To acquire wisdom, one must observe


Welcome back to the SSIS column, where we answer any and all of Brandeis students’ questions about sex, sexuality, identity and relationships. If you have a question you’d like answered in our next column, email ssis@brandeis.edu or leave a question in the Google Form link on the Student Sexuality Information Service Facebook page. Any and all questions are welcome: there are no bad, stupid, or weird questions! 

(Note: These answers are good-faith attempts by SSIS to be helpful to the Brandeis community, and are by no means exhaustive or to be taken as universal. If these answers don’t resonate with you, either pay them no mind, or reach out to us with suggestions for improvement!)


My suitemate recently got into a relationship with this guy and he comes over all the time to have sex, even on weekdays when I have class the next morning. I can always hear them through the wall because her single is next to mine. I have earplugs but they’re really uncomfortable and don’t block out everything. What can I do without being rude or starting a fight?


Hi, thank you for sending this into SSIS! It sounds like you’re in a tough situation right now and it’s great that you’re looking out for your suitemate’s feelings. Though this situation is uncomfortable, there is definitely a way to ease your discomfort without upsetting your suitemate. Communication from both of you is going to be key here. You could text your suitemate to see when she’s home to try and talk; try to avoid having this discussion five minutes before her boyfriend shows up. You can let her know that you’re really supportive of her and her boyfriend’s new relationship, but that some aspects are starting to negatively impact your life. Starting difficult conversations with “I feel” instead of “you do” can help to avoid pointing fingers and creating animosity. You can try to lay out the facts, like you losing sleep before your morning classes which makes it hard for you to study. Do your best to avoid saying things that might create shame like “I hate hearing you have sex, it’s gross,” there’s a good chance your suitemate hasn’t realized you can hear her. 

Once you’ve laid out your side of the story, you could propose a few compromises, like maybe her boyfriend only comes over on Thursdays-Saturdays or before 11 p.m.. If you feel worried that your suitemate will get angry or won’t hear you out, you could ask another one of your suitemates or a close friend to be in the suite or nearby to help you out if needed. Hopefully all will go well and your suitemate will be understanding of your sleepless nights and you can be understanding of her relationship. Please text us at 586-ASK-SSIS if you need any help or have any other questions!

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