Should a leather enthusiast have disclosed his sex life before his neighbor moved in? Or should his neighbor just leave the carpet on? These are some of the difficulties of home ownership.
According to the SF Chronicle, Jack Hagerty bought a condo in a quiet area of San Francisco so he could have shared custody of his ten-year-old son. But when he told his neighbor he wanted to remove the carpet to reduce his allergies, the neighbor sent the following email:
I am a sexual enthusiast and enjoy leather sex. At times, it is possible and even likely that the sounds of leather sex will be coming from my bedrooms to your bedrooms without an effective sound barrier. While it is not my issue, you may find you need to explain things to your son as it could be confusing to him since it frequently doesn't sound as pleasurable as it is.
Hagerty says, "I just don't think it is appropriate for my son to bear witness to that," but that he can't afford to move out. Of his neighbor, he says, "He's entitled to his life. I just wish he'd told me sooner." But a real estate agent involved in the sale says he had no obligation to disclose a neighbor's sexual preferences — and indeed, that could have posed privacy problems of its own. It seems like Hagerty's predicament could also have been prevented if he'd disclosed his intention to remove the carpet prior to buying — but he probably didn't imagine himself in this situation.
Now that he's in it, could it be a teachable moment? Sure, most sex ed doesn't start with leather play, but the kid doesn't really have to learn the nuts and bolts — or whips and harnesses — of what his neighbors are doing. Loud sex is a perennial problem in urban settings, and this kid wouldn't be the first to hear it — his dad could just tell him that sometimes people make noise when they're being intimate, and the neighbor's noises don't mean they're getting hurt, even if it sounds like that. At this point, it seems like the only alternative is leaving the carpet on and getting a prescription for Allegra.
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