Why you should care
Bad sex is not going to get better on its own.
How to Nail
EUGENE, SIR: Can you do “How to Nail a Threesome” now that you’ve done “How to Fail a Threesome”? —NorCalTransplant
Dear NCT: The specialty here? Not really in offering prescriptives. Which is to say that sex, like dancing, is something where the fun is in figuring it out versus me telling you what I’ve figured out. That being said, you’ve asked and I’m sworn to answer any and everything I’ve been asked, so I can tell you this: After nearly 20 years of writing a sex column, it’s grown increasingly clear to me what’s working in situations where people claim to have had great times and what’s very definitely not working. So I’ll share the words culled from the hive mind and leave the logistics to you.
1] Strangers in the Night: The less significant the bounds that bind the central couple — and most of the people who have written to me have been couples, not single folks — the easier of a time it will be. Friends that you’re casually connected to but attracted to seem to work best. If it’s a hetero couple, there’s more anecdotal success when the woman picks the female third or when the man picks the male third. And as always stated: you must consider this thoroughly and talk about what you’ve considered before embarking. Ignore this at your distinct peril.
2] Solo Rider: If you are the solo attendee, try to figure out how the inviting couple came to pick you. In practical terms, you are placing yourself in the role of plaything and want to both fulfill their expectations as well as your own. But once there, act like it’s a dinner invite and play accordingly. Which is to say: Don’t eat too much too fast, don’t monopolize the “conversation,” pay attention and don’t break anything. If it’s a polite kind of party and you’re into VA (verbal abuse), you might minimize the verbal hostility, for example. If it’s a roughneck party? Leave the candles at home. This is also known as … common sense.
3] Total Troika: If you’re all strangers to each other like, say, you met through Fetlife or some such site? The latitude is longer, larger, more expansive, but game plans must still be considered. Asking for toilet paper and getting sandpaper? That’s a problem. Similarly misreading the room here means you all were lazy and didn’t do your homework.
4] And Finally…: Show up clean, smelling good and though it might be hard given that this is not something that happens all of the time, relax, talk less, listen more, and don’t annoy the good people. Pretty much just like life.
Now get out there and, um, sex it up.
Matchmaker? Make Me a Match
EUGENE, SIR: I’m a 31-year-old virgin. Because of a conservative background. I never developed any social skills that seem useful in getting and sustaining a relationship. I have never kissed a girl, let alone had a girlfriend. Almost all of my interactions with the opposite sex, outside of my family, are awkward.
For the first time in my life, I have moved to a freer country. Can you help me out on how to begin looking for casual sex and then serious relationships? In other words, how can I get my game on? Any advice that I hear or read, online or in real life, is confusing. I am hoping that you can clear some of that up for me. Please help. —Srini
Dear Senor Rini: OK. First off? Stop thinking of this as a game. A game is an idle amusement done to while away the time. This is life and death and to paraphrase Zora Neale Hurston, it’s about the gateway to future generations. It’s not played. It’s lived, and taking it seriously will not hurt at all. Very similar to when I was once asked what my favorite pick-up line was and I said, “Hello.” The asker was mystified: “That’s it?” My response: “That’s everything.”
I mean the numbers are in your favor, and in my imagining it’s statistically impossible, despite what the Incel movement might have you believe, to not meet at least one other human being alive who doesn’t find the cut of your jib somewhat attractive. Also, you’d need to feel similarly about them since settling for the first person who chooses to have sex with you might not be a prescription for success.
To that end, if you want to wade through dating apps? Go ahead. When filling out your profile, avoid being prolix but be bulllshit-free at any and all costs. If you’re giving someone a chance to prescreen you, be OK with getting ruled out for the right reasons. Part of this? Avoid the temptation to claim you’re a race car driver, an astronaut or a circuit court judge. In fact, tell them what you told me and while honesty doesn’t always win the day, when it does it’ll make your life a lot easier. Because, after all, what’s more galling — to expect Casanova and get YOU or expect YOU and then get Casanova?
That’s as simple as it should be. Good luck.
The Dating “Game”
EUGENE, SIR: A quick dating question: Let’s say I fucked up and got someone unattracted to me. Is it hopeless trying to get them back? —RM
Dear Rubble Master: You DO know this is a sex column, right? And while I appreciate the extreme need that led you to write me in the first place, generally, if it doesn’t directly involve your private parts, I’m probably not the best person to ask. But since this, indeed, may involve your private parts, I might be able to help. So, is it hopeless trying to get them back? Pretty much. Hard to talk your way back from dumpsville even if apologizing is a workmanlike start. A secondary stratagem — ignoring people in a “you can’t fire me, I quit” maneuver — may seem stupid, but it’s also been known to work in rekindling interest. At the very least, it’s a tactful exit. And though it probably goes without saying, I’ll say it anyway: Try not screwing up in the first place next time. Easier said than done, I know, but I had to say it anyway.