General Question

prolificus's avatar

(NSFW) What to do about neighbors (details inside)?

Asked by prolificus (6552points) October 24th, 2010 from iPhone

The walls in our condo building are not soundproof. We hear everything, from snoring to arguments, from loud tv and radio to normal conversations. We realize the building is the problem and not our neighbors. In fact, we like our neighbors and talk with them whenever we cross paths.

The general noise is very annoying, and there’s nothing we can do about it (we rent, so our only option would be to move). Here are the specific details about my question:

Our upstairs neighbors, whose bedroom is above ours, have loud sex on a frequent basis. The sound has woken me up quite a few times. If it’s too much, I put in earplugs and go back to sleep. Even so, it’s embarrassing to me because I feel privy to my neighbor’s sex life. The neighbors are two guys, and they’re as sweet as they can be, so it’s hard for me to look them in the eye when I know what they sound like having sex.

On top of this awkward situation, my parents (who are old, not open-minded, and are ultra-conservative) will be staying with me and my partner for two weeks. They will have the use of our bedroom, and we’ll be in the back room (on an air mattress, so it’s not an option for my parents who need a real bed). Knowing the frequency of the sex sounds, I expect it will happen while my parents are here. My partner had advised me not to warn my parents about the potential of hearing loud sex from our neighbors, because she thinks it would lead to a very awkward conversation. She thinks we should just warn them about general noises and offer possible solutions (i.e. turn on radio or tv, earplugs, etc.).

So, what should I do in this situation? There are two things awkward for me. Should I continue acting like I don’t hear them when I see them? Should I say nothing specific to my parents? Should I tell my neighbors what’s going on?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

18 Answers

Response moderated (Spam)
Neizvestnaya's avatar

Is the noise as noticeable in the back room? If not then take apart and move your bed in there for your folks.

If your parents are over 40 years old then I’m sure at one time or another in their lives they’ve overheard other people having sex. How are they to know exactly what faces in the building go with the sex sounds? I wouldn’t make a big deal over it except to put some ear plugs in that room with them and tell them occasionally you hear stuff but not sure where it comes from, wink and be done with it.

Joybird's avatar

What you do is solve the problem. You obviously have a second bedroom. I’m a little stumped as to why you haven’t put a queen sized bed in THAT room and just sleep in there and then when your parents come have THEM sleep in there. Other than that you could buy foam insulation baffles and then cover them with fabric with a staple gun and then use velcro strips to adhere them to your bedroom ceiling. It really DOES muffle the sounds.

marinelife's avatar

Don’t mention it to them. Just mention that the walls are thing and it is sometimes noisy at night.

Then you can hope that they are sound sleepers or they have hearing difficulties.

They are grown-ups. They don’t need the warning.

Although I thought of the same thing @Joybird did, which is why not move the room the bed is in and you and your partner stay in your room on the air mattress?

gorillapaws's avatar

Change the name of your Wi-Fi network to “we can hear you having sex”

Disc2021's avatar

I couldn’t help but to “rofl” while reading this. You should submit this to SNL as an idea for a skit.

All joking aside, I would try discussing it with the neighbors, as awkward as it may be. The “turning the radio on” idea doesn’t sound like a bad. Other than that, you could wait until your parents fall asleep… and then sneak a pair of ear-muffs on them.

@gorillapaws Lol. That may provoke them to do it even louder!

prolificus's avatar

@Joybird and others – the reason why we don’t use the back room is because the layout would prohibit it. Bedroom furniture won’t fit through the door (the passage between the door and closet is too narrow for anything wider than a very narrow dresser). Also the room serves other purposes, including an adjacent laundry room. We have a housemate, and shared access to the laundry room is needed.

@gorillapaws – LOVE it! But @Disc2021 is right.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I would just tell them you can hear them.As for your parents,I’d let that be a suprise ;)

GeorgeGee's avatar

One simple solution for this and other problem noise is to put a window fan in the room and turn it on. Not pointing at anyone, but generating some white noise.

Kardamom's avatar

This is really a “sticky wicket” as they say. You might consider talking to the landlord, instead of the noisy neighbors and hope that he can help you. Or you might consider making a cute little typed note (so they don’t know it’s from you) and put it on the doors of everybody (including yourselves) noting that the walls are thin and some of you may not realize that your nocturnal activities can be heard. With a polite little, “Sorry for the intrusion, just thought you might like to know.” It might not seem so bad if everyone in the complex gets one, including YOU, so it isn’t obvious who sent the notes.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Your partner sounds like a wise woman for not broaching the subject, although I think there are other reasons for not warning you parents.

Correct me if I am wrong, but having sexual intercourse is fairly common and can be an act of love. I suspect that your parents have had sex at some point in their relationship and could possibly be aware that others make more noise during the act then others. They may be just reserved enough to not discuss the topic in front of you.

perspicacious's avatar

I would not say anything to anyone. Everyone can deal with their own immediate environment. If they do not like it they can change it.

mrrich724's avatar

I wish I had a short term solution for you besides earplugs, but earplugs have worked for me in the past (the 25 cent squishy foam kind you get at the gun range)

Unfortunately though, long term, you would have to move out if you couldn’t continue to live with it.

When I moved to my last apartment in L.A., I was privy to this being a potential problem. So when I was “touring” the place I knocked on the walls and stomped on the ground. When I was knocking/stomping on cement, I knew it was the place for me.

MrsDufresne's avatar

Before your parents arrive, use a broom handle, or some similar object to respectfully, yet thoroughly, tap Shave and a haircut….two bits onto the ceiling.

Do this at night even if they aren’t having sex, and if they do start having sex, do it three times consecutively.

If they look at you funny when you see them around, pretend you know nothing, and go on with your daily greetings, etc…

All the best to you!

Iclamae's avatar

I agree with a number of the above answers:
The note to everyone about loud sex
Trying to talk to those specific neighbors
And it’s a shame you can’t move the bed. That was my first thought.
Not saying anything to your parents. They may not bring it up and have probably had the problem at one time or another in their lives.

My advice would be to leave some fresh earplugs in a dish on the nightstand. You could offer them to your parents with a warning that the walls are thin and you can often hear people’s conversations or music through them. That way, if your parents can’t handle the sex noises, they can put some earplugs in.

judochop's avatar

Slip a card under your neighbors door with a print out of this question.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I know you said that they are conservative but I think the best thing to do is make a joke of it. Before they go to bed just warn them that the neighbours can be loud at night (you don’t even have to tell them what they are doing so loudly) but you have put some earplugs in the room for them. If you keep it lighthearted and laugh about it then I don’t see why it should be awkard.

wundayatta's avatar

All I know is that if a friend or my children didn’t warn me about such a thing, I’d be really pissed.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther