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Today I came across a disturbing story of a couple having loud sex in a McDonalds restroom— like laid out on the stall floor moaning and groaning for all the pottiers to hear. Once I got over the fact that they actually were turned on in a place riddled with germs, I thanked God that I wasn’t there to witness such foolery.

I say that because ever since I was a little girl I always just so happen to be near people having sex. Or near enough to hear moans of ecstasy. It’s amazing, I’ve been known to watch adult videos but something about hearing real people doing the horizontal hump is downright cringeworthy. First you hear it, you stop in your tracks, mute other surrounding noises to make sure you heard what you thought you heard. And then, once it’s confirmed, you either relocate–which is hardly ever an option– or you reintroduce those other noises and wait until it’s all over (usually no longer than 5 mins).

Now, I realize I’m probably not the only person who has had the awkward, unfortunate experience of hearing people have sex; but I’m willing to bet good money that I’ve heard more horizontal humping than you have. In fact, this trend in my life started when I was in middle school. I was in sixth grade and for one reason or another I happened to wake up in the middle of the night and what do I hear but moans and grunts from across the hall. My parents. As you can imagine I was mortified. When you’re a preteen,  starting to discover and express your own sexuality, the absolute last thing you’re trying to do is imagine, see, or in my case, hear your parents having sex. I was angry. I was disgusted. It was not okay. But at the same time, I was simultaneously happy to know that my parents still loved each other enough to make time to get it in, in the wee hours of the morning. I was such a mix of emotions that I couldn’t express so I did what I always do in those situations, I cried. And waited, underneath my pillow, for it to be over. When it was over and I heard my mom thank my dad–shivers— I knew what I had to do.

Since I couldn’t bring myself to tell them verbally what I’d heard, I wrote my mom a note telling her to keep it down. Honestly, I wrote the letter in an attempt to shame her; but had I thought about the person my mother is, I would have known that this wasn’t going to work. She laughed, showed my father (who was embarrassed), accused me of not knowing what I was talking about; and then in the most disturbingly nonchalant way ever, asked me what I wanted her to do about it because they certainly weren’t going to stop having sex. Ugh.

Thankfully, I never heard them again but I would hear other people. In college, I decided to wash my hair at midnight. So when I was still styling my hair at 3 am, I heard the girl down the hall who was screaming so dramatically I knew she was faking it. Plus two minutes afterward, she put homeboy out like yesterday’s newspaper.

Then when I moved to the apartment I’m living in now, I heard, in the middle of the day, my neighbors going at it. The fact that I heard them having sex wasn’t so surprising. I can literally hear my neighbors sneeze and cough through the vents. It was the fact that it was 2 in the afternoon on a weekday. These people didn’t have jobs?! Plus these are the same neighbors I hear arguing like cats and dogs all the time.

Then one night, when my date was walking me to my door and saying goodnight, I hear my fine azz neighbor, who I’d seen earlier in the evening, giving his girlfriend the business. I mean homeboy must have been putting in major work because all I heard was her sounding like she was truly having multiple outer body experiences. If I thought it was awkward to hear people having sex by myself; all of that weirdness is compounded when you’re listening with a man who is not going to be getting anything remotely close to that.

I knew that I was plagued with this plight when, just last month, in “the most magical place on earth” I hear yet another couple having sex. Yes friends, I was in Disney World–or in one of their hotels– again, in the middle of the day, when I hear wails, screams, grunts, moans and thuds of passion going on in the room next to mine. At this point, I’m so used to this life I just shook my head and continued writing.

This is my lot in life. And though I’ve become used to it in many ways, a part of me wonders why this always happens to me. You’ve heard the law of attraction– do I subconsciously want to be the woman who’s heard moaning down the hall? I hope not; because as someone who’s had to listen to it one too many times, I can say that it’s really not cute…at all.

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