My question is one of etiquette. My lesbian wife and I live in an apartment. The noise pollution between flats can be pretty bad. Anyone who lives in the building is aware of this, and keeping noise down after certain hours is a common courtesy. I wouldn’t play loud music after a certain hour, or let doors slam, or break out the drum kit. If any of these things happen after around 11:30 p.m. on a work night, I don’t think I’d feel any qualms about going around to whoever is being inconsiderate and asking them to keep it down. But what about noisy sex? My neighbor’s girlfriend is pretty loud during sex. If the racket were being made, say, before midnight, I could bear it. It would be gross, because I think he’s slimy and he has a terrible hipster mustache, but I wouldn’t be writing to you. I’d just cope as best I could and try to fall back asleep. But what about sex at crazy o’clock? Is it OK for us to pound on the wall and ask them to keep it down? What’s your opinion?
Sleepy Lesbians Next Door
I happen to agree with Robert Lopez, Jeff Marx and Jeff Whitty, creators of the Tony Award–winning musical Avenue Q, on the subject of apartment living, thin walls and noisy sex: “You can be as loud as the hell you want when you’re makin’ love.” Or, in this instance, your creepy neighbor with the hipster mustache and his girlfriend can be as loud as the hell they want when they’re makin’ love. But you and your wife – their annoyed neighbors – can be as loud as the hell you want when they’re making love. You can pound on the walls, make your displeasure known, scream and yell, etc.
And even if your neighbors don’t take the fucking hint and quiet the fucking the fuck down, the noise you make may bring their annoyingly loud sex to a quicker end. The females of certain species – including our own – get loud during sex, i.e., scream and yell, because it helps the males of their species climax more quickly. (Female copulatory vocalization: It is a real thing with its very own Wikipedia page. Look it up.) If his girlfriend’s vocalizations are turning your inconsiderate mustachioed hipster neighbor on, the screams of his two lesbian neighbors could push him past the point of no return.
Squicked out by the thought of giving your inconsiderate hipster neighbor an aural reach-around? Look at it this way: The quicker he comes, the quicker it’s over and the sooner you can get back to sleep.
Straight male here. I took a writing course, and some of us students created a writing group. We meet and workshop the things we’ve been working on. One of the guys in the group is gay, and a while ago, he confessed that he had very strong feelings for me. I didn’t have a problem with this, but I told him that I wasn’t into guys. The other day, he sent me an email telling me there was something he wanted to discuss. We met for dinner, and he told me that despite the fact that I claimed to be straight, he felt like I had been sending him messages to indicate my interest in him. He said that this was cruel and that he felt like I was teasing him. When I asked him for examples, he told me that when we had originally been in class together, he noticed that I had started to dress like him, and that this was sometimes a way closeted men showed interest in other men. He mentioned that one week he had worn a red sweater, and the following week I had worn a red T-shirt. He also said that he felt like the stories I had been workshopping in our group were secretly about him. I admit I’m not the stereotypical straight guy – I have good taste in shoes and I like art – but I know what I’m into and who I want to get naked with. I never showed any interest in this guy; I never led him on; this entire thing has taken place purely in his head. I told him all this, and now he says he is hurt and doesn’t want to see me at the group. He suggested that we share the group, alternating meetings, but I refused. We’re both adults who should have the emotional maturity to handle this. Am I being too harsh?
Pulled Into Drama
Closeted gay men don’t use colored T-shirts to send messages to out gay men. They use Craigslist.
Look, Jeffrey Dahmer – aka the Milwaukee Cannibal – ate a friend of mine. By which I mean to say: Some gay people are insane. I’m not saying you’re in danger of being drugged, raped, butchered and eaten by this guy from your writing group. But the guy is – if your account is accurate – more than a little unpleasant and a whole lot batshit. Confide in some friends in your writing group about what’s going on and be prepared to leave the group and/or form a breakaway group if Mr. Red Sweater continues to detect clues in your wardrobe. Also: Do not spend any more time alone with this guy. Someone who would accuse you of making super-secret passes at him via red T-shirts is capable of making baseless accusations about much worse.
And finally, a bonus pro tip: Writers don’t need a writers’ group to write. They just need to write.
GAY AND COUPLED AND NOT MONOGAMOUS? A Savage Love reader and sex researcher is studying “relationship satisfaction among nonmonogamous gay couples.” His research is focused on gay male couples that have sex with other men but not relationships with other men, i.e., not guys in poly relationships, just open ones. If you’re gay, coupled and nonmonogamous but not poly, and you have a few minutes to spare for science – science! – take the survey at socialsci.com/s/relationshipsurvey.
On the Savage Lovecast, Dan speaks with a human-rights attorney on how Chelsea Manning can expect to be treated in prison, at savagelovecast.com.
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