’s hard enough to find a decent apartment to rent in San Francisco. But couple that hunt with some sex-negative sentiments from potential roommates, and you’re practically cockblocked in your own pad. Haters gonna hate.

You’d think that San Franciscans in their mid- to late-twenties would understand the very human need for the occasional adult sleepover. For the most part, you’d be right. But foul wrongdoings and evil subterfuge are afoot in a select group of craigslist users with open rooms.

Some apartment-share situations come equipped with a living room NOT used as an extra bedroom, a washer/dryer in the unit…and a not-so sexy caveat. For example:

One thing I wanted to mention to you before we set up a time to meet is that we do not have guys/boyfriends sleep over. This was an existing rule in the house before I moved in a few weeks ago, and has continued because it is important to (the other roommate). It is not something I have a problem with, but I don’t generally bring home random guys anyway and the place is awesome so I was willing to agree to that. I figure if I start dating someone I can just stay over at the guy’s place. It’s kind of nice to know that you won’t end up with a roommate with a live-in boyfriend, or a revolving door of random dudes, especially because you would be sharing a bathroom.

Well, thank goodness you’re a bootstrapping queer San Franciscan and you’d rather bring home a lady friend for a “pillow fight” anyway! (Translation: harrumph to you and your assumption of my sexuality.)

OK, let me break this down for you. People fuck. Most of these fucking people are consenting adults. And at any given moment, I would bet good money there are at least fifteen couples currently orgasming within the city limits. So if they’re consenting adults and having wondrous, beautiful, life-affirming orgasms (or, let’s face it, even kinda shitty orgasms), who are you to say “no” to that?

Sure, you could lie through your teeth, tell your potential roommates that sounds fabulous and then immediately invite over everyone at the nearest bar and orchestrate a nightlong orgy…or you could tell them to “get ye to a nunnery” because, frankly, the apartment kinda already is. What happened to the 20-something, undersexed, sex-positive feminists I knew so well?

Of course, the fear of the live-in partner is understandable. No one wants to squeeze in an extra person in an apartment that’s already bursting at its seams. Plus, your boyfriend totally left pee stains on the edge of the toilet bowl when it was my week to clean the bathroom. Oh, and he completely sucks up the wifi when he looks up restaurants on his phone and he definitely needs to chip in for that. He’s always around, and it cramps my style when I am trying to watch my sad chick flicks alone in the living room, thankyouverymuch. (We get it.)

But what about this “revolving door of random dudes”? Please, I am a classy broad with high standards. My bevy of gentleman callers forms a polite and quiet queue to the right. They do not “revolve” but instead they decorate the apartment like a collection of curious tcotchkes accumulated from my various travels to far-reaching corners of the Lower Haight.

One can only deduce that there must be a giant man-eating slut on the loose renting out rooms left and right and ruining the housing dilemma for the rest of us. What, so now we have to be single AND sexless? Thanks, slut: now none of us can be slutty and have obnoxiously loud sex heard throughout the entire apartment because we’re residing in the we-still-have-a-living-room-but-your-room-was-actually-the-dining-room room.

Look, you live in San Francisco. Chances are you live in an apartment or duplex or townhouse or some sort of shelter that shares a wall with a neighbor. You’re going to hear some sex. Relax; it is advised you stay calm and do not provoke or disrupt this act of nature.

Really, though, the whole no-overnight-guests rule is a way of saying we can’t just be fucking adults (erm, literally). Adults talk to their roommates when there’s an issue with a boyfriend who spends too much time in the apartment. Or when someone brings home unsavory characters. Or when someone disturbs the others’ sleep with her slightly too enthusiastic midnight romps. To issue a broad NO SEX IN THE CHAMPAGNE ROOM rule is not attacking the source of the problem–it’s avoiding the conversation altogether.

U jelly, potential roommates? Or maybe you’re just old-fashioned? The prospect of an apartment in San Francisco is sexy, but these rules are most certainly not. Women don’t get blue balls (nominally), but ladysluts, we all getting blackballed.

Image from Thomas Hawk.

The Sexual Manifesto is Christine Borden’s weekly column on sex in the city, sex and culture, and, well, sex. Got a tip for Christine (and it’s not in your pants)? Email her at

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