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-   -   Intense emotional response: Hearing them have sex (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17099)

boytoy 11-14-2011 05:24 PM

Intense emotional response: Hearing them have sex
Sure, I get anxiety. But this is different. This feels like pure panic.

FYI: Sorry if this has to be moved :/ I'm new to the forum.

I'm not new to polyamory or V's. This is my first live all together triad. Usually I feel very fullfilled and happy. But sometimes... I feel very empty.

Most importantly, I can't figure out why I have such a terrible horrible emotional reaction to hearing them have sex. This morning I attempted to sound-insulate my room (we have our owns rooms) at 6am! It's 3 hours later and I'm still panicked. In the past, I've tried turing on music, walking around the house, going outside, going for a walk, sitting at the park. Holy cow I've tried a lot of different things to avoid hearing them. One of those things was a threesome. It helped. For a while...

Normally in (a) relationship(s) I can just talk it out. But what the heck am I supposed do here? Can you imagine: "Hi sweeties, I'm really really uncomfortable everytime I hear you have sex and for hours after. And here's the kicker, I don't have the damnest clue why - even after seeing a counsellor (I really did this) and searching forum after forum online." ...
Can you imagine your partner/lover telling you that? That would be awful! I certainly don't want to make them stop, I don't even feel I have the right to ask them to be quiet.

Please, please, please, can you share your thoughts/experience/advice/ideas/suggestions - anything with me? I REALLY appreciate it. I love them and they love me, and I would rather sit in my room with earmuffs and music than risk loosing them.

Thank you.

dingedheart 11-14-2011 05:52 PM

Why do you assume there's something wrong with you? I don't know how the numbers would break out but it would be my guess that most here don't or wouldn't want to hear those sounds either.

A therapist was no help at all ?

lucky for you I'm a contractor and have built several home theaters and sound proof rooms. How handy are you, what exactly are you hearing (voices or furniture), is there carpet in the room or rooms they are having sex in or is a hard surface..hardwood or tile, how big is the room, is the sound coming from a shared wall, also need to know the doors and window layout, lastly whats your budget?

Chimera 11-14-2011 06:09 PM


Originally Posted by boytoy (Post 110852)
I'm not new to polyamory or V's. This is my first live all together triad. Usually I feel very fullfilled and happy. But sometimes... I feel very empty.


Please, please, please, can you share your thoughts/experience/advice/ideas/suggestions - anything with me? I REALLY appreciate it. I love them and they love me, and I would rather sit in my room with earmuffs and music than risk loosing them.

Thank you.

How did you make the decision to all move in together? Did you try sleepovers first and was hearing the sexual activity okay for you then? If so, when did it change? If not, did this topic come up in any discussions before the move-in?

I suppose I'm just asking because maybe you all really didn't think this through fully. Theorizing something and living it are two different things. Some folks can deal, some can't. I don't know how I would react. It's not an issue for me because it's one of my partner's wishes that there is no sexual overlap time (affection is okay).

Do you like all the other things about living together? Is it enough to make working on this issue worth it? If not, you might want to reconsider your living situation. If it is, perhaps try to ease into things (not being around all the time, asking for reassurance, etc.) until you feel secure enough to deal with it.

boytoy 11-14-2011 06:14 PM

Hi thank you for replying
My soundproofing involved closing and covering the heat duct in my room with a towel - haha. It's under my bed anyway and it gets warm enough in the house, too.
Our whole house is hardwood with few carpets. His room is right next to the furnace, so the sound comes out of ALL the heat ducts.
My therapist is helping me with my self-confidence and esteem. I think the problem may lay in there somewhere.

boytoy 11-14-2011 06:29 PM

@ Chimera
I like the idea of asking for reassurance. thank you :) We did have sleepovers, but I was not involved in sex at the time.
I have a fear of intimacy, which I am working on. I don't want this fear. I think I feel envious of their intimacy -- wait... maybe I'm feeling threatened by it? It's an unfounded threat, of course, I know they love me as much as they love each other.
Intimacy is something they can do with ease, and I hear it. I really have to find the strength to be intimate.

AnnabelMore 11-14-2011 07:19 PM

Hey, boytoy. You're not crazy in the least. I can totally totally imagine having that conversation with my lovers. Insecurity is the rule rather then the exception when a new person joins an established couple and to have it manifest as anxiety is very normal. It will almost certainly get better with time and there are resources to help you work on it (www.morethantwo.com is a good place to start).

My girlfriend and her husband and I aren't having sex right now so I refuse to put myself in a situation where I'd end up crashing at their place. Between the lack of physical intimacy and the fact that I'd be sleeping on the couch rather than in their bed because they're co-sleeping with their new baby, I just know I'd be an emotional wreck by the morning.


