Kinky with housemates

Posted at 21:49 on 29 Jul 2011 by Pandora / Blake

Tags: Clover Rock, how to, kink, making a scene, Nimue Allen, Northern Spanking, other pictures, Stephen Lewis

It's a problem familiar to many of us. How to indulge in sexy kinky shenanigans when you have housemates, without either dying of embarrassment or making them die of embarrassment, lose their sleep, or make bumping into them in the kitchen even more awkward than usual?

I'm currently living in my fourth house share since leaving university, and I seem to have got on fairly well in that time. I've always been pretty blazé about my sexuality, though, so if you are more inclined to crippling self-consciousness about all things sex or kink-related, my perspective may not be very useful. Still, I've had enough experience juggling play partners and housemates to be able to offer some basic advice. (This guide omits Method 0: Don't give a fuck.)

Method 1: Have kinky housemates

This is the obvious first step to make everything easier. You don't have to be play partners with your housemates, or even like them very much, for it to come in useful that they are also kinky (although obviously living with people you don't get on with has other disadvantages). You don't have to meet people through the BDSM/spanking scene, either - most of my housemates have been drawn from the pool of random alt/goth/hippy/raver types I meet in person, and the nerdy/academic/gamer types I know online, and a surprisingly high proportion of them have been kinky in one way or another. You don't have to have the same kinks - if they have adventurous sexual tastes themselves, they are likely to be more tolerant of yours.

There are advantages other than not having to worry about being overheard when you play. For instance, when your housemate gets a DIY-handy friend around to climb into the attic and put a hard point in his ceiling, you can ask if he can put one in yours while he's at it.

The flipside is that your work or film night might well be interrupted by noises from next door, and if your housemate is a screamer or likes to play hard/rough games, you can find yourself sitting on your hands to force yourself not to go and check if they're okay. (Don't go and check if they're okay. Not unless you know they're meeting someone new and have asked you to keep an ear out. A "Have fun last night?" at breakfast will tell you all you need to know.)

For that matter, if you know you're going to be engaging in a violent, loud or edgy scene, check in with your housemates in advance and let them know what's going to be happening. It'll save on undue worry - and give them a chance to make other arrangements if they'd planned to have a friend over for a quiet night watching TV.

Of course, having kinky housemates can have unforeseen consequences. My first kinky houseshare was with S, a close friend who shared many of my lovers, and another mutual friend, M, who was single. It had its funny side: M would answer the door to a caller and ask which bedroom Sir or Madam wished to be directed to. But M's bedroom was between our two, and the poor thing did suffer for it. One evening I had a date with S's long term top, and S was taking the opportunity for a playdate with someone new. As my date and I started playing, we began to hear telltale smacking sounds wafting in through the open window. Clearly S was having just as much fun as we were. It was when my date realised that he was inadvertently hitting me in time with the rhythmic noises from down the corridor that we both had to stop because we were laughing too hard to carry on. He had to put some music on before we could keep going. And all this time poor M was in bed between the two rooms, hemmed in between two competing rhythms.

If for whatever reason you can't arrange to live with people who are accepting of your kinky practices, then the only advice I can give is what I did when I was still living with my parents. Play while they're out, play in the attic or at the other end of the house, play while they're having noisy sex and are likely to be distracted, use quiet implements, bite a pillow, visit your play partner's house at every opportunity, and move into a kink-tolerant houseshare as soon as you can.

Method 2: Music

Music is the friend of anyone trying to get some action when their housemates are in. Unfortunately, music which is loud enough to disguise the sounds you're making may not be the most condusive music for love. Electronic/industrial is good, something with lots of bass. I've played more scenes than I can count to VNV Nation and Apoptygma Berzerk, but these may not be your idea of moodsetting. Something like Apocalyptica strikes a good balance between "atmospheric" and "protective wall of noise".

The top may well find themselves accidentally playing in time with the beat, but I promise you that this is less distracting than realising you're accidentally playing in time with your housemate.

Method 3: Live with a partner
(this method overlaps with Kinky While Poly)

If you live with your primary partner but play with others, then in theory things should be even simpler than sharing with housemates, right? After all, your partner and you are open about your play with other people, you're already engaged in each other's intimate lives, you're already used to negotiating scenes and schedules, and talking about your sex plans doesn't involve any awkward invasion of privacy.

