Did my roommate ruin my date?
June 8, 2006 4:12 PM   Subscribe

My roommate had loud sex in the apartment while I had a guy I'd *just* started dating over. Totally rude, or fact of life? Specific details inside.

I'm a gay guy, for the record, as you may not have realized from the front-page question. My roommate is a straight girl.

I'd recently started dating a cute, but really shy, guy, who my roommate met briefly before our second date, and he came over to our place to hang out last night after dinner on our third date. As mentioned before, he's quite shy and a little withdrawn, so we haven't even kissed yet, and obvs. it would've been nice if that had happened last night. However, while we were hanging out, watching the Daily Show, and I was putting the (very mild) moves on him (leg against leg, hands touching, etc.), my roommate and her boyfriend started having sex in the next room. They were not stealthy. It wasn't like raunchy barnyard sex, but when there was a quiet moment on the TV, it was pretty inescapable what was happening over there -- it's a small apartment. It... was... awkward. We kinda laughed about it, but it pretty much put the kibosh on getting us into that "we should kiss" place. (He is not the kind of guy I could've tried "We really need to drown that out somehow" on, for example.)

Am I right to be kinda pissed off with my roommate about this? She barely knows the guy, she knows I've just started dating him, and for God's sake, her boyfriend has his own apartment. I'm sure she'd had a rough day and a bit of sex really hit the spot, and obviously if it had just been me in the apartment I would've tossed on my headphones or whatever... but come on, right? Or am I overreacting? Is this a complete breach of etiquette, or more or less a "You're all young, you're all horny, deal with it" kind of thing? I'm very interested to get opinions on this.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (25 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

If she has her own bedroom, she can have sex with anyone she wants any time she wants, as long as the door's closed. It would have been nice if they'd been quieter, but she didn't have an obligation to be, in my opinion.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:23 PM on June 8, 2006

...a "You're all young, you're all horny, deal with it" kind of thing?

I think it might depend on how young. I'm 20 and I've been on both sides of this situation, consequence of living in close quarters with, erm, young horny people.
posted by atrazine at 4:24 PM on June 8, 2006

It's not really clear here whether she knew your date was there.

I don't think anyone's wrong in this scenario. But it would probably be a good opportunity to talk about what to do in the future -- I mean, if you told her ahead of time that you were having a date over and wanted some space/quiet, that would have been good; if you guys just showed up and you somehow still expected her to clear out on no notice, that's less cool; but any of this could be worked out if you can just talk about it now.
posted by occhiblu at 4:26 PM on June 8, 2006

I think its something you can mention in passing. Make it sound like you're doing her a favor letting her know she can be heard outside her bedroom.

But if she's in her bedroom and the door's closed, I don't think you can legislate what happens in there. And if you can only hear it during quiet moments on TV it doesn't sound like she is being that excessively loud, although I understand how that could disrupt a date.
posted by MasonDixon at 4:28 PM on June 8, 2006

Yeah, talk about it with her. There is no set ettiquette here; depends on the person. And in support of that statement...

A relative of mine was in Germany visting a friend's house. Mother and grandmother were reading a story to a young child. Child's teenaged sibling starts having very loud sex on the other side of the wall. Mother bangs on wall to get them to quiet down. Grandmother is angry ... at mother, for being so rude to teenager and his girlfriend.

So, y'know, different strokes, so to speak.
posted by lbergstr at 4:30 PM on June 8, 2006 [3 favorites]

Is this the first time she has ever had sex in your shared apartment while you were there? Is she usually this loud? If she's not, then yeah, it's very rude and there was probably an ulterior motive.

If she is usually loud during sex, and you knew that, then it's still rude to have done it while your date was there, but it's both your faults that 'precautions', so to speak, weren't taken. Because if you knew she was loud, you could have maybe had a quiet word to her before the date to say "listen, I have a date coming over tonight, so if you do have sex with your boyfriend tonight could you please be a little more quiet? He's really shy and it would freak my date out if he heard it."

If however you didn't know that she was loud, now that you do perhaps you could have that quiet word to her now. Be diplomatic. As kirkaracha says, she has the right to have sex with whomever she wants in her room, so if you come at her all pissed off about it she'll only get very defensive. Whatever you say, just make sure you get those three main points across for her, for future reference. 1) She's loud when she's getting some; 2) can she please be quiet when you have your date over because; 3) he's really shy and I really like him.
posted by Effigy2000 at 4:34 PM on June 8, 2006

You might not want to say "You're really loud when having sex" and rather phrase it as, "The walls are really obnoxiously thin here, so that's something we should probably be aware of."
posted by occhiblu at 4:37 PM on June 8, 2006

Am I right to be kinda pissed off with my roommate about this?



posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:43 PM on June 8, 2006

Indeed. Actually, in a former share house situation, my (married) housemates were, at times, noisy when they were doing the deed. It wasn't so much that they screamed or anything, but the walls were thin and their bed tended to hit the wall when they did it.

One day, just after we had the place sprayed for rats, I was lying in bed and heard a sort of scratching noise. Didn't know what it was, but thought the rats might be back. I invetigated, and realised the noise was coming from my housemates' room. They were doing it. The next morning I told them the story as I just told it and we all laughed. Whenever anyone had sex from that point on, and someone heard it, we would always say, jokingly, that we "think the rats might be back."

