Ah, yes, college hookups: A wonderfully explorative, messy-but-educational era in many people's sexual development. While sex in college can feel like lots of trial-and-error, some of the messiness is within your control. Consent, safety, effective communication, and respect are crucial practices for good sex. But beyond your sexual partners, that respect should be extended to the ever-present, non-sexual third party in many college hookups: your f*ck buddy's roommate. Never mind debates about texting ahead vs. a sock on a doorknob. The real question is: How many times should you sleep in your partner's dorm?
Well, the answer to this question lies in common courtesy. Yes, you may want to sex up and cuddle your steady f*ck buddy to your heart's content this semester, but you probably still want to be considerate of the person on the other side of the wall, suite, or sometimes, room.
So, how many times is it acceptable to sleep over in your partner's dorm room? Chanel Jaali, a sexologist and researcher, says that if she had to put a number on it, she would recommend three times a week or less. "Anything more may start to feel like an extra roommate, which could turn into an uncomfortable situation," Jaali tells Elite Daily. While it may not be a main topic of conversation, the well-being of your partner's roommate is important to a hookup arrangement, especially if you want the arrangement to continue peacefully.
Something that might factor into how frequently of you sleep over at bae's place is the structure of their space. Is their dorm closed with a wall or some kind of barrier to divide the room? Or is it completely open, like two beds plopped side-by-side in a room? Even if the dorm has some kind of divider, Jaali says, "It's still a shared space that you have to navigate with your roommate(s)."
In order to cut down on awkwardness, it's important that everyone is in communication about when hookups are happening and when people are sleeping over. Best practices call for not just telling the roommate, "Hey, my f*ck buddy is coming over," but actually asking if they're comfortable with it first.
"Bringing an extra person into your shared space warrants a conversation about how that looks," Jaali explains. "Remember that everyone comes from different backgrounds and experiences, and this type of arrangement may not be comfortable for everyone." Ideally, your partner and their roommate will have this conversation at the beginning of your hookup situation. They should ideally work out a method for signifying that you and your boo are getting busy, and agree on the number days, max, that you will be sleeping over. Make sure everyone is on the same page.
Even if you and your partner keep your moans to a considerate decibel, and you only stay over on the pre-approved week nights, keep in mind that you may still run into some hiccups. Jaali recommends being open to the roommate changing their mind later on about the sleeping over arrangement. "What may have been OK in the beginning may become problematic or inconvenient later," Jaali says. Then, it becomes a matter of talking and figuring out new solutions.
Hooking up in college can be fun and a huge learning experience, but the reality of it is that you'll probably be sharing (small) spaces with all kinds of people and have to figure out how to co-exist in harmony. Success in this area, especially when it comes to sex, is all about creating a game plan that works for everybody and nurture's everyone's well-being.