Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sex in the Cedars

I was awakened at 4:30 this morning in our South Lake Tahoe hotel room by a loud noise, even with my ear plugs in - something I started doing on my mission in France because my companion/roommate snored.

It was a loud, squeaky, scratching, abrasive noise. I jumped out of bed. Mark said something but I didn't quite catch it. I went over to the sliding door (pictured above to the right of the table and chairs) which we had left open 6-8 inches to let in the cool night air. I wondered if the sound was coming from outside. Mark said, "Joseph, where are you going?" I mumbled something about looking for the source of the noise which had awakened both of us. He mumbled something back, but I again didn't quite catch it.

The noise wasn't coming from outside. I took a couple of steps and looked up at the ceiling fan, wondering if that was where this horrible scratching noise was coming from. Then, it hit me. The noise was the sound of the bed in the room above us. The couple above us, it dawned on me, were having sex. At 4:30 in the morning! This is what Mark had been trying to tell me.

I got back into bed. We lay there, listening, wondering how long the noise would continue. Fortunately, a few minutes later, they were done. Or at least he was. We could hear muffled talking for a few minutes, then silence, and we were able to get back to sleep.

Later that morning, as I wrote in my journal, I thought back on the last 18 months and how many times we had heard people having sex while staying in a condo or hotel. First of all, there was a year ago this past spring in Maui ... I wrote about it at the time on my blog:
I was awakened around 1:30 by the sound of a man and a woman talking in a normal voice, apparently quite close by.  [In the condo complex where we were staying, all the high bedroom windows faced the exterior walkway. Thus, sound carried quite easily.] I was wearing my ear plugs, and was focused on trying not to hear them, rather than on what they were saying.  I eventually was able to get back to sleep. 
The following morning, while Mark and I were having coffee on the balcony, he nonchalantly asked, 'So, did you hear the couple having sex next door last night?'  When I shook my head and replied that I had only heard talking at around 1:30, he responded, 'Yeah - around midnight. "Ooooh.  Aaaahh.  Oooooh.  Aaaaah,"' Mark mimicked the woman's voice.  'They were really going at it.  Then again around 2:00.  Same thing:  'Ooooh.  Aaaahh.  Ooooh.  Aaaaahh."' 
I was glad that I'd only heard the talking.
The thing is, that sort of thing went on for several nights. Loudly. We finally complained to the condo management. They talked to the couple and the guy's response was, "That's just the way we roll." Yeah, right. Well, okay, dude.

The next time something like this happened was when we took the kids to Disneyland in June. We were staying in a very respectable place close to the parks. We experienced no problems, except for one night when the people in the room next door decided to throw a party until the wee hours of the morning. Finally, we were able to get to sleep.

Then, the next night, Mark and I were awakened by the sound of a bed banging against the wall behind our bed. Moans. Banging. Finally it stopped. Fortunately, the children were in the other room. When we said something to the management about the party and the poor sound insulation, they offered to not charge us for our parking during our stay there. Sigh.

Then, this morning. I later saw the guy upstairs sitting on his balcony. He looked like the kind of guy who would say, "That's just the way we roll."

I realize that sex is a part of life. But, I mean, come on. You know what these experiences made me think of? How some straight people make a big deal out of public displays of affection by gay people, e.g., kissing or holding hands in public. This makes them feel "uncomfortable." And the mere concept of two men making love absolutely sends them into full revulsion mode. Yet, here we are, two gay men, who have been subjected to unwanted exposure to heterosexual sex. I mean, really. What would people have said had that couple in Maui been a gay couple? Would they have been able to say, "That's just the way we roll?" 

On a totally different note, when we set out for our ride yesterday morning, we passed this sign:

My first thought was, "Well, I guess it's good for them to diversify."

But then it hit me. We were in California. Mark and I could legally go into that chapel, having obtained a marriage license from the county seat, and get married. Wow! It was so ... affirming and validating. And I thought about how heterosexual couples take getting married for granted. And I wondered ... will that day eventually come for gay people?

* BTW, the trees were actually Ponderosa Pines, but the alliteration doesn't work.


  1. Yeah, and Procreating in the Ponderosas isn't nearly as poetic.

    Your point well made, I too have had to endure the sound of this social incongruity.


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  3. Hmmm. Trey, I didn't think of that one.