A couple of days ago I read a story that was posted to the Travelettes FB group and couldn’t believe what I was reading. It was one of these hostel horror stories that made me bless every single dorm experience I’ve ever had. Lying awake all night in the bunk bed underneath the guy who was snoring like there was no tomorrow was nothing. Neither was trying to shush a bunch of drunk Scots who were partying just outside my door. Those were situations that could have easily been avoided with earplugs (which I hate and firmly believe my ears to be too small for), but the story I read on FB made my jaw drop.
And the girl who told it wasn’t alone either. In the comments there were a number of others telling similar stories and giving advice on how to handle the situation. I’m speaking of course not about that one guy who decided to have some sort of fiesta with a bunch of plastic bags after dark, or having your phone stolen while it is charging at a power outlet halfway across the dorm. I’m speaking of people having a go at it while other people try to sleep – yes, people who have sex with other people in the room.
I actually experienced this in my own country and with locals – in a hostel in Thailand. I had booked a bed in a mixed dormitory, but it was located in a pretty nice resort. I stayed there with a couple of friends and we were all sharing the same room with a few couples. It happened in the middle of a really quiet night. We heard strange sounds coming from the bed right beside us, like heavy breathing, and we could see what was going on even though it was dark. Shadows don’t lie. My friends and I hid beneath our blankets and started chatting quietly. We agreed that the best way to solve the problem was to play a little game with the lovebirds. One of my friends started crying in this creepy, ghostly way – we knew that most Thai people are scared of ghosts and all things supernatural – and sure enough it showed to be effective! Within seconds they stopped and after that we had the most peaceful night ever.
~ Story by Pitchy ~
I had worked in a hostel for a few months and on one particular day I heard about some people apparently having had sex in a shared dorm the night before. Thankfully it wasn’t in mine. ‘End of story’, I thought. One of my duties in the hostel was to make sure that everyone checks out on time, so that new people can arrive and check in. One of the guys who was supposed to check out didn’t show at the reception and also hadn’t paid yet. Obviously, I went to check on him and see what was going on. Oh the regrets… I stepped into the dorm and – surprise, surprise – there is this guy with his party romance, both lying naked on the bed. Everyone could see them, because the door of the dorm was open to let some fresh air in. They were fast asleep and I did not really want to wake them up. I just hoped they would wake up soon and the problem would resolve into thin air. Only, that did not happen. When the time arrived that I could not wait any longer, I went back in there, woke up the bunnies and told them that they had to leave. What a moment!
Once I also found a used condom and its packet behind my bed in a very small, very crammed 10 bed dorm. Maybe the story of that condom belongs to one of the other Travelettes!
~ Story by Analena ~
I’ve been “lucky” to witness amorous pursuits going on in almost every hostel I’ve stayed in. I thought I would share the best two.
Casual in Vienna
I had booked a more expensive all girls dorm as the rest of the hostel was full and was lucky enough to score a regular (but rickety) bed that wasn’t a bunk… but so had the couple next to me. I was asleep one night when at about 6 am I woke up to the loudest, deepest snoring I’d ever heard. I went back to sleep but at about 8am all the lights were turned on and I woke up to see the couple walking around the dorm completely naked without a care in the world, putting condoms in the bin. My friend dragged me into the bathroom and whisper-screamed at me, ‘how did you not hear it?’ She had been awake the entire time when less than a metre from my head, this couple had horrendously loud, bed shaking sex in an all girls dorm while I slept through the entire thing! We went back out and the couple said absolutely nothing to us, just sloppily kissed each other goodbye.
My favourite position? Fetal.
I should have known what was coming, these guys had been bragging about their conquests all day. I went out and partied with them and sure enough, one guy got lucky and brought a girl back to the dorm. Our bunks were touching so my feet were right by their heads. I have to hand it to them, they were pretty quiet, up until the girl started screaming and yelling ‘yes!’ repeatedly. Next thing I know, someone (I presume it was the girl!) grabbed my foot and was digging their finger nails in while the ‘yes’ screaming continued. I tried wiggling and thrashing my foot around but they kept holding on, so left with no other choice I yanked my leg back and was finally free. The sex continued as I drifted off to sleep in the fetal position, too scared to put my foot anywhere near their bunk again.
