Confronting your roommates about disruptive sexual activity can be a delicate, perhaps even embarrassing, topic to broach. However, you have the right to feel comfortable in your own apartment, so you’ll have to speak with your roommates so that the living arrangements are fair for everyone.
Sitting Your Roommate Down
Since the topic of sexual activity is sensitive, it’s best to confront your roommate in your apartment or in a place where you can’t easily be overheard. Try to catch your roommate when he or she’s alone and if that’s hard to do, insist that you schedule a time to discuss an important topic. You can make the mood less tense by offering to cook or buy dinner to eat together during your sit-down.
The best way to “confront” your roommate about anything is not to “confront” him or her at all. Keep anger, frustration and pettiness out of your voice as you outline what you find unfair in the situation. Stay calm and reiterate that it’s about what’s fair and respectful for both of you. If you think you’ve been unfair in similar or different ways, be willing to point that out and to work on improving your own behavior.
How Much Is Disruptive
Discuss any ground rules you outlined when you moved in with your roommates. It’s not unreasonable for your roommate to have a boyfriend or girlfriend over a few times per week, as long as sexual activity wasn’t clearly prohibited in the agreement you had when you moved in together. However, if the boyfriend or girlfriend spends so much time at your apartment that he or she’s practically another roommate, your roommate is taking unfair advantage of you.
You have a right to know upfront how many people you will be living with in the apartment, so your roommate can’t informally invite a new person to move in. Even if you’re okay with an additional roommate, that informal roommate should really become an official roommate with a responsibility toward rent, utilities and chores for the apartment. Otherwise your portion of the responsibilities is unequal.
If It’s the Noise or Location and Not the Frequency
If your roommate’s sexual activity is not so frequent that you feel like you’ve got an additional roommate, but something is still bothering you, it’s likely either the amount of noise your roommate generates during activity or the location. As apartment dwellers, you have the responsibility to keep noise to a minimum in your apartment and if your roommate is so loud that even neighbors are bothered, you could get in trouble as well. Even if the noise doesn’t go beyond the apartment, but it’s bothering you within the apartment, you have the right to a peaceful co-existence with your roommate.
Similarly, your roommate is engaging in activity in shared space in the apartment or worse, in your private space, your roommate has overstepped his or her boundaries. Tell your roommate that private activities should be kept to private rooms and that you respect your roommate’s private space and you expect likewise.
Allowing some sexual activity in your apartment is fair if you and your roommate haven’t agreed otherwise, but you do have the right to a calm, private place of your own in the apartment. Outlining the ground rules as soon as possible can prevent you from being exploited.