Don’t tell the broker: Couples are having sex at real estate showings

Anyone who’s shopped for a home knows what it’s like to lust after square footage and marble floors. But few would-be buyers take it as far as the practitioners of “house humping,” a curious real estate fetish that’s surfacing in markets up and down the West Coast. Before it deleted the entry, defined House Humping as “a couple going to a real estate open house and having some form of sexual encounter. The practice appears to have originated in the Pacific Northwest.”

washing machine

Yahoo! hosts a house-humping discussion group where freaky-deaks try to top each other with wild tales of thrill-seeking master bathroom-nooky. The more packed the open house, it seems, the more exciting. On one Web bulletin board, a frequent humper boasts of infiltrating Seattle open houses, where he and his paramour “found a couple minutes of privacy, and did some denim diving.” Nice.

And it appears that this Sunday-afternoon pastime has advanced southward as well. Late last year, there was Internet chatter about amorous encounters at Los Angeles open houses. Another posting recommended Palm Springs as an ideal house-humping target because “a lot of the PS realtors are old and don’t stray much from their kitchens.” But while it’s certainly fun to outsmart a geriatric broker, there are some rules of decency. As one devotee cautions: “The trick is not shaking the realtor’s hand when leaving.”

So how do you house hump without getting busted? Veteran humpers recommend you enlist a third party “to distract the realtor with arcane questions about molding, hinges and vents.” That should buy you enough time to, uh, close the deal.

— Ken Hegan