Sextiquette: The traveler’s guide to getting down and dirty on the road.

Twin sized bunk beds are oh-so-cozy.

Sex: intimate, discreet, and sacred.  Not anymore.  And especially not in the traveling community.

When you’re constantly meeting new people and your nighttime antics are fueled by rocket-fuel-strength liquid courage, hook-ups are obviously bound to happen.  While traveling, you’re feeling free and open to new experiences, so you’re bound to have more sex than in your regular life back home. But staying in hostels adds a new twist to the game.

When you’re confined to living in communal dorms you would think that would stop or at least slow some people down.  But no, there’s always someone up for getting down and dirty, even with an unwilling audience listening.  I’m not going to participate in the debate of whether travelers should or shouldn’t have sex in a dorm room, but I will offer some guidelines on how to hook up in a hostel properly.

1.  Get creative – A bed isn’t the only place you can have sex.  Hostels are full of hidden love nests: the laundry room, rooftop, and showers.  Or take the opportunity as a spark for finding someplace new you haven’t had sex such as on a beach or in a public park. Opportunities of places to conquer are abound, and getting there can be half the fun. Not only will you get a guaranteed good story to tell your buddies, but your dorm-mates will appreciate it.

2.  Plan for privacy– If you traveling as a couple and know you’re having regular sex, then cough up the extra cash for a private.  If you can’t afford it then you should be bound to Sextiquette rule number one like the rest of us. Dorm sex is reserved for the random drunken one night stands.

Before ‘bunking’ traditionally comes drinking and card games at the hostel.

3.  Do it at their dorm– Some of your dorm-mates are probably travel partners as well so to avoid consistent heckling, it’s best to get out and go to your new lover’s dorm room.  It makes awkward morning conversation easy or nonexistent and you can leave feeling guilt-free.  Their problem, not yours. (Unless you have the same dorm room.  In which case there’s probably an avoidable catastrophe if you’re both sticking around awhile.)

4.  Don’t be noisy – Don’t assume your dorm-mates are sleeping because even if they were, you probably woke them when you used their bed to launch yourself and your new lover to the top bunk.  Or else the bed shaking did.  Either way, just try to be mindful that some people are awake and feel uncomfortable; even if you don’t really care.  Of course it’s never as fun or good if you’re trying to keep the mattress from moving and you can’t make any happy noises, but no one ever said bunking (sex in a bunk bed in a dorm room) was good sex.  Don’t get your expectations too high as it probably won’t be great, if you can even remember it in the morning.

5.  Don’t think you’re not noisy - You’re probably drunk, (you are trying to have sex with a relative stranger in a bunk bed, after all) and we always talk more loudly when inebriated.  Recognize you’re kind of being an asshole and probably making a hell of a lot more of a ruckus than you realize. Just use a pillow to smother out some noise and be as polite about it as possible.  And definitely no spanking.

6.  Leave with some dignity – Generally people know who is hooking up, but just to avoid the awkward stares and morning pleasantries, slip out while the sun is still creeping up.  There is no way you’re actually comfortable sharing that tiny bed anyway,  and after the cuddling is done and over with, you should just go back to the sanctuary of your own bed and deal with your hangover when it comes. And don’t leave anything important behind, like your room key.

Privacy is overrated. As long as everyone is happy, go for it!

7.  No repeats – This rule is generally implied, but not necessarily regarded.  Generally speaking, most people are down for bunking when they know they’re leaving the next day (or their partner is).  But if this isn’t the case and both parties are up for Round 2, it’s time to take it to the next level.  Dorm sex is only exciting the first time.  Then it’s awkward, tedious, and extremely rude towards your dorm-mates.  (Unless you switch up dorm rooms.)  But ideally just find a new dark corner to conquer.  Or torture the security guard, he’s probably used to it.

8.  Get involved – If you can’t beat them, join them.  If you’re in a dorm with limited people, around 3 or so, and all awake parties are interested, get involved in the fun.  No point in being bitter or jealous. Plus you’re on the road and open to adventure so if you’re game, get in on the action.  You might think this is a joke, but I know for a fact that this scenario played out to my friend’s advantage.  Travelers are unsurprisingly adventurous and probably down to experience new things more than you could hope for.  It doesn’t hurt to ask (especially if you’re leaving the next day).

The most important thing to remember is to have fun.  Let go of yourself and go with the moment.  The thrill of being caught is gone but a whole new cheekiness level brought in: the thrill of knowing people are listening.  And don’t get too mad at others when they come back for a rendezvous.  Just remember to keep the MP3 player nearby and bear in mind that you paid a dirt-cheap price to stay in a communal dorm.  While dorm room sex may not be the best, it definitely is a traveler’s rite of passage and makes for great stories to share with other travelers and friends back home.  Or articles to share on the internet.

Ruby Tuesday

About Ruby Tuesday

Ruby Tuesday was just an ordinary girl from suburban California until she studied abroad in the random and entertaining island of Malta. After that, she decided to explore every corner of the world in search of extraordinary adventures. Suddenly she was climbing cliffs in Thailand, befriending monkeys in Bolivia, and practicing the ancient martial art of sunmudo in Korea. Ruby is our global party expert and her experience in shenanigans all over the world has given her an endless series of stories.