316: Loud Sex

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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 simple way would be to inflict the same to her in retaliation by having loud sex when she is not. But Cueball adds a science nerd's touch to it, with 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).[note 1] Cueball calibrates and installs his elliptical dish in such a way that all the sound coming from his loud girlfriend's head during sex is concentrated 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 title text makes a double entendre. A spherical mirror can cause the signal from across the reflector to not focus at the same spot -- spherical aberration -- but the play on words leads the reader to believe that aberrant sexual behavior would occur. (Parabolic mirrors do not suffer from this kind of aberration.)

  1. 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 a 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 the 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.]


  • This comic is referred to in 368: Bass, where Black Hat mentions in the title text that he is annoyed by "the guy upstairs with the loud girlfriend and the elliptical dish."
  • Cueball doesn't have hair in the first and second panels, but he does in the last.
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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 break 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)
Speaking as an ardent advocate of the Philosophy of Science...yes, sex is more important. Without it, you will quickly run out of scientists. And it's also more fun. —Kazvorpal (talk) 21:52, 5 November 2019 (UTC)
Citation Needed on the last sentence... sigh Kev (talk) 19:48, 18 July 2020 (UTC)
I'm firmly in the camp that there are multiple kinds of fun; There's the "wow that was amazing" fun of sex, the "oh wow" fun of watching that one hour lecture link all the concepts you were introduced to, the "i can't breathe" fun of cycling, and so on. Whils discovering in science might not be the "wow that was amazing" kind of fun, it's certainly the "EUREKA!" kind of fun. 11:05, 10 June 2023 (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)

This is a slightly annoying comic because it clearly shows cueball in the first and second panels, but it show hairy in the rest. I've added this comic to the categorys featuring cueball and hairy.

Cueball should be made aware the reflector would work both ways 17:20, 16 October 2023 (UTC)

He could just have the reflector stored away when he isn't getting it on. Wilh3lm (talk) 12:41, 20 October 2023 (UTC)
I think what IP above was saying was that whilst getting it on, the person at the other end could add and return their own choice of sounds (of any kind... 'advice', lists of sports results, music with positive/negative sensual vibes... I'm sure everyone can think up their own contributions). 17:11, 20 October 2023 (UTC)