Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
That's What She Said
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Sunday
Dec182005

Sex In The City

Am I the only person who loves to listen to neighbors have sex? Seriously.. If I hear even the slightest bit of groaning I've instantly got the television on mute and my ear pressed to the wall. Is that so wrong? Don't tell me you hear shrieks of pleasure or the dead giveaway of a headboard slamming the wall with the regularity of a metronome and you carry on doing the dishes like nothing's going on? Puh-leeeez.

Growing up in suburbia, the only shot you have at hearing sex take place is your parents...And really, that's just horrifying, isn't it? I used to watch Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window with Jimmy Stewart and long for an apartment in the city. The perfect vantage point from which I could spy on neighbors engaged in all manner of pornographic and illegal activity.

I'd love to be neighbors with a womanizer or lesbians (the lipstick ones, not the shaved head, trucker variety that could kick my ass with both hands tied behind their backs) just so I could watch all the libidinous lasciviousness go down.

Speaking of lesbians.. My ex-boyfriend used to live above two lesbians. At least twice a day they'd let the good times roll. We'd hear an interesting assortment of screams, curses and slapping. This was sex, mind you, not fighting - well, maybe a combo of the two..

One evening my boyfriend arrived home, tired from a long day of work, to find me laying flat on the floor, my head pressed to the heat vent that connected his floor to their ceiling.
"What in gods name...???"
"Sssshhhh!!" I flapped my hand to quiet him then motioned him over.
"You are not going to believe this!" I stage whispered giddily, "there are like, four or five different girls down there! I hear a vibrator! A few minutes ago one girl told another one to quit hogging the toy, it was her turn already!"

We both went to bed that night with faces creased from the metal heat vent. Oh, and our sex was infinitely better than a night without listening to the downstairs lesbians conduct a sex party.

Neighbor nookie is so much better and cheaper than cable porn. Have you seen the exorbitant rates these criminal cable channels are charging? Ten bucks for a two hour rental! I would never, ever waste my hard earned -- well, there was the one time...and that time in the hotel, but that's not the point! I'd rather listen to my neighbors any old time... it's free, live and real.. None of this pornographic fakery where greasy, mustachioed men with pock marks on faces and bums, sporting freakishly large penises climb aboard some Pamela Anderson wannabe.

Then there's always the pesky plot porn directors feel obliged to toss into the gritty mix. And the cheesy soundtrack. And the looping of the same scenes over and over.. Wait! I'm sounding a bit like a porn connoisseur and I'm not, swear...but since we're already on the subject, could you just try and mix the sound a little better? So when the woman moans, her mouth is actually open - instead of some sort of crazy Kung Fu movie where the audio doesn't match the video? Thanks.

So my neighbors were going at it today, grunts, groans, gasps and ultimately screams echoed down from their second floor apartment like someone had left Basic Instinct running in a DVD with the volume cranked.

At that precise moment some friends stopped by our place. I eagerly rushed to the front door to let them in so they wouldn't miss my neighbor nookie. After all, I'd appreciate the same were it me visiting their home - proper hostessing and all.

"Listen!" I said excitedly when I opened the door.
"What is it?"
"The neighbors are going at it again!"
"Eh.." Was their lukewarm response.

I was startled. Doesn't everyone like to listen to sex? Particularly if you happen to know the relations in question are between a really hot brunette and her fairly cute boyfriend? Am I wrong here? Isn't this one of the major perks of city dwelling? All the eavesdropping?

I heard the same couple fighting a few nights ago and went limp with relief. Thank god. If it was all sex all the time I'd have cause for concern. But the argument, which ended when the girl burst into tears and slammed into the bathroom (I know because I was standing on the toilet in my bathrooom - better accoustics for listening) injected a little humanity into the sex fiends' love life, ultimately making me feel better about my own rollercoaster relationship. Like when you're watching Jerry Springer and think to yourself 'I may be twenty pounds overweight, unemployed and living with my parents but at least I haven't slept with my cousin behind my sister's back..I guess I'm not doing all that bad' Despite how fantastic some couples appear in public, we all fight and we all fuck.. Kinda comforting, isn't it?

