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What To Do With a Screamer When You're Trying to Sleep

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Have you ever noticed that there is no Miss Manners etiquette regarding the appropriate level of sex noise?

Once while staying overnight in a hotel at about 1 a.m., I woke up to a couple zealously having sex in the next room. It then happened at 1:45 and again at 3:10. As thrilled as I am about people overtly enjoying their sexuality, I do not believe it should infringe on my sleep time.

Then again, it was in a hotel where the rules around hot and loud sex are fuzzy. It is expected for couples to let loose at a hotel, hoping the people in the next room are heavy sleepers.

Outside of a hotel, how does the average person feel about making sex noises with other people in close proximity? My observations show two camps: the first camp is too terrified to have sex because they might make the slightest noise and the second camp is turned on by the adventure.

After a hard day of skiing, a group wearily came back to their rented chalet. As it only had one bedroom, everyone slept on the living room floor in sleeping bags. Just as the group drifted off to sleep, one couple jokingly started to make loud sex noises. After a good laugh, the group once again dozed off -- all the while, the couple followed through with silent-ish sex. When I asked if they woke anyone up, they just smiled at me.

The question remains: how does one approach someone else about keeping their screaming to a minimum?

The first person I ever confronted was my university roommate who often brought loud girls home to sleep over. Between my being a light sleeper and our apartment's thin walls, I would have my very own front row seat to his goings-on.

After enough sleepless nights I challenged him, "Would you mind keeping it down when you bring guests over?"

"Huh?" was his initial response. Wholehearted laughter with, "You're joking right?" was his second. There was no way my 22-year-old roommate was going to quiet down an enthusiastic bedtime partner. I bought a pair of earplugs.

The next phase of my life came with having house guests. Granted, most of my guests have been discreet. And yet, there have been a few that were not. This is especially awkward when the guest bedroom is directly below my master bedroom, with a heating vent connecting the two rooms.

Last summer around 2 a.m., I was awoken by my guests' loud sex noises. Said couple went about their business for about an hour. All the while, I closed my eyes real tight and tried to go back to sleep. It didn't work. In fact, it took a few more hours for me to drift back into la-la land.

The next morning as I dragged my butt into the kitchen to make some blessed coffee, the couple in question came bouncing up the stairs. They were laughing, slapping and teasing one another.

I thought the black rings under my eyes and thoroughly tired demeanor would tip them off to my sleepless night. Nope. They were still in their sex-induced love haze.

Having slept through the entire performance, my husband could not understand why I was miffed. He exclaimed, "You're the sex expert. Shouldn't you of all people be open to folks having loud sex?"

"Yes," I repeat for a second time, "I am totally in favour of people having loud sex...but not when I am trying to sleep!" I then came up with the analogy, "It's the same as them going into our living room in the middle of the night and turning our TV on full blast. You just don't do it."

Yet if this couple were to come and visit again, would I mention before bedtime to keep their noise level to a minimum? I would rather stick my hand in a tank full of piranhas.

As such, I have come to the conclusion that there is no tactful way to ask rambunctious couples to keep their noise level down while having sex.

If this should happen to you, go directly to the bathroom, roll up a wad of toilet paper and stick it in your ears. Or, even better, start having loud sex (even if you are by yourself) to drown out their noise. At least you will have some fun while you're waiting for your guests to finish.

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