Not every student who comes to college is looking for love, but there are students looking for one-night stands. College students, more than anyone else, seem to be experts on the art of sexiling, or kicking roommates out to have sex in their rooms.
“In freshman year, my friend had a roommate who kicked her out for over 48 hours,” said Lauren Farahani, a sophomore at New York University. “My friend literally had to carry her mattress out into the common room and change, eat and sleep in the common room the entire weekend. And there were all sorts of crazy noises coming from her room.”
For the fortunate students (usually upperclassmen) who live in apartment-style dorms, sexiling is not an issue because they have other places to sleep. College suites give students another place to go when their room in unavailable.
“It’s never been a huge issue for me because I can just leave the room and sleep on the couch in the suite common room,” said Gabrielle A., a sophomore at Boston College.
But for the unlucky students who live in traditional two-person dorms, sexiling can become a major problem. Tensions arise especially when roommates aren’t good friends and the conversation about getting kicked out for the night can be somewhat awkward.
Every college or university has resident advisors (RAs) or designated people who deal with resident problems, but shy underclassmen and sometimes even Juniors and Seniors might not feel comfortable sharing their sexiling problems with them. And why would they? Asking an RA for help in this department can sometimes seem a little like asking them to regulate your roommate’s sex life. That will most likely leave you feeling uncomfortable, your RA feeling intrusive and your roommate feeling betrayed.
“I’ve never had residents come to me with [sexiling] problems but I don’t think people really want to go to RAs with that,” said Jordan Stern, a former RA at Binghamton University. “I know what’s going on but most people kind of let it go.”
So going forth into your sexiling situation without an RA’s help can be a little daunting. To ease the situation and make both you and your roommate feel satisfied, here’s some advice and guidelines of proper sexiling etiquette.
Ready to get sexiled? Here’s how to do it with some manners.
1. Open communication
If you want to stay in your room for the night, don’t be afraid to tell your roommate that she needs to take her activities elsewhere. If you’re on the other side of it, make sure to tell your roommate ahead of time that you’re planning to use the room that night so he or she can make other arrangements.
Although it’s almost always annoying to get kicked out of your room, you have to remember that the room also belongs to your roommate. Be open to giving your roommate some time in the room on weekends or days when you don’t need to be up early.
3. Make a schedule
If there are specific days when you need to wake up early or go to bed early, tell your roommate. Let them know that sexiling that night is not an option. Trading schedules with your roommate can also be a helpful way to avoid messy situations. He or she can then plan to have people over when you’re at class or work.
4. Make friends with your roommate’s lovers
It’s always easier to do something you don’t want to do when it involves someone you’re friends with. Try to be friendly with the new person coming into your room so that it isn’t awkward when all three of you are together.
5. Make a sign
If you absolutely can’t let your roommate know that you’re using the room ahead of time, create some sign so he or she doesn’t walk into the room to find it occupied. Maybe put a piece of clothing on the door or get a whiteboard that says “knock.” Even sending a quick text before you get down to business is better than nothing.
Sexiling is always a difficult issue to confront, but developing a few rules with your roommate can make your semester easier and bring fewer surprises to your already crazy college lives.
Check out 5 more tips on How to Keep your Sex Life Alive With a Roommate.
Written by Phoebe Bain.
Having your parents walk in on you having sex definitely sounds like a worse alternative to having your roommate walk in on you… but then again, your roommate will not love you forever no matter what. Turns out, your parents grounding you for having your significant other sneak over after they fell asleep might have just trained you for the social consequences you could face if you are not too careful about having sex with a roommate around. Everyone thinks of college as this free love paradise…until they remember they have another person living in their romantic sex cave.
Read on for some laughs and tips to avoid being sexiled.
6. Stick to the plan
“One time my roommate and I were at parties across campus. At the start of the year, we had agreed to just text each other and let each other know if we were bringing anyone home to hook up with. But I guess she forgot this time, because when I walked in, her shirt was off and there was a guy on top of her. But get this: before I could walk out, she pulls the covers up around her and says, ‘Hey, come on in!’ as if I hadn’t walked in on anything. Lol, nice try froomie,” Sophie, a junior at Colorado State University said. Work out a plan with your roommate about what goes down when one of you wants to bring someone home. These women could have had a much better night if Sophie’s roommate had remembered to send her a text. If you think you might get too lit to remember to send that text, maybe set an alarm for your phone at 2 a.m., just in case.
7. Think Twice
“DO NOT MAKE THIS MISTAKE: Freshman year, especially during orientation week, either you or your roommate will convince yourself it’s okay to hook up with someone while your roommate is in the room. My freshman year roommate and I actually both became convinced of this on the same night and we had two guys in our orientation groups sleep in our respective beds on the same night. I don’t think either of us had sex with them, but in hindsight even both of us making out with them and getting hot and heavy seems so weird!” Ohio State sophomore June Chen said. This phenomenon unfortunately happens a lot with freshmen, so become the voice of reason and maybe have half of the group go somewhere else instead.
8. Consent consent consent (with roommates?)
“My ex asked his roommate if it was okay if we had sex in the room while he was there, and the roommate legitimately agreed to it and just asked my ex to make sure he was asleep before we got to it. Um, it was NOT okay with me for us to have sex while his roommate was home! We didn’t last much longer after that,” Ohio State sophomore Lauren Marra said. Pretty sure he picked the wrong person to ask first in that situation. Hey, some people are cool with public sex, but sex with roommates around gets sticky either way. Don’t let the situation get awkward, guys.
