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

About The Author

19 thoughts on “The Dorm Room Sex You’re Not Having”

  1. That’s pretty bad. My bf and I are traveling around the world right now, spending a lot of time in hostels. There just isn’t a desire for us to partake in “that” adventure. We prefer the private rooms as well, or even a private area anywhere!

  2. First of all, hats off to Anneliese for admitting she’s done the deed in a dorm full of other people.

    Of all the years I’ve been staying in hostels I’ve never shared a room with a couple having sex. I have, on the other hand, sat beside a couple on a plane (who had just met each other) get to third base. Horrible experience.

    1. My pet hate is being seated next to an affectionate couple. Especially when you have been allocated the window seat. Airplane claustrophobia at its worst

  3. Oh wow I can’t even imagine being awake for that. Luckily I’m a really heavy sleeper, so even if that did happen (and they were being super noisy) I doubt I’d have any trouble falling asleep. Although what I would dream about would probably not end up being too pleasant lol

  4. HAHAH wow! I am so lucky to never have gone through this (heavy sleeper)! But it was new years.. out of all nights of the year to stay in a multi person room, probably not the night

  5. Hahahahaha. While I’ve been tempted to have dorm room sex, I never actually have – perhaps I am still scarred by the “earthquakes” I would wake up to in college. Newsflash: if somebody is on the top bunk of the bed you’re having sex in, they will notice what’s going on.

  6. I don’t care how quiet you think you’re being, other people can here you. And it’s awkward and inconsiderate.

    Maybe at 35, I’ve simply lost my patience for nightly disturbances in hostels, which is why I now prefer to pay for private rooms when possible, if not rent apartments when I’m staying a few weeks or more.

  7. Hahahaha! I can’t believe they just carried on regardless.

    I’ve been pretty lucky, I’ve only had to go through this once so far….

    I remember being in a 3 bed dorm and having to share the room with an elderly couple one night. I couldn’t believe it when I heard them clambering into bed together late at night, and what followed were some of the most horrific noises of slurping, sticky, sweaty, grunting sex. ARGH.

    Scarred for life.

    The next morning the woman opened her suitcase and took out a kettle and toaster and made me toast and a cup of tea!

    Not at all awkward….

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