back to article Loud sex a human right, says loud sex woman

A Tyne and Wear woman whose raucous lovemaking earned her an ASBO and multiple cuffings will declare in court that the order is a violation of her human rights. Caroline Cartwright, 48, of Washington, was dragged before magistrates back in April for five breaches of a noise abatement order requiring her to turn down the volume …

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Isn't...

Isn't normal background noise around 50dbs?

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Paris Hilton

Priceless

.....complained she was back on the job.

Paris of course.

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Anonymous Coward

Human rights

I would guess that the neighbours' right to sleep takes precedence.

I once had a room in an otherwise quiet house next to a loud and somewhat insane female. Strangely, I didn't find her grunts and moans particularly disturbing: I tended to wake up when she started, then go straight back to sleep again. It's strange how some noises are so much more disturbing than others. If she'd grunted and moaned in a slightly different way, perhaps I would have been disturbed by it. You can't really measure the annoyance value in decibels, so I don't know how courts are supposed to decide in such cases.

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Megaphone

hmmmm...

The order is not telling her she has to be quiet during sex, just that the noise is not permitted to cross her property lines.

She would have been better off to spend her money on soundproofing instead of a lawyer.

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Awesome...

...I wonder if she'll provide video evidence to the court :D

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WTF?

Oh well....

For the sake of keeping the public peace.....gag her!

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Unhappy

Rights with responibilities

I think what this woman fails to understand that her rights do not override those of the people around her. Those db levels aren't just a bit loud, they are very very loud indeed.

It's depressing to hear that some people can be so selfish and show such utter disregard for the quality of life of their neighbours.

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g e
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WTF?

Not very loud at all?

According to http://www.gcaudio.com/resources/howtos/loudness.html that's somewhere between a library whisper and normal conversation. I assume they used an SPL meter thingy so they should be using the same scale?

Hardly a Motorhead gig, now, is it...

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Paris Hilton

A gag?

Don't Ann Summers' etc sell them for just such occasions? Or did I miss something?

Paris, always gagging for IT

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Happy

Freudian slip

I read Tyne and Wear as "Wear and Tear".

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Boffin

NEVER FEAR!!!

XKCD has a solution!

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/loud_sex.png

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Anonymous Coward

Send her to the mountains...

...where she belongs.

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oh dear

might sound funny, but my dad and step mum had this problem as well with a neighbour being loud .....

they moved eventually, obviously it wasn't just the loud 'banging' but having to listen to it during breakfast with my grandma round was apparently somewhat embarrassing.

perhaps she might like to consider that 'not having to listen to her' is also a human right ?

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IT Angle

Soundproofing needed!

What else can I say?

I once lived in a Barratt box. The wall between my bedroom and my next-door neighbours' was made of paper, or so it seemed. It was most embarassing to hear every intimate detail of their failing marriage that happened while I was trying to fall asleep.

These days I live in a Victorian flat with a proper double brick wall between me and nextdoor. It works.

Someone buy that couple a few boxes of high-grade acoustic tiles and a double-glazed window for their bedroom!

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Anonymous Coward

Won't somebody

Think of the children? Nothing wrong with a bit of loudness but if kids are hearing this, then it becomes a different matter.

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Paris Hilton

doesnt sound to bad if you ask me

Looking up some tables online (http://www.unesco.org/education/educprog/ste/pdf_files/sourcebook/module18.pdf) it would suggest at worst at 49db she is not as loud as an extractor fan, and is quieter than a fridge which is rated at 44db most of the time. Tbh if my neighbours complained that me and my missus's moments were heard at levels quieter than my fridge running id tell there where to go.

Maybe that scale is wrong but it certainly doesn't make this issue seam very serious and certainly not deserving of an asbo. Id put my TV on instead while making love as that's rated at higher than her most extravagant readings.

Paris well because we all know she's done some screaming :P

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Heart

I think she has a point...

>The kit recorded noise levels of between 30 and 40 decibels, "with the highest being 47 decibels".

Given a quick google shows that:

60 dB = conversation, dishwasher

50 dB = moderate rainfall

40 dB = quiet room

Given the recent years weather its more likely she is late because of the pitter patter raindrops keeping her awake than her neighbour. And that equipment measured 30db on one occasion.. Ye Gods, that is apparently...

30 dB = whisper, quiet library

If only we all had neighbours so stealthy!

Regardless, I don't think you can always help being a little vocal during sex unless you are trying to deliberately restrain from making a noise, which fair enough sometimes has to be done, but perpetually seems a bit unfair, sex should be a time when you can let go and enjoy it. within normal parameters (No screaming in agony while your other half whips you etc)

Love icon, because the neighbour needs to be getting some of her own.

