Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Shhhh. They’ll Hear You.

For those of you who don’t follow me on twitter (What’s wrong with you, why aren’t you on ? and why aren’t you following ME?) please allow me to apologize in advance.  I’ve been venting all morning. In the last 24 hours my life has turned into a demonstration of Murphy’s Law, with no end in sight. In a pitiful attempt to cheer myself up I chose a completely frivolous topic for today’s .

Have I ever mentioned anything about where I live?  Not the neighborhood but the actual building? I live in a classic tenement building (read – affordable). It’s well maintained and I love my to death. My faces the back and most of my neighbors are pretty quiet. I’ve been in the same building for many years and so I’m pretty spoiled.

About 2 or 3 years ago my old next door neighbor moved out and a new one moved it.  I loved my old neighbor.  He was never home.  I never heard a peep out of him.  Not this new one, though.  It turns out that the wall between our 2 bedrooms is actually really thin.  I’d never realized it before because the other guy was never home.  But it’s so thin that I can hear her sneeze.

And she can hear me… everything.

Which I didn’t realize til one day right after she moved in.  My boyfriend (I had a boyfriend at the time) and I were resting.  We had just finished having some very loud .  At the time I hadn’t thought of how loud it was.  But then, as we were lying there we heard her sneeze.  And all of a sudden we both started to laugh.  Because if we could hear her sneeze, well then she could hear us…everything.

Skip ahead a few months and the new next door neighbor started to become a nuisance, complaining about my music being too loud (I do not listen to my music too loud).  And then one night, during a rather intimate moment with my boyfriend, we hear a knock on the wall.  That’s right, a knock on the wall.

Now, I realize that some of you are not and have never been apartment dwellers and so you may not understand that she was breaking the unwritten code of apartment living.  You can complain about any noise you want by banging on the wall, floor or ceiling but a polite person does NOT complain about sex sounds (unless, of course, they are truly unreasonable).  Talk about killing the mood.

Since then I have become somewhat neurotic about noise.  And, truth be told, when I’m in a relationship I prefer to go to my boyfriend’s home (another excellent reason to not date men who live in the burbs).  It’s just really hard for me to relax and enjoy myself when I’m worried about how much noise we’re making.

AND yes, there is a question here.  Just a moment longer.

YourTango just published a list of the World’s 10 Best and Worst Lovers. I wasn’t surprised (much) by the results. Scotland (I lived in Scotland for a while, a long time ago) came in at number 8 on the worst list.  I’d actually expect them to place lower.  The reason given for their ranking was “too ” (I can think of other reasons they should be on the list).

So is too noisy a bad thing in a lover?  Do you not want to be with someone who makes a lot of noise during sex(see, I told you there was a question here)?

Today’s poll question:  Is it a turnoff when someone makes a lot of noise during sex?

  • Yes (10 votes)
  • No. I think it’s kind of hot. (44 votes)
  • It depends on the noises. (65 votes)
  • Other. Please explain in the comments. (2 votes)

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12 to “Shhhh. They’ll Hear You.”


  1. DaveTheBrit says:

    Great poll!

    Well it always depends doesn’t it, if I feel a girl is making noises that are just not “right” for the situation, then its going to be a bit of a turn off, I know I look like a porn star (ha), but there is no need to start pretending we’re in one.

    but if you’re pleasuring your girl and she starts making noises to tell you, you’re doing well, than thats better.

    but I’m not a grunter and I don’t intend to start!

    GRUNT!

  2. snowman expert says:

    I think this has happened to every renter at least once. I had a yelling neighbor ring the doorbell once…during. I was celibate for quite awhile after that visit.

  3. starangel82 says:

    A little noise is okay. It just depends. As long as he doesn’t grunt… ugh… *shudder*

  4. Jimmy Rice says:

    Hey, another good post. Hmm, I have to say I am on the neighbour’s side. Are they really supposed to come round and say, ‘Er, could you please keep the screaming down – I’m not getting any and it’s keeping me awake’? A bang on the wall is definitely the way to go – but only after 11pm (that’s the cut off). I use a hammer (I have a post about this exact subject on my blog – sorry, but I couldn’t NOT mention that). We ended up having an argument in the street. As for noise during sex – a man likes to know he’s making some headway. Definitely a turn on.