~ Stories by Zoe ~
I was at a hostel in Barcelona when one of the girls in my room brought back a new Spanish friend at 5am. It was quite unpleasant for the six of us who were all awake listening to them unwillingly. Finally, my bunkmate and I (who were both sick) turned on all the lights to the horror of our inconsiderate roommate and we told her that she could either stay without her friend or both would need to leave. She opted to head into the dawn with her friend and was too afraid to show her face in our room for the rest of our stay.
My top advice for handling this situation: Everyone has bad moments, but it’s important to say something as a hostel dorm is a SHARED space. Don’t be afraid to talk to the manager as I’ve received full refunds after similar experiences elsewhere.
And my top tips for avoiding sharing a dorm with people having sex: Don’t stay at party hostels as people often come back late at night after a night out with new ‘friends’. Similarly, read the hostel reviews. Smaller hostels often have a community feeling, so it’s more likely that you’ll find travellers who are more willing to respect their fellow bunkmates. Finally, stay in rooms with fewer people and splurge for a private room. Fewer strangers = smaller risk of inconsiderate neighbors.
~ Story by Karen from Wanderlustingk ~
The Girl from the Other Side
There is no denying it: I do enjoy sex that is not fully private – park, tent, open windows, they do add a certain kick.
However, sex in public is a different story, and having been a backpacker for going on five years, I know winding down in a dorm is difficult enough, even without people pretending like the room is theirs alone. So I do feel for anyone who’s on the non-receiving receiving end a dorm make-out session.
That being said…
I had just come out of a 5-month camping adventure along the African West coast, most nights sharing the tent with a 50-something widow from London. Other than one brief incident in Timbuktu, there was no space for sex on that journey.After checking in at the Banana Backpackers in Durban, I sat down with my laptop by the bar when this English dude, really a boy, ten years younger than my 30-something, and in town to get his yacht captaining licence, flopped next to me onto the couch. He was obviously hungover, so I tried to ignore him when he chatted me up. But he was funny, so we had beer together, went to the beach and within two hours of meeting each other started to make out.
The only problem: he was staying a dorm with half a dozen guys, and neither of us could afford a private room. In the coming months, gender separation and a severe shortage of female backpackers in these parts of the world would often bless me with a dorm all to myself. But as luck would have it this was of the rare incidences when I had to share my room. She was a young Korean woman; she seemed very shy but lovely.
Over a few beers the dude and I spent hours snogging in the hostel pool, snogging on numerous hostel terraces, on the couch, by the pool table etc. Until I decided it was time for bed and, after confirming my roommate was sleeping, invited the dude to cuddle with me. It was totally innocent, or at least that’s what I made myself believe.
I am still shocked that the hostel management – which was after all not allowing guys and gals to share dorms – didn’t stop any of these shenanigans.
Spooning lasted for five minutes before dude’s hands started wandering, which was not unwelcome. Looking at the bed opposite mine, I could have stopped him, I could have said no. But I really just wanted to have sex. So we did. Well, without moving around too much and avoiding to make too much noise.
I glanced over to the other bed a few times but there was no movement or sound coming from the Korean. She either had a very healthy sleep or was lying there awake, terrified. Who knows, maybe she was enjoying it as well?
The next day, the Korean left very early in the morning. The dude somehow managed to get us a private room for free, and we had a lot more fun for two days and nights, until I hopped on the train to Jo’Burg…
Looking back, I can’t say I’d never do it again. After all, this was not my first or last hostel sex. But I do avoid doing it in a room with an audience that paid for a bed to sleep in not for an adult-only entertainment programme.
Dorm sex is a spur of the moment thing that you do with a guy that you probably won’t ever be seeing again. Because if the guy is a keeper, lying just close to him in anticipation and holding on to that energy until the right moment is much more exciting.
~ Story by Carola from Notes on Travelling ~
I hope that you enjoyed the stories as much as I did, and that you learnt a few tricks for dealing with inconsiderate amorous roommates! To prepare even more for the full hostel experience have a look at our 20 tips for surviving hostel life.
Did you ever experience something similar? Feel free to share your story in the comments below!Tweet