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My boyfriend's roommates know all too much about our sex life.
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Dear Miss Information,
A pragmatic question for you: my boyfriend and I live in an apartment shared with several other people. We recently realized that the walls and doors are paper-thin, allowing our roommates an unparalleled audio experience of our nocturnal happy times. We can tone down the grunts, groans, moans, and silly innuendos, but the real problem is my vibrator. You would think we were pleasuring a jet engine. We tried covering it up with loud music and nature sounds, but I found that an incredible turn-off. I suggested moving our activities to the bathroom, but he objected that it would be too uncomfortable. I'd replace the vibrator with something more discreet, but I'm not sure it's possible to find a powerful vibrator that is also quiet. Help us, Miss Info! What can we doooooo?
First things first: some people pay good money for "unparalleled audio experience of nocturnal happy times." Your boyfriend's roommates should be thanking you for saving them $9.95 a month.
I can only joke about it because I currently do not share a wall with anybody, and I've suppressed a ton of memories, thankyouverymuch. But kudos to you both for being sensitive to it; there is nothing worse than clamping a pillow around your head and trying madly to convince yourself that your roommate is just... moving... furniture. At three a.m. on a Saturday.
These situations are always delicate, and there's rarely a perfect answer. For starters: you can absolutely find a quieter vibrator. The louder models tend to be cheaper, so you may have to shell out a bit more for one that doesn't sound just like a lawn mower. But for peace of mind, it should be worth it. Go to a sex toy store with your boyfriend and turn on the various options to test them out; if you don't live near a good, couples-friendly store, you can find good options and user reviews at www.babeland.com, www.edenfantasys.com, or even Amazon.
But if you are particularly attached to your jet engine, you'll just have to get creative. Is it possible to plan your "happy times" so that they're not always nocturnal? Midday sex, or "everyone else is at Premium Rush, let's make this count" sex is both fun and likely to feel less inhibited. Also, if toucan calls and babbling brooks don't exactly get you hot, invest in a high-quality white-noise machine. Again, a really good one may be a bit pricey, but it should effectively cancel the buzz. White noise may not be sexy in itself, but it beats the braying of a wildebeest.
Get a new vibe, get a white-noise machine, vary your schedule — but recognize that while "being careful" is your responsibility, worrying all the time is not. Your roommates are adults, and they should know that communal living has its inconveniences. Keep it quiet, but don't let politeness ruin your fun. (Unless you can find a way to get off on the restraint, in which case, game on.)
Want to meet someone to experiment in noise-reduction technique with? Meet them on Nerve.