My ex-roommate used to masturbate very loudly. How loudly? Like I would be in the living room, watching L&O: SVU with the sound on at a normal level and 30 feet away, through a closed door, I could hear her moaning. Whenever I heard her, I'd immediately leave the area, go to my bedroom, close the door, and turn on the radio. 2004_05_askearmuffs.gif

This happened at least 15 times during our 18 month cohabitation. The night before she moved out I knocked on her door to find out when she'd be giving me her key and to wish her luck with the move the next day--and she came to the door clearly in the midst of having sex with her boyfriend. She could have just yelled, "I'm busy," and I would not have minded. She left a bag of trash in her bedroom for me to take out and on top, ON TOP, of the open bag--an empty sex toy box.

I never spoke to her about this. I did ask several of my what to do,
and without fail, they all agreed I had to just suck it up and deal. What if my mentioning it to her made her feel uncomfortable in her own home? So I just got use to running for my bedroom whenever I heard it. Should I have done something? We're still in touch; should I say something now?

-Awkward former roommate, Manhattan

If you were still living together, the answer to this question would be more difficult. It's an awkward situation. You don't want say anything because you don't want to cause any embarassment, but at the same time, it does make you uncomfortable.

We suspect that, given your roommate's apparent attitude towards these thing, if you had said something, she probably wouldn't have minded. If you were still living together, we'd suggest this: If it bothers you that much, you could make a joke of it: "Wow, you and the boyfriend really made the earth move last night!" or "That was a great episode of L&O; Detective Stabler totally does it for me, too." See if she gets the hint. You could just broach the subject and be blunt with her; she won't modify her behavior unless she knows it bothers you.

Basically, if you want to avoid embarassment, then, yeah, suck up and deal. Turn the volume on the TV up, invest in some ear plugs, hope you aren't home the next time. If you want something to change, though, then you should probably just say something or let her know somehow that you can overhear her. She may not even realize how loud she is.

However, now that it's all over and done with, it's not worth it to say anything now. She's not living with you any more, it's no longer a problem. If you're still thinking about it, then it bothered you enough that you can do it differently if you find yourself in a similar situation in the future.