316: Loud Sex

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 12:06, 10 May 2014 by Kynde (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search
Loud Sex
Spherical or parabolic reflectors would of course lead to aberrant behavior.
Title text: Spherical or parabolic reflectors would of course lead to aberrant behavior.


Cueball's neighbor likes to engage in loud sex, which keeps Cueball awake at night, and she pretends to apologize for it as a way of bragging, so Cueball wants to get revenge. A usual way to do it is to retaliate by also having loud sex when the neighbor is not, thus inflicting the same to her as she did. But Cueball adds a science nerd's touch to it, by using an elliptical reflector dish. As shown on the schema, such a dish reflects the sound waves in a way that all waves originating from a specific point (the first focus of the ellipse the dish's shape is based on) converge after reflection to a specific other point (the second focus of the same ellipse).[1] Cueball calibrates and installs his elliptical dish in a way that all the sound coming from his loud girlfriend's head during sex, converge after reflection to his neighbor's head in her bed. This makes his loud sex far louder to her, than hers was to him (the concentrated noise seems loud enough to exceed the threshold of pain).

The title text makes a double entendre on the word "aberrant", where a spherical or parabolic reflector would cause distortion, but the play on words leads the reader to believe that aberrant sexual behavior would occur.

This comic is refered to in 368: Bass where the downstairs neighbor, Black Hat, in the title text mentions he is annoyed by the loud girlfriend.

[1]: Note: that is actually the behaviour of an ellipsoidal reflector dish, or an elliptic one in two dimensions; but in 3D an elliptic one works similarly, only converging waves from a line to another line, instead of points.


My neighbor has loud sex.
[Cueball in bed, covering his head with pillow. There is sound coming from outside.]
Good for her and all, but it keeps me up at night.
And she's so smug about it.
[Cueball and neighbor coming out of their apartments.]
Neighbor: Sorry, could you hear us last night? Oh, you know how it gets sometimes.
Cueball: Not really...
But tonight I finally get my revenge. Because now I have a loud girlfriend too.
[Megan with "LOUD" and an arrow pointing to her.]
And an elliptical reflector dish.
[Diagram of an elliptical reflector dish.]
[Cueball and Megan having sex, with dish behind them reflecting the sex sound effects, in a way that they focus, through walls, on his neighbor sitting up in bed while holding her head in pain.]

comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!


It is still strange: On sexual comics we got many technical discussions and here (a sexual background is also given) we can imagine some "aberrant sexual behavior"? How that single neighbor girl should come to this? Or will that dish brake and fall onto this two people in the bed on the left? I would just say this is only a technical comic, with some sidesteps. --Dgbrt (talk) 23:10, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

Pardon? 20:32, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Is sex more important than science? Maybe, but while everybody knows how to perform sex, they do not understand how to do this science.--Dgbrt (talk) 17:08, 24 December 2013 (UTC)

I had interpreted the "aberrant behavior" of the other mehtioned types of reflectors as referring to the way they would focus the sound- a parabolic dish would focus sound into a parallel beam, annoying the entire hallway (but not any one person as much- compare sunlight coming through a window to the same light, routed through a magnifying glass, where the glass is the ellipsoidal dish); while a spherical dish would focus the sound right back on Cueball himself.

Also, I dobut the threshold of pain could actually be reached here, since it would be hard for the intensity of the sound focused in the neighbor's room to exceed that of the sound in Cueball's own room- and I'd be surprised if Cueball's friend produced enough sound to make her own head hurt. My guess is that the neighbor had just been startled awake.

--Someone Else 37 (talk) 22:16, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

"Aberration" should be understood here as a sound equivalent of wikipedia:Optical aberration. An spheric or parabolloidal reflector wouldn't focus in one point sound from a point source. Of course, there is also a double meaning with aberrant sexual behavior.--Pere prlpz (talk) 12:49, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
Personal tools


It seems you are using noscript, which is stopping our project wonderful ads from working. Explain xkcd uses ads to pay for bandwidth, and we manually approve all our advertisers, and our ads are restricted to unobtrusive images and slow animated GIFs. If you found this site helpful, please consider whitelisting us.

Want to advertise with us, or donate to us with Paypal?