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My small bedroom window looks DIRECTLY into my neighbor's kitchen, living room, and bathroom. We're close enough that their apartment takes up my entire view—I literally can't look out my window without looking into their apartment. (Happy to send you a photo, if you doubt how obtrusive this apartment is.)

Three years ago, a poly couple moved in, took down the existing shades, and never replaced them. Since then, I've been forced into being a part of their lives: from exposure to the most mundane activities (cooking and watching TV) to the most personal (bowel movements, spanking sessions, showers, fights, pubic hair maintenance routines, and a never-ending stream of sex partners).

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The couple once crashed a party at my house and when I was chatting with them I mentioned how much I could see into their place. When I took them upstairs to show them, they acknowledged that I have a surprisingly excellent view, but then laughed and told me they were poly exhibitionists. Then they laughed and made comments about how much weed I smoke and what my daily routines are. I laughed too, feeling SUPER awkward and gross, but not knowing how to respond. That was two years ago and I'm still forced to watch them, day in and day out.

I try not to pay them any attention, but it's basically impossible, unless I keep my own curtains closed all the time. I do keep them closed as much as possible, but I don't want me or my plants to have to live in darkness, just because these fuckers think everyone wants to watch them fuck.

I'm not a prude, Dan; I have my own kinks and I frequently refer to myself as a "pervert." But I'm not at all interested in being ANY part of their lives, most especially their sexcapades, which I never consented to being a part of. My privacy is INCREDIBLY important to me and I'm angry that they don't care to do their part to respect it. Even more gross, I worry that they're getting off on watching me.

Am I wrong to be mad about this? Am I solely responsible for protecting my privacy and theirs, simply because I'm the only one bothered by it? Aren't having & using curtains part the unwritten rules of urban decorum? And shouldn't exhibitionists be expected to get consent from the people watching them? Is there anything I can do about this, other than stew in my own resentment?

Fucking Over It

So... you're INCREDIBLY annoyed with these poly jerks for invading your privacy but you offered to send me a photo of the inside of their apartment.

So... you're INCREDIBLY annoyed with these poly jerks for taking down their "existing curtains" but you refuse to close your own.

So... you're INCREDIBLY annoyed with these poly jerks for taking down their curtains three years ago because your privacy is INCREDIBLY important to you... but your privacy isn't important enough to spend $30 on some sheer drapes—you know, the kind of curtains that would afford you some privacy without plunging your bedroom into eternal darkness. (You can order 'em from J.C. Penney's for under $10!)

Look, FOI, I'm not suggesting these jerks aren't jerks. What they said to you—in your own home!—about your routines and about themselves ("We're poly exhibitionists!") was unsettling and very deeply creepy. These jerks have no boundaries and no regard for consent; ethical exhibitionists don't show themselves to anyone who doesn't want to watch. And sooner or later unethical exhibitionists wind up in trouble with the law.

But you aren't helpless in the face of all that pube trimming, bowel moving, and multi-partner sex having. You have curtains and you can use them—and you live in a house, FOI, so that small bedroom window can't be your only window. If your plants require more light than they'll get once you hang some sheer curtains in your bedroom, move them to another room. (How much light does a bedroom with a small window so close to the house next door that a single window in that house "takes up [the] entire view" really get anyway?)

I get it, I get it: you didn't have to close your curtains before these poly jerks moved in because the previous tenants kept their curtains closed. Because they kept their curtains closed, FOI, you never had to close your own. But curtains aren't mandatory and people are allowed to do things in their own apartments—from mundane things to sexy things—with or without their curtains closed. It was, again, deeply inconsiderate of them to tell you they're exhibitionists—inconsiderate and potentially actionable. (See below.) But you are not helpless. And seeing as there are already curtains up in your bedroom, FOI, you won't have to buy and hang a curtain rod!

For the record: You have a right to be mad and a right to feel violated, FOI, but if looking into someone else's apartment bothers you—or if someone else looking into your apartment bothers you (and it would bother me)—then the responsibility to protect your privacy falls to you.

You might be able to have this couple arrested for being naked in their own home. People have been arrested for that. While local indecency laws vary, FOI, incidental nudity at home is considered criminal in some areas if the naked person or persons "intended to be seen." Since your neighbors know you can see everything and since they told you they're exhibitionists... you could call the cops. I guess. But if you're looking for something you can do about this short of involving the authorities, FOI, or stewing in your own resentment...



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