The Dorm Room Sex You’re Not Having

Slightly more risque than my usual content, but this guest post just made me chuckle:

Arguably there is no experience more unique to backpacking than having to share a room with a couple having sex. Whether they are two travelers from opposite sides of the world who have just met or a boyfriend and girlfriend too cheap to spring for a private room, there is nothing more awkward than having to listen to the sounds of unbridled passion coming from the bunk bed next to yours.


Remarkably, I had made it for six months of travelling without having to experience anything of the sort. This is not to say that the dorm rooms I’ve slept in have been free of any sexual activity but rather, I had been lucky enough to sleep through most nighttime disturbances. When I have been aware of dorm room sex, it has usually been brought to my attention the following day by someone else in the room unfortunate enough to have been awake for it.

However, my luck ran out last New Years’ Eve when I was staying at a party hostel in Bolivia. Coincidently, I bumped into a girl from high school who was also staying at the hostel and she introduced me to her friend, Dylan, who was travelling with her. I wasn’t sure how I felt about Dylan but he seemed interested in me and after a while, I suggested leaving the overcrowded bar to sit in a dorm where it was quieter.

We had been sitting and talking in his room for about half an hour when the lights were abruptly turned off without any notice. In the darkness I could just make out the silhouette of a couple standing by the door locked in a passionate embrace. I burst into a fit of uncontrollable laughter and then I asked Dylan how long he thought it would be before another horny couple came into the room.


We went back to talking normally, assuming that the couple would have left upon realising our presence in the room. I got up to turn the light back on which was when I realised they had not left at all. They were in the furthest bed in the corner having sex.

Two guys came into the room and turned the light on. I was equally disturbed and overcome with laughter. The two guys had their backs faced to the couple and they asked me why I was laughing which only made me laugh even harder. Perhaps the couple finally realized that they had company because they stopped for a few minutes before starting up again.

I had always thought it would be amusing to watch a couple having sex but it was actually more disturbing than hilarious. I could make out the distinct thrusts of the guy’s buttocks from under the blanket, hear the girl’s soft moans.

I hoped that the sounds of our voices would be enough to make them stop but even talking about them loudly wasn’t enough of a deterrent. After twenty minutes of trying of pretend they weren’t in the room, I had enough and went to bed.


Admittedly, I have been guilty of having (quiet) sex in dorms with other people present but after the experience of being the third party, it has made me think twice about it. There are a multitude of places in hostels where you can go should you find a willing partner; showers; kitchens, terraces, TV rooms. At night, these places are perfect as it is unlikely that you will be disturbed by someone wanting to use them.


What are your thoughts on dorm room sex? Have you ever done it or had to sit through it?

Anneliese is a travel blogger from Australia. You can read about her recent travels on All Signs Point To Yes
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The above happened in 1981. I should have had a clue about the guy who groped me- when we were at the hash bar he started to flirt with me a bit and kept putting his hand on my knee and rubbing it. When I awoke he had his hand down my underwear. I just rolled over without saying a word. I had a few other experiences- camping with a buddy at a small primitive campground in Central California there was a couple in the site right next to us. They were older, probably late 40’s. Their tent was no… Read more »


Worst three nights in a hostel ever spent were in the notorious Bob’s Youth Hostel in Amsterdam. This place was a real pit. Tri-level bunks, guys and girls were not segregated and it’s proximity to the Red Light District and a couple of hash bars. I would have stayed elsewhere, but there was a big festival going on and every place else was booked. Night one- the guy in the bunk right above climbs into bed and immediately starts masturbating. And not quietly. 20 minutes of “uh uh uh uh uh uh” and a violently shaking bed and then he… Read more »



Thankfully, I sleep like a rock. I’ve never noticed a nighttime rendezvous before despite having spent the better part of a year sleeping in dorm rooms. Still, for a couple to have sex while people are awake and talking is beyond me. Lol they must have been really drunk or taken some serious Bolivian aphrodisiac 🙂

Waegook Tom
Waegook Tom

They carried on even though they could hear you talking about them?!? Nooooooo! I think dorm room sex is NEVER acceptable, unless you’re the only two in the dorm. Spring for a private room if you want to get it on! If it’s spontaneous, then take it somewhere out of the dorm and experience the city you’re in in a whole new way in that case!


I’ve only had sex in a dorm room on two occasions – hopefully the other people in the room were deep sleepers and weren’t woken up. Afterwards, I did feel bad about it and wouldn’t do it again.

Even if it kills the spontaneity of hooking up with someone you have just met, getting a private room is always the far better option!

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