My point being, if you do plhrase it right, not only may the problem be solved, but you and your housemate may have something to laugh over well into the future.
posted by Effigy2000 at 4:46 PM on June 8, 2006

Can you politely ask her to play some music or run a fan or something next time?
posted by IndigoRain at 4:48 PM on June 8, 2006

No one who is having sex gives a rat's ass about what you are doing in the next room. I once lived with a guy who brought girls home and beat them with a paddle and while the endless THWAP-ing was going on on the other side of a very very thin wall, I was passed out on my bedroom floor with a handful of EMTs trying to figure out what to do with me. He thought this was hilarious, but I was pretty embarrassed that I woke up not only to find well meaning EMTs trying to figure out why there was so much noise coming from next door and if everyone was ok, but also that I had to hear him having sex... again.

My point is that considerate as your roommate may be in other respects, don't expect her to be thinking of your situation when she's having sex. Would you seriously think "Oh gosh, my roommate is watching TV with her friends and they're trying to paint their toenails, I should tone it down a bit" if you were getting it on?
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:49 PM on June 8, 2006

I don't think that you have a right to be mad. It is a shared apartment.

Now, if you had said to her "I'm bringing over the new guy tonight, mind giving us a little privacy?" and she still did it, that's one thing...
posted by k8t at 4:54 PM on June 8, 2006

It's one thing if they're having obnoxioius, crazy, spitting, smacking, LICK MY FUCKING FEET YOU FILTHY BASTARD sex that you can hear even after you turn the TV up.

It sounds like more pedestrian sex to me, which people are free to enjoy in their bedrooms (well, IMO, they should enjoy all kinds of sex in their bedroom, and elsewhere, although notions of common courtesy militate in favor of not subjecting your roommate to, um, unusual sounds).

Depending upon how close you guys are, I'd go ahead and make fun of her gently, and mention that you and your date were both there. This way, she'll know you heard her. If she cares, she'll keep it down next time.
posted by kosem at 4:57 PM on June 8, 2006

I don't think that a conversation in which you suggest that she fuck more quietly is going to turn out well, no matter how you put it.

You can, however, ask her to work with you in specific situations. That is, next time your shy date is coming over, you could say something like, 'Hey, I just want to know if you and your bf will be here Friday night, cuz I want to have X over, and last time when he heard you shouting "Great taste!" and your bf was shouting "Less Filling!", X kind of got all embarassed and I didn't end up even getting a kiss. So if you are, it's cool, but I'll take him somewhere else or something.'
posted by bingo at 5:54 PM on June 8, 2006

I'll make a vote for very very minor and unintentional rudeness, and you should "deal with it" anyway. If you want, negotiate some house rules for the future.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:00 PM on June 8, 2006

What k8t and occhiblu said; unless she's given you specific reason to believe she's being a cockblocker, I don't think she's actually trespassed against you in any way thus far. What kind of feedback has she given you about the guy so far?
posted by kimota at 6:06 PM on June 8, 2006

What bingo said. What she did was neither "a complete breach of etiquette" nor was it something you should just ignore. Talk to her about it, make sure she knows when you're bringing someone over, and try to work something out.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 6:29 PM on June 8, 2006

I third bingo's advice. Roommates simply have to have set boundaries about that stuff, or it's all up in the air-- and while I agree that it is basically pretty inconsiderate to involve someone else in your intimate moments if it can be helped, it's not like she was going to sit down and hammer out the details with you about all that while both yer dudes were already there. So I'm sure if you approach the subject with a good sense of humor, it will all work out in the future.

And don't worry, I bet you get your kiss next time!
posted by hermitosis at 8:13 PM on June 8, 2006

What bingo said.
posted by Count Ziggurat at 8:14 PM on June 8, 2006

Remember that this isn't always a bad thing.. dunno if it would mean less if I were gay, but the same situation worked out well for me. A few dates in, we had done about nothing but kiss, and the roommate started up while we were watching TV. She was similarly very shy, and we left. Next date didn't make it to home, but the one after did. When they started up, after laughing at them a bit, well, you can guess..
posted by SpookyFish at 8:39 PM on June 8, 2006

Maybe "sounds like a great idea" would work better than "we'd better drown that out." Phrasing makes a big difference. Besides, most guys aren't really shy about making out. They just pretend to be so you'll be more the more pursuant party in initiating the out-making.
posted by baphomet at 9:31 PM on June 8, 2006

People have sex and some people have loud sex. You can't dictate their schedule and it is most certainly not inconsiderate to have sex when your housemate happens to have a date over.

I can understand that it broke the mood, but that's just a fact of living with other people. Other people having sex is only galling when one is not getting sex oneself. And there is a very simple solution to that...
posted by pollystark at 4:37 AM on June 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

Perhaps if you'd mentioned to her beforehand you wanted privacy you could get a little mad, as it is I'd go with bingo - no "have sex quieter please" conversation ever goes well.

My housemate once heard me having sex during a reasonably tame one-night stand. The other night, whilst I was with a new guy, she wrote "can you shag quietly this time please" for a joke on the notepad outside my door. Consequence - he leaves the room to use the bathroom before I'd made a move on him, sees the note, tells me, I get embarrassed, me and the housemate have a screaming row the next day.

If hearing some noises from people having sex puts your boy off, he must be super-timid. Good luck with that!
posted by girlwonder at 5:37 AM on June 9, 2006

jesus. Fact of life. Get over it.
posted by jon_kill at 7:03 AM on June 9, 2006

She barely knows the guy, she knows I've just started dating him,

Not to be snarky, but would it matter if she met him several times and knew him well? Because having loud sex in the next room regardless of how well she does or doesn't know YOUR date shouldn't be a reflection on you, it is a reflection on her. Does it matter to you THAT much if he thinks she has a healthy sex life?

What about when you and he reach the doing-it stage and have audible sex while she is in the living room watching TV with her man?

I think you are just being pissy, get over it. It is part of having a roommate. Shared bills, sharred hollow walls.
posted by necessitas at 10:47 AM on June 9, 2006

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