The (Sometimes) Painful Realities of 'Rough Sex'
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because you just might need all the sex help you can get.
By Eugene S. Robinson
You have sexy questions? Eugene has sexy answers. Write. Now: Eugene@ozy.com
EUGENE, SIR: I just got out of a 10-year relationship and in the past 12 months of being single I’ve had sex with five different men. What I noticed after 10-plus years of not noticing sex with other men at all is that it’s gotten a lot more forceful. Within the first three times of having sex with the five men I’ve been on the receiving end of hair pulling, slapping, name calling and choking. I’m not saying I objected to any of this; I’m open to experimenting. I just want to know what happened over the last decade that I missed out on that made the average one-night stand so unquestioningly … rough? — Shi
Dear Shi Town: A friend of mine used to review porn for a porn review website. Like anyone buying porn is making a decision informed by an “adult” “film’s” mise-en-scène. Anyways, there was one whole line he kicked back and refused to review. It was a so-called gonzo line of porn. No plot. No story. No music, pacing or any prelude really other than “couch meet sex.” Frequently very rough sex. Abuse sex. Which, while intellectually, you’d understand as being a documentation of the acts and actions of two or more consenting adults, the point seemed to be very much other than sex, or even sexual release.
The note my friend sent to the production company that provided him review copies acknowledged all of this, gave a nod to their inalienable First Amendment rights to do what they were doing, but ended, “If you guys hate women so much, why don’t you just make gay porn?” Although he never heard back from them, they didn’t stop sending him review copies, which gathered dust on his desk, unwatched. By him. But watched by someone else. Lots of someone elses. The zeitgeist has indeed shifted to where what was porny 10 years ago is what people are doing on red carpets at film premieres now.
None of which is a real critique. My critique starts with the death of imagination in the face of monkeys seeing and monkeys doing. None of which I am in a position to decide. But you are. Does the sex feel canned? Lifted, borrowed? Or does it seem organic? It could have all come from the same place, but one version gives voice to the players’ innermost desires, desires that pre-existed the sanction that occurred when they first saw them. (“I always wanted to choke someone I was having sex with while having sex with them and I thought I was alone, but now that I’ve seen Max Hardcore do it, so can I!”)
The other? Shameless mimicry. And therefore much less interesting.
I may be wrong in laying this all on porn’s front steps, but what other forum presently exists and functions like a clearinghouse for our most secretly held fantasies? But good that you’re mindful of what’s swirling around you. An examined life being worth living and all of that.
EUGENE, SIR: Anal tips or tricks? Tell me.—Pat
Dear Butt Yes!: Sounds like you’re in a hurry so here: use lube, non-petroleum based if you’re also using condoms, and you probably should be. Start slow. Like 5 to 10 minutes of slow if necessary. Need not stay slow, I’ve been told, but starting out that way is usually nice. Relax. Bear down like you’re pooping at the start. And have stuff on hand for clean up. Now GO TO IT!
Angling for Anal
EUGENE, SIR: I’ve not had that much experience but a few lovers ago I had one who introduced me to anal sex. I had not thought about it much before him. I mean I thought what everybody else seems to think that it hurt and so on. But he was absolutely wonderful with it. A few men later I’m with a man and things are getting serious but we’ve not done this yet and I’ve been shy about asking for it but one day I was having my period and I suggested other ways and he shot me down because he’s had bad experiences with smells. I’ve never noticed this being a problem before and said that. But he is convinced. I can’t see going the rest of my life without this are there ways to ease him into this? —M.S.
Dear Advancing to the Rear: I would hope that anyone reading this who has ever at any time said ”no” to anything in a serious relationship might see in these previous depictions a glimpse of how unkind it seems trading as it does on your feelings of love but your very real interest in a full range of sexual expression. If your partner wants you to lick their toes after they’ve showered, realistically this shouldn’t be that big of a deal. If they want you to kill someone? It might be. Which is a way to say if it doesn’t put you out that much, why deny the person who you’re expecting to spend their lives with you something that might give them pleasure? I know I’m telling you something you already know but I’m doing this by way of showing “support”.
In any case, porn star friends of mine give themselves enemas prior to if they know they have an anal scene to shoot that day. That on top of staying away from lots of meat and cheeses in the days leading up to it. Not because their partners are sensitive but because if it’s not gonzo porn they don’t want to risk re-shoots on account of errant poop. You might do this. Telling him you’re doing this is probably sexier than showing him. But the implication is clear: see? No smells.
Any more convincing than this needed? You need to start thinking seriously about trade-offs.