How to Soundproof for Kinky Sex

Sometimes, you can’t have loud sex. Maybe you live with roommates and it’s late, or maybe you live with family and it’s literally any time ever, or maybe you live in an apartment building where you can hear everything that happens in the hallway like it’s in the same room and you don’t want to find out whether your neighbours are homophobes. Maybe all three! And kink might make worrying about noise even worse — when as much as we like to think otherwise kink is still a little taboo, and when your consensual dream scene sounds a lot like domestic violence, there can be extra pressure to stay quiet.

Being quiet when you don’t want to be quiet can lead to a more inhibited sex or kink life. “It could certainly make you do scenes that are more inhibited, and then doing that on a regular basis could cause general inhibition of your sexuality. It could also reinforce an internalized stigma that what you’re doing is wrong and bad and you need to make sure nobody hears it,” says Dr. Dulcinea Pitagora, a kink- and queer-friendly therapist.

If you want to make your sex or kink life a little quieter and a little more soundproof, here’s what you can try on your own.

Stop sound from bouncing around the room.

Sound bounces around, so one of the ways to make kinky sex less loud is by interrupting that bounce. The main areas to target are corners and large empty spaces of wall. “Put [something soft] in areas where sound bounces. So corners of rooms, near windows because sound bounces off windows really easily, and areas that are very open as far as walls go … and if you’re really being extraordinarily loud or you’re living on the first floor of a tall building, something on the ceiling,” says queer musician Manny Mendoza. “What you really want to do is build a space where sound is absorbed and doesn’t bounce back.”

Rugs, pillows, curtains, and large furniture can all help. (SoundProofingTips.com recommends staying away from egg crates — foam that looks like egg cartons — or actual egg cartons, noting that they’re a fire hazard and too light to be effective.) “Sound bounces from every direction: the walls, the ceiling, the floor. If you have something shaggy, if you have something big, the sound will hit that object and not bounce back,” says Mendoza.

Close gaps around your door.

Gaps let sound through like water, so look at one of the most obvious places there could be a gap: your door. Weatherstripping goes around the inside of a doorframe, is inexpensive, and is easy to install with zero knowledge whatsoever. It’s also invisible when the door is closed. If there’s space at the bottom of your door, adding a door sweep that just brushes the floor will help seal it. This two-inch-wide door seal, for example, is super easy to install without technical knowledge and without drilling into your door. (It’s what I use on mine, and it looks like it’s always been there.) If you’re afraid of losing a security deposit or otherwise can’t modify the door, try a fluffy towel.

Modern doors are also often hollow in the middle, which can make them reverberate louder. “You also want to stop sound from hitting the door, so that sound doesn’t hit it and go through it or reverberate on the other side,” says Mendoza. Try hanging a very heavy curtain that extends over the doorframe and door and touches the floor, like the AcoustiDoor.

Without structural changes, you won’t be able to make your space soundproof. But noises can’t carry if they don’t exist. Look at what in your space is creating noise, and try to eliminate it.

Keep your bed from making noise.

If your bed creaks, make sure the screws are tightened. If its legs bang against the floor, position it on a rug, or add some compatible rubber furniture feet. If the headboard hits the wall, pull the bed away from the wall or, for a super temporary fix, shove pillows between the headboard and the wall before you start to play.

Keep your partner from making noise.

“Do things that are more psychological and not noisy. Things like power exchange, intimidation scenes. Or scenes where people are gagged, such as if you were to gag someone or impose speech restrictions on them,” says Pitagora. A silicone ball gag can help muffle moans or screams.

Keep your impact play from making noise.

Aside from vocals, spanking, slapping, flogging, or otherwise hitting can be a very loud part of kink. If the noise you’re worried about comes from impact toys, adjust how you use them and what they’re made of.

Generally, hitting softer makes things quieter. Because it can also make them less painful, it’s worth exploring toys beyond your usual. “Use a more intense implement more softly,” says Pitagora. “If you use a flogger, generally you have to use it harder to get more pain. If someone likes more pain but wants it to be quiet, you could choose something like a whip: you can use a much lighter touch with it for more intense sensation.” Also look at the materials involved. “If it’s made out of suede or fabric it’s not going to make as much sound, while something shiny is going to make more sound,” says Pitagora.

With spanking, avoid skin on skin. Pitagora recommends “wearing a glove, or spanking but not on bare skin.”

Try quieter ways to create sensation.

Nipple clamps, suction cups, pinwheels and triple pinwheels, vampire gloves, and paraffin drip candles are all ways to create sensation that don’t create any noise.

Embrace being quiet.

Sometimes, being quiet when you do want to be quiet can be hot. “There are certainly some people who do play like that and almost do it intentionally. They’ll try to be quieter, or if they’re having orgasms they’ll try to be quiet or be told to be quiet as part of the scene. Or the fact that they know they’re doing something taboo and they have to be quiet can intensify it and can actually make it more exciting,” Pitagora says.

Embrace being loud.

Even with structural changes and a huge budget, it’s hard to make rooms completely soundproof. “Some people dedicate their lives to soundproofing a room and can never get it quite right,” says Casey Minatrea, a sound recorder. Without structural changes and with a DIY approach, the most you can really hope for is sound reduction — which means at a certain point, you have to embrace whatever noise is left.


Lesbian Sex 101 is Autostraddle’s series on how to have lesbian sex for queer women and anyone who finds this information applicable to their bodies or sexual activities.

Sex ed almost never includes queer women or our experiences, so we’re exploring pleasure, safety, relationships and more to make that information more accessible. A lot of the language in these posts is intended to make them easy to find on search engines.

Some of the body parts we talk about will be yours or your partners’ and some won’t. Some of the pronouns will be yours or your partners’ and some won’t. Some of the sexualities will be yours or your partners’ and some won’t. Some of the language will be yours or your partners’ and some won’t. Take what you want and what applies to you or what you can make apply to you and your partners and your experiences, and leave the rest!


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Carolyn Yates is the NSFW Consultant, and was formerly the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor, for Autostraddle.com. Her writing has appeared in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, Xtra!, Jezebel, and elsewhere. She recently moved to Los Angeles from Montreal. Find her on twitter.

Carolyn has written 878 articles for us.

4 Comments

  1. I have to quibble with the “shiny things make more sound” thing. One of the quietest impact toys is a wire coathanger.

    The narrower the surface, the quieter it is. The more narrow a toy is, the more density (or speed) it needs to have an effect. So canes, especially fibreglass or thin metal ones, and thin whips that you can throw at high speed are good.

    Another go-to is a flogger (or cat, more precisely) that’s made out of a very few falls of dense leather lacing or cord, with a bunch of knots at the ends.

    I even made a “flogger” out of some fishing line, ball chain and duct tape once. I made short lengths of the ball chain (maybe 10 or so balls in the length), and then tied monkey-braided lengths of fishing line to each length of ball chain (the braiding to try and give it some weight). I braided all the braids together at the end and then wrapped the big braid in some duct tape to make a handle. It was still a PITA to swing, but it was effective at the other side, which made it worthwhile. And it was pretty quiet – the chain did make a little noise, but it’s hard to tell what the noise might be. It also made me slow down, a lot, which is always a good thing to remember to build suspense.

    Anyways, it really does suck if you like thuddy impact play – very difficult if extreme quietness is necessary! At least my big beanbags in the corners of my living room (handy person-positioning accessories) are a help, it seems. Not to mention having my own space.

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