A Reasonable Defense of Loud Sex

What Women Really Think
Feb. 7 2014 4:05 PM

A Reasonable Defense of Loud Sex

73255148-new-york-united-states-to-go-with-afp-story-by-alfonso
When you live like this, you are going to hear some stuff.

Photo by Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

Writing for The Cut, Maureen O'Connor rejects the common wisdom that it's incumbent on the sex-havers of the world to keep it down, arguing instead that putting up with hearing people have sex is a part of modern life that people living in tighter quarters just have to learn to deal with. Arguing with the folks, including our own Emily Yoffe, who advise you to keep it down for the sake of your neighbors, O'Connor writes, "Because if adults can’t have noisy sex in their own homes, with the doors and windows shut, then where can noisy sex occur?" She adds, "The whole point of being a wage-earning, home-owning (or -renting) adult is that you can do whatever you want to do in the privacy of your home."

I could not agree more. One of the realities of an increasingly urbanized society is that we all have to suck it up and learn to politely pretend not to know what we learn through the walls and ceilings we share with neighbors. On the issue of public bathrooms, Prudie wisely advises that what goes on in a neighboring stall "is supposed to be off-limits to acknowledgment or conversation." I recommend the same approach to what you overhear in your neighbors' apartments. If the noise is short-lived or there's no reason to think anyone is in trouble, letting bygones be bygones is best practice. I once had a neighbor whose crated dog whined all day long while he was at work. I would gladly have traded that sad dog singing the blues all day for the brief and happy noise of victory that is a loud orgasm. 

Advertisement

However, there should be, for the sake of peace, some limits put on your relative freedom to be as loud as you want when you're making love. A reasonable curfew of 10 p.m. on weeknights and midnight on the weekends, so as to avoid waking people up, is probably for the best. But before then, if you're one of those people who is bothered instead of amused at the sounds of other people's pleasure, just turn up the TV volume. It's not like your neighbors are going to ask you to turn it down. 

Amanda Marcotte is a Brooklyn-based writer and DoubleX contributor. She also writes regularly for the Daily Beast, AlterNet, and USA Today. Follow her on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.