Why you should care
OZY’s Eugene S. Robinson addresses queries from the love-weary in “Sex With Eugene.”
Putting Tigers in Your Tank
EUGENE, SIR: Has anyone ever done a study about the more successful sex positions, and by successful, I mean the ones that are likeliest to lead to orgasm? I love my man, but I’m only having an orgasm, like, one time out of every three. We’ve been together about a year, and before it gets more serious, I want it to get better. So words of wisdom, please! —Carole in Canada
Dear Christmas Carole: A study? Ha ha ha … why, yes. And the name of that study is LIFE. Or, with a nod to William Blake, songs of experience. In any case, there are lots of guides that presume to have collected the opinions of many, but what these guides seem to lack is a guiding hand that belongs to both partners. By this, I mean positions touted by professionals seem to be touted by professionals who believe that the only people giving a damn about their professional opinion are women. Which sort of makes sense, since we’re talking about a woman’s orgasm in this instance. But to get there with an actual sex partner who sometimes is not a woman? Woefully inadequate since the strength, flexibility and endurance necessary to pull off, say, one of the more recommended positions — “the spoons” is great, but unless you switch hips, doing this for 20 minutes on one hip is a bit much — is not something anyone sane should rely on.
Moreover, something else someone sane should not rely on? Couth. Especially when it comes to sex. By which I mean if you’re not using your hand to self-stimulate during intercourse, I’d ask why not? I mean, we could choose to run a marathon blindfolded and might even finish, but it seems pure perversion to try. Especially when you don’t have to. And you don’t need experts to tell you that your clitoris is causally connected to your orgasms.
And because I’ve been doing this a long time, I know it’s often some combination of not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings or feeling shy or both. But, and remember these words, screw that. How many bad meals would you sit through before you’d say I’m not sitting through any more bad meals? Besides, as I’ve said before, sex is play. So play. Have some fun. Use your hands, and if you’re still stuck wanting a position, try one where you’re on your front and your partner is on your back. You can use your hands without it being known that you’re using your hands and the downward pressure adds to what should be a good time being had by all.
EUGENE, SIR: Took your advice about spicing things up and went to a sex club for probably the worst time we’ve ever had. We’re not prudes, but being stuck in a room with naked people we wouldn’t have hung around if they had clothes on has made us question your credentials. Or did we miss something? —Sad in San Francisco
Dear Sisyphus: Look, just because I advised going to a sex club doesn’t mean I advised going to any sex club. No more than I’d advise just having sex with whoever wanted to have sex with you. No, the gatekeeping process whereby you choose to eat crab and not crap works here too, and sex clubs have personalities, like people. And some would think that if everyone is naked and having sex, what difference would it make? But as anyone who has been will attest, it’s all about the intangibles. That is ambiance, atmosphere, soundtrack, fer chrissakes. If it was just about a bunch of people in a room getting screwed, they’d call it politics.
Thanks, folks. I’m here all week.
Anyways, do your research, then have your fun, since the likelihood of fun without research? Low. Unless you believe a lot in luck. Which no one who knows anything about life should.
EUGENE, SIR: If you’re in love with someone enough that you’re agreeing to marry them, how much does it mean if you want someone else? Will this feeling pass, is it just biological pattern recognition, should I ignore it or maybe I should just get it out of my system by doing it once? Of course, if it’s good, then do I do it again? Should I share this with my partner so we could talk about it? It’s not strictly sex advice I need, but what do you think? —Name withheld by request
Dear Trouble: The number of questions you’re throwing at me, the amount of ground they cover and that they cover it maybe months (or weeks?) before you’re scheduled to get married mean only one thing to me: nerves. And all things that go with nerves, like anxiety, second-guessing, panic, poor choices and maybe more panic. But there are several types of panic, even if for purposes of this discussion we’ll only consider two. The first kind is the “I wonder if there’s a bear in that dark cave?” panic. This is the kind that predates a potentially catastrophic error that would more than likely result in you being mauled. Like Leonardo DiCaprio-in-that-movie mauled.
The other kind is the kind that has you waking up next to a stranger after 25 years wondering where it all went wrong.
The genius of these two panics is that they feed each other until you either run into the cave or buy a sports car and start having an affair with your receptionist or pool boy, as your tastes dictate.
What I’m here to do is to clarify: The best way to avoid both of these destructive panics is to … make no rapid moves.
Infuriating, I know, since I’m neither advising you to cheat on your fiancée/fiancé, nor am I advising you to not make sweet monkey love with this “someone else.” I’m just saying, in a highly suggestible state where you might find yourself prone to certain hysterias that you release, you could do both or neither, and it will be OK.
Or, to quote the Meat Puppets, “I don’t have to think/I only have to do it/The results are always perfect/But that’s old news.”
One thing I would not do? Make your partner crazy by “talking” to them about this. It won’t help them, and it might definitely hurt you. Good luck.