What's Your Problem? May 2013

Problem: My Neighbor Is Having Shockingly Loud Sex All the Time

Try blasting recordings of chimpanzees. Our advice columnist to the rescue.
Rogan Ward/Reuters

Q: I live in an apartment building, and my next-door neighbors, with whom I share a wall, often engage in high-volume lovemaking. Live and let live, I say, but not at 1:30 in the morning. Or at 5:45 in the morning. I need my sleep. I’ve already slipped a note under their door alerting them that I hear strange noises coming from their apartment. But can I do anything else to persuade them to think more about their neighbors?

—N.R.
Washington, D.C.


Dear N.R.,

The most important question raised by your letter is this: Who stays up so late—or wakes up that early—to have sex? Your neighbors are very impressive people. My suggestion, should this behavior continue: download from iTunes the album Chimpanzee Sounds, which, not surprisingly, costs only $5.99, and play at top volume track 19, “Wild Monkey,” or track 14, “Capuchin Monkey.” Both are guaranteed to permanently interrupt coitus.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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