Is it rude to have sex in an AirBnB room rental?
April 5, 2013 2:10 PM   Subscribe

I'm staying in an AirBnb room rental for the first time in a few weeks with my SO. The rental is just a room in someone's house, where there are roommates who will be there for the weekend. Is it considered rude to have sex with my SO in the room?

If I were renting a hotel room, I would have no problem with it, but if I were crashing for free at a friend's house I would have some doubts about the propriety. This AirBnb thing is a grey area to me... we're not noisy, but depending on bed/floor mechanics it could become obvious what we're doing. I'm just looking for a perspective from people that rent out rooms (not whole apartments) through AirBnb and similar sites, and how you would feel if your "guests" were having sex in the room while you were there.
posted by sockpuppetofexistentialconfusion to Human Relations (29 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

You could always ask your host. "Hey, just curious, how's the soundproofing here?"

Your host will pick up what you're putting down, "Decent, I'd hear an aria through the walls, but not a samba."

If they blanch and start to stutter, "Like paper." Well, you may want to abstain.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:18 PM on April 5, 2013 [8 favorites]

I can see how that might seem awkward, but I'm going to come out in favor of 'Nope, not rude.' Absent very clear roommate agreements to the contrary, it's normal and expected that people who live in shared housing will sometimes entertain guests behind closed doors. What they do behind those closed doors is really no one's business. You're not the day-to-day roommate, but if it would be fine for him/her to have sex in his room, it's fine for you to do so.

Note: this ruling from the Official Etiquette Council of Me applies only to exclusive use spaces. It may be extended to a private, non-shared bathroom only in so far as it does not impact hot water availability to the household.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:19 PM on April 5, 2013 [5 favorites]

As long as you're not loud, go for it. People who regularly rent out rooms to complete strangers tend to be fairly laid back.
posted by Whitall Tatum at 2:21 PM on April 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

It is rude, sex being rude is part of what makes having sex,
posted by roboton666 at 2:21 PM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

(by that I mean, have your fun, you are on vacation!)
posted by roboton666 at 2:21 PM on April 5, 2013

This is one of those things where asking explicitly "hey, can we screw on your bed?" can save you, your host, and their roommates a headache.

(Also, if I am lending someone my bed, and they clearly have an SO, I generally assume they're getting down on it.)
posted by griphus at 2:22 PM on April 5, 2013 [8 favorites]

I think people who rent out rooms in their apartments on AirBnB expect that that some (most?) of their guest are going to get busy. Don't think it is problem as long as you are respectful.
posted by Lescha at 2:22 PM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm an AirBnB renter (house, but have an SO who rents a room) and roomer. It's fine. Assuming your room has a door and you're decently quiet/respectful it falls under the normal range as far as I'm concerned. If you are on a futon in the middle of the living room, maybe not so great. If you take a longass shower together in the place's only bathroom, not awesome. If you make big messy stains on what look to be heirloom-quality quilts and bedding, not so great. But basically I'd go by what would be okay or not-okay for a longer term roommate. Unless people are really specific that it's a problem (in which case they would probably not rent to couples) I'd presume it's okay as long as you were decently quiet and clean about it.
posted by jessamyn at 2:27 PM on April 5, 2013 [6 favorites]

Is it considered rude to have sex with my SO in the room?

Only if it's with someone who's not your SO and the SO's not down with it.

Seriously, though, anyone who rents their room out to someone else for pay is basically saying go for it. Either that, or they need a reality check. When you're a guest in someone's house, you don't fuck as a courtesy. Here you're a paying customer.
posted by phunniemee at 2:27 PM on April 5, 2013 [4 favorites]

I think if someone is renting your room out to a couple they have to realize that sex might happen on their bed. If they really don't want people having sex there then they could only rent it to single renters and say "no guests."
posted by mskyle at 2:31 PM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

As a host I'd expect it, but I'd also be sort of grossed out, too. AirBNB is not like staying in a hotel IMO.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 2:34 PM on April 5, 2013 [15 favorites]

People who regularly rent out rooms to complete strangers tend to be fairly laid back.

I agree with this and similar sentiments. And for what it's worth, I say that coming from the alternate perspective. I'm not sure if I would be laid back about this particular question, but that's (part of) why I don't rent my rooms to strangers.
posted by cribcage at 2:35 PM on April 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

If you both can sleep in the same bed then go for it. If the room has two twin beds, the host probably doesn't care for it. In which case you should fuck on the floor because, seriously.
posted by munchingzombie at 2:36 PM on April 5, 2013 [6 favorites]

I room in a house with a room that's rented for AirBnB, but I don't own the house. I say, have at it, just keep the noise down. (Same thing goes for vigorous 6 AM nose-blowing sessions—not that anybody asked.)
posted by BrashTech at 2:41 PM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Just keep it down and strip the bed when you leave.

