Behind Closed Doors: Quiet down about loud sex


Today I would like to cover another sexiquette (sex-etiquette) topic: noisy sex. Can you be as loud as you want when you’re making love?

As I mentioned in my last column, I am not an advocate for quiet, scheduled and subdued sex. Sex should be enjoyable and liberating; suppressing noises of passion can make your experience feel restricted and not nearly as enjoyable. I don’t want any of you to feel restricted in your sex life.

That said, being as loud as you want can have some consequences outside the bedroom. I think it is safe to say that many of us have had the pleasure (or displeasure?) of hearing other people having sex. Most people I know find this to be an extremely uncomfortable experience.

I always wonder why it is that people feel so uncomfortable hearing others having sex. I like to go to bed at 11:30p.m. most nights, and if people nearby are having a particularly noisy romp in the sheets at that time, I will certainly be upset. However, I also get upset when my sorority sisters are talking really loudly in the kitchen (which is on the other side of my bedroom wall) when I am trying to fall asleep. I’m more annoyed with the volume of the noise, not the type of noise being made.

If I can hear people having sex in the middle of the afternoon, I’m not usually bothered. In the first place, it is easy enough for me to put on my headphones and block them out if I’m trying to focus. Second, I think it’s pretty great to know that people are enjoying themselves. My mental response to sex noises is usually something along the lines of: “Yaasssss get it!”

Finally, I don’t let it bother me because I know it’s absolutely none of my business, and I have zero interest in making it my business. The people I am hearing are having an intimate experience that I am not a part of, so I just keep going on with my life.

I think that is the reason most people are uncomfortable, though; they feel awkward intruding on someone else’s intimacy. This is perfectly understandable. I think it’s important to remember, however, that unless you are pressing your ear against the wall to get a better listen, or knocking on their door to ask them to quiet down, you are not actually intruding. If you let it go and continue on with your life, you are not intruding.

We tune out background noise all the time. I’m currently tuning out the sound of a lawn mower outside and someone vacuuming by listening to Beyonce. I hate to admit that I’m actually also tuning out Beyonce, but I am. I’m listening to my own inner dialogue with myself, and Beyonce has become background noise.

I recommend doing something similar when you can hear people becoming intimate. If you can just ignore it, that’s great. If you need to pump up some jams, that’s great too. You are fully capable of blocking out unwanted noise. So when you can hear the bed squeaking above you, simply blocking it out is the easiest solution for everyone.

Nevertheless, if you are the one making the noise, you should at least be considerate of quiet hours. It is significantly harder for someone to tune you out when they are trying to fall asleep, and there are some light sleepers who could easily be woken by your high noise level. Also, be mindful of the fact that a lot of screaming could cause alarm. If you are absolutely screaming your head off (props to you), there is a distinct possibility that someone around you may think that you are in pain or danger.

All things considered, I think my best advice for everyone, on both sides of the wall, is to be considerate and respectful.

Katelyn R. is a Behind Closed Doors  columnist with the one-of-a-kind ability to tune out Beyonce.


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