What is it about overhearing loud sex that drives us crazy?

Even in the depths of my celibate curmudgeonliness it didn't occur to me to file a noise complaint. But people do

By Jenny Kutner
Published April 24, 2015 10:10PM (EDT)
  (<a href='http://www.istockphoto.com/portfolio/sidneybernstein#b83f770'>sidneybernstein</a> via <a href='http://www.istockphoto.com/'>iStock</a>)
(sidneybernstein via iStock)

At about 3 p.m. one day this winter -- a snow day -- I found myself surrounded by the sounds of people fucking. That’s what people do on snow days (at least, when they don’t write for the Internet. Then it’s just a normal workday).

Ordinarily, sex noises don’t bother me much; I generally like to think my attitude toward other people having sex is, “Cool, dude, you do you (or whomever else you want, in whatever way you agree to and pursue consensually).” I tend to agree with Maureen O'Connor: "Sex happens. Sex noises happen. That’s life."

On that particular snow day, though, when I found myself trapped in a thin-walled echo chamber of other people’s heavy breathing sounds and the quick, consistent thumping that usually indicates a better time for him than for her, I wasn’t feeling so chill. I was less than a month out of a serious relationship and deep into the midwinter feels, which -- combined with my post-breakup feels -- had turned me into a celibate curmudgeon who took a lot of baths and practically lived in a horrendous, snot-co...

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Jenny Kutner

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