My upstairs neighbor's bedroom is directly above mine, and I hear him having sex all the time. I'm no prude, but he's really, really loud and it kinda grosses me out. What do I do?
Can't Unhear (male, 32)
Dear Can't Unhear,
The first apartment I lived in was a teensy little studio, and my bedroom was right next to my neighbor's. The only thing separating our beds was a paper-thin wall. The couple was not only loud but also really wordy — kinda giving a play-by-play of the act — and the woman would yowl like a maniac at the end.
I thought it was fun the first time or two, but then the lack of sleep caused by their caterwauling got on my nerves. One particularly boisterous night, I yelled out, "She's faking it!" I don't think they had known that I was right next to them, and things quieted down after that. Not sure if a similar approach would work for you. Perhaps shout out some words of encouragement?
Hearing sex can be a little unnerving, because you can't help but get turned on. That can make you feel pervy, but it's completely natural. Our brains have these wacky things called mirror neurons that make us "mirror" the actions of people around us. Hence the contagious yawn.
Sex noises are a lot less stressful than hearing people screaming and fighting, or a dog barking all day long. Get yourself some earplugs or play some music when your neighbor is getting it on. If you really can't take it, write an anonymous note letting him know that, while you're glad he's enjoying a healthy sex life, you'd appreciate it if he could take the decibel level down a notch. Or, better yet, start having some loud sex of your own. That's the kind of shouting match I can get behind!
Good luck and God bless,