Should you sleep with your roommates? We asked Cosmo’s resident sexpert
‘The most experienced people could make it work but I think even that’s only in a Hollywood movie’
We’ve all thought about it at least once – should I try to sleep with my roommates?
Could it be a good idea? Would it end well? Being emotionally unequipped to answer these questions ourselves, we asked Rachel Morris, Cosmopolitan’s in-house sexpert.
She’s been helping people with their sex problems for the last 11 years and has appeared as a psychotherapist on Big Brother, so if there’s anyone to ask about this, it’s her.
Here’s what she said about boffing your roomies.
We all like them
Sexpert Rachel believes we’re far more likely to be attracted to our roommates than anyone else.
“There’s an intimacy connected to living together which is why it’s especially important that you pay attention to not hooking up.
“They’re just there, they’re eating and breathing and the proximity is there. They’re naked in the room next to yours, it’s obviously going to be alluring. You see each other without clothes on, without make up on and there’s an intimacy to it.”
There’s also going to be paranoia
Rachel advocates the age-old cliché of not shitting where you eat.
“Imagine you’ve slept with them once: one person is always more in to it than the other, that’s just got to be the way. There’s instantly paranoia and fear. What happens when you want to bring somebody else home?
“Because, after all, you’ve never really formalised the terms of your sexual arrangement. The most experienced people could make it work but I think even that’s only in a Hollywood movie.”
Don’t lie to yourself, you can’t handle it
Rachel disagrees with the idea of no-strings-attached sex.
“We always think that we could cope with everything, we think ‘yeah we’re adults, sure we can just have sex with each other, it’s no big deal’.
“But actually — the minute you engage in sex — for both genders, something happens chemically for both of us, and that’s for all sexual contact because you’re engaging in an intimacy that you’ve got no premise for.”
The biology behind your chemistry
“When a woman gets close to having an orgasm she releases oxytocins. This prompts a ‘cuddle response’, a post-orgasmic feeling to cling to your partner and it makes sense in biology because she might be pregnant.
“And for men, once they’ve shot their load, the day after there’s a real emptiness and a slight depression that accompanies that, and so a lot of men who have that kind of sex are more likely to be depressed than their conterparts who have relationships.
“I think it’s a popular myth that men need to spread their seed and kind of ‘get it around’, and there’s a very small minority of men who need to bed a girl in order to sustain their self-esteem, whereas most find the chase kind of terrifying, kind of stressful. And there’s a fear of rejection and poor performance that means that sex effects you negatively not positively.
“Trust me, have a wank. It’s far better, far less stressful.”
It’s not fair on your roommates
Let’s face it, the morning after is awkward enough as it is, let alone when you live with each other. The awkwardness doesn’t just affect you though, it affects your other flatmates — stop being so selfish.
The morning after is a “grenade exploding in slow motion”, says Rachel.
“It’s in the air but nobody knows where it’s going to land so it stresses everybody out.
“Everybody’s really on egg shells, everybody is really aware that the dynamic has changed but nobody knows how.”
What if you want to take things further?
If things are serious enough, move out.
“If something starts and you think it’s something you want to carry on then one of you should move out, or both of you.
“You’re effectively living with that lover immediately — the danger is that, even if there was a chance that this person might be some kind of a lover or a relationship, the fact that you’re even living with them puts a nail in that coffin straight away.”
For more sex tips and tricks, follow Rachel on Twitter.