Behind Closed Doors: keeping your love life to yourself

Today, I would like to talk about sex etiquette, or, as I like to call it, sexiquette. Please do not misunderstand me; this is not a manual on how to have really quiet, scheduled, “sexy” times. This is simply an exploration of some topics you may want to discuss with your roommate.

People often have a lot to say about other peoples’ sex lives. I generally prefer for people to mind their own business, but, unfortunately, sometimes we make it their business.

If your roommate walks into your room, as is perfectly within their right to do, and you are there having sex with someone, then your sex life has suddenly become your roommate’s business. After all, it is their room too.

So how do we avoid this perfectly uncomfortable situation? Simple. It is proper sexiquette to communicate with your roommate about when they might open the door and encounter you and your partner’s naked butts. It is not proper sexiquette to say to your roommate: “You can’t sleep here tonight, I’m having sex.” That’s not polite.  However, you could say something like, “Hey, I was thinking about having my partner over tonight, and we might like some privacy. Is it cool if we take over the room for a little while?” Chances are, your roommate will probably be okay with it, provided, of course, that you do not ask this of them all the time.

Under absolutely no circumstances is it okay for you to have sex in your roommate’s bed. Why you would even want to do that is beyond me.

In the interest of preventing your sex life from becoming scheduled, there are alternatives to the aforementioned conversation that allow for more spontaneity, while remaining considerate of your roommate. As cheesy as the sock-on-the-door technique is, establishing some kind of signal that your roommate understands can be a perfect way to spontaneously warn your roommate that they might want to knock before entering the room.

I have a dry-erase board on my door that I once used to write a message to my roommate when I was about to engage in some unplanned sexy time in my room. It said something along the lines of, “WARNING: There is a possibility that sex is happening in this room right now. Please knock!”

Now, my roommate happened to have a sense of humor, so the explicit nature of that message was perfect for making her laugh and choose not to disturb us. Nevertheless, it is simple enough, if you have a dry-erase board, to write a note to your roommate that says “Please knock!” so they don’t immediately barge in. Or, as long as your roommate knows what it means, you could put your tie/scarf/whatever on the doorknob. You could even shoot them a quick text to tell them: “Hey! Just a heads up: I’m with my partner, so you might want to knock on the door when you come back!”

There is, however, one non-negotiable sexiquette no-no when you have a roommate. Under absolutely no circumstances is it okay for you to have sex in your roommate’s bed. Why you would even want to do that is beyond me. Nevertheless, it has happened (not to me, I think … ), so it is important to establish that this is just plain disrespectful, even if you clean the sheets afterward.

The most important thing to remember when you have a roommate is this: You need to communicate with them if you intend to use the room for sex. This is something I would recommend talking about before having sex in your room.

Stay tuned for more sexiquette tips, coming soon to newsstands near you.

Katelyn R. is a Behind Closed Doors columnist who is quickly running out of socks.


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