9. Be polite
“One time my girlfriend and I were having sex and my roommate ran into the room to grab her jacket, then ran out like it was no big deal? Knock first friends,” Alex Furlan, senior at Michigan State University, said. If you even suspect for a second that your roommate might be hooking up with someone, a simple knock cannot hurt. Better safe than scarred, right?
10. Do not feel trapped
“If your roommate isn’t sex positive, get a new roommate. My roommate didn’t want my long distance partner and I to sleep in the same bed together, so I contacted housing. We just had really different values systems, so I moved into a different dorm and got a new roommate (and kept my LDR),” said Penn State sophomore Casey. Roommate issues definitely apply to sex too, so do not be afraid to contact your housing department if you two cannot come up with a compromise yourselves.
5 Things to Do When Your Roommate Sexiles You
Congratulations on finishing your first week of college! After a long week of classes, club fairs and orientation activities, you cannot wait to crash on your bed and sneak in a quick power nap. As you reach the door to your room and pull out your keycard, you notice a scrunchie on the door handle. Panicked, you check your phone, only to see a text from your roommate: “Can I take one of your Pop-Tarts?” You immediately recognize it as the code phrase the two of you picked out the previous weekend at freshman orientation, designated solely for an impulsive, shall we say, need for the room. You stand outside the door for a moment, feeling a mix of exhaustion, panic and frustration. At only 7 p.m. on a Friday, you have no plans for the night, and now you can’t even go into your own room? What can you possibly do? Getting sexiled proves an inconvenience at best and a traumatic experience at worst, especially if your roommate evicts you at the last minute. However, you can busy yourself with a choice of activities while your roommate occupies the room. Keep scrolling for some tips on how to pass time when your roommate sexiles you.
11. Get to know your hallmates or suitemates
For first-semester freshmen, this one remains big. You don’t need to – and shouldn’t – keep your social circle confined to your roommate(s). Take this time as an opportunity to get to know the people in your hall, especially in the first few weeks of the semester. Everyone looks for new friends during freshman year, and they will almost certainly relate to your situation and let you hang out with them when you are forced out of your room. Plus, your hallmates’ rooms act as a convenient place to have last-minute sleepovers if needed. “One time during my freshman year, I knew my roommate planned to have someone over, but at the last minute, he begged me not to come back for the rest of the night. I reluctantly agreed and since I had no place to stay, my neighbor let me crash at his place. I felt bad and it was kind of awkward at first, but he ended up becoming one of my best friends after this,” University of San Diego sophomore Preston Knickerbocker said. Just remember not to overstay your welcome and always offer to return the favor. You don’t want to create a bad rep for you and your roommate now, do you?
12. Get some extra studying in
What better way to distract yourself than to hit the books? I mean, when else will you find yourself this focused? Use the library or other spots on campus to take advantage of the alone time you have. Living in a dorm with multiple roommates can get overwhelming if you identify as anything less than a major extrovert. Upon first glance, studying on a Friday night may seem depressing. However, you’ll find that the relief of having some or even all of your coursework complete by the start of the weekend wildly outweighs the initial letdown. Think of being sexiled as a way to recharge and catch up on work, freeing up the rest of your weekend to spend as you please.
13. Plan Your Escape Route Early
If you can avoid it, don’t awkwardly wait in your communal lounge eating mac ‘n’ cheese at 10 p.m. pondering why your love life pales in comparison to your roommate’s (totally not speaking from personal experience). If you know in advance that your roommate wants to use the room that night, make plans to go out to a club, bar, party or even just out to dinner with some friends. Make sure to grab everything you will need from your room ahead of time though, and coordinate with your roommate regarding how long you should leave the room for, and whether or not you need to crash in a friend’s room for the night.
14. Go get some yourself
What better way to cope with the feelings of loneliness that arise from getting sexiled than to go spend time with someone you fancy? “Whenever I got sexiled, I would use it as an excuse to ask boys to hang out in their rooms. If you can’t beat them, join them,” Sonoma State sophomore Danielle Romero said. If unsure of how to ask someone to meet up, a sexile can provide the perfect cover! In addition, not only can getting kicked out of your own room act as a great excuse to ask a crush to hang out, but by the time you get to their room, they’ll already bear hookups on their mind. A true win-win situation. Always determine whether they feel the same way before you make any moves though! Consent is cute.
15. If you absolutely need to go into your room…
DO NOT just barge in. Try to plan ahead; even just a fifteen-minute warning for everyone to grab whatever they think they’ll need for the next few hours usually suffices. Adopt a code in your dorm as a way of warning your roommate that you need to grab something. “My roommates and I used ‘can I borrow a sweatshirt?’ to ask to use the room or ‘do you want to borrow a sweatshirt?’ if we saw one of us hitting it off with a guy at a party or something,” Denison University sophomore Lyla Hinkle said. “One time though I came back from shopping with my parents during Parents Weekend, only to find my room in use which was super embarrassing for both of us. If I absolutely needed to go in the room, or if my roommate had been in there for like over three hours or something, I think I would knock really loudly and announce myself, giving them time to get decent before I went in. Something like that can really ruin the moment though so do your best to make arrangements ahead of time.” Don’t take advantage of your roommates’ respectfulness though and remember that your dorm remains a communal living space that belongs to them as much as it does to you!
*Updated on October 16, 2017 by Phoebe Bain to include “How to Keep your Sex Life Alive When You Have a Roommate”
**Updated on July 28, 2020 by Katie McCluskey to include “5 Things to Do When Your Roommate Sexiles You”