I think it'd be really helpful for us to have some context. How did you guys get together, how did you end up living together, what types of sex do you have or not have?

It's going to be ok, little guy, it really is. :) If they love you they'll listen if you tell them that you're having a hard time. Then the three of you can work together to come up with a better sound proofing system then a towel until this gets easier for you. I'm sure they want you to be comfortable and happy, right?

queertransguy66 11-14-2011 11:12 PM

Yeah, man that sounds really tuff!! I dont really know how i would deal with that! I dont live with my partner(s) so that isnt something that would come up really. A while ago my primary was dating someone who lived out of town, she would come into town to visit every so often and usually they would stay at my primaries place but that changed when my primary moved into a room with a friend... So we discussed them both sleeping at my house in the guest room one night and it worked out great! Although my room was on a different floor entirely so it would've been difficult for me to hear anything from them.

Anyways, i guess that is a different experience altogether, sorry! I do like what Chimera said, asking about whether you had discussions about any of this before making the descision to move in together, and it is true that some people can deal with these types of things better than others, some people just can't and that is okay. But it definitely means that living arrangements need to be re-examined!

Im sure that you have all already had conversations about how you'd all like to share space and what it means for all of you to feel good and safe in that space. But maybe it'd be a good thing to talk about again and re-negotiate? I feel like talking about how you are trying to work through hearing them have sex, but it is a struggle for you would be totally valid and an okay thing for you to say to them. I don't think it is the end of the world if they have to be a bit more conscious about how much space they are taking up by having loud sex! I feel like most people would be able to understand and empathize with how hard that would be to hear.. it doesn't mean they have to feel guilty about the sex they have but it feels like everyone's emotions need to be taken into careful consideration! Just be honest and have a conversation about it is what i would probably do.

Hope this helps somehow!

brynneth 11-15-2011 12:58 AM

There isn't anything wrong with you at all. I also have a weird reaction I can't fully explain. I get irrationally irritable with my girlfriend if i'm not getting something I need in the relationship, even if its something with my husband or boyfriend. It also happens if I haven't had sex in too long. It makes absolutely no sense and is never her fault, but I think I've gotten the hang of managing it.

You just keep working on getting to a comfortable place for you. People who love you will want to help.

dingedheart 11-15-2011 03:25 PM

the duct work systems are generally laid out with a trunk line off the furnace/ac and then branch lines. The same could be true for the cold air return. These trunk lines are usually sheet steel, a great transmitter of sound energy. To be the most effective you need to stop the sound from entering the trunk line because once its in there its banging off the metal walls.

Sound waves travel straight out from their source the more twists and turns will help dissipate the energy. So if they cut a vent right into the trunk line...more or less a direct passage to the entire house. If possible ...make another branch line ( using flexible ducting ) rubber connections in a hair pin type configuration. This adds distance, the hair pin turn slows the waves in the direction of travel, the rubber connections break the direct transmission.

Or get some that flat magnetic material they make refrigerator magnets out of and cut that the size of vent ...I'd put a layer of neoprene on top of that 4-6 mil. Make 2 ... have them put one on his room during sex and put one on in your room too and if that doesn't kill it completely cover your end with a down pillow.

Does he hear you when you are having sex in your room? What about the 3rd room?

Maybe switch rooms ?

Anneintherain 11-15-2011 09:23 PM

dingedheart has excellent advice, both technical and practical. I'd certainly see about changing rooms if that would help.

And I do always find it a bit odd when people feel badly about situations like yours, as if there is some obligation to be comfortable with something you're not comfortable with.

If I had arranged to be home at a time when I could hear a partner have sex, if I was hearing it and it bothered me, I'd wear headphones. I might wear earplugs if it was after bedtime, but I wouldn't want to be required to do that in a live-in situation, but wouldn't mind occasionally.

If I lived with multiple partners and was in your situation, I don't see a single reason at all to ask that if they are going to have sex during sleep hours (I'd probably request specific hours on weeknights, ie 11:30PM - 7am) that they do it as quietly as possible. I deserve my sleep, and sex can still be perfectly fun (even sometimes more fun for some people) if you have to be focusing on being quieter.

Anyway, your poly can be anyway you want, and you can have whatever wants and needs you do, and it sounds like you are very understanding and compassionate. All you can do is reassure OSO that it's not a problem with them. If they choose to be sensitive and decide that you ARE having a problem with them, unless there is some reason why they shouldn't trust you, they have some maturing to do, and some effort should be made to work on communication.

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