Dear Uncle Mat,
I live in a cute fourplex near downtown San Antonio. A new gay guy moved in last month, and he is a great neighbor. He has totally cleaned up our little garden and has plans for a spring garden with fresh herbs and vegetables when the weather clears up. We (the residents in the other three apartments) have all lived here for over two years and miss the couple who moved out, but agree that our new neighbor is an awesome replacement. I live under him and have one problem. He and his boyfriend are really loud when they have sex. I mean really loud. I have to turn up the TV. I am not prude, but don’t think I need to know this much about anyone else’s proclivities. I am wondering how I can politely tell him that I can hear everything. I mean everything. The other night I almost screamed “No! Fuck me!” It is almost embarrassing to look them in the eye. His boyfriend is nice, too. Younger, but polite, though I am glad he doesn’t live here as I would never get any peace and quiet. I don’t think they do anything but have sex when they are here. I want to buy them a big jigsaw puzzle or a Wii. I asked the neighbor who lives across from him, and he says he doesn’t hear a thing. I find that hard to believe, but clearly I am on my own on this one. I have tried to ignore it, but I think I am going to go crazy. Please help. If not for me, for the innocent ears of my cats.
Shocked and awed,
A Blushing Neighbor
I really don’t think we are that loud. I suppose we could wear muzzles if you think that would help? I would definitely accept a Wii. Any chance you would throw in a flat screen TV? What if we bought you some nice earplugs? OK, so it isn’t me, but I am a little jealous of your neighbor. Don’t hate a guy for having some good all-American gay fun.
There really isn’t a subtle way to tell someone you can hear them making it like porn stars on a game show. You just need to be direct, but polite. It’s a little embarassing, but just say it. No need to be crass or cross. You could ease the situation by bringing him some homemade cookies or a bottle of wine. This way he knows you are approaching the situation peacefully and not judging his actions. Greasing the wheels almost never hurts.
You can’t expect him to stop, but you can, if needed, ask that he respect the time of day. Asking him to keep it down after 10 on weekdays and midnight on weekends and not before 10 a.m. on Sunday is reasonable. Same rules as vacuuming. The rest of the time is fair game, and you can only hope he has a sense of modesty that will tone the show down.
If you are more adventurous and less confrontational, you could just stage a hot, loud encounter of your own. If he hears you shaking the chandeliers he might realize that his floorshow is not quite as private as he believes.
You could consider rearranging your apartment. I did once for crappy neighbors. I liked the apartment so I moved my bedroom to the living room so I wouldn’t hear them go up and down the stairs at two in the morning every night. I also would let my dogs into the yard to bark at them and chase the girls in heels up the stairs on nights I was still awake. This was just to amuse myself, but I admittedly can be passive aggressive. I hated these neighbors, whereas you like this guy.
Either way, remember that good neighbors are hard to come by and subjective by definition. Honesty and kindness will help you make a friend for life.
Much love and a little quiet during the storm,
Your Uncle Mat
Uncle Mat answers questions about relationships, sex, pets, and art. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, myspace.com/yourunclemat, or check out the Dear Uncle Mat Page on Facebook. Your true identity is safe with him.