The Science of Shutting Up: Sexy Rules for the Road - OZY | A Modern Media Company

The Science of Shutting Up: Sexy Rules for the Road

The Science of Shutting Up: Sexy Rules for the Road

By Eugene S. Robinson



OZY’s Eugene S. Robinson addresses queries from the love-weary in “Sex With Eugene.”

By Eugene S. Robinson

Noisome Noise

EUGENE, SIR: Can you think of a kind and tactful way to stop a man’s sex noises? Have you heard the opening of “Umbrella,” that song by Rihanna and Jay Z? You know the opening when Jay Z is going “hunh-a-hunh”? He does this. Repeatedly. It’s a passion killer. Outside of this, he’s not bad in bed, but this is a deal killer. — Hanna

Dear And Her Sisters: You know what’s weird? If the genders were reversed here, I’d be a lot less sympathetic to the letter writer’s plight, but that’s only and solely because female pleasure and the sounds of female pleasure have become so commodified that there are very few who don’t understand them for what they are: sonic support for the fact that things are going A-OK! Or at least for the fact that the woman making them is willing to act like things are going A-OK.

Men, on the other hand — ahem — have a built-in OK indicator. Though there’s not always a one-to-one correlation, in general, most erections in a sexual situation are welcome erections and proof-somewhat-positive that the participants are doing more right things than wrong things. The extra added Jay Z vocalization seems to, at least in this case, be an unwelcome gilding of the lily. 

But how to stop it?

Well, you know I hesitate to alter the naturally occurring since it seems like unnecessary joy-killing, but if he were routinely passing gas during sex, I guess I’d think this would need to stop too. Unless that was your thing. In which case, I’d guess you’d never have written me. 

But there are two ways to stop the rebop. The direct way: “What the HELL is that noise you’re making? Gad … it’s HORRIBLE.” This is neither kind nor tactful, but the bedroom is not always a place for kindness or tact. A more direct but time-consuming way would be just to say what you’ve said here. Maybe he’s not heard himself, and a little self-regulation might not be such a bad thing even if it’s not just with you in the end.

The indirect way: Place your index finger across his open and bleating mouth and whisper, “Sssshhhhhh ….” This may open it up for discussion so that you can talk about it like adults. Or it might not. In any case, here is a guarantee: If you stay with this man and do NOT address this in the not-so-distant future, you will grow to hate him, his mouth, clouds, words and, in short, the world. So for the sake of us all, please deal with this soon.


Retreating to the Rear

EUGENE, SIR: Will my boyfriend get more into (his) butt stuff as he gets older? Or should I dump him? And I mean him having his butt pleasured. He hasn’t said he’s not interested in this. He’s just a little standoffish. — Ms.Valdez

Dear Valley: Is the thinking that as he gets older he’ll worry less about the possibility that butt play will “make” him gay? Is this his worry now? For the record, having another man’s penis in your anus very possibly means you’re gay, but I’ve heard arrested politicians claim otherwise, so who knows?

In any case, your choice is stark and unforgiving, and I have to wonder how and why? I mean, unless you two are using a two-headed dildo, this will not directly improve your physical pleasure quotient, and so how does it emerge that it’s this way or the highway? It seems very much like rejecting dinner on account of the color scheme being screwy.

But to answer your question, he may (or may not) get more into butt stuff as he gets older. If he does, success, if he doesn’t not, dump him if this makes sense to you. I know plenty of men who have dumped women who were not into anal, so why not you? We like what we like and while it probably makes better press to preach the can’t-we-all-get-along line of patter, the reality is that in your ideal future, you have as much of what you want as you can stand. And clearly, for you, that’s a man who enjoys being pegged. To ask you to live without what clearly is almost a deal breaker for you would be … ridiculous and pointless. 

However, there is also the possibility of finding someone who is into butt play but is a complete loser in every other regard, and so you must consider: How good would THAT be?

To close, though, a 2008 study of 1,478 heterosexual men showed that 18 percent were digging on what you’re suggesting. Which by any measure means you’ve got a better than even chance of finding what you need should you go looking.

No Fap Club

EUGENE, SIR: Have you heard of No Fap, guys who feel that holding their semen instead of wasting it on porn or masturbation brings about real benefits? Your thoughts? — Mgtow

Dear Men Going Their Own Way: I have heard of it and while wondering what the real benefits would be, I mostly support people doing whatever noncriminal activity gives them the most pleasure and, certainly, spending less time jerking off to porn for many would be a saving salve that might free up time better used for other things. 

Is it for everyone? Probably not. But do I think those that partake are ridicule-worthy? Not at all. Do what you need to do to make it through the day and hope at the end of said day, you’ve done the right thing. That’s all anyone can hope for.

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