The do’s and the major don’ts
Dorm-room life is your first experience of freedom, and this includes freedom of all things sexual. But as parents are oh-so-fond of reminding you: with freedom comes responsibility. And in this case, it’s responsibility to your roommate not to violate any boundaries – and to establish those boundaries in the first place.
For the first time, you feel like you have a place to call your own. It’s a place where your mom can’t tell you to pick up your clothes, when to eat and what time to go to bed – or who you can and can’t go to bed with.
The hormones are raging, and you find yourself living next door or across the hall from a really gorgeous boy. Or you are now able, for the first time, to see a girl walk back to her dorm room in her towel.
But although college life seems like you are living in your own apartment, there are still rules to follow for having sex in your dorm room.
For starters, this room is your own and you can do whatever you want in it whenever you want, but you still have to have common respect. Most likely you will have a roommate, and it is unfair to your roommate to always be having sex in their space as well.
A dorm room is, on average, a commonly-shared 180 by 200 square foot area of space. If you feel like you have your own apartment for the first time, your roommate probably does too. So if you are planning on having sex, don’t assume you can do it at anytime. There will be consequences.
Your room is barely big enough for you, much less you and someone else. So if you do want to have sex, don’t do it when your roommate is there. Late night hookups always seem like a good idea, but remember that your roommate may be sleeping, and no matter how quiet you think you can be, you usually end up sounding like a stampede of bulls running on the streets. Your roommate will hear you.
“I can even hear the person above me in the dorms when she is having sex,” said Alex Leong, a resident adviser and a junior integrative physiology major. “It is so annoying, I always wonder if she has a roommate and if so, what she thinks.”
So don’t even go there. It is rude and will cause strife between you and your roommate in the end. It is important to set boundaries with your roommate in the beginning. We are all in college now and should be mature enough to talk about sex without the first grade giggles, so break the ice early.
Talk it over with them and see what their feelings are about sex. See what times you have the room to yourself and what weekends your roommate plans on being away. This will help eliminate any awkward moments. Explain what works best for each of you and then implement and follow those rules.
It may help to come up with a code as to when you are having sex. Leave a sticky note on the door saying, “Come back later, I’m busy,” or leave a sock on the door. Even if your roommate is not too keen on paying attention to notes, they will definitely feel the sock when they reach for the door handle.
Always remember to lock your door while you are in the act; it is really a mood killer when someone walks in on you having sex. It is not only awkward for them, but it is not a pretty picture on either end.
And don’t have sex on your roommate’s bed! No matter how daring or how much of a turn on it seems to be, don’t do it. How would you feel if you found out your roommate did the deed on the new sheets your mom just bought you?
Next is a big one: the noise level. Dorm room walls are paper-thin. If you can hear your neighbor cough, chances are they can hear you or your partner scream, so keep the shrieks down to a minimum.
“I remember I used to have to borrow my girlfriend-from-down-the-hall’s big headphones so I could study because the girl who lived next me was always going at it and was so loud,” said Stephanie Morris, a graduated MCD biology major. “It was so annoying because she would be doing it at the most random times during the day, but at the same time, it was funny because we all could hear everything.”
Music is usually a good muffler in this case, but music that is too loud will also annoy your roommate or neighbors. Practicing self-control can actually be a very liberating experience, so try to keep the screaming, slapping, moaning and giggling to a minimum.
A final warning on noise: dorm room beds have a tendency to move and shift with forceful movement. This in turn can cause a banging sound against a heater or wall. Keep in mind that while in the act of sex, there is about a five to 10-foot radius that the sound will carry. Even the quietest of shrieks can probably be heard by many people on your floor, the floor above you or the floor below you.
Sex can be fun, but respect is a key. Your actions today may have consequences tomorrow and causing tension between you and your new roommate is not a good way to start the school year off. Be respectful, be courteous and remember to always put yourself in your roommate’s shoes before thinking about having sex.