Things that go bump in the night

Get­ting a room is one thing, hav­ing the time of your life with­out be­ing over­heard is an­other

Life & Style Weekend - - YOU - With He­len Hawkes

THERE is more than one im­ped­i­ment to great sex. But chil­dren, neigh­bours and par­ents count up there among them.

If you are a blended fam­ily, or even a tra­di­tional fam­ily, hav­ing the teenage daugh­ter right next door to your bed­room is a ter­rific con­tra­cep­tive un­less you master to­tally silent sex. I am sure your daugh­ter would agree as no one, no mat­ter what age, wants to hear their par­ents get­ting it on. Ever. A friend of mine says liv­ing with her father also makes her hus­band par­tic­u­larly ner­vous about in­ti­macy, even though they are in their 30s. He doesn’t want her dad hear­ing him. It may be a hang­over from teenage years but it’s still real and it cramps their sex life.

Liv­ing in a unit also puts par­tic­u­lar de­mands on sex­ual re­la­tions, es­pe­cially when your bed­room wall is right next to the neigh­bour’s lounge. Re­ally, there’s only so much you want the neigh­bours to know about you, or the per­son you choose to sleep with. If you’ve ever lived in a neigh­bour­hood where some­one had par­tic­u­larly loud sex you’ll know what it feels like at the other end of the equa­tion. A girl­friend solved this with a po­lite note let­ting the cou­ple know that while she was pleased they had such a ro­bust in­ti­macy, she re­ally didn’t want to be that in­volved. I have friends who have been asked never to re­turn to ho­tels be­cause of noise com­plaints, and oth­ers who won’t be asked to stay in share houses again. You could try ex­cuses like “I wish SBS wouldn’t show those movies” to save face but, frankly, who will be­lieve you? So what is the se­cret to dis­creet sex? I would sug­gest a room that is as far away from oth­ers as pos­si­ble to start with, so you can let go of that over­heard feel­ing, and a lock on the door.

In­su­lated walls are great too, of course, but, fail­ing that, maybe close the win­dows so the neigh­bours hear less, or pull the blinds so they don’t get a full view. I would sug­gest that hold­ing up notes like “that feels good” or “a bit to the left” is go­ing a lit­tle too far. Of course you may be the sort of per­son who thrives on be­ing heard, or ob­served, and this col­umn isn’t re­ally for you. For ev­ery­one else, my only other ad­vice is prac­tice, prac­tice, prac­tice. And, if you hap­pen to be with some­one who sim­ply can’t keep quiet, well, ac­cept that you will be run­ning up a bill on week­ends away, where you can only of­fend strangers.

It may be a hang­over from teenage years but it’s still real and it cramps their sex life.


Keep it down in the bed­room, or face some hefty ho­tel rates where you can only of­fend strangers in the room next door. A BODY AND SOUL SUR­VEY IN 2016 FOUND OF 4000 PEO­PLE, 24% OF THE WOMEN SUR­VEYED AD­MIT­TED TO RARELY COU­PLING OVER A FOUR-WEEK PE­RIOD...

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