Dear MKE SEX,
I live in a small apartment with thin walls. My girlfriend lives with her parents so we hang out at my place. We have amazing sex and I enjoy every minute. My concern is with my neighbors. My girlfriend enjoys several loud orgasms and I don’t want to stifle her during sex. I’ve noticed that they look at me funny when we meet up in the hall, and once I think someone knocked on the wall after orgasm three or four. What should I do?
Rockin’ the Walls of the Apartment Building
First off, congrats on the amazing sex with an appreciative (and expressive!) partner. There are folks who spend decades in search of what you have right now. And while this sounds like an awesome problem to have, it is still a bit of a problem.
You’re right to be concerned about whether your daring deeds are disruptive to nearby folks. Hearing sexy sounds through the floors, walls, or open windows makes some people real uncomfortable. It can be like accidentally joining in, but without having been asked to the party. In other words, it can feel like non-consensually participating in another person’s sex life. Doing what you can to minimize that will go a long way in maintaining neighborhood relationships.
On the flip side, there is a certain amount of “neighbor noise” that’s to be expected in apartment living. It’s common to hear other people’s television, music, pets, and even conversation. I remember being able to set my clock by the sound of an apartment neighbor vacuuming every Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.
So, what can you do? I’d start by talking to your girlfriend if you haven’t already. Ask her if she can turn the volume down a little when you’re having sex at your place. She probably doesn’t need to be silent, just quieter. Some couples have a lot of fun playing The Quiet Game, with the objective of having really raucous sex as quietly as possible. (The occasional reminder to “shh!” can be also be used to great effect for folks who enjoy The Quiet Game.) It’s also often possible to take advantage of times when your neighbors aren’t home. Turning on some music or a noisy television show can also work to mask some of the sound.
When you’re in the mood to let it all out, you could take advantage of a time when your girlfriend’s parents are away from the house. Or save your pennies and snag a hotel room for an evening or an overnight stay. (Hint: If you use one of the travel apps, you can often find a last minute room in your town for about what you’d pay to go out for a cheap dinner and movie date.)
In the end, even if you follow these precautions, your neighbors may still hear the two of you from time to time. To preserve the peace in your building, I would make it a point to never complain about the (kid/pet/tv/video game) noise coming from your neighbors’ homes. Also, a plate of cookies or invitation to grill some dinner can soothe a lot of sour feelings.
Curious about cunnilingus? Anxious about anal? Do you have questions about queefs or problems with your prostate? Lucky Tomaszek is the education coordinator at The Tool Shed: An Erotic Boutique, Milwaukee’s only mission-driven, education-focused sex toy store. Send her a question at [email protected] and she’ll get back to you with an answer.