What to Do if Your Neighbors Are Having Loud Sex
The walls and floors and ceilings of the apartment building in which I live are kind of thin.
It used to be that a couple of times every week, when I managed to go to bed at apparently the same time as my neighbors below me, I'd hear them getting loudly carried away, screaming things at each other over the pounding of their headboard.
Now, that problem took care of itself in a way, as the couple seemed to break up (which I also heard, they were screaming so loudly at each other). But just in case this ever happens to you, here are some suggestions I came up with on what to do if your neighbors are having loud sex (without you).
1 - Cover your ears with two pillows and try to go to sleep to the muffled sounds of their passion
I tried this, actually, and it doesn't work too well if they're really into it, because the sound tends to reverberate on the walls and you don't just hear it in your ears, you feel the vibrations against your body.
2 - Listen to loud music with headphones
Similar to option 1, this covers your ears, but it's unlikely to drown out how the sounds affect the rest of you, especially if your floor is shaking.
In addition, you might damage your ears if you make the music too loud, so a set of noise-canceling headphones might make it so you don't have to turn it up too much.
If the music is really good, it might distract you enough that you won't notice that their sex is even better.
White noise machine
3 - Use a white-noise machine
Now, I've never gotten around to using one of these in my own home, so I can't say how well it works, but somebody recommended it to me and demonstrated it to me at his office and it worked, so I thought I'd mention it. The model he showed to me is roughly the same as the one pictured on the right.
It's basically a machine that makes a thick, consistent, soothing noise that is designed to drown out and mask annoying noises. It's almost like a wall of sound, and it also has the effect of screening out any sounds you're making from other people.
I suppose an alternate method to this would be to turn a vacuum cleaner on perpetually to drown out the noise, but I'm not totally sure that would work and I think most people can agree that vacuum cleaners sound pretty annoying.
Annoy People and Animals
4 - Use negative reinforcement operant conditioning to try to get them to stop
Buy one of those machines designed to shoo away animals by producing a loud, irritating high-pitched noise, preferably one with different settings. Oftentimes, you'll be able to find a setting that is audible to humans. Play the annoying sound every time they're having sex to subconsciously condition them to stop.
It's worth noting, though, that such "mosquito alarms" at certain high pitches can only be heard by people below a certain age. Try to tell approximately how old your copulating couple is before you choose a frequency.
I've never tried this myself on apartment neighbors, specifically, (only on animals) and I'm not sure how well high pitched sounds carry through the walls. Also, I'm not quite sure how safe it is, so play your silly pranks at your own risk.
Just remember: If you're able to hear the tone, then make sure to use ear plugs so as to not annoy yourself.
Actually, you could just skip the whole rest of this section and just follow the part where you put on earplugs.
5 - Sleep in another room
The problem was that the apartments are all built with basically the same essential floor plan, and so--imagine that!--my bedroom was right above theirs.
Most apartment buildings are like this, so a solid solution might seem to be to just move your stuff to another room. If they aren't right below you, it's less likely that you'll be able to hear them or that they would be loud enough to wake you up.
Moving my bed might have worked, then, if it wasn't for the fact that I could often hear them in other places around my apartment. Yes, that's right: They were so loud I could hear them in my bathroom and living room, too. So what was I supposed to do? Sleep in the kitchen?
They had left me no choice but to listen to their declarations of pleasure and euphoria in the middle of the night. Which brings me to...
0 - If you can't beat 'em...
Then listen. Don't just hear them, listen to what they're saying and laugh. It's good entertainment. People say the weirdest things in those types of moments, and if they insist on being such exhibitionists, then give them what they want and listen.
And to tell you the truth, they kind of grew on me, especially after I learned to sleep through their moaning and screaming.