Dealing with Roommates and Sex in College

I’ve mentioned before that I was a resident advisor in college and believe it or not, one of the biggest problems we had was roommates not being respectful of one anothers’ personal space when it came to sex.

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When you first get to college, you’ll find that most folks have never had to live with another person, so sharing personal time and space can be a little awkward. This can be made especially difficult if this person is a complete stranger. But chances are, you’re going to have to live with a roommate at some point in your life, so here are some tips about keeping your sex talk positive.

So you’ve walked in on your roommate having sex…

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Walking in on your roommate having sex can be an uncomfortable experience for both of you and can quickly turn into an annoyance if you don’t talk about it with your roommate.  Here’s some tips to avoid any awkwardness and make sure you both have enough time to get it on without interruption.

1. Step away. Allow your roommate to finish their extracurricular activities, or at least clean up and put some clothes on. If you bust in and start shouting, then you’re going to have to deal with a fight– and they’re going to be both naked and, uh, impassioned. And no one wants to fight a naked person with a boner.

2. Wait for their partner to leave before you talk about it. Bringing it up in front of a partner may make them feel on the spot, even though your roommate probably told them it was cool to strip down and get crazy. The issue is between you and your roommate, not them.

3. Approach the issue calmly. The calmer you are, the calmer they’ll respond. “Hey roomie,” you say, “I can’t help but notice you guys have been getting intimate a lot. Maybe we should come up with some kind of communication  so I know when to take an extra fifteen minutes in the cafeteria. Is that alright?”

4. Come up with a code. My fellow-RA roommate and I were both in long-term relationships while we shared a bedroom. So, we put up a whiteboard on our door, and anytime there was a smiley face on said whiteboard, we knew to walk very slowly to the mailroom and back. We’d text each other, “Hey, congrats on the sexcapades! Let me know when it’s safe for me to come up.” That was it. It gave them a little incentive to pick up the pace by letting them know I wanted back in the room, but it also let them know that I was cool with their hanky panky so that they could be cool with mine.

5. Stick to the code. Even on those days when it’s going to be difficult, like when you have a rough class and want nothing more than to curl up into bed and you see that smiley face on the door, respect the code. It may help to discuss things before hand, I.E: “Hey, I have a big test tomorrow and need to come home from class right away and study. If your partner comes over, could you keep it PG, or take it to their room instead?”

6. Set some basic boundaries. You both have a right to the room. As much as they have the right to get some frickfrackin’ in the room, you have a right to not have to not have to shield your eyes every time you open the door. In addition to setting up some kind of code for sexile, you can also talk about how comfortable you feel having their partner stay the night, and so on.

7. If it’s not working, talk to an RA (if you have one). You might feel a little embarrassed at first, but I guarantee, it’s something they deal with all the time, and they’d much rather nip it in the bud before it escalates.

Keeping these tips in mind will help you avoid walking in during your roommates next anatomy study session.  Just be courteous and conscious of each other’s needs, because being an unwelcome guest is a sure fire way not to have a threesome.

You can hear your roommate having sex…

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If you live with a roommate and you have separate bedrooms, that knocking of the headboard or the loud moans of pleasure can still be a total nuisance. Here’s what you can do if it becomes a problem for you:

1. Ignore it. Put on the headphones or turn up the volume. Invest in a white noise machine.

2.  Speak to them after they’re done. That knocking on the wall thing that you always see in movies? It doesn’t work. It just pisses people off, or they don’t hear you, so you knock louder, and then they get really pissed off. Wait it out, then sit down with your roommate alone (again– no partner involved).

3. Ask them to keep their enthusiastic moaning down, or  put some music on to drown out the sounds, or to move their bed away from the wall so you won’t have to hear it thudding. Or who knows? You can even present them with a can of WD40 as a gift for a squeaky bed frame.

4. Ask them to restrict their banging times to when you’re not in the apartment. While conflicting schedules might make this difficult, it’s an option worth exploring.

In the end, being a roommate is all about compromising. While it can be difficult to compromise with an embarrassing topic like sex, keeping it open and positive will make things a lot easier. And a little compromise is a lot easier than shelling out for your own place.

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