So You Heard Your Neighbors Having Sex

The other day I heard my neighbors having sex. It’s odd because they live across the hall which means the sound travelled through two doors to get to me, and I was also watching a movie at the time, so despite all those sonic roadblocks, the sound reached me, or sought me out, depending on how you look at it. After the sex ceased I had to resist a very strong urge to write “C+” on a piece of paper and tape it to their door.

I’ve heard sex on two sides of my apartment. When I’ve heard it from all the sides I’m moving out (it’s like a weird three dimensional bingo game). So far it’s come from the wall with the door (as we just discussed) and underneath me. It won’t come from above as I live on the top floor, but if it does I’ll rush to see it immediately, because rooftops are where superheroes have sex.

The sound of sex is somehow worse when you know what the people involved look like, because now you have two images of them: the street clothes version, and the no clothes version. It never even occurred to you there was a no clothes version, but there it is, like the flip side of a Kandinsky painting. When you don’t know what the couple looks like, the sound of sex has an anonymous, almost organic feel, but when you do know what they look like, hearing the sex is like receiving a heavily detailed dossier you never requested. Whereas once my neighbors were extras, now they feel like real people. I don’t need that sh-t.

Now I don’t care how old or experienced you are, the moment that distinct sound reaches your ears you feel twelve years old again, and it’s only after the initial shock that you revert back to your regularly scheduled jadedness. People have various coping mechanisms for blocking the sound of sex. Some blast music, some go for a walk, some curl in the fetal position, and some even bang on the wall to complain about the noise (heroes among us). At the time I wanted to gather with my other neighbors in front of the sex door and talk about how loud it was. “You believe this?” “Man this is nothing. You ever hear whales f-ck?” I’ve actually gotten used to the sound, and much prefer it to the sound of its result: a baby.

When I think about it, sex is really the only time I’ve ever heard my neighbors. It bothers me that I don’t hear other things, like baking. I’d love to hear baking! Let’s get some eclectic sounds on this apartment mix tape. Maybe some sex, some baking, a vuvuzela, just to shake things up a little. I need to know people are doing other things. For instance, there’s a crazy guy in my building who talks to himself whenever he walks down the hallway, and I don’t mind that sound at all, because I know he’s not getting laid.

Hearing sex from an adjacent room is simply part of life, but there are a few things that give me solace. While I’ve heard my neighbors having sex, I certainly never heard my parents having sex, and I especially never walked in on them having sex (although I did walk in on them getting a divorce, which is much worse). Another reprieve is knowing that there’s actually been sex in my apartment (thanks sense of humor!), and that feels good, but what feels much better is knowing my neighbors had to put up with it.

I think the core issue here is that it’s not necessarily the sound of sex that bothers me, it’s the sound of a man having sex which bothers me. Most men like the sound of a woman’s pleasure, even when it’s in Steffi Graff territory, but the grunt of a man, well, it just sounds like somebody kicked a dying emu. So I guess what I’m saying is, if you’re having sex with your lady in apartment 303, fella, please, keep it down. TC mark

image – John Tornow


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  • Anonymous

    Been living with this on and off for 11 years, blah to flimsy soundproofing in Asian apartments! Thanks for making me smile!

  • LazyReader

    When the guy downstairs from me began dating a “screamer” last winter (2 hours non-stop screaming from the moment of insertion to withdrawl), I decided it was a good time to renew my interest and practice of tap dancing on my hardwood floors.

  • EarthToNichole

    My neighbor likes to have sex to Bruno Mars, and when they’re…finished his girlfriend (or lover/mistress/whatever. not sure of their status, really) SINGS Bruno Mars to him. I only know it’s Bruno Mars because I hear them having sex so often that the song gets stuck in my head and I had to Google the lyrics.

    • ashley_abc

      Ahaha oh wow. Just wow. She sings? I think that’s the real grievance.

      • EarthToNichole

        Yes! Hearing people having sex doesn’t bother me at all, really, but…the singing! Haven’t heard any Bruno in awhile though. Hoping he kicked her to the curb and will replace her with someone less vocal.

  • Sophia

    I have literally never heard other people having sex through walls. I kind of want to, just so I can relate to this. Oh, curiosity.

    • Anonymous


      • Sophia

        …yes? Not figuratively. Literally.

  • Guesty

    I would like to write a follow-up to this called “So Your Neighbours Heard You Having Sex”.

  • g.

    “…but if it does I’ll rush to see it immediately, because rooftops are where superheroes have sex.” Hahaha, loved that.

  • Ronan

    wh- d- y– c-ns-r th- v-w-ls?

  • Jeremy

    Haha you just made me picture all of my neighbours naked. And the majority of them are old couples.

  • Emma_kate

    “…but the grunt of a man, well, it just sounds like somebody kicked a dying emu.”

    Hysterical :)

  • Ana

    i’m the girl neighbours complain about. and seriously, it’s so disrespectful to interrupt my dose of pleasure by knocking in the walls. be patient!
    also, i agree with the emu-dying sounds. i woke up one night thinking my neighbour had an accident or something, actually it was the sinister sound of his male pleasure.

  • NoSexCity

    If your neighbors actually added a vuvuzela to the mix, you’d be suicidal in no time.

  • Maxwell Chance

    Yeah, man noises are never a good thing. The only noises I make are the occasional, whispered “shit,” “fuck,” or “Jesus.”

  • Meghan

     “It won’t come from above as I live on the top floor, but if it does I’ll rush to see it immediately, because rooftops are where superheroes have sex.”
    you’re so cute. :)

  • Jenn

    If you flip a Kandinsky wouldn’t you just find a landscape? 

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know..a lot of good looking people are moving in around me now. It’s tempting to hear how attractive people that don’t poop have sex.  

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • guestyguest

    I heard my upstairs neighbors have sex at 2 AM about two weeks ago. They were playing music really loud as if they were trying to cover up their sex, but I mean, their bedroom is right above mine so heard alllllllllll the bed squeaks and screams.

  • Hazjasper

    Make the same sound and make sure they know your pretending it sits them up

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