Hey roomies: Let's talk about sex, baby
For most, it’s no surprise that sexiling—the practice of ousting a roommate to use a shared room for sex—and masturbation are part of both the college years and life in general. But coming home to the proverbial sock on the door time and time again can get old—fast.
This is why University housing mandates residents write up and sign a contract, called the Apartment Living Agreement, as well as schedule a meeting with their resident assistant to discuss the terms of the contract.
While the contract focuses on many aspects of shared living arrangements, such as security and cleanliness, there is also a section dedicated solely to sex.
“(Sex) is an issue that often comes up; it’s part of college life,” said Zac Towner, narrative studies major and an R.A. for the Village at Centennial Square. “We realize it can be awkward for someone to, say, wake up and find a roommate had sex and see someone naked in their room, so we use the ALA to set some ground rules about it.”
Common practices for students adhering to an ALA include letting roommates know beforehand when a significant other is coming over or a room will be used for sex, as well as leaving indicators outside their room.
After roommates form an agreement during the meeting with their R.A., the ALA is used as a reference point in case of future issues.
“A lot of the time if conflict comes up, we pull out the ALA and say ‘Look, this is what you agreed to, we talked about this,’” Towner said.
The contracts only apply to the Village, the Towers and University Park West. They do not apply to Mary Ward or Mary Park Hall.
With or without the contracts, however, students still often encounter problems when dealing with issues involving sex.
“I had a repulsive roommate who would try to kick me out and outright tell me he was going to masturbate in the room,” said Jack Wranovics, an English literature major who lived in the Village. “Then when I would tell him I was doing homework, he would accuse me of going against the ‘bro code.’”
Although the ALA is meant to curb possible confrontation, University housing is considering downgrading it from mandatory to optional.
“It’s a lot of work for the R.A.s and it requires a lot of time to draw up a contract and meet with everyone,” Towner said. “Residents are reluctant to do it, and yes, some people are too uncomfortable talking about sex.”
Some students, however, appear to be more open and find sex something worthy of discussion.
“It’s a good thing. Well, it wasn’t an issue with my roommates, but for other people it’s a good thing to talk about,” said Kacie Piona, a psychology major who lived in the Towers.
While not all students are comfortable talking about sex, they still agree talking about it is important.
“To me it’s awkward. Science-wise, I get it, but when people are so open about sex it makes me uncomfortable,” said Jenny Suriyamont, a pre-nursing major who lived in the Village. “I believe it’s (that person’s business) and as long as I’m not there it’s okay, but it is college and it happens, so it’s good to talk about it.”
However, the ALA does not stop all disagreements and some students believe it only matters if everyone in a living space puts an effort into making it work.
“If it really, really matters to someone, a contract could work,” Wranovics said. “If your roommate is a total sack of crap, the ALA won’t stop them from masturbating in front of people or having sex everywhere.”
Although the ALA may soon become optional, sex still appears to be an issue that can be problematic for both residents and R.A.s.
“We haven’t had any big problems yet this semester, but we hear rumors from older R.A.s that there have been issues with people having sex in a roommate’s bed or in the living room,” Towner said.