Sex doesn’t seem right without moans, screams, and rattling headboards. But sometimes—like when you’ve got paper-thin walls between you, the kids, and your visiting in-laws—it’s either quiet sex or no sex at all.
We know which one we would pick. But take heed: Sneaky, quiet sex doesn’t require super-gluing your mouth shut and sticking with slow-and-steady missionary. It also doesn’t require rushing, so you can break out everything you know about How to Have Sex for an Hour! With the right DIY soundproofing tactics, you can get outside the bedroom, pull out some acrobatics—like these 45 Sex Positions Every Couple Should Try—and muffle your toe-curling moans.
1.Hop in the Shower
Your favorite masturbation location is also great for a twosome. And it’s not just because showers are noisy. Water actually karate-chops sounds in millions of little pieces. “As the shower water comes down, the sound waves will physically bump into the droplets at countless points,” explains Maria Canul, a former acoustics engineer with the Sound Research Corporation. “Each time this happens, it will slow down the waves, change their shape, and chop them up.”
Remember, though, that the hot water also loosens your vocal chords. And besides turning you into an ace shower singer, H2O makes your voice deeper and more apt to carry throughout the house, she says.
(Wet-and-wild sex is wonderful—but while you’re lathering up, make sure you avoid these 6 Things You Should Never Do in the Shower.)
2.Get a Better Bed
A squeaking bedframe can give away any sexcapade. But if you finally invest in a solid setup, you can hit just about every position in the Kama Sutra and your bed won’t tell, says Ibarra, who recommends opting for a bedframe that’s elevated so any vibrations won’t reverberate through the flooring. (An under-the-bed rug can also help here.) If you need a new mattress, opt for a cushy memory-foam model that will help absorb any sounds you do make, he says.
(While you’re hunting, here’s a question to consider: Should You Buy Your Next Mattress on the Internet?)
3.Build a Blanket Fort
Throw some more pillows on the bed and hide under the covers: When higher-frequency sound waves enter the blankets, they turn into tiny vibrations that get stuck between the fibers, says Tom Player, director of Lost Track Productions, who has composed trailer music for The Hobbit and Game of Thrones.
Most soft objects—a sofa, bed, even your wife’s breasts—absorb some sound waves, but pillows and blankets are among the best absorbers lying around the average house. However, you’ll still need to keep the moans to a minimum: Blankets can only absorb so much sound, and won’t really touch the deeper notes, he says.
4.Buy More Eggs
For the foam, of course! Stick it between the bottom of your bedroom door and the floor. (A blanket or towels will work, too.) Apart from putting a physical barrier between your sex sounds and others’ ears, the foam’s curves are similar to those of sound waves, helping trap and break up the sounds, Canul says.
Distract Tykes with Tunes
The right old-school R&B track can help set the mood, but, if you want to keep your kids from hearing you in action, you also need to play some (non-sexy) music in their room, says Michael Ibarra, co-owner of Soundproof Chicago, a commercial soundproofing company. While lullabies work, white-noise machines are more constant and can better mask any sex sounds the kids might hear, he says.