quite so passionate (yes, this is a big part of why we are no more), I'm sure we made some noise they heard. She never seemed to consider the other side of things: that they had to listen to us too. To me it was just funny...no, I didn't love listening to them doing it, but I also found my relief in just laughing about it. My GF just kind of stressed about it instead - always wanted to call the land lord to complain - and that was a drag to be around.
I dunno if the LW is unhappy she's not repaying the favor (getting any), or if the roommate is phenomenally inconsiderate (the kind of noises and volume that makes the LW an unwilling participant in the sex), but I think Dan's advice is OK. My alternative would be this: since they are forcing their sexual presence on her, she should force herself into their space. On her way to the kitchen, pop open the door and ask if they'd like a sandwich too...obviously they are not preoccupied with privacy.
So, this is why @5 FTW
Instead pretend you're both Canadian or Norwegian or any other of a dozen nationalities where people are a teensy bit more restrained and polite. You showed some of that compromise here -- sex noise OK but not at mealtimes. Seems reasonable. You need to communicate clearly your desire that your roommie respect these boundaries, just say it, and you need to work out together some reasonable boundaries -- defined mutually agreed upon windows of time when she can do whatever she wants and if you're bothered you have to leave the apartment, other days/times when your preference rules. If she doesn't agree, then you have license to make loud music & vacuuming noise and/or mask with an ipod, until one of you can move out. Mutually agreed upon and reasonable is key, a mutual friend who doesn't live with you sometimes can sound out what is and isn't reasonable.
But I'm firmly in the camp that when you move in with someone you sign up to hear them have sex when they have it. The exception to this is sleep time. The whole "Don't have sex during meal times" thing is bullshit.
If someone is trying to sleep, keep it down. If not, then the person hearing the sex can work around it or find a one bedroom apartment. Or get a two bedroom with someone else who, for some shitbrained reason, thinks hearing sex is the worst thing in the world.
Christ people, grow up.
Many many years later, my position has changed. I think sex inevitably makes noise or probably isn't worth having to begin with, and being roommates or in a thin-walled apartment means you're going to hear people having sex on occasion. If it bothers you that much, and it is clearly not a passive-aggressive trip of the roommates to get off on knowing that you know and that you resent it, put on headphones or go somewhere else for a bit. If you really cannot tolerate sex noise during "meal times," you can adjust your eating schedule by an hour or go out to eat on occasion or both. I don't think it's reasonable to ask lovers to follow a set schedule, and I think it's your responsibility to manage your own irritation level, not theirs.
(Again, all of that is premised on my assumption that this is just ordinary roommate behavior.)
'I come from a background where there was some sexual abuse[...]'
The writer here is uncomfortable and has a reason to be. The roommate is being a prat about it. Compromise from both parties is appropriate. 'Just listen to your music' is not an acceptable solution.
If it were me, I'd probably start playing back porn on the TV or internet, very loudly, and masturbating as obviously as possible while the roommate was trying to sleep. Give her a little dose of the shit she's pulling with her new boy toy. Ask her if she'd like me to stop. Negotiate from there.
But then, I'm capable of being a real asshole.
I'm an exhibitionist myself. But every good exhibitionist knows it's really bad form to force other people into becoming their captive audience. That's why fucking in a public park is creepy while fucking in the public area of a bathhouse or swingers' club is hot.
Whenever you live in a communal situation, you have an obligation to respect your roommates. If PRUDE's roommate was getting all bitchy about being forced to wash her dirty dishes instead of piling them up in the sink, you and everyone else would rightfully jumping all over the roommate. Yes, she's an adult and has the right to live as she pleases, but that's not a blank check to disregard her roommates' need to feel comfortable in her own house as well.
PRUDE's been more than reasonable about accommodating her roommate's wishes by only asking her to knock it off at certain times. The roommate's the selfish dick here.
Basically, this is life with a roommate. Neither person is being unreasonable. Both have the right to live peacefully and do what they want in their own homes. Sometimes that means coming up with creative solutions. Dan's is perfectly acceptable.
You say that like it's a bad thing! Then again, I grew up with it...
Luckily, the reality of Soviet life was remarkably different from the theory and the propaganda. Just as the press never really talked about what was going on ('there is no truth in the Izvestiya and there are no news in the Pravda'), sex manuals also had nothing to do with what was really going on in our comrade's sex lives.
If I ever need a roommate Dan, you won't be it.
Then we might have more to say.
What I've heard of a person who spent time in a US commune-cluster, it wasn't a great place to be a woman either. "Free love" was more expected than choice.
@90: That's a good point. The fact that it's audible doesn't imply that it is necessarily loud. In that case, some sound isolating earbuds might be sufficient even with no music playing on them at all. (I take the train to work. Some days, when I'm not in the mood for music, the earbuds function just as earplugs.)
I'll admit a bias, as I happen to be someone who is sensitive to even quiet disturbances in my auditory environment. I once returned a freezer to the store because it could be heard through the walls.
The other question is, are the sex noises constant, or merely unpredictable? If you are enjoying peace and quiet in the apartment for 14 of your 16 waking hours, that means you have free run of the place most of the time. Having to retreat to your room OR wear earplugs/phones the remaining two hours is not that big a burden.
We don't know that the fact that the sex is audible means it is loud, but certainly if the roommate wants to have sex during mealtimes she could try to make it more quiet. Beds can be moved away from the wall to avoid bumping noises. Squeaking mattresses probably can't be fixed, but vocal responses can be toned into whispers (says the sexually active parent with thin walls and the kid's bedroom next to ours). Unless the roommate and her boyfriend have a schedule that only allows them to be in the house during mealtimes, I don't see the big deal about refraining for a set period during the day.
I have a housemate who has been dating a loud lady since last spring. At first it's weird, but honestly these days I don't really bat an eye anymore.
Presumably if these two were good friends, the roommate wouldn't see it as such a big fucking deal to respect her friend's request. You can try suggesting a 50-50 split of apartments but considering the roommate's response to no fucking during mealtimes it seems safe to say she'll whine about having her freedoms impinged upon in that way too.
On the other hand, my advice would be to talk to the neighbors. My bet is they are fed up with it too, and they'd be in a much better position to tell the landlord or roommate to STFU.
As a last resort, try music or eat out. Or you can try revenge, i.e. doing something loud that will hopefully embarrass them like blasting Disney music when they start to get heated and you want to eat dinner.
LW, go to your roommate and say, "I'm a survivor of sexual violence and hearing your noise makes me feel like I'm being involved in your sex life without my consent. I know that's not your fault, which is why I try to stay in my room as much as possible. I do, however, have to eat. Not hearing your noise while I eat would make this living situation much more bearable for me. Could you please either refrain from sex for a couple of hours a day, or play loud music during that time so I can't hear you?"
Your roommate might still refuse, but you're more likely to get what you need in life if you're honest about what you need and why you need it.