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TERRIBLE SEX TIPS: New-Parent Sex Positions for When You’re Busy, Exhausted, or Both

As a self-identified slut and sex-aware writer/performer, I have to take a step back and acknowledge that there are sometimes down-sides to the sex-positive movement, at least the stuff that gets mainstreamed. One of the down-sides is:

You’re supposed to want sex all the time, everywhere.

Never mind the numbers of asexual people and celibate-by-choice folks for whom this is quite patently not going to be true. Even those of us with unusually high libidos will sometimes just Not Want It, by virtue of circumstance and/or personal feelings. In the world of Cosmo, that doesn't really exist.

Does anyone else look at this and think Toy Story 3? No? Just me? Okay.

This piece, with its frisky and vaguely tongue-in-cheek suggestions for sex positions when your child is sleeping in the next room and you’re too wiped out to do anything more than stick your hand down your panties, does kind of acknowledge that new parents will have it rough for getting it on. And the positions make sense for folks who are tired, for whatever reason (I for one have discovered a pretty good variation on position #2).

But the writer doesn’t give any space or consideration to the idea that new mothers can DEFINITELY NOT WORRY ABOUT THIS FOR A BIT. It assumes that women should work hard to snap back to sexual, in the same way that they can lose all of that baby weight pronto, if they just want to badly enough.

I feel like the extent of practical sex advice to parents should probably be “make out for a little bit if you can, see how that feels, you know, like, see if you manage to stay awake.” Yes, there are going to be people who want to go for it, but in general, as I understand it, having a child changes your life, and if you’re just not having a good time getting it on, it’s totally okay and not your fault, and you can ease up on yourself and your partner a little bit.

Trust Cosmo not to leave some respectful and understanding space, but to double down instead, taking on infant and early-childhood parenting as some kind of a sex challenge that needs to be worked around in cleverly named ways. In that spirit, I came up with some other really difficult times when you should be thinking about having sex:

YOUR DOCTORAL THESIS IS DUE IN THREE DAYS

Crunch Time. Hold your partner down on the floor between your legs in the study carrel at the library. Shhh!

Sleep No More. Get on your hands and knees while you’re finishing the bibliography. A swat on your ass each time you nod off. Exciting!

YOU’RE INTERVIEWING FOR AN APARTMENT

Push the Button. Lean against the elevator wall while your partner fingers you and shields you with their body, from both the door and the security camera that you already located. You did clock the security camera, right?

Test Drive. At the overcrowded open house, when the other couples are jamming the kitchen, take a moment to test drive the counter in the upstairs bathroom.

YOU’VE BEEN DETAINED AT HEATHROW AIRPORT AND ARE WAITING IN A DANK BACK ROOM FOR IMMIGRATIONS TO INTERVIEW YOU.

Footsies. How high can you take your naked foot before the guards notice? Seriously, I wanna know, because I’ve been there, in Heathrow Airport, and those fuckers are paying attention.

YOU’RE BOTH RECOVERING FROM FOOD POISONING

The Dandelion. Do a blow job the way you used to think they were done: blowing air at their junk.

Delicate Spoon. Sideways, carefully curled up, with the barf bucket by the side of the bed

See what I mean? Putting pressure on people to be sexual at all times… that’s kinda terrible.

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TERRIBLE SEX TIPS: “6 places you can have sex when you’re home for the holidays”

Every so often—like every other week—I read a sex tips column that has clearly been written for a very, very specific audience, and that audience ain’t me, but I don’t know it right away, because they write as if, “Duh, everyone knows this is the way things are!” Only we don’t all know it, and that disconnect makes me feel like a clueless idiot for just a split second, before I snap out of it and realize, no, actually, the problem is that the writer is an insular, privileged posh nob.

In the case of this week’s Terrible Sex Tips, I don’t know fully 75% of what they are talking about, because they are talking to a whole internet full of people who still get wound up about family shit. I have so many questions about this approach!

“No matter how old you are, there's something about having sex in your parents' house that makes you feel like a kid again. For one, you still have to hide it — because, you can't get caught! It's illicit. You're breaking the rules. And as a result, it can actually make the entire process pretty hot.”

