As a porn director and creative working in the sexual wellness industry, I can tell you one thing: Sleeping with your flatmate is one of the most common fantasies out there. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. You spend a lot of time together, you get very comfortable with each other and the other person is literally just a few steps away almost every night. It is no surprise that the 10th cosy movie night in bed in your pyjamas might make you wonder what this could be like if you got even cosier. We are all human!
As someone who is guilty of having blurred the lines between housemates and lovers before, I know that hooking up with your roommate comes with specific challenges that can lead to severe consequences for all parties involved if they are not dealt with properly, and sometimes even if everyone is really trying their best to handle the situation maturely and respectfully.
I have talked to my community and collected their experiences to create a list of tips and tricks to keep things chill if you have got the hots for one of your flatmates.
Consider (and I mean really consider) the possible consequences
I know you are probably very horny. So you googled “sleeping with your flatmate” and ended up here. You have been keeping it together for weeks, if not months, and you just want to go for it. Trust me, take a deep breath and keep reading before you let yourself go there. Sleeping with your housemate can be a fantastic, intimate, and fun experience. Nothing is wrong with feeling sexually attracted to someone you live with. In fact, 80% of people surveyed answered that they have fantasized about sleeping with a housemate. You are not alone! But we all know how ugly things can get when a romantic, sexual, or even just friendly relationship ends. When feelings get hurt, things can get pretty dark pretty fast, and the fact is: if you are sleeping with someone you are sharing an apartment with – the stakes are much higher than if you are sleeping with anyone else. Try ordering the blood back from you-know-where into your brain and look at your situation logically:
If you decide to go for it, communicate and implement boundaries from the start
If the two of you have considered the possible consequences of your actions and you still want to go for it, talk about the situation. 100% of people I spoke to agreed to this being a major stop on the roommates to lovers voyage. Do not just jump into it (I know it is tempting), but sit down with each other and have a chat about what it is you are actually doing. Do you have feelings for each other or are you just looking for some casual fun? Would you be open for this experience to possibly develop into more or are you emotionally unavailable?
Keep in mind that you are not going to be able to just avoid each other after. If you are under the impression that you are entering a monogamous commitment or experience, but your housemate is not – you might be in for a painful surprise when they bring home a date or one-night stand the weekend after your clothes came off. Spare yourself the heartache and make sure you are on the same page. Be aware that you are probably going to have to check in with each other more than once as things progress (or not).
Be aware that feelings can change. And that is ok.
Even if you are communicating very openly and honestly, there is a big chance things are not going to go the way you planned them. Sex does not necessarily have to, but has the potential to change the way you feel about someone. For better or for worse. Hormones are a powerful force that can do all sorts of things to your brain. You might find that your friendly feelings have turned into something more romantic after having slept together or (which can be even more of a problem) you might feel a weird sense of disconnection towards the other person. “The ick” usually surprises you early on when you start being intimate with someone. After the hormones drop and once the excitement of the unknown has disappeared, you might start seeing your housemate in a completely different and less flattering light again. Think about if you are both going to be able to deal with unforeseen changes of emotions peacefully and respectfully.
If you do notice an unexpected change, do not play it cool if it is not. Acting casual when you are actually hurting or feeling a certain way will only make things more complicated. Be real with each other, and with yourself.
Consider your uninvolved flatmates
They are going to have an opinion and it might not be what you wish for. Even though it is nobody’s business who you decide to share a bed with, and nobody gets to judge you or shame you for your sexual choices, you should consider that your other roommates are being dragged into a potentially complicated emotional situation they did not ask for. Check in with your other roommates. Keeping things secret might sound tempting, but often leads to unnecessary tensions and is, in most city apartments, nearly impossible.
You also need to take a good hard look at your roommates and their possible male, hetero and/or white privilege. Things like sexism and racism might play a part in conflict situations in shared apartments. If things go wrong with your flatmate and you are a woman/female-identifying – often you will be the one who will be blamed for the situation. From Slut-shaming to being called dramatic to all sorts of things. Women are judged a lot harder for sexual relationships gone wrong. If you are a BIPOC living with white people, you might be called aggressive for setting boundaries or irresponsible for giving into your temptations. Nobody likes to talk about it, but we do have subconscious biases that can be very harmful in any kind of conflictual situations.