Kieran Yates | Contributing Editor | 1,261 day ago

How To Have Sex When You Live In A Shared House

The Debrief: It's all about the three S's: silence, stillness and stealth...

The housing crisis is real, people. Whether it’s that the cost of renting is rising twice as fast as the cost of earnings; the fact that by 2020, the total number of young people owning their own properties is predicted to decrease by approximately 1.1 million; or just that the number of people living with their parents in their thirties will grow by 500,000. Though if you read the news you probably knew that already, right? So not only are we Generation Rent, we’re Generation Rent (With A Load Of Strangers We Share A Bathroom And Fridge With Because The Generation Before Us Took A Huge Dogshit On Our Future Prospects). This poses a plethora of problems, from how to share space, keep the environment tidy, and crucially, how to have sex when you share a house with a bunch of people you don’t know that well. This is a survival guide for the latter.

Be still
Your bed is probably old as shit. It was probably sourced from Freecycle so about 2,000 people have had sex on it before you. This means it’s unsexily loud and, because your housemate is an "artist" or "works for a record label", no one has a clue how to fix the incessant squeaking it made the last time you had someone in it. The only way to deal with this is by having almost stationary sexual relations until the day when you stoically ask if anyone has a toolkit and some WD40, to which you’ll be greeted with incredulous sniggers and puzzled faces as they make "hilarious" quips about how you need a screw.

Be silent
Sex must be silent to the point of discomfort. Unless you’re the kind of insufferable egomaniac who enjoys people hearing you in the sack, in which case you need to be reading a whole other article. Either you quietly wait until you’ve heard the ‘click’ of your housemate’s lights go off, or you play gentle R&B slow jams in the hope that they’ll get the message and put in earplugs. Then you silently and awkwardly do the deed. Every time someone throws your name/an "Oh God!" into the mix, aggressively tell them to shut the eff up or you’ll kick them out.

There’s nothing more effective in making you lose respect for your housemate than watching her sheepishly treat you like a 24-hour sexual health clinic

Be prepared
As someone who has heard my housemates clambering around and waking me up slamming drawers open and closed searching for condoms, I can tell you that it’s pretty fucking uncomfortable. Aside from the fact you’re being made privy to something you really don’t want to know about, if they’re searching that hard at 3am you know the only thing that’s going to follow is a sheepish knock on your door. Take it from me, there’s nothing more effective in making you lose respect for your housemate with an MA from Cambridge than watching her sheepishly treat you like a 24-hour sexual health clinic when you have work in the morning.

Be stealthy
OK, the thing that most sexually active single people in their twenties don’t talk about much is the fact that most people aren’t really having that much sex at all. In which case, they end up getting so desperate that a high proportion of their sexual encounters are with people they don’t want to admit to smashing. You know the kind. The friend of a friend, the ex-boyfriend’s friend, the weed dealer who you met at a party a few months ago and texted because you’d just watched Love Actually and were feeling suddenly optimistic about love… we’ve all got them.

The problem with sleeping with people that you’re ashamed of, or at least, want to keep on the down-low, is how to keep them invisible 

The problem with sleeping with people that you’re ashamed of, or at least, want to keep on the down-low, is how to keep them invisible when they need to go for a piss/exit the house. The only real way to do this is to go full stealth attack. Start diverting attention by talking to your housemates, or causing some kind of drama in the kitchen, giving said mistake enough time to delicately skip out of the front door that you’ve left on the latch. If the guy is not a complete thicko, he’ll know that he’s your dirty secret because you are a queen and he is most likely a UK hiphop-loving weed bore, so he’ll probably just quietly comply to the above. Good luck!

Follow Kieran on Twitter @kieran_yates

Tags: Sex, Housemates Head To Head, Sex Ed