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not so noisy

While I probably wouldn't want to be living next door to them, the levels are probably more annoying than disturbingly loud. Even 47db in blow normal conversation levels which can be 50-70db. Rainfall, a breeze or a refrigerator is rated at 50 db. Levels measured at 30db would not be much above background levels, although obviously night time is when things are quieter.

Maybe the neighbours are just not getting any action themselves.

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"Specialist Equipment"

Small video camera?

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Anonymous Coward

@g e

"...somewhere between a library whisper and normal conversation..."

Yes, but that volume level was measured in the neighbour's bedroom in the early hours of the morning.

Could you sleep if someone was in your bedroom having a normal-volume conversation next to your bed? I know I couldn't.

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Go

Sorry, I was listening to Zoot Allures, M'lud.

That's my defense.

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Unhappy

Please, please, please

Don't display pictures of the couple in question, they're an affront to my human rights to not heave thinking about the pair of them "at it".

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Headmaster

@ Steven Jack

"I think what this woman fails to understand that her rights do not override those of the people around her".

But do the rights of those people around her override her rights ? That is the crux of the case.

Sure, as Disco-Legend-Zeke says, she could install sound-proofing, but equally so too could her neighbours, and after all they're the ones who have the problem ( other than the artificially created one of the ASBO itself ).

Ultimately it's about whose rights trumps others' and there's no clear-cut answer other than by way of mob-rule, and there are plenty of arguments that mob-rule is not necessarily the right way to go.

Why should this woman be punished for something she has no control over ?

If it is accepted that her neighbours have a right to not be offended or nuisanced by her love-making moanings then where do we stop ? What if it wasn't her moaning that neighbours did not like, but her colour, her disability, her lifestyle choices ?

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Megaphone

Loud?

"The kit recorded noise levels of between 30 and 40 decibels, "with the highest being 47 decibels"."

30dB - Soft whisper at 16 feet

40dB - Quiet office

50dB - Interior of typical urban home

I'm starting to suspect that maybe they weren't measuring the neighbor after all..

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FAIL

@g e

Might not be very loud but I'm guessing the 30 - 40db is a point measurement though a wall which would make it fairly loud on the otherside of the wall.

Even so I'm sure you would find having a constant whisper/converstation in your ear annoying after a time.

Maybe the answer to all this is to record a session and play it back though the wall to her. Her right to have noisy sex, our right to return the noise to the owner.

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TRT
Silver badge

Private life

She's claiming under her human rights that the ASBO is an infringement of her " right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence."

Well, it's hardly private if she's broadcasting it, is it?

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Coat

47 decibels?

Both my stereo and TV hit 50 when in normal use and you can't hear either of them outside, methinks the neighbouring prudes are suffering from a bout of inadequacy! Mind you imagine the reaction should she lose and have to tell HR she got ASBO'd for excessively noisy sex, that's gotta carry some bragging rights hasn't it?

Maybe only round 'ere then!

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40dBs

is quight loud in the dead of night. Just think how loud that dripping tap sounds a night, when it is in another room, and that is about 30dBs next to the tap, and this is twice as loud.

I imagin it would be very annoying. All they have to do is get some propper sound proffing installed.

I used to have a couple who would be just the same living next door to me. Is is a nightmare.

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Megaphone

It's not that hard.

Simple fact of the matter is that in the UK there is legislation on noise between 11pm and 6 or 7am.

IF she refrained from loud sex during those "quiet hours" it would have been fine, unless it became extremely excessive or continual.

Having had a downstairs neighbour that had screaming arguments with her sister, and told her to "F*** off out my flat" at 3am one morning, then denies there was ANY noise when faced with facts, and argued that she could do whtever she liked in her own flat, I can appreciate that sometimes it's not pure volume level but attitude.

Believe me, when a neighbour plays music that you can hear over your own choice of listening material almost the entire time they are in the property, it's not all about volume. BUT between 11pm and 7am, volume rules are stricter, and enforced more firmly.

<step off soap box and relax>

SO SO SO glad to not live ina flat in London now . . . gotta love nice peaceful Norway !

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Boffin

Type of noise matters

We are attuned to pay attention to voices, so a voice is more disturbing to sleep than say an equally loud fridge motor, its how our brains work. Coincidentally last night I awoke in the small hours and became aware of voices. They were beyond the range of being able to hear words, I was just aware that somewhere, probably the neighbours 30m away, someone was having an unquiet conversation, not even shouting (I was too drowsy to be bothered to look out the window for whose light was on).