As a host I'd expect it, but I'd also be sort of grossed out, too.

But if a couple has sex in a bedroom and no one hears it make a sound . . .

Discretion is the name of the game. A friend of mine and her boyfriend are probably going to stay with me soon for a few days, and I plan on giving them the bed while I take the couch. I will be furious if they have super loud sex and leave a mess, but if they're quiet and they leave the sheets in a ball that I can throw into the washer, I can pretend that nothing happened and live in blissful ignorance.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 2:56 PM on April 5, 2013 [12 favorites]

Once we had friends stay over, and they slept on the sleeper sofa in the living room. A week or so later when we were tidying up, we found the used condom they had stashed behind the sofa.

Don't do that.
posted by found missing at 3:06 PM on April 5, 2013 [23 favorites]

Where the AirBnB is can make a big difference - do not presume cultures and locations are all the same in attitudes.

Some locations in Asia, Latin America, and Europe for example, would have you kicked out immediately for sex in the room. Such places and hosts are also within the U.S. given the cultural diversity here. Better to get a proper read on your host's sensitivities.
posted by Kruger5 at 3:17 PM on April 5, 2013 [3 favorites]

I used to rent out my spare room via AirBnB (stopped because I moved to a smaller place) and I always just kind of assumed that people weren't being completely celibate during their stay, especially the ones who stayed for several weeks. I never noticed anything, though, so I suppose they were quiet.

So, no, not rude per se. On the other hand I've seen places advertised that were basically a bed in someone's living room. That'd probably be a different story.
posted by easternblot at 3:22 PM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

If I were renting rooms to people, I'd expect them to have sex there occasionally. I'd be mildly amused by it if I even noticed. I would however hate to be asked "hey can we screw in your bed?" or similar – Don't get me involved. Thanks. To me, THAT would be rude. (To me.)
posted by krilli at 4:03 PM on April 5, 2013 [32 favorites]

I've hosted many guests, and been hosted. I would assume that a couple would have sex. Don't ask for permission though--that would be embarassing and I simply wouldn't want to know. Keep it clean and quiet, and you'll be good guests.
posted by so much modern time at 4:11 PM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Speaking as someone who will never sublet to friends or in fact anyone at all ever again, please don't ever fuck in a bed that's not your own if one or more of the female participants is on the first (or indeed any) day of her period.

Other than that, go for it.
posted by tiny plastic sockpuppet at 4:38 PM on April 5, 2013 [6 favorites]

If I were renting, I just would rather not know. So try quietly and leaving no evidence.
posted by jander03 at 8:03 PM on April 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

If the door is closed and hopefully locked and you can be super quiet, go for it. And next time get an unattached room or hotel because vacation sex is awesome and you shouldn't have to stress about it.
posted by emjaybee at 8:54 PM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Just be really, really quiet. And preferably wait until everyone else should be asleep.
posted by whitewall at 9:16 PM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Treat it like the hiker's mantra: "Leave no trace."
posted by chronic sublime at 12:39 AM on April 6, 2013 [5 favorites]

I've done it. The owners of the house were down the hall, we didn't share any walls so we were fairly quiet but not too worried. We didn't leave used condoms in the sheets or anything like mentioned above, and followed all the house rules, so I think we were pretty respectful of the home.
posted by missriss89 at 5:34 AM on April 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

If they are knowingly renting out their room to a couple for a period of weeks, I imagine they're fulling expecting you to get it on in their bed. Seriously. If they were prudish about sex to begin with they'd never have rented to a couple.

Just don't be too loud, keep it in your room and away from common areas, and and like any other activity you may do in a rented room, avoid anything that will wreck the sheets or damage the furniture. Make sure you chuck out any condoms or dams or whatever, try not to leave any toys behind, that sort of thing.
posted by Jilder at 7:56 AM on April 6, 2013

I'm an AirBnB hostess and I just don't care. I guess I assume couples do what they like. Sleep, fuck, read, watch TV. I would crack up laughing if any of my guests asked if they could make love in my guest room. Everything gets a good clean after each guest, so I just don't think it is a big deal at all.

I sometimes host local Asian female students who often have a chaperone-relative living with them in a house in the city. If these students want to have their boyfriends visit, the chaperone turns a blind eye but to deal with gossip etc, they rent an airbnb room for a few days - that has happened here in my home a few times now, and I am under no illusions about what they'll be doing in their room. It pisses me off however when they have sex in the bathroom and have an hour long shower - this is a city with a water shortage.

I think hosts should factor this aspect of very normal human behaviour into their hosting. I give my guests heaps of privacy and make myself scarce during their stay.
posted by honey-barbara at 8:26 AM on April 6, 2013

Go for. Don't be messy nor loud.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 3:06 PM on April 14, 2013

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