15 Sex Ideas For When You Can’t Make Too Much Noise

Photographed by Natalia Mantini.
During college, I spent four years living in dorms. Shortly after, I moved into an apartment with roommates. When it comes to my sexual history, there's rarely been an encounter that hasn't involved at least some level of caution when it comes to volume. In trying to control it, however, you realize there's not much about sex that is innately quiet. The bed bangs against the wall, the mattress squeaks, even your body makes noises from time to time.

Of course, there's no shame in any of these things. It's totally up to you whether or not you want your roommate, neighbors, or family members to hear you! However, some of us just don't want to deal with the awkward eye contact or conversation that could follow a particularly loud night. So we reached out to a couple of experts who assured us that you can still have satisfying sex without anyone else needing to put on headphones, and found some first-hand tips and tricks from users on Reddit who figured out how to get it on while keeping it down.

Ahead are 15 ways you and your partner(s) can have sex without making too much noise — whether it's coming from you, the bed, or beyond.
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Focus on the foreplay.

If your sex includes penetration, or any up and down movement, keeping things quiet can mean shifting focus. "The more foreplay you have, the less time you will need engaging in actual penetration," says Rhonda Milrad, LCSW, Founder & Chief Relationship Advisor of Relationup & ABS Certified Clinical Sexologist. "The less up and down movement, the less banging you will have of the bed against the wall."
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Turn it into a game.

A frequent suggestion on Reddit when it comes to quiet sex is to try and see it as a positive. "Make it a challenge to try and keep each other quiet," writes one user. "Covering each other's mouths to shush can be kinda hot if you think about it."
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Try Lotus position.

A way to minimize thrusting during penetration is to find positions that limit it while still being satisfying. Jonathan Alpert, a Manhattan psychotherapist, sex/relationship expert, and author of Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days recommends the Lotus position. Either you or your partner sits with legs crossed while the other lowers themselves on top.

"This position minimizes movement, because bodies are basically locked into each other and there's very little room for thrusting," Alpert says.
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Or mix up Doggy style by doing it on the floor.

"As long as you can pad the knees, this will be fine," says Alpert. Moving sex to the floor eliminates the possibility of a squeaky bed, and provides a more stable base so you can control your movements.
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Use a memory foam mattress.

This was universally considered the quietest bed option when the issue of squeaky springs was discussed on Reddit. One user recommends putting the mattress on "either a wooden frame (no metal joints to squeak) or, even quieter, on the floor."

"That's what we have and it's dead silent," they continued. "Be advised, though, that memory foam mattresses don't have any 'bounce' in them, sex-wise."
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Change the angle.

If the problem is a rickety headboard banging against the wall, one Reddit user found that turning just 90 degrees solved the problem.

"As long as its a big bed, you can have sex sideways on the bed, and then it's not hitting the wall from that motion," they explained.
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Don't forget missionary!

This relatively straightforward position is a staple for a reason. It allows for control, eye contact, and in the case of quiet sex, freedom to use your hands.

"It allows you to cover up [your partner's] mouth if [they get] too loud," Alpert says.
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Use duct tape.

This relatively industrial solution can actually be pretty hot. All you have to do is cover you and/or your partner's mouth(s) with duct tape.

"Limiting one form of communication can greatly enhance other forms," says Alpert. "By not being able to speak, you'll have to find other ways to communicate — such as through enhanced vision and touch."

"Make sure you use Chapstick beforehand," a Reddit user warns. "Or you will have your lips ripped off."
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Purchase a ball gag.

If you find yourself being too vocal during sex, a ball gag is another great solution.

"They help me all the time," a Reddit user reveals. "Just make sure you get one that's comfortable for you. It gave me something to actually bite down on without having to worry about biting so hard I bleed."
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Reach for a pillow.

Screaming into pillows is an oddly perfect fix: They absorb noise like a boss.

"We do positions where I am face down so I can make all the noise I want into a pillow," a Reddit user explains.

Face down positions can include any kind of positions from behind, or you can just bring the pillow with you no matter what angle you're trying.
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Two words: mutual oral.

Keeping both of your mouths busy ensures quiet, says Alpert. It's also a relatively still position that packs a lot of punch, so the payoff is enormous if it's something you and your partner are both comfortable orchestrating.
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Spooning while facing each other.

This involves a slight twist to create something both insanely intimate and relatively quiet. "Faces are close, so it's a good way to communicate non-verbally and minimize noise level," says Alpert. "Thrusts are shorter and usually slower in this position."
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Use the shower.

However, don't get in the shower, since shower sex allows for all kinds of echoes, slips, and sometimes falls. Instead, run the shower while you use the counter, toilet, or floor for support.

"It's not romantic," says one Reddit user. "But it's sexy because we both want each other so much."
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Reverse missionary position.

Keep things close to limit movement, whether that's facing each other or a sort of on-top-spooning situation.

"While [your partner is] lying on [their] back, you lie on top of [them]," explains Alpert. "This position forces grinding in close proximity, and there's minimal thrusting."
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Do everything but.

Depending on the situation, you might need to concede that full-blown sex (whatever that entails for you) isn't possible at that time. Instead, get each other off in other ways.

"If you control the moans and screams, the only issue is the noise coming from the bed moving vigorously," says Milrad. "Have fun with manual and oral stimulation and pleasure each other that way."
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