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To keep this timely, I'm going to answer this question now before many of you go back to school: How would a college student with a roommate go about masturbating? Right? The majority of college students masturbate! This is an excellent question.

Plus, it shows me that you are considerate and curious and into self-care. These are all really important qualities when navigating the terrain of shared housing -- which comes in lots of forms, so I hope this response helps those of you in the military, on space ships, with children or in-laws living at home.


Here's my how-to checklist. Compare schedules. Are we in any of the same classes? Check out my schedule. I'm in class all day Tuesdays. Hopefully the gesture is reciprocated and you can determine some quality times. If not, you can take a more Lindsey route. Can I get a copies of your class and work schedules so I can plan on a time to have the room to myself?

Seasirens suggested even after they've left for class or work, give it a few minutes because they may have forgotten something.

Establish euphemisms. Euphemisms are society's way of saying the things it's not comfortable saying like "choke the chicken" instead of "masturbate." Really? Choke the chicken is better than masturbate? Really? Less offensive and unpleasant? The reason I suggest establishing euphemisms is so that everyone knows what is being communicated. If you say "I really need to paddle the pink canoe," and your roommate assumes you're anxious to get to the lake, you're not going to get the response you wanted. So, I'm going to give you some pretty common euphemisms for masturbation: jerk-off, jack-off, get off, play with myself, rub one out, cum, wank. You'll notice that very few of these are female-related because we don't masturbate.

Here are the less common euphemisms: badger the witness, go number three, mistress bait (instead of master), and my new favorite, lip-service.

Whatalansays calls it a "happy hour."

Knock first and wait a minute before entering. This models how you'd like to be treated and starts the conversation of asking your roommate for a knock-first policy. Could you fumble with the lock a little? You're so good with that key I can't get my pants on. If you're wearing loose clothing like baggy shorts, you could pull them up quickly, or with a skirt, you could pull it down. 

Send the message. Putting a sock on the door is one way to communicate you're sexually engaged. To be more clear, you could leave a note on the dry-erase board, a hanger on the door, even a quick text message. Something that signals: do not disturb. I made this one. The point is to communicate honestly without sharing more than what has been negotiated.

In the words of basementpoet, "My roommates and I discussed it. We looked at our schedules, planning time alone. And, we said that we were fine asking, with a little bit of prior notice, the other two to leave for a bit to facilitate alone time (or time with another person)."

Set a time frame. Be specific in terms of the time you need. Like armourdown says, "...yo give me thirty minutes in the room please." You could also go with the very specific masturbation playlist and let your roommate know that you'll turn it off when you're done.

Give yourself options. If your roommate is around and you still want to get off, go to a friend's place. Hand your roommate headphones or muffle the noises with a pillow. Take a shower, use a waterproof vibe, actual lube -- not shampoo or soap. If you're seeing signs on your dorm that semen clogs pipes and the student conduct code prohibits you from masturbating in the shower, it is a prank, it is not real.

College by its very nature is a venue for education.

Learn new techniques. Pack toys, condoms, lube, porn, erotica, and like the rest of your school supplies, actually put it to use. Or if you're a simple hands-on learner, explore fantasy and Kegels, new positions, learn ways to feel good without making others feel bad. 

On that note, clean up. Just as you would be courteous enough to wipe the mirror clean after popping pimples, right? Be courteous enough to clean up your masturbatory mess. It's hygienic!

What do you mean? Clean up your condoms, semen, underwear, tissues, dildos, socks -- leave things nicer than before you masturbated. Also: sex has a smell, so open a window or put a chocolate chip cookie in the microwave for ten seconds to freshen things up. Unless everyone likes the scent of sex.

Include your roommate. Maybe on the spectrum, your roommate is way over here. Lalalalalala. Maybe over here ready for a circle jerk where you masturbate together. As you live with this person, you'll get a sense of where on the bell curve comfort is with masturbation. For you, too. Remember that as college students, you're not only learning more about your majors, you're learning about yourselves and each other. 

Stay curious. Thank you to everyone on Tumblr who shared your roommate masturbation tips when I was curious. To hear more Tumblr tips, check the description. For a video on masturbation, here and our questions answered here. You can also support us on Subbable and as always, absolutely stay curious.