AdviceHey, Bonita!

My Roommate’s Noisy Bedroom Habits

Hey Bonita,

How [do I] deal with a hot and heavy roommate? I am very good friends with my roommate, and I like her boyfriend plenty; there’s nothing like SUPER bad about living with her and having him around all the time. Except that they are VERY into each other, if you know what I mean. The good news is that they spend most of their time at our apartment in her room, but the walls are a little thin, and when they’re in the mood we ALL know about it. We’ve all been there, and we’re all human, but I’m starting to get anxious when I know they’re both home because I’m worried they will wake me up at night, which they do often. Me and the other roommates have mentioned this to her, but she just giggles it off and will take it as an opportunity to talk about how in love she is. I don’t think she’s taking it seriously that her nighttime “habits” are keeping the rest of us from sleeping.

It was funny and maybe even a little cute at first, but I just want to sleep through the night. I don’t know why they can’t just go to his place! Winter break is almost here, and she and I will both be staying in town, and so will he. I have fantasies of sleeping in and taking naps all break, but I get antsy and hype when I consider that she’ll be there, too, moaning away in her bedroom. I know you’ve lived with roommates before, so I bet you have some advice on what I could say to handle this without pissing off my friends. Thanks!


Hey Anon,

I agree that she doesn’t really understand what the problem is here, or perhaps she doesn’t see it as a problem at all. You say that you and your other roommates have “mentioned” this to her, but I think this deserves a real sit-down house meeting. That may sound horrifying at first, but you don’t have to make it the only thing you talk about. Let it be the last issue raised after going over the usual: bills, cleaning and such. This may be her first time not living with her parents or in a dorm, and there is definitely a learning curve to sharing a home with non-family. I don’t get the sense that she’s inherently rude or disrespectful, and you seem to like her a lot and don’t want this to mess up your friendship. She sounds young and not very good at sharing space, so any conversation you have about the issue should be focused on the shared aspect of your living arrangement and the need for cooperation. I imagine that it would not be OK for someone to start blasting music at 3 a.m. in your living room, so the sounds of their coitus should also not be on the table at such an ungodly hour. Privately, explain to her what this is doing to your sleep patterns and that you’re getting anxious on evenings when you know he’s staying over. Ask why they can’t be intimate at his place, and argue for more egalitarian sleepover practices in their relationship to relieve some of the stress she’s putting on your household. 

I also recommend being gentle and respectful with this issue, as you wouldn’t want her to feel singled out or persecuted for her sexuality. You’re right—we’ve all tried to get it on in a house that’s occupied, but if you share your home, then you are required to consider the feelings of the people you might disturb with your hanky panky. I’m not saying that we should never ever hear our housemates getting jiggy, but she seems to either not care at all or she may have erroneously decided that y’all were cool with this sort of late night disturbance.

Your attitude and approach to this issue is commendable. I don’t think you have hard feelings towards your roommate or her partner for these repeated transgressions, and you are also focused on it being a disturbance issue and not redirecting your frustrations into shaming them for their sex lives. Keep that energy for the rest of your life.

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