Sex and real estate: Both are plenty complicated on their own; combine them, and you're in for a messy situation. Still, city living drives some people to textbook-bad plans. Enduring vague sexual harassment to hold onto a rent-stabilized dream apartment? A tenant-with-benefits arrangement that satisfies both you and your super? A lease sealed with a kiss?
We don’t advise any of this — but in a rental market like New York's, we understand that things can get kind of crazy. Here are 15 stories from the intersection of sex and rent.
“My vibe was in his gross hands!”
The owner of my brownstone had the place on the market, and he was allowed to show my top-floor apartment any time, as long as he texted me a few hours before. Once, I got the text while I was away. No problem, I wrote back. A few hours later, he emailed me a picture of my vibrator, in his fat, gross hands. The following email contained only a big, smiling emoji. I couldn’t remember if I had left it on the bed, or if the guy had shuffled through my underwear drawer. I texted back “SORRY!” I probably could have sued him for sexual harassment, but I didn’t want any drama — it was a light-filled, affordable apartment right off the F train.
“My super blew me in the laundry room.”
I wasn’t out of the closet yet, and neither was my super (he still isn’t). We had a system where we’d meet in the laundry room, and he’d blow me. No one ever knew. He’d bolt-lock the door and we’d kiss a little and then he’d initiate the B.J. They were really good. He never wanted me to reciprocate. Nothing got strange on the professional side of things. He was an excellent super, who gave great head.
“My professional doorman rejected my inappropriate pass.”
I propositioned my doorman once. I went downstairs in the middle of the night because I had insomnia, and asked him if he had a weed connection. He said he wasn’t into any drugs. So I said, “Any other suggestions for putting me to sleep?” And then — aah, this is so embarrassing — I sort of brushed his face with my hand. He was totally uncomfortable. I went back upstairs alone. The next day I lied and told him I had been on Ambien and didn’t remember any of it.
“Nazi landlord said I couldn’t have any more sex.”
I lived on the ground floor of a Brooklyn Heights brownstone. I paid way too much, and my landlord, who lived upstairs, was a total Nazi. He wanted to micromanage everything I did, from how I recycled to the smell of the curry I would sometimes cook with. One night, I brought a guy home. We had perfectly normal sex — no howling, no insanity. The next day, Nazi landlord slipped a note under my door that [said] I was no longer allowed to have “male visitors” over. I called him, and he claimed our sex kept him up all night. This really spooked me out. I broke the lease. Needless to say, he did not return my security deposit.
“My landlord wanted to French kiss.”
My landlord was going to raise the rent from $1800 a month to $2400 — a huge difference. I invited him out “for drinks” to discuss. He was older and divorced. I decided to dress really provocatively. We had a few cocktails, talking about work and bullshit, and finally I said, “I’m willing to do anything to keep the rent as is.” It was right out a movie. “Anything?” he said. “Yes,” I said. He wanted me to give him a kiss — “a real kiss, with tongue" — good-bye. The man wanted to be kissed passionately. I told him I would, but only if he didn’t expect any more, ever again. He agreed. It was on the street and safe enough … so I made out with him, ferociously, just as he wanted. My rent stayed the same for another year!
“My sublease had an S&M closet.”
The guy I was subleasing an apartment from knocked on my door at 2 a.m., really drunk and high. It was unannounced and scared the shit out of me. He wanted access to this one closet that he kept locked up. He proceeded to pull out all these whips and chains and leather and S&M stuff. He kept saying, “Don’t look! Don’t look!” — but it was a studio apartment, so I had nowhere to really go. I just faced the wall. We never spoke of it again.
My landlord gave me a Beyoncé CD as a housewarming [present], which was weird enough. A few days later, he texts, “Show me your Beyoncé moves.” I had no idea how to react. I ignored it. A few days later, I got another text that said, “Whaddup, B.” I was like, whaaa? My name starts with an M. The “B” texts came every few weeks, I ignored them all, paid my rent on time, and tried to avoid him at all costs. I think he was basically harmless.
“My doorman is online dating.”
I saw my doorman on OKCupid recently. He was “online,” and I clicked his profile. He knew I saw him. I felt like I had intruded on his privacy and clicked off immediately.
“Everything is going to be okay.”
The day I moved in, my super told me he needed a $700 deposit for the movers, in case they nicked the elevator or anything. I did not want to hand over that check. Plus, I couldn't find my checkbook. But the super said the movers couldn't get in the elevator until this happened. So I came downstairs with a fake, hand-drawn check made with glittery magic marker. I handed it to my super, kissed him on the cheek in the most sensual way I could bear to, and kind of grazed his chest with my hands. I whispered, "Everything is going to be okay." And then I directed the movers to the freight elevator — while my doorman stood, frozen, in shock.
“My doorman was going down on her.”
One time I was at work until 2 a.m. and came home really late. When I walked into my Tribeca building, I saw the night-shift doorman — who is really sweet, but always a little stoned and out of it — in the corner of the mail room, eating out a chick in a wheelchair. You cannot make this shit up.
“Knocked up by the super.”
I had an affair with my super, got pregnant, and found out he had a secret family in Costa Rica. Now I’m a single mother and have obviously moved.
“I can’t risk hurting the relationship.”
The guy who owns my apartment stops by once a week. He always says he "happened to be in the neighborhood.” I have to let him in, no matter what I'm doing, because my rent is really good, and I can't risk hurting the relationship. He asks me all about my dating life, and sometimes goes too far with the Did you sleep together yet? stuff. I think he gets off on it. Either that, or maybe he feels fatherly toward me? He's like a 50-year old virgin, or something. I indulge him. It feels like a violation of privacy, but I love my apartment so much.
“I’m doing the landlord’s cousin.”
My landlord has all these cousins working for him, and one of the cousins — ten years younger than me — started stopping by “just to say hi.” Now we are having a purely sexual affair. Suddenly, all my problems get fixed around the building. They kicked out the loud neighbor next door. The heat and water pressure are suddenly incredible. There’s even a New York Post that always shows up at my door. I’m tempted to end it, because I want something real and I’m almost 40, but no true New Yorker could refuse a nice penis PLUS apartment perks.
“I thought of my super during sex.”
My super was smoking hot. I would fantasize about him at night; I pretended my husband was him when we’d have sex sometimes. Then I Facebook-ed him, sort of started to research him, and I found semi-nude and very gay pics online! I don’t pretend I’m banging him anymore. But he’s still a babe.
“I showed an apartment with college kids humping.”
I’m a real-estate broker and was working really hard on selling a junior four on the Upper West Side. I walked in with my ultrasnobby Westport clients, and there were two young kids making love like rabbits on the couch. It was the owners’ son, who had come home from college. I continued to show the place. I said, “Kids, give us ten minutes, then you can finish.” I’m a pro.