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TERRIBLE SEX TIPS: 7 Ways To Be More Intimate With Your Partner (That Have Nothing To Do With The Bedroom)

Two-layer construction keeps the dust of collapsing empire from getting in.

Two-layer construction keeps the dust of collapsing empire from getting in.

The article I nearly imploded about for today’s Terrible Sex Tips should have been titled:

7 Ways to Be More Intimate with your Partner under Late Capitalism

I liked the stated premise of this article: building intimacy through activities outside the bedroom, as well as in. YES! Let’s talk about ways to touch and debate and have inside jokes and foster loving dynamics everywhere. Surely compartmentalizing intimacy can only lead to other major feelings of disconnect.

You know what else leads to major feelings of disconnect?

BUYING USELESS SHIT.

I’m hoping that any reader with average intelligence will see the specific product mentions in “articles” like these and figure out that they are looking at advertorials. I can get behind product mentions when it’s a sex toy review compilation; it’s almost supportable when a writer mentions a specific toy to illustrate a particular type of toy (although my cynicism seeps back when all of the toys used to illustrate the points are from the same company).

But I cannot get behind this precious marketing approach in a case like this. The products are all over the fucking map. The advertorial feels like a badly organized flea market. OH, WAIT, there is a common thread and my previous rule applies: all the items are noted as being supplied through Amazon. Whoops, there goes my cynicism level. Because you know what’s even sexier than buying crap? Buying crap from a company that gives its packers carpal tunnel and surveillance cameras! VERY INTIMACY BUILDING.

And the worst part is? The actual activities mentioned in this advertorial are things that you could totally do WITHOUT the suggested purchases. Like, these are legit intimacy-enhancing endeavors, and the fuckers FUCKED IT ALL UP by inserting some ridiculous gadgety gadget thing, or a specific book or a fucking specific FUZZY BLANKET.

Take a Spontaneous Trip! Awesome, throw a dart at that map and let’s go. OH WAIT, let’s skip recording it for social media and get an instant digital camera. (only $100, WOW, honey, how else will we remember?) Having to shut off our phones means that we’ll have more attention for each other, and we can go for a couple of days without being bombarded by ads on FB, right?

Make A Book Club With Your S.O. For In-Depth Convos. Oh, hey, my lover and I started a book club. It’s a fucker to schedule, but we bought the books: Guns, Germs, and Steel, and another one titled God. Good, serious topics, and… oh, we should be reading something about relationships? Let’s kick it off with a really in-depth option: a book about relationships, by a comedian! ($17) Because a comedian would never exaggerate anything or lay down stereotypes and false premises about sex and/or gender for the sake of getting a laugh!

What else? Massage oil ($23), and a streaming stick ($45) so you can… I don’t even know what that is for. Something about Netflix and chill. Do I sound like a cranky old codger yet? And a pup tent ($185) for camping together and bonding over ticks and the underperforming cooking plate, and, ooh, look, a soy wax massage candle ($19); it’s wax play without the pain/pleasure of actual hot wax! What is the scent? Vanilla, of course! Running shoes ($70-266), like, as part of signing up for the gym together. “Getting sweaty together is a natural aphrodisiac, and it will translate very well to the bedroom.” These expensive-ass shoes might even help you make that leap of logic right there!

Now, you don’t have to be critical of capitalism to look at ALL THE JUNK IN THIS ADVERTORIAL—all available from Amazon!—and go, nuh-uh. But it helps! Under capitalism, we are not libidinous souls reveling in connection and heartfelt experiences, we are consumers, and as such we are encouraged to feel deficient, to feel a lack of good quality… whatever, in our lives, and then we get sold the goods that are going to make up for that.

Those books on your shelf are too geeky to share with your sweetie! Here, start with this book by this famous person and his marketing team. A romantic experience must be recorded in high res to be real; oh, look, this camera is perfect! That ratty old quilt you renovated from Value Village is not good enough for cuddling; buy this new faux fur throw for something a little, you know, CLASSIER.

I am here to tell you to BE STRONG, COMRADES, though your hearts are full and your wallets may be empty! Because here is one thing that capitalism, and Amazon, and the combined editorial and advertising departments at Bustle don’t want you to know: Commodity fetishism is NOT THE WAY TO GO. It certainly makes for really Terrible Sex Tips.

The resources you already have at your disposal are sufficient unto the purpose. Your instincts toward intimacy are good enough.

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