This conversation I could only barely hear was enough to wake me from a deep sleep. Yet I bet noises equally loud if not louder (cars for eg) had intruded into my bedroom and left me blissfully unaware.

I agree that 49dB is not loud, unless you take into account it was in someone else's bedroom AND was a vocalisation. It must have been much louder at source. Her partner will be deaf soon.

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Happy

I once had to endure

The noises of my flatmate and his girlfriend having a bit of the other because it was a small flat and the noise travelled. The funny thing is I was watching Frankenstein at the time and the noises from the monster and the two love birds were eerily similar.

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Happy

@Jason Bloomberg

"Why should this woman be punished for something she has no control over?"

Well, quite apart from the fact that *I* don't believe these noises are completely beyond her control, are *you* really suggesting that she has to have sex in the middle of the night?

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Bronze badge

Time

Maybe this is actually about timing - at 10pm 40dB isn't too bad, at 2am however...

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FAIL

Re : Jason Bloomberg

Perhaps you'd better re-read your comment again.

Last things first - "If it is accepted that her neighbours have a right to not be offended or nuisanced by her love-making moanings then where do we stop ? What if it wasn't her moaning that neighbours did not like, but her colour, her disability, her lifestyle choices ?"

Her colour and disablilty are things that she could not change. And thus are rightly protected against discrimination. Her lifestyle choice is also protected against discrimination. so I feel that this paragraph is totally out of order.

++++++

"Why should this woman be punished for something she has no control over ?"

In my (albeit limited) experience, people, men and women, do have control over their volume. Lovemaking or not.

++++++

"Ultimately it's about whose rights trumps others' and there's no clear-cut answer other than by way of mob-rule, and there are plenty of arguments that mob-rule is not necessarily the right way to go."

Well given the fact that she's causing a disturbance which affects people outside of the bounds of her property, this is fairly clear cut case. She should find a cure for the problem.

Also given the fact that a number of people have complained about this problem, and it has been measured according to environmental health guidelines, then does her 'rights' outweigh the same 'rights' of many others? I would suggest not.

++++++

"Sure, as Disco-Legend-Zeke says, she could install sound-proofing, but equally so too could her neighbours, and after all they're the ones who have the problem ( other than the artificially created one of the ASBO itself )."

Yes the others do have a problem and the problem is a person who will not take responsibility for her own actions.

Why on earth should a number of people have to alter their homes or lifestyles because this woman won't learn to live in a community?

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good ol' times

Measuring quality of sex in dB?

A former GF of mine did that. She considered the LOUDNESS of it as the gold standard. And yesss, she measured (no scale, no gear, just her ear) hers, but credited me for the goodness.

Used to be funny stuff until she wanted it in an elevator. Don't ask...

AC for obvious (oh babe, still thinking of you) reasons. The hight pitch... priceless.

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Anonymous Coward

Earplugs

And presumably the woman walking past "taking her child to school" should at least equip the kid with earplugs? Though I guess it would be up to the council to equip all local kids with them.

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WTF?

WTF?

A quick google turns up:

"The average background noise in a house is about 50 dB(A), while a car driving down a street will be measured at 60 dB(A) at a distance of 300 feet"

So the neighbour must wake up just from background noise levels and cars driving past her flat must be even more annoying.

- "Sunderland City Council installed "specialist equipment" in neighbour Rachel O'Connor's flat after she reported she was "frequently late for work because she overslept having been awake most of the night because of the noise"

So it's entirely possible then that the neighbour could have influenced the readings of the specialized equipment, being that it was setup in her flat.

I suspect the neighbour is just causing problems. Shame on the police and the courts for interfering.

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@Jason Bloomberg

"Sure, as Disco-Legend-Zeke says, she could install sound-proofing, but equally so too could her neighbours, and after all they're the ones who have the problem ( other than the artificially created one of the ASBO itself )."

Ah, but those on the street cant escape the sound if she doesnt sound proof it, therefore the only logical solution is for her to sound proof her place, then no ones 'rights' are infringed too heavily.

And frankly Im of the opinion here that protection of the rights of the people who dont have an choice in the matter is more important than the perpetrators.. same opinion I have with criminals rights too :-P

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Megaphone

dB Scale

I think it's worth noting that the sound heard is the sound inside (I presume) the bedroom of the neighbour. I certainly wouldn't want to sleep with a fridge near me!

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Grenade

Iconic overloadus

On occasion there seems to be few appropriate icons to comment on a story, in this instance we have to choose between 'STOP , WTF , Shouty,Shouty,Shouty 'Prepare for boarding me young bukaroos' ,' Big brother is watching you', but I eventualy plumped for 'Suck on this' which is advice that husband Steven might find useful to impart to his orally unconstrained significant other.