The first and most important thing you need to manage this method is separate bedrooms. This is useful for poly - it's crucial for kinky poly. Ideally, each have your own bedroom and divide your couple time evenly between the two, rather than there being, say, a joint bedroom but one of you has a bed in their office, or a bedroom and a boxroom. This means that you have your own space to invite new partners into, which is properly equipped, imbued with your presence and not a temporary crashpad. It also means that your primary has their own space they can retire to while you have your fun, without either of you feeling either kicked out, or like you're kicking the other out.

Things that come in useful: music (as above); the ability for your partner to watch films or TV in their room; earplugs. The gel type that are marketed to swimmers are particularly good, and in fact have done wonders for my insomnia. Consider buying your primary/housemate some, possibly accompanied by a bashful notecard.

The rules here are pretty similar to those regarding normal poly, and basically boil down to Don't Be A Dick. Give your primary notice of your date so they can make alternative plans if they want. If you want to throw over plans with your primary to see someone else, don't assume it'll be okay - ask really nicely and be prepared to take no for an answer. If your room is next to the bathroom, don't engage in noisy play while they're in the bath. (This also applies to housemates - sound travels surprisingly well through water pipes.) Put a dressing gown on if you need to go to the toilet, and have one for your date to wear too. Keep tissues and wet wipes in your bedroom so you don't need to sidle down the hallway before you can clean up any fluids. Above all...

Method 4: Be considerate

This applies equally whether you are living with strangers, friends or partners, although arguably in the case of the latter you have more to lose. Jealousy and insecurity are more likely to crop up with partners, but they're far from uncommon among friends. If your friend has just been dumped, or wants kinky action they aren't getting, or fancies the pants off your date, be considerate and be discreet. Talk to them about it and make it clear you don't want to make them uncomfortable. Make it up to them in other ways - offer to cook them dinner the night before, maybe. Their sexual dissatisfaction isn't your responsibility, but if they're lonely, you can try and be a good friend. If your kinky life is a sore point with your housemate, make sure you and your date don't annoy them in other ways, by leaving the milk out of the fridge, not doing the washing up or using the last of the loo-roll - it'll only add insult to injury.

Even if you have the most secure, sexually satisfied housemates on the planet, a little thoughtfulness still goes a long way. Don't play loud scenes while they're entertaining guests, while they're on the phone to their mum, working late or cramming for an exam. Keep your scene space to the bedroom - don't take your bottom through the lounge on a collar and lead while they're watching TV. If you want to play in a communal room of the house, ask your housemates in advance, arrange for them to stay in their room or go out, and give them a clear end-time when you'll be done by.

With a partner, even a partner who is 100% actively okay with you playing with others, consideration still doesn't go amiss. In my experience, jealousy rears its head when one partner is feeling neglected, left out or hard done by. If the partner you live with has expressed an interest in a certain type of play - for example, they really want to act out a rape scene with you, try a particular toy or set up a discipline arrangement - but you aren't sure about it or simply haven't got around to it yet, don't conspicuously engage in that thing with another partner when your primary's around. Nothing's going to come of that but hurt feelings. Equally, if you and your primary haven't had the opportunity for much time together lately, try to make time before you invite a lover around and spend the weekend humping like rabbits. If you and your primary have just spent a night re-affirming your intimacy, they are much less likely to feel left out or envious about you seeing someone else.

All of these things apply to poly just as much as kink, but kink can be loud and conspicuous, and arouse very strong feelings in others, so more care is required. Even the most perverse and depraved of us have nights when we just want a bit of peace and quiet. In general, I would advise you to talk to your housemates about your plans, give them fair warning of anything unusual, and take their feelings into account. If you find your kink life is massively hindered by doing this over a period of weeks or months, then it may be time to find new housemates.

So how about you? What techniques have you successfully used to engage in kinky play without inconveniencing the people you live with?

(Images from 'Girl Next Door' by Northern Spanking, starring Clover Rock, Nimue Allen and Stephen Lewis.)

Comments

It can be really difficult to get over the thought that Jimmy's immediate neighbour can hear everything, even if I'm sure he doesn't care. This has been known to cramp my style on many occasions *elaborate shudder*

I had a partner who swore by martial arts films.

Now that's a genius idea! Especially if you're able to tune out the soundtrack and concentrate on your play. I would be wary however: if you're playing with someone who is VERY familiar with the films, you may be at risk of having your scene interrupted while they giggle and go "OMG, I have to watch this part, it's the best bit!"

Play it in a language neither of you speak, with the screen covered.

The main advantage is, in most cheap martial arts films, the sound effects are so bad that a punch in the face sounds almost exactly like a slapped arse.

Hmm, there's probably anime like that as well, I guess.

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