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Sexy Time: Confront the frisky, disruptive roommates

Sex shouldn’t be the foundation of a relationship, but it is the biggest symbol of communication and intimacy between two people. The question is, should your sex life be a symbol of communication with your roommates?

I went over to my friend’s dorm to work on a project, but while we were establishing roles, so was her roommate. I could hear dirty talk in the next room while my friend gathered her things to leave.

“Oh, she does this all the time. You should have been here Tuesday!” she said.

As the young lady in the next room let out an earth-shattering moan we giggled, but I knew from personal experience that living with a chick who kept condoms in the cookie jar wasn’t good. As college students living on our own, we all have roommate horror stories, from dirty dishes to drunken parties and loud music. However, hearing your roommate have sex is the emotional equivalent to your car not starting on a train track. You’re terrified it’s about to come and have no idea what to do about the situation. Is there a proper etiquette when it comes to college roommates and sexual encounters?

College students secretly love to talk shit about their roommate, so I had no problem finding out.

Brittney, a senior, had a roommate scarier than them all.

“My first roommate was a sex addict. She had lots of toys and I would wake up and she would be using them loudly. I bet she brought home a different guy every night for three months. She dropped out and became a stripper,” she said.

After hearing about other people’s roommates’ sex lives, I began to believe that my experience with previous roommates – drunk frat boys coming into my room searching for a girl named Hayley, a couple of potheads asleep in their underwear on the green tweed North Lake couch, and the occasional moan or two wasn’t that bad. In fact, I began to realize, after baking a chocolate cake in the shape of a penis and listening to my nightly Dan Savage sex podcast, that I was that obnoxious sexual roommate. College is a time where people are finally on their own and no longer under the shelter of their parents. In a cauldron of opportunity, hormones and freedom, it’s a perfectly natural time for anyone to explore and own their sexuality. However, there should be some limits out of respect.

Chrissy, a freshman, said, “There should be rules. Certain nights that it is okay, or a sign. Put a sock on the door or something.”

Freshman dorms are notorious for bumps in the night – whether they be the pitter-patter of feet running across the hall at 3 a.m. or the screams of a girl when she comes. However, can you really enforce rules regarding sex and intimacy? Brittney believes not.

“People are going to do what they want. It’s college. If they make it a habit, I would consider moving out.“

While moving out is a solution, it’s not always easy and may not be something that every student would want to do over something so trivial as being too loud in the bedroom. The key to how you handle your roommate situation all boils down to how close you are.

“I wouldn’t want to embarrass them, because it’s embarrassing for them too. I would probably shoot them a text message later,” Brittney said.

Chelsea Rosebery, a senior, would approach them personally.

“I would talk to them nicely to get the point across. People don’t like to be told that they did something wrong,” Rosebery said.

I agree, although I’m not sure that a positive feedback sandwich really works in this situation. Can you really go to your roommate with a straight face and say, “You are a great roommate; I love the way you bought paper towels, but when you ride your boyfriend cowgirl style before my astronomy exam it hurts my feelings”?

A sophomore majoring in elementary education is a firm believer in the power of headphones.

“Make it clear that you are awake. Slam your door or turn on the shower – basically make them feel uncomfortable so that they stop.”

This technique seems more effective than sending your roommate a Facebook message, as they probably aren’t tagged at “in my girlfriend.”

Regardless of the way you approach your roommate, always try to keep in mind their point of view and remember that they are people with their own unique values, feelings and needs, too.

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