From a technological POV perhaps there is a niche market for electronic noise cancelling equipment here?

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it's a tough one to be correctly PC on...

...whose right trump whose?

I don't think that this one can really come down to rights. It's one of those ones where it has to come down to the responsibilities that go hand in hand with rights. In this case, the woman who can't control the volume of her lovemaking should be responsible, and exercise her right to be a decent human being and not do it at a time of day when most people (I know some people work nights and sleep during the day etc etc) are trying to sleep.

Even if by the time the noise gets to your bedroom it's the level of a whispered conversation, imagine trying to get to sleep with that happening. It's just not possible if, like many, you're not a very sound sleeper.

I used to live in some flats where the guy above me used to get stoned and listen to loud reggae music at 2am. Even after it finished (often after several hours, and only because he passed out) I could often hear of the clicks and pops of the needle in the lead-out of the record, and it was a nightmare. It really really gets to you, it screws you up, you can't sleep properly, you get angry and sad and a little bit weird.

As a result, I'm really careful about respecting others standard of living and making sure that mine doesn't degrade theirs. It's only fair in a responsible society of responsible people.

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Ball Gag

Only one recommendation for this get some kinky sex going and order her a gag of some sort. She'll enjoy the challenge.

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Law
Grenade

thats nothing...

... at university I had a housemate who would leave his bedroom door open when him and his girlfriend (who made sounds similar to that of a seal in pain) would come back from the pub together.

When I realised another housemate had asked them to keep it down once, which is why he begun leaving the door open to add extra annoyance to us, I decided something needed to be done.

Luckily, being a take charge kind of guy I made sure a link to his porn folder on his pc popped up one day on his desktop - and after a long night of seal clubbing on their part the girlfriend decided to check her emails, discovered said link, and we were noise free for the rest of the year.

Mean? Yes. But he had it coming...

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@ Jason Bloomberg

No it's pretty clear cut. The right of the other people to get to sleep and be able to function properly is greater than her right to make a bunch of noise, and it's /she/ who should be purchasing sound proofing gear as it's her noise affected the other people, not them deciding to be disturbed by it. If you say she has no choice in making these noises, they sure as hell have no choice being woken up by them, and why should they expect to have to deal with it?

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Heart

@Lloyd

``Don't display pictures of the couple in question, they're an affront to my human rights to not heave thinking about the pair of them "at it".''

Yes, you shouldn't even have to consider that people you don't find attractive might have sex. Remember that when you're about to introduce someone to your parents.

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Stop

They are two REAL mingers without jobs

Partying all night and generally pissing people off is wrong for several reasons...

1. Ugly people shouldn't be allowed to have sex

2. If they do have sex they should do it behind closed doors and out of earshot

3. Working people have jobs to do which means they can't lie in bed all day recovering from the nightmare of ugly people having sex.

4. Laughing at your neighbours when they leave for work blearily eyed because you have kept them awake all night. Not funny.

Its not human rights. It called consideration! Some older people might remember it.

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Big Brother

It's not a problem

Our scientists are working at eradicating the female orgasm. They expect to have the problem solved within the year.

Big Brother

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IT Angle

Soundproofing

«she could install sound-proofing, but equally so too could her neighbours, and after all they're the ones who have the problem»

From TFA:

«Neighbours described her performances as "murder" and "unnatural", the Telegraph notes, and "even the local postman and a woman, who walked past the house taking her child to school, complained".»

So give the woman a choice:

1. Stop making a racket.

2. Soundproof the bedroom (and any other room they do it in).

3. Pay to soundproof all the neighbours' houses (every bedroom thereof, at the very least), as well as paying for ear defenders to be made freely available to every man, woman and child who might walk past her house.

She should pick one, and quit whining.

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It's true

There's no problem that duct tape can't solve.

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IT Angle

White noise a solution?

It occurs to me that there is a solution for the neighbours trying to sleep, but being disturbed by vocalisations, that would cost a lot less than soundproofing.

Get a white noise source. 50dB of white noise will sound like silence after a few minutes, but will mask other quieter noises. It's sometimes used in open-plan offices to reduce the disturbance caused by conversations at other desks. Another example is the seventy-plus dB of fans in our server room - doesn't sound noisy when you are working in there, until you discover that the only way to have a conversation is to shout.

Those "natural noises" CDs (breaking waves, windswept plains, babbling brooks, etc) work on a similar principle - some people find them more relaxing than white noise. (The brain treats white noise as silence, and complete silence can itself be disturbing, so add the texture of a natural soundscape).

Wish I'd known this back in my Barratt box days!

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