Hostel sex: The etiquette of dorm room lust

David Whitley July 28, 2012 1

The rules of pulling abroad when you’re not travelling on your own.

Taipei street artFor the single traveller, love (or at least unashamed lust) can strike in the strangest places. After all, I still have disturbing memories of a friend getting it on with a barely legal German girl in a Prague playground. She had just been sick too, which was extra romantic.

It is a golden rule of travel, however, that the more filthy, un-private and inappropriate your accommodation, the more likely you are to pick up.

If ‘love’ strikes when you have a nice hotel room, then there’s no problem – just go back there. However, not all single people travel on their own – many are either travelling with a friend and thus sharing a room, or doing the whole tour bus and hostel thing.

If the former, tactics should be decided beforehand. It’s probably best to agree that the successful party has to find their own hotel room at short notice. Or if trying to get things moving a little quicker, slip the extraneous friend enough cash to find an alternate room to disappear to, whilst commandeering the original.

In dorms, it’s a whole different story. Anyone who has done the backpacking thing will probably have come across the horror of the top bunk sex marathon. Part of me admires the audacity of those that have the guts to do it; the correct response should be a standing ovation rather than disgusted tutting. But it’s not what you want to hear if you’re trying to get to sleep before catching an early train to some freezing hellhole in Poland that you can’t even spell.

Luckily, most newly enamoured couples don’t have the nerve for communal coitus. And it’s for precisely this reason that, on a regular basis, hostel shower cubicles across the world host scenes more suited to the adult movie industry. Just clean up afterwards, hey guys?


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Of course, there is another solution. Everyone needs their own private space at some point – booking a private room in a hostel just for the night is good for the mental health occasionally. And, if you’re going to do that, why not do it when you know you’re going out for a big night? Even if you don’t get lucky, you’ll appreciate it for a big lie in the next day anyway. Win-win.


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