Wait, why do you have to hide it? You mean, hide it like no one can know that you are a sex-having individual? No sex in the living room with other people around? That seems sensible. Are there other rules? If you still have to leave the bedroom door open, even if you and your spouse have been married for years, then you have other problems. Deal with those first, before strategizing about your next fuck session.

“And going home for the holidays will almost undoubtedly make you feel like a kid again. … It all just transports you back to a time when life was simple, unfeathered (sic) and wholesome.”

What is this mythical time when life was simple, unfeathered (I suspect she means unfettered), and wholesome? Who the hell is she kidding? Teenagers’ lives are entirely fettered, until they have a chance to get OUT.

“Back to that getting caught thing, although you won't get grounded this time, it's just as awkward should you get found out.”

Why does this writer think it must be awkward? Is your family very conservative, with the echolocation skills of bats? Do your parents live in a traditional Japanese house or other places with thin walls? Is this the sixth person you’ve brought home as your “significant other” in the last year? Because seriously, there is no reason why grown-ass adults in acknowledged relationships shouldn’t be banging away properly in a proper bed, if they want. Or an air mattress, or a futon on the floor. Lock that door. If there’s no door, then you know, you could try to keep it in your pants for four days and make homecoming, to your own home, that much more exciting. No? You gotta get laid? All right then, let’s see what the author says about:

1) Your childhood room

"This doesn't even necessarily have to be on your childhood bed. It can be on the floor, preferably on the side of the bed that's obstructed from view. If you do opt for the bed, just make sure to get rid of any stuffed animals. Creepy."

What’s creepy is if your parents haven’t taken that childhood room and immediately turned it into an office or a painting studio or a dungeon. Or moved out of that oversized family home into a cheaper condo in a neighborhood where they don’t have to care about how good the school system is.

2) The attic/basement

"Let me specify, this is for those homes with somewhat built-out versions of these. Because let's be honest, a tryst in a crawl space could be dangerous... although you would by lying down already. Same goes for basements; bonus points if you have a ping pong table you can utilize for this non-ping pong purpose."

Attics and basements always will have splinters or loose tufts of insulation, just FYI. And ping-pong tables, those edges, man, don’t be daft.

3) Your car

"Let's bring it back to high school, guys and gals! Here's the best part: when you don't have to use your car as a sex vessel, like you did when you were actually living under your parent's roof, an impromptu tryst in one can actually be fun. Maybe even have car sex right before your previous "curfew" to really get back into character."

When you don’t have the actual urgency to find a place to have sex—when you could actually have sex in your proper bed-type location—then trust me, car sex isn’t that appealing. Its only appeal is when it is the only option.

4) The laundry room

"It's perfectly legitimate to want to do some laundry when you're home, and maybe while you're waiting for your clothes to dry, you can just hop up on top of it and enjoy your own little spin cycle."

Laundry room?! Who has a laundry room any more? Are you living in the Brady Bunch house? What the hell?

5) Your favorite secluded spot

"Everyone had this place in their home town — the abandoned parking lot where you would throw back Natty Lite's before high school pep-rallies... or that one spot in your yard that can't be seen from any vantage point, and therefore was the perfect place to make out with your junior high boyfriend."

Someone has been watching Grease too many times. "Pep rallies"? Those "secluded spots" were all built over years ago. And again, what kind of posh yard do your parents have where you can just get lost in it?

6) Your parents' room

"Come on... you know you've always wanted to."

Um, no? I was just curious about the bookshelves. If you've always wanted to, that's worth mentioning to your therapist.

If you don't have a therapist, here's my non-Terrible Sex Tip: get one, or write in a journal. Learn how to talk with your parents and set boundaries. Do whatever it takes to get over the obvious charge that your childhood home and family dynamics still have in your life, and do it before you go back and do any fucking.

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TERRIBLE SEX TIPS: “How To Give Her All Three (YES, THREE!) Types Of Multiple Orgasms”

First of all, the writer’s name is Nick Hardwick. That sort of name hasn’t really been in play since Chaucer, and for good reason: it makes you look like a twit. It also completely removes you from the field of people who should be giving anyone any serious advice about sex. Sorry, Nick, your sex tips in this article are invalid. No, actually, they’re Terrible!

