Noisy sex? Only in certain hours, Italian court rules


An Italian couple has been ordered to have sex only in the daytime after the man’s wails of ecstasy provoked complaints from neighbors. Retirees next door, who claimed the grunts equaled decibel levels of a jackhammer, will now be able to sleep soundly after a Rome judge imposed a sex ban from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. on a married couple.

This is the third case of roof-raising sex to hit Italian courts in a year; all three judges have imposed a blackout on sonorous love making at night.

What’s all the ruckus about?

Italy has the fifth-highest population density in Europe and most of those circa 60 million people live in apartment buildings.
Regulations on noise, however, are stuck in a post-war time warp. The fine for too many decibels in an apartment building is 100 lire, about 5 cents in euro (as set out in 1942, during Fascist rule) and unhappy neighbors must go through an already overloaded court system to get justice.
Politicians have proposed bills to update fines and develop mediation centers for out-of-court settlements, but have not reached an agreement.

In the meantime there are 4.7 million pending cases of apartment-building spats, most of them about noise, frequently sex noise — especially during the hot summer months when Italians sleep — or try to — with the windows open.

Identified only as ‘Signora Carmen,’ the woman in the Rome case told Italian media, “This is absurd, you can’t limit passion. I think the neighbors are just jealous. I guess we’ll go back to having sex in the car and hope we don’t get arrested for obscene acts in public.”

Image used with a CC-license, thanks Emily’s mind.

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