Rooming with other people can be great. When you live with someone new, there is so much to figure out. Who’s going to take out the trash? Who showers in the morning? Who has early and late classes? Work schedules? Is it okay to wake them up? Is food okay in your room? When are quiet hours? The list goes on and on.

Whether you like living with them or not has nothing to do with this unavoidable fact of life: you WILL get horny. So what do you do? How do you get off without pissing them off? The answer is communication. To begin the conversation, there is usually a contract or lease to sign. When starting this conversation, make sure to stay respectful. This is a really good time to bring up the sex topic, whether it’s sex with someone else or sex with yourself

Sex is a very controversial and loaded topic and their views could be polar opposites from yours. This is just a warning; there is hope! As two people are thrown together in the roommate lottery, it is both of your responsibilities to make living with each other a pleasant and respectful experience. Your roommate is probably dying to have this conversation or is glad you had the guts to bring it up.

So after you’ve figured out who is going to take out the trash and what you can share, start the sex topic. Next, acknowledge that you know this could be an uncomfortable topic. Say something like, “I know this could be awkward but I respect you so I’d like to talk about how we will deal with sexual things as roommates.”

After inquiring about how they feel, use this time to assess how you need to phrase what you need for your sexuality. Your views don’t have to match and they know that. For an anti-sex roommate you could say something like, “I totally respect your views, sexuality is a really hard topic, but I grew up differently and I need some alone time from time to time. How would you like me to communicate that?”

The key is respect. Then state what you need.  You don’t have to conform to fit their views. Talk about it. Maybe if your roommate is uncomfortable you could try to keep sexual relations to your partners’ room for the most part or agree to work around their schedule but put a sock on your door handle just in case.

Give your roommate an hour warning, then text them when it’s safe to re-enter. Whatever the case, remember that your roommate lives there too and while they can’t deny you all the time, they have the right to say no to you if they have a valid reason (big test, all-nighter, breakup, general life things). While your sexuality is all you boo, your living space is half theirs. Respect, communicate, then fornicate!