For starters, I firmly believe that, when assessing sex tips, we need to start at the very beginning. The writer presumably considers the first paragraph to be the important point of the article. With this piece, we have the following:

Stringing together a series of intense multiple orgasms that keep your woman coming all night long is one of the most entertaining and empowering ways to make her sexually addicted to you.

When I make this blog post into a Terrible Sex Tips video—and I most certainly will—I will ask the editor to add an ominous echoing effect right there. Being stuck in text format for now, I’ll just repeat it for emphasis:

“… make her sexually addicted to you.”

“… sexually addicted to you.”

“… addicted to you.”

Creepy, right? Never mind that the author thinks it’s entertaining to get someone dependent on you for sexual satisfaction—ha ha, look at that slut, slobbering and begging for all those multiple orgasms!—but they also picture physical compulsion as the only way to keep someone coming back. This is someone who doubts the attractiveness of their own personality, is what I’m saying. It smacks of PUA (pick-up artistry), and at the very least it is a shitty fucking conceptual framework for sexual chemistry.

This article also promotes overriding your partner’s verbal, conscious participation in sexual pleasure. I’m not overstating this.

If your girl believes she can’t have multiples, and she thinks you’re trying to give them to her, her subconscious brain will team up with her body and work together to keep it from happening.

But, like, what if she notices that you are in fact forging forward over her recovery time? She’s just trying to catch her breath, and you keep going and she just, like, shuts down. Maybe this is not her being afraid of her own majestic orgasmic power. Maybe she just needs a rest! Eh, who cares, right? Clearly you know her body better than she does, so go on ahead!

This attitude is also very aggressive and narcissistic; her orgasms are all about proving how “skilled” you are, presumably to keep her from ever wondering if anyone else could do it better to show her what a prime catch you are!

Here, and look at this:

Let’s say you just finished using your favorite fingering technique to give her a glorious g-spot orgasm that sent her out of orbit… but you’re just getting warmed up. You still want to make her come some more, you stud.

You. STUD. Don’t ask her what she wants. Make her come!

The advice that follows? It’s not problematic in any way, except that it reads like a very specific road map to one woman’s very specific pleasure points. It reads like a checklist, right down to when to kiss her and when to “tell her how sexy she looks.” (After she comes, apparently, is the prime time.) This article reads like the perfect sex storm—and I mean that in the negative sense—a nightmarish convergence of pick-up artistry and overachiever and hipsterism and egotistical asshattery. It is the brash confessional of a writer who made it big with one girl and thinks that means he is qualified to dole out the step-by-step manual.

Or do a video of 67 ways to make her come. That’s what Nick Hardwick is doing with his terrible sex tips. Don’t buy that video. It may have some useful sex tips, but it’ll leave you feeling so battered by his attitude you won’t be able to get it up again for months.

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TERRIBLE SEX TIPS: “7 sex positions to make you more uninhibited in bed”

Sometimes sex tips aren’t uniformly bad. Sometimes they aren’t even that bad at all, except for the title, which manages in just a few words to shift one’s whole sexual psyche into a state of confusion and inexplicable angst. The title doesn't match the content, and worse, it casts a terrible shadow over the whole.

So it is with this week’s Terrible Sex Tips: “seven sex positions to make you more uninhibited in bed.”

Make you.

Did you see that? These positions will make you more uninhibited in bed. As in, do these positions and “poof,” you’re uninhibited!

Of course, no one would argue out loud that that’s what the author meant, but that sure is what it sounds like, and no position or activity can "make you" do anything or be anything other than what you are in that moment. You can look as though you're more uninhibited; that's acting, and I can tell you how that should look. But actually shucking your inhibitions, shifting them out of your body and your head, takes at least a little bit of focus, more than you can get in a half-hour of sweaty, semi-verbal shagging. I do happen to agree with the writer, that many sexual inhibitions stem from poor body image and/or fear of appearing ridiculous. But you can’t just do some really vulnerable position and flip that switch. Hell, