Yeah, but what if he's waiting for a phone call, or is trying to watch TV?
Sorry, having loud sex at all hours with another roommate around who didn't sign up for it (this situation wasn't happening when the lease was signed) is rude
Oof. No. Communal living requires sacrifices, and for some reason, Dan only wants the LW to make adjustments.

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.
I guess the upside of the letter writer destroying her hearing thanks to her asshole roommate is that soon enough she'll be deaf and won't hear any of it.

Letter writer should threaten to move out, and be prepared to make good on that threat.
#First World Problems
yeah, why can't the one doing the fucking be the one to blast the music? isn't this what everyone normal does when they are having sex with roommates/family around?
Agree with #3. Roommate needs to make some compromise as well. Letter writer made a VERY reasonable request, and is trying to be very thoughtful about it. If roommate can't/won't keep quiet during mealtimes (only during mealtimes! how difficult is that?!), she should at least be blasting music or tv in her own room loud enough to camoflage the sound.

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.

Rude roomy. Not during mealtimes is more than a reasonable compromise.
Dan, I disagree with your advise. If the housemate was blasting rap music that their housemate hated and the rap hater asked the rap lover to turn it down during mealtimes only, would you say the rap hater was wrong? The LW didn't ask for silence at all times, simply during mealtimes. That does not seem unreasonable to me. To the LW, your housemate is being inconsiderate and rude. You are NOT being unreasonable. You have to decide whether or not the rest of the living arrangements are worth the loud sex issues, because it doesn't sound as if your housemate is going to respect your needs in the house. I do think you have the right to go into the common areas of your house and have to deal with hearing her private life.
I say the LW should simply move out. She (I got the feeling that the LW is female, but it works with either gender) appears to be willing to keep to herself and is only asking some concession that would be simply polite when sharing space with other people. The RM is completely unwilling to give even a bit which exudes entitlement, I wouldn't care to room with someone so selfish.
Ok, here is a different approach. When they fuck, play music that will disrupt their sex, and to this extent I recommend the following:

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 me.
@ 5, you don't think loud sex is a problem in the slums atop garbage heaps in other parts of the Western Hemisphere?
Gotta agree with 2 and 3. It kinda bugs me that Dan's advice is usually 'destroy your ears with loud music', instead of 'talk to the roommate.

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.
@5: Uh, yeah, 5280. Speaking as someone who's lived in the so-called Third World, I'm comfortable saying that this is unequivocally not a First World problem.
@11, what else? How about children's sing-along songs? Or polka music? Mormon Tabernacle Choir? Military marching bands? Throbbing Gristle? Songs about burn victims might put one off a bit.

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".
The answer is to start mimicing their sex sounds, only when they are NOT having sex. Instead of asking her to stop, ask her boyfriend why he sounds like "_____" during sex.

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.
What a perfect time to vacuum the hallway
I agree with obnoxious music. Honestly, I think that the LW is being more than understanding. She'll stay in her room except for mealtimes? That's very understanding. I mean, she has a right to the common space too, and to not be bombarded. As a PP mentioned, I would be equally annoyed if they blared rap music all the time.
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.
I agree with the music suggestion, but fuck headphones - if roommate is allowed to have as noisy, frequent sex as she likes, then LW is free to have music as noisy as (s)he wants.

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.
First, demand your money back from Dan for the appalling shitty advice.

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.

Good Luck.
The writer should record the roommate's rutting noises, put them into a MP3 file and post them on Facebook. If she doesn't mind being heard, let all of her friends hear it.
I think the commentariat is missing the face that this is a NEW guy the roomate is seeing...which means the loud fucking will likely level off, as these things tend to do...which is probably why Dan advised the path of least resistance. Just a guess. "Move out" seems a little bold for a slight aural overabundance of a NRE.
How about they - the boning roommate and boyfriend - put on some loud music if they absolutely have to have screaming sex during dinner?

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.
If the roommate can't keep it quiet during respectable times (meal times? That's restrictive?! REALLY?), you have a few options...

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 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.
I agree w/ everyone else this seems really pretty inconsiderate on her part and that, unless there's a good reason or incentive not to do so (you'd be potentially threatening a good friendship or have got dirt cheap rent), you should at least remain open to moving out. I spent probably 10 years in/out of group house living situations and, for all the crazy & ridiculous issues to arise, this one is relatively rare.
Ignore Dan's advice. I think the idea of vacuuming the hall right outside the offending roommate's door is the best suggestion.
When you vacuum the hallway, remember to use the vacuum with the revolving brush for the carpet and the really, really powerful motor. When God was young and I was, too, the radio stations used to play marches and polkas from 8:30 till 11:00 each morning for the housewives to get themselves moving on the cleaning -- you could try putting a few on the whateverkindofplayeryouhave and cranking up the volume, while you vacuum.
LW should recognize her jealousy and desire, have a lil screamy couch action and leave the toys about, and get invited for the threesome long time now. Headphone suggestions include Big Black's Songs About Fucking, Peaches' Fuck the Pain Away, and Ladies Who Lunch from Sondheim's Company. For the speakers put Zappa's Why Does It Hurt When I Pee? on repeat.
If she finds not having sex at mealtimes unduly restrictive, she is either one of the most selfish and self-absorbed and spoiled creatures around, or she is passively aggressively trying to get you to move out so her new guy can move in.

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.
Hmm, I'm kind of surprised by all the comments suggesting that having sex in the bedroom you are renting is "inconsiderate."

Not everyone is cut out for group living. If you need your peace and quiet, get your own place.
Dan, I usually wouldn't say this, but...considering the above, maybe you should reconsider?
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.'
@30: Or maybe she's just asserting her right to fuck her boyfriend in the room she is paying for when she feels like fucking him, as opposed to when it's convenient for LW. A lady's gotta draw boundaries.

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.
@33: It's not that her roommate is having sex, it's that she's having noisy sex

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.
A lot of people don't like to be heard having sex, I wouldn't exactly call it a "weird hangup".

@5 Oh yes, because people never have sex in the third world and never share their living quarters with anyone else.
Get a set of bagpipes and play them. It doesn't matter that you don't know how to play the bagpipes. That makes it even better.

Or find another place to live. The LW's request is more than reasonable.
She should seduce the boyfriend, and have sex with him on the dining room table during mealtimes.
The LW's offer to spend all of her time in her room raises a red flag for me, as does the idea that there are such a thing as "meal times" (eat when you're hungry for "Bob's" sake). The problem here is that someone is having too much fun, someone else wants to change that.

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.
I interpretted 5280's comment about this being a first world issue to mean that in other cultures (third, fourth, whatever) the sex often occurs in the common area (because the common area is the totality of the living space, no separate bedroom for anyone). The other parties in the house are going to see as well as hear, and no one thinks twice about it. I'm fairly certain the man is aware that people fuck in the third world. And where is the 2nd world, anyway?

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.
@41 the second world is the former soviet bloc and the rest of the communist world. I've lived in the first and third worlds and heard people fucking a lot in both. Surely someone on this thread can comment from first hand experience as to whether loud fucking is a second world problem too??
Good points @ 36,

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.
Buy them matching ball-gags and tell them they can screw whenever they want so long as they use these otherwise you're finding somewhere else to live and they're finding someone else to pay the rent.
Too bad this isn't Penthouse or we would then read about how one day they left the door open, and as she peered in, excited by the strenuous sounds, started to let her fingers...
The letter-writer making him/herself go deaf with unhealthy levels of music and/or noise is not the answer. No one should have to ruin an aspect of his or her health for this.
@35 What you're basically saying is that you're projecting your own experience into the LW's situation. I don't know if Dan keeps a list of numbered rules, but I'm sure that breaks one of the top ten. Putting yourself in the LW's situation is very different from putting the LW into your situation.

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.
Maybe Prude should try plain old hearing protective earcovers,

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.

I can't help on this one.
Dear God, these titles are writing themselves:…
"Rick Santorum Tells Iowa To Vote for Him Because He Sticks it to the Man"

Oh he does, does he?

I 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.
asking that they wait to go at it outside of mealtimes

That's kinda funny
then again, maybe it would work it the LW hung an OvGlove on her roommate's doorknob.
@46 FTW!
Dan for got to mention a specific show tune to listen to (or play loudly).

My long-ago roommate, who was older and more experienced than me, taught me the term "puppy humping," meaning sex in quiet mode...i.e., the way you fuck when there are other people in the house who don't want to listen to your caterwauling.
Nothing that the LW wrote indicates that the sex is loud - what she says is that she's "hearing some of it". It could be just rhythmic thumping that she's hearing, or the occasional moan.

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.
@15, Alto sax is unbelievably grating in the hands of a novice (slightly less grating in the hands of a professional). Violin might be a more effective boner killer though, since it's intrinsically unsexy, and, as a bonus, takes years to learn to play at a level that isn't painful to others in the vicinity.
The answer is simple.

- 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.
The problem here is that Letter Writer is giving it the wrong framing. LW says, "I feel like when this is going on that I am violating their privacy." but then goes on to say, "I also don't think she's bothered by me hearing some of it." You are framing it as if your presence in the house during her sex sessions is a problem to her, which it isn't. No wonder she isn't getting it; from her perspective there is no problem. The only problem you have articulated is one that she hypothetically might have, only she doesn't.

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.
BTW, is there any chance that swapping bedrooms would solve the problem? Is your current bedroom randomly more soundproof, farther from the common areas, or some such?
Long post, out of empathy. Hey, PRUDE: Yeah, this problem is a pretty 50-50 problem. 1 hand = one never knows what's gonna bug them about living w/ another person until they move on in. And after security deposits & lugging one's stuff all over town, just up & moving out again isn't a practical option for most. OTOH, this is the kind of thing, that since you already have issues about sex, may be too much to put up with over time. (& to everyone predicting things will just level off w/ PRUDE's roommate, ya never know. Maybe it will, maybe it won't, maybe they will break up & the cycle will begin anew w/ some other guy.)

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 agree with @61. LW probably said something like, "You know, when I'm out here getting food, I can hear you two... doesn't that bother you?" "No." "Not even a little? I mean, I'm out here, just eating alone... hearing you fuck. You don't have a problem with that?" "Hm. Nope."

I know that's exactly the sort of passive-aggressive request I've trained myself to take at 100% face value.
Oh hey, R. Taylor @ 62 had much the same thoughts I did & typed theirs up while I was taking forever. & good question, avast @ 63.

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.
@12,37,52, and everybody curiously protesting against @5: You're missing the point. This is a first world problem, not because there's no noisy fucking overheard by your neighbors in slums in Rio de Janeiro, but because nobody pays attention to that; it's just a fact of life, like the odor of decaying matter and the flies. A similar situation is people who are squeamish to eat their food just because there are many flies noisily flying around and picking at the food. This is not a problem for slum inhabitants, but it tends to be for first-world people.

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.
LW- the challenge of being quiet and unheard can be REALLY sexy. Mention this to your roommate.

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.
I'm noisy in bed and have a high sex drive. Yet I can't imagine subjecting a roommate to that. When I did have a roommate and a boyfriend at the same time, I turned the volume down. The extra challenge made things ... more interesting. When my roommate was gone (out on errands, coffee, whatever), I felt free to crank the volume up.

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.
Play the least sexy music loudly. Deutscher Schlager.
One of my girlfriends shared an apartment with another woman, who also had a boyfriend. Their (relatively quiet) sex noises didn't bother us, because usually we were doing it as well, BUT when the boyfriend would start singing afterwards...

I think Dan got it wrong here. Asking them to keep it down a bit is perfectly reasonable. Sharing an apartment means compromise from both sides, and if my roommates couldn't meet me halfway on a reasonable request then I'd consider looking into other living arrangements.
I'm late to this party, but I have to say, @5: FTW! What is with you people? I'm sure un-private copulation is rampant in the developing world, but only a 'problem' for people with first world other words, it's a major part of life - the messy, real, un-sanitized real life. Kind of like our food supply, life and food don't really come in tidy neat plastic packages.

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, 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
LW -- according to Spokeo, Pipl and all the other we-have-no-privacy web sites in the good ol' USA, Dan lives in a single family house where he doesn't have to deal with this type of thing anymore. I'm guessing it's been many years since he lived in an apartment with roomies (as opposed to a husband/BF). When you're with roommates, some modicum of unwanted compromise and decorum is beneficial and considerate for BOTH parties. Dan's you have to use an ipod or earplugs to mask her sex-anytime-noise is so freakin' American.

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.
@74 I meant to say, as you already had the conversation once, have it again but make it clear in a non-angry, adult like manner, quiet times at mealtimes 4 days a week one week, 3 days a week another week, is a requirement for you otherwise you'll be looking for a new roomie or you'll look to move out when you can. Again, roomies can't have it 100% their way but 50% should be reasonable. Also do you really eat all your meals in the apt? Or maybe alternate weekends (kind of like custody agreements where both parties get some of what they want some of the time): one weekend is all quiet time, one weekend is anything goes you have to leave the apt. if bothered.
@42 I didn't realize the former soviet block is called 'second world', not that I'm offended. Anyways, from firsthand experience, we are still very attached to the there's-no-sex-in-the-Soviet-Union slogan, and since most people live with their parents all their life, it becomes partially true.
Actually, thinking about this more and more, I think she should start looking for a new place to live, and invest in some earplugs. Once the earplugs are in place, she should play a mix of particularly awful songs at top volume whenever the roomie gets noisy at an inappropriate time. "Achy Breaky Heart;" "Tiptoe Through the Tulips;" "A Horse With No Name;" Billy Joel's entire oeuvre... You get the picture.
This is something that needs to come up when finding a roommate.

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.
Reading some of these posts reminds me of my self-righteous and self-blinded self when I was in college. I was quite the passive-aggressive douche, littering dorms with scold notes about courtesy and respect, inevitably about the (in truth) abysmal community kitchens and the flagrant misuse of my dishes without my permission. Somehow it didn't occur to me that others might have found my nightly dance-a-thons in my room, with all kinds of dance pop and techno blaring--as equal a violation of courtesy and respect. I had a right to be angry about people turning my dishes into science experiments, but I handled it in the worst way possible and was consumed with self-righteous fury grotesquely out of proportion with the offenses in question.

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.)
Dan, you must have missed this part of the letter:

'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.
@11 I would rather listen to cave bears aggressively fuck at 3am than listen to any of that crap you listed as "music". Maybe it is because I am already gay that I don't need the bargain bin Madonna known as Lady Gaga to make me feel that way but good lord, if my boyfriend tried to play Ghetto drum-machine-posing-as-talent music during sex it would be time to find a new boyfriend!
LW probably has a smart phone or an easy-to-use recording device, since nearly everyone does. (Or should borrow one.) She should record herself in the common room during a session and narrate for the camera what's going on, with pauses for the other audio to come across. Upload it to YouTube and share with friends and family. See how fast the roommate knocks it off.
@82 If I was your boyfriend you'd shut the hell and I'd fuck you to Two Live Crew for 43 hours without a break (or lube), and then, maybe, I'd let you pick the music...
(up), shut the hell up. Damnit, this Two Live Crew is So LOUD I cannot even type!!!
@85 hmm 43 hours you say? I might reconsider! Also:
Dan, you got this one dead wrong.

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.
@42, Family_doc: I can personally attest that people fuck (sometimes loudly) in the old soviet bloc too. I think it's a human universal.
why don't they fuck at the dude's place?
I'm surprised at the reaction in these comments. There is no indication that the roommate is having inordinately loud sex. If the walls are thin, then people who live in the house might hear some things going on in the next room. Welcome to communal living. I don't think it's right to put restrictions on when people can have sex in their own home. There are some perfectly reasonable ways to handle the issue. One is Dan's suggestion. Why is that being equated to ruining LW's hearing?! It doesn't sound like it would take much volume to drown out a normally-loud sexcapade. Omg, listening to music through earbuds, how horrific....? Or, yes, just play music in the open. Also reasonable. LW can do it, or roomie can do it. Either way works just fine, and I don't see how it makes roomie an asshole that this might be necessary. There is nothing here to suggest that roomie wouldn't acquiesce to the recommendation of music or other obscuring noise.

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.
@82: "Ghetto drum-machine-posing-as-talent music"

You say that like it's a bad thing! Then again, I grew up with it...
@42, 76, 88: people do certainly fuck in the old Soviet block (my wife is Ukrainian, and she has quite a number of stories to tell about the good ol' comrades). Although, truth be said, when I found a Russian sex manual from the 1970's in my mother-in-laws house, a little booklet full of political propaganda, from the good ol' Lenin quotes to claims such as 'rape only exists in capitalist countries because capitalism inherently dehumanizes people, whereas in communism only good consensual sex happens; rape disappeared after the Glorious October Revolution, blah blah'... I almost felt that the Soviet Union would deserve there to be no sex in 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.
What does LW mean?
Dan - you are wrong, wrong, wrong on this one. The LW is trying to be considerate, but her roomy is being inconsiderate.

If I ever need a roommate Dan, you won't be it.
Record the sound. Put it on Youtube. Send us the link.

Then we might have more to say.
@92: "'rape only exists in capitalist countries because capitalism inherently dehumanizes people, whereas in communism only good consensual sex happens"

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.
@93: LW == Letter Writer

@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.
@97 Since the letter writer is only asking for restraint during mealtimes it sounds to me like the housemate is free to have sex for 14 to 16 hours during the day.

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.
You'll get used to it. If you wanted you could make a blunt joke about what they were up to when you see them in the kitchen after they've had a loud session. Then maybe they'll start to turn on music. But beware - that just results in loud music -and- loud sex.

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.
Unfortunately this is why it's so important to have a noise policy and to know your roommate WELL before you move in together. Because since the roommate is renting the space, she has a right to do what she wants in it. (If it was the neighbor's -- that could be a noise violation.) Still while it's true she has a right to do it, it doesn't mean she should exercise her right without taking into account others. Just like you don't blow smoke in the face of an asthmatic because you're allowed to smoke there.

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.
I think @61 is right. LW needs to actually acknowledge and state to her roommate what's really bothering her. When she talks about violating the roommate's privacy, she probably actually means feeling like she's becoming involved in the roommate's sex life (like @87 mentioned).

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.

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