February 16, 2023

SEX ON THURSDAY | Valentine From an Apologetic Neighbor

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For my anonymous dorm neighbor,

First and foremost, I would like to wish you the happiest — and luckiest — of Valentine’s Days. As your neighbor I am painfully aware of your seeming lack of holiday fun. Our walls are paper thin — I can hear the late night phone chats with your mom. This leads me to believe that I would also be able to hear any form of satisfaction, which I am saddened to report has been absent for the past semester, emanating from your end-of-the-hallway fortress. My only hope is that you are sneaking away in the night to the love of your life to satisfy the itches which define our shared human condition.

Given that I can hear the drop of a pen from your desk through the single-ply drywall which separates our lives, I must assume that you can hear every accidental moan and bed creak that comes from mine. This leads me to the second part of this Valentine’s Day greeting: My sincerest apologies.

My apology is twofold: First, I am sorry for the countless times I have undoubtedly disturbed your sleep, studying, phone calls and overall routine with my admittedly inconsiderate sex life. I have lied to myself for long enough and it is time for me to accept that I’m just not a good neighbor. Second, I am sorry that I’m getting laid and you are not — I’m sure my lifestyle makes it seem like I’m trying to rub it in, but rest assured, that is not my goal.

It’s not like I wanted you to hear every single time my partner and I are getting it on — I have tried moving my bed in every possible angle to keep it from hitting our shared wall, and it just doesn’t work. I try to keep quiet, to stop my mattress from squeaking, to stop my own body from making noise, but the unfortunate fact is that sex is not a quiet activity (and in a perfect world it wouldn’t have to be).

What makes this matter worse? You’ve cursed us with the silent treatment! We brush our teeth in neighboring sinks fifty percent of the time; I say hello and wish you a good day. I am sure to greet you anytime we find ourselves unlocking our doors at the same time, or leaving for class together, and you seem physically unable to respond. Now, I understand. What are you supposed to say to me? I heard your raging orgasm last night — sounded fun… That would be worse than silence, but still, our situation is awkward. If you were a girl I would buy you a vibrator and try to set you up with one of my friends, but that just isn’t the case; I can’t teach you rizz.

None of this is to suggest that you aren’t living a happy and fulfilled life because I’m sure you are. And like I said, there is always the hope that your crank is being yanked by a lovely woman (or man) in a dorm room far from ours. This Valentine’s day disquisition mostly serves to ease my own conscience by knowing that somewhere cemented on the internet is a formal apology for having loud sex at inconsiderate times of night. However you spend your Valentine’s Day, I hope it is full of love — romantic or platonic — and that one day you too get to experience the magic of being purely unable to control yourself.

With all of my neighborly love,

Your drywall mate <3.

Annie Position is a student at Cornell University. Comments can be sent to [email protected]. The Sin Series runs during alternate Sex on Thursdays this semester.