6 Booty Rules for Sharing a Space

What’s the etiquette of getting some nookie when there’s a roommate in the picture? We’re not talking about having sex with your roommate — if you’re doing that, poor soul, then even we can’t save you from the inevitable blow-up. No, we’re talking about the delicate issue of when, where, and how to have sex if you happen to share your apartment with a platonic roomie. If you don’t want to end up back on Craigslist — and we all know what kind of roommate that will lead to — then follow these six simple rules:

    1. As tempting as it may be, do not have sex in shared spaces or on public furniture, e.g. the chaise-longue in the living room or the kitchen table. You never know when your roommate may show up unexpected, and no one deserves to have their morning Cheerios ritual forever spoiled by that kind of sight. Even if they never catch you, it’s just plain bad manners for them to unwittingly sit on your dried-up wet spot while they watch their favorite show.
    2. The shower and bathtub, however, are acceptable staging areas because of their built-in clean-up feature and also the nature of bathrooms in general (i.e. dirty things happen behind locked potty doors…the key word here being locked). However, this should happen only when your roommate is out, or when they have already brushed their teeth and retired for the night. Trust us, your roommate will not find your morning bathroom nookie endearing if they are late for work. Also, wrap the used condom in TP before leaving it in the bathroom trash can, would ya?
    3. It should go without saying that your roommate’s bed is strictly off-limits.
    4. If, heaven forbid, you share a bedroom with someone, then you may not have sex in the room while your roommate is sleeping; you could only maybe do so only if the have an Ambien prescription or on the wrong side of a ten-tequila bender — but even then, you’re entering into the murky waters of lack of consent. If you throw caution to the wind, then please at least stick to something discreet, like missionary or mutual diddling under the blankets (and make it quick!).
    5. If you have the good fortune of having separate bedrooms, then make sure you close your bedroom door behind you and keep your howls of ecstasy at a low volume.
    6. Finally, if your roommate is having sex behind their closed door, do not disturb them, even if their cooing is keeping you up — to intrude is a punishment that does not fit the crime. Plug your ears and wait until morning when you can politely ask your roommate, in private, to respect your boundaries.
This post has been updated.

More Etiquette:
7 Tips for Determining Who Pays on a Date


  1. Look like the first Ally and I have something in common: That our roommates need to read this! I feel like a lot of it is just common respect.

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