I just finished a month performing a one-man standup show in Scotland as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and after a month of traveling I feel especially qualified to comment on this survey by Expedia asking 1,000 Americans to name the behaviors they find most aggravating in fellow hotel guests.
29% complained about the ‘Loudly Amorous’, i.e., those who were having sex too vocally in the next room, and 59% complained of ‘In-room Revelers’. It’s worth pointing out that 59% dislike general loud noise, but roughly half of that 59% don’t mind the loud noise if it turns out to be sex. I wonder which half of the population that might be. The degree of congeniality towards the loudly amorous probably depends on the hotel’s cable TV selection. I’d choose ESPN over listening to the loudly amorous, but there are lots of C cable TV shows that transform into a B when you add a ‘loudly amorous’ soundtrack. Hollywood, take note.
It’s worth considering why the ‘loudly amorous’ affects us differently than neighborly noise in general. Here’s the difference between people arguing next door and having sex next door: When you hear an argument you never think, ‘I sure wish that were me.’ Loud sex is a reminder that you’re not having any. Or perhaps you are having sex, but wonder why your performance isn’t producing that degree of enthusiasm.
(Just to be clear, the word ‘amorous’ doesn’t have to mean sexual desire but is ‘indicative of love or romance’, and perhaps some of these complainers were subjected to the loud recitation of bad poetry.)
69% of respondents complained of ‘Hallway Hellraisers’. There are people in life you can never please. 29 percent called the front desk when you were having loud sex in your room, but over twice as many complained once you politely moved the loud sex to the hallway.
72% complained of ‘Inattentive Parents’, but come on people, when you complain of the loudly amorous in the room and then in the hallway, it’s very difficult to keep an eye on the kids from the stairwell. And those parents in the stairwell aren’t disturbing anyone unless the unattended kids start a fire and the hotel evacuates via the stairwell.
9% complained about the ‘Elevator Chatterbox’, and I’ll admit I’ve been guilty of being overly chatty on the ride upstairs, but excuse me if I assumed you’d want to hear the latest gossip about that couple in the stairwell.
53% complained about ‘Complainers’. No word on whether those 53% grasped the irony of their position.
Of course this study isn’t scientific. These are complaints from one guest about the other guests but it’s not clear that the other guests are people the survey-taker doesn’t know. If your spouse is also a guest at the hotel a complaint about a loudly amorous guest or an inattentive parent may not mean the person next door.