Reader Comments (19)

Very comforting. Tom and I don't fight much, but we do have an upstairs neighbour who likes to go at it at 2 a.m on work nights. And his bed is broken or something and when he gets going, BANG BANG BANG echoes through our bedroom, waking us both up. I banged back one night, with a broom handle. It's been better since then.

btw, I'm impressed with your journey so far. Well done on the escape, the love and the life you are creating!
December 18, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterphx
Oh yes, the gentle murmers of female pleasure,then the male grunts and female wails from across the courtyard. I hear these often -- but usually when Mike has taken the car, so that it gives the appearance nobody is home here.
December 19, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterjenny
The only screaming I hear comes from the bratty children who live upstairs. And the TV my next-door neighbor turns up to top volume, either to drown out the kids or conceal her own sex screaming. I need to move to New York.
December 19, 2005 | Unregistered Commenteralways write
I don't mind hearing it but I don't much like thinking someone can hear me. My boyfriend has two roommates that sleep in the room next to his, and I KNOW they must hear us, but so far, they haven't said anything! I was so sure after the first time they'd have told him to have us keep it down..heh, maybe they Like it though! :P
December 19, 2005 | Unregistered Commentereveningstar
The first time I had sex someone banged on the floor above us b/c I was so loud! LOL I didn't know I was loud, it was my first time! LOL You get caught up in the moment. The next day we saw the people and there little baby getting in their car, they were VERY friendly and smiling a lot! I smiled right back at them like "ha ha ha I had amazing sex last night and you could do was listen!"
I LOVE hearing people have sex, must be why I LOVE porn! :)
December 19, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJen
Better yet, hearing your roommate go at it in the middle of the day. Or this past saturday morning when the roomie's GF screamed while having sex in the shower. IN MY SHOWER. Not so much of a turn on as it is hilarious.
December 19, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterHeather B.
I'm pregnant - what's sex?
December 19, 2005 | Registered Commentertallchickbarbara
Now Barb, don't tell me your being one of those paranoid pregnant women and not going to have sex while pregnant?
December 19, 2005 | Registered CommenterFiabug
I'm assuming she's not paranoid, our gal Barb is sharp.. Prolly just doesn't feel like it...

Aww...B, you more than anyone should be experiencing the sex by proxy.. Damn homeowning! Ain't nobody to listen to.. Houseguests for the holidays perhaps?
December 19, 2005 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko
Oh, yes, I remember it well… my neighbors on the other side of my bedroom wall (how much more convenient can it get, I ask you?) who moved a few months ago. The only problem was, they were like rabbits (except LOUD, SCREAMING, WAILING rabbits), and sometimes my 10 year old would be in my room with me watching tv or something and once she asked, “Mom, is that lady OK? Maybe we should call the police!” I demurely told her, no, she was fine, why-don’t-we-go-into-the-living-room… “But MOM, she’s SCREAMING!” Umm, yes, but it’s not a scream we need to call the police over… Someday I’m sure she’ll understand, but I wasn’t about to explain it then…!
December 19, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterdasi
Well she could have sex if she wanted too. Unlike me being single pregnant mom...got none. <sigh> LOL
December 19, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterFiabug
My girl and I are routinely serenaded by our next-door neighbors. We like it too.
December 19, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJAY
Hi, I am a longtime lurker -I found you on myspace- and had chime in that this post had me laughing out loud. You are a such a versatile, talented writer. Keep it up!
December 19, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJenna
The couple who used to live above my ex would go at in nearly very night - you'd hear the muffled moans which would culminate with the thumping of the bed on the carpet above. We'd lie in bed together - shhhushing eachother so not to miss any audible gasps and 'yeah baby's' - and end up giggling and making out. They'd finish about the time we started. Always wondered if they listened to us.

My newest neighbor sounds like a boring selfish lover - i only hear him...never her. And it's quick. Bam Bam Bam - moan. Poor girl.
December 19, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterKaia
This is a great post -- I would have been right there with you -- metal grid marks on my face an all. See... there is another drawback of the American Dream Homeownership -- rarely get to hear the neighbors get it on. Damnit....
December 19, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterLovebug
December 20, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterVelvet In Dupont
I've spotted most of this pregnancy so Doc says "no" to the hoochie coochie while this is happening.

Our neighbors upstairs in the condo are quite loud - and I have 14 foot ceilings! Then we have the lesbian neighbors next door - the "old" lesbian neighbors... eek
December 20, 2005 | Unregistered Commentertallchickbarbara
Thanks for checking my blog and posting Monica.

I had to laugh at your post. You sound JUST LIKE my friend Amy. In college, she lived with two lesbians for alittle while. So she didn't need to strain too hard to listen.

December 20, 2005 | Unregistered Commentermotherofbun
I WISH my neighbors doin' it was the noise I heard every damn night. Unforutnately, it's screaming. No me gusta. I share the neighbor nookie love with you. But if it's anyone I know, I find it disgusting and have the urge to vomit. Double standards. Who knew?
December 20, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJacynth

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