Advice, Sept2016
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Getting Off: Privacy Edition

It’s Friday night and you’re feeling a little stressed out from the long week of school. You decide to let off steam by spending some private time with your right hand and your incredible imagination. You lock the door, dim the lights, and close the blinds, taking the necessary precautions to secure some privacy. As you start letting your imagination wander, you hear voices coming from the room next to yours. Without your consent, you overhear a very personal, and what should be private, conversation happening on the other side of your paper-thin wall, and know that they can probably hear you too. You are both the invader and the invaded. Despite your precautionary measures, your privacy is at risk.  

At Quest, privacy does not seem to exist naturally. It must be sought out explicitly, especially when it comes to sex and masturbation. “Privacy is a bit of an illusion anyways. If I am not living on ground level, [privacy] is out of mind,” says one fourth year student living in Riverside. This ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality has been adopted by a few students, especially those living on the courtyard sides of North and South Villages. “I actually think the people who live in those buildings are either oblivious or into exhibitionism,” commented one second year living in South.

The problem seems to be that there are no completely private spaces at Quest. Even students who have opted for slightly more privacy in the single occupancy rooms in the Peaks have to stomach the fact that we can all see through their blinds. “You never know when people are watching you,” lamented a fifth year student living in Ossa.

Many students have found creative solutions to Quest’s lack of privacy. Some flee to the woods to accomplish personal sexual missions, but this isn’t without pitfalls. Not only do they have to worry about remaining hidden from people, they also have to bring bear spray in case they encounter any unwanted wildlife.

Another creative solution is having a ‘sex curfew,’ a set time span for couples who have roommates, to use the room to canoodle in relative privacy. “It was between 3 p.m and 5 p.m I think. It was during the day because they could get really loud” explained a fourth year student who used this method. Communicating times when it is fine for the other roommate to have the room can ensure there are no unwanted visitors, who can create an uncomfortable experience for all parties involved.

Quest is not an inherently private place; after all we are expected to eat, sleep, study, play and work together. In an ideal world, students could have their own room with no roommates, great insulation in the walls, and blinds that are thicker than rice paper. In the meantime, communication and honesty with those that you live with is key to avoiding awkward and unwanted invasions of privacy. Talk with your roommates (they probably want some privacy too), and remember, getting off is an experience best enjoyed with a piece of ________ and peace of mind.

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