If You Can Hear Your Roommate Having Sex & You're Annoyed, Here's How To Talk To Them About It
While shared living comes with many joys, like impromptu kitchen dance parties and split utilities bills, the times you can't help but hear your roommate having sex may make you want to jump into a lake. When you share space with others, you inevitably have to compromise from time to time. But living with others also means finding a balance to make sure everyone feels good and safe in the home, dorm, apartment, castle or whatever other housing structure you share. And if you can hear your roommate having sex literally every time and it makes you feel a little uncomfortable, you're totally allowed to let them know.
"Living with another person requires adjustments and compromise," Dr. Fran Walfish, Beverly Hills family and relationship psychotherapist, author, The Self-Aware Parent, regular expert child psychologist on The Doctors, CBS TV, and co-star on Sex Box, WE TV, tells Elite Daily. "If the noises are happening in the middle of the night and interfering with your sleep, then you need to deal with the issue directly with your roommate. Everyone has the right to eat, sleep, and have sex!"
If your roomie has a new boo that's always over, or if they like to frequently get it on with new people, overhearing some more intimate noises, especially when you're trying to sleep, can be a total bummer. But according to Dr. Walfish, if you're starting to get annoyed by hearing your roommate have sex, the first thing you may want to do is check in with yourself. "When it comes to your roommate having loud sex that annoys you it is important to ask yourself a couple of questions including: What time of day or night are they creating the disturbance? Are you envious that your roommate is getting more action than you are?" Dr. Walfish says. If you just got dumped and hearing your roommate finish is the last thing you need or if the sex always seem to happen in the middle of the night and you're a light sleeper, knowing why you're feeling annoyed can help frame how you broach the topic with your roomie.
Still, if you've just come home from a long day and you hear your roomie going at it, you may want to bust through their door and ask for silence. Yet, Dr. Walfish attests to wait to have a private conversation with your roommate, rather than address the noise in moment, "Absolutely, wait and discuss the issue with your roommate privately rather than confronting the couple during their sexual encounter," Dr. Walfish says. "Your relationship is with your roommate, not his or her partner!" Holding off to talk to your roomie directly about the noise can make them feel more comfortable and less on the spot.
According to Shula Melamed, MA, MPH, and well-being coach, having a set time to talk about house boundaries or to check in with your roomie about keeping your home harmonious can help squash budding resentment about unwelcome sounds. "Create a time and space for you to discuss house expectations, rules and concerns. In these conversations allow each other to discuss things you are comfortable with/not comfortable with and allow them to do the same," Melamed says. "Share with them that you would like to make your shared living space a respectful one and ask them what they would need from you to have this be the case." Having a roomie date to discuss where everyone is coming from can help open lines of communication.
If you're not super close to your roommate or if you're not super comfortable talking to them about the sexy stuff, the conversation can ultimately be one about noise control, akin to blasting the TV or using the blender too early in the morning. According to Dr. Walfish, it may actually be a more productive good conversation tactic to focus on the noise. "Do not talk with your roommate about your personal 'upset.' Focus on the noise disruption interfering with you getting a good night’s sleep," Dr. Walfish says. "Say something like, 'The walls are thinner than we may think and want…. Can you please keep it on low?'" Shaping the conversation around noise can take pressure away from the emotional or personal sides of shared living. Focusing on noise and your sleep can take your roommate off the spot and nix any rhetoric they may potentially perceive as judgmental or sex-negative.
If you hear your roommate having sex and you're totally peeved, talk to them about how the noise is affecting your sleep. Keeping the conversation on noise levels for the house can be a good way to state your needs without judging who or what your roomie is up to.