For many of us, college is our first time living without parental supervision. And when you have hundreds of young adults living together under the same roof, sparks are bound to fly. From the depths of this hormone-fest emerged an interesting phenomenon: sexiling.
Urban Dictionary defines sexiling as: “When you cannot go in your room because your roommate is having sex.” When my roommate and I were drawing up our Roommate Contract, we were both really chill about this matter. In fact, we agreed we would both be okay with being sexiled in less time than it took for you to read this sentence.
But sexiling can be a complex affair to navigate, unless you are lucky enough to get a single. So here are my tips on how to be a considerate sex-iler and/or sex-ilee.
(Disclaimer: Please respect your roommate’s wishes if he/she/they has said they aren’t okay with sexiling. In that case, the following advice won’t really apply to you but just read on anyway.)
How to be a considerate sex-iler:
1. Give your roommate a heads-up.
Sending your roommate a “Bae’s coming” text gives her time to grab any stuff she needs from the room before scramming. No one wants to stumble back to their room after a long day with two midterms to study for only to see the dreaded sock-on-the-knob. The only thing worse is not giving any warning at all and letting your roommate walk in on you guys doing the deed. Unless you have an exhibitionistic kink.
2. Use your own bed.
It is just more hygienic that way. Also, in the midst of passion when you are tearing off each other’s clothes, make sure none of it lands on your roommate’s bed or furniture. It would suck when she crawls under her covers at night and finds a random pair of boxers there.
3. Clean up afterwards.
This goes without saying, but sex can get very messy, so be sure to tidy up. That includes cleaning up any and all strewn-about clothes, condom(s) and stains. Also, do air out the room before your roommate comes back. Pro tip: Febreze is the way to go if there are any lingering funky smells.
4. Respect quiet hours.
The walls in our dorms are very thin (every morning, I can hear the phone alarm of the girl living next door). Be sure to keep any sex sounds to a minimum. It will be tough for your neighbors to study when your room sounds like a porn set. Sounds in question include: Moaning and groaning, (loud) dirty talk and the creaking of your bed – save the acrobatics for the weekends when quiet hours start later.
5. Find out if your roommate is okay with the guy sleeping over afterwards.
When I surveyed my friends, their opinions on this spanned the spectrum. A few insisted on their rooms being sex-free zones, others are absolutely fine if their roommate’s partner sleeps over after sex. Whatever it is, make sure you find out. Maybe you live on East Campus while your bae stays all the way at FroSoCo, and maybe he would be too tired to bike back at 3 a.m. But if your roommate isn’t okay with him being around afterwards, respect that. Tell your guy that the couches in the lounge are pretty comfortable.
How to be a considerate sex-ilee:
1. Don’t rush your roommate.
Imagine you are getting hot and heavy with your boyfriend, but suddenly, there comes a rapid knocking on your door. Your roommate’s voice rings out: “Are you guys almost done?!” There’s nothing more unsexy than that. So extend the same courtesy to your roommate: don’t rush her when she’s together with her partner. However, if it’s already 2 a.m. and they are still going at it, passive-aggressively blast Single Ladies outside the room. Or play any Nickelback song; that’s a definite mood-killer. But be sure to compliment your roommate on her guy’s stamina afterwards.
2. Have a backup place to sleep, just in case.
My friend’s boyfriend is flying in from another country to stay with her for a week, and her roommate has already found another room to bunk in during that period. That definitely goes above and beyond the duty of being a good roommate. But if you are feeling particularly generous, let them have the room for the night and find somewhere else to sleep. That’s probably preferable to staying in the same room while the air sizzles with unfulfilled sexual tension and the discomfiting notion that you’re a third wheel.
3. Don’t suggest a threesome.
Unless they are into that as well. In which case, that just takes roommate bonding to a whole new level.
For more dos and don’ts, contact Kyla Zhao at kylazhao ‘at’ stanford.edu.