  5. LoneStar60 says:

    Well, it depends. Moaning, screaming, certain obscenities, all of those are “good” (well, unless you’re in actual pain, I guess); but laughter, comments like; “Hey! That looks just like a penis, only smaller!” or flatulence definitely fall in the “turn off” category, wouldn’t you say?

    Like most things in life, it’s all relative! :-)

  6. renrexx says:

    We have loud sex at my boy friend’s place. But when it’s at mine….. we’re very low key. especially cause there’s a hallway that people can hear. my friend just says i’m being paranoid, that it’s easier to hear stuff on the outside than on the inside.

    i don’t know. i don’t want to find out. i dont want my neighbors knowing what i do behind closed doors!

  7. drumdance says:

    Noise is hot, but I’m not personally noisy. Here’s a great tutorial (NSFW).

  8. dazediva says:

    Noise at some level is always a good thing :) At the end of the day, I’d like to know if my partner was enjoying whatever I was doing to him and vice versa …Not everyone is ‘vocal’ about what they like having done to them or what really turns them on and especially with a new partner it takes time to get comfortable – so some sounds (moans, sighs, etc) are all a sign that things are going in the right direction.

    There are times I could be pretty vocal and at others I’m just not … Luckily never had anyone bang on the wall – although I think I would burst out laughing if that ever happened to me hehe

  9. LittleMissAngry says:

    hahah.. good question. i also think depends on the noise.. though i think i can be pretty noisy(!). can’t seem to help it… and this trait was really apparent with my last boyfriend. he was sooo quiet during sex.. not even a peep.. no matter what i did. hmmmm…

  10. Simone Grant says:

    My goodness. I don’t even know where to start with these. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who has issues/concerns about being overheard by the neighbors and OMG snowmanexpert I think I might have killed that particular neighbor of yours, or at least started a campaign of terror against them(stealing papers, putting soggy things in their mailbox…).

    And it’s nice to see that so few of my readers are against noise altogether. IMO that’s just creepy.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The first night I spent in my lovely little apartment, I was awake all night with insomnia, and at around 2 or 3 a.m. I heard my next door neighbor peeing. Not a good sign. Until about 4 months ago, I had a single girl living overhead. She was rarely home and went away on most weekends. Then I started hearing sex up there. Kind of loud sex.

    Well, good for her, I thought. She got herself a boyfriend. And in time, they’ll either break up, or she’ll move out to a place big enough for the two of them, or they’ll stop having such FREQUENT sex when they get more used to each other.

    Oh no. Come to find out, nice single girl moved out, and the most amorous couple of the century moved in — to a very small, very poorly insulated apartment with hardwood floors — right above my head. Believe me, I understand the unwritten code that says you don’t complain about that kind of noise. But I can somewhat sympathize with your neighbor banging on the wall. I have been tempted to scream out in the middle of the night when I’ve been woken up by the moaning and bed thumping — YOU FUCKING SEX ADDICTS I’M TRYING TO GET SOME SLEEP DOWN HERE!!! It’s really too much for a single girl to take.

    All I can do is hope that soon I will find someone to drag home to my bed so I can fight fire with fire.

  12. Singletude says:

    I like it when a guy makes noise (as long as it’s not some weird kind of neanderthal sound), but I try to be respectful of my neighbors when that’s a concern because a) I’m private about my sex life and b) I have a do-unto-others policy about noise. If I don’t want to hear other people going at it (and I don’t), then I try to make sure no one hears me.

    I wonder if Anonymous above got the couple that used to live above me. Those two could bump uglies for hours, take a snack break, and be right back at it 15 minutes later. And, yes, they used to have all-night marathons as well as morning and noon marathons with the windows wide open in the summer when the kids were out playing in the courtyard. Couple of exhibitionists!

    I had no qualms about banging on the ceiling with a broom handle. It’s like any other kind of noise–you keep it down or deal with disgruntled neighbors. I once even shouted, “Shut the fuck up!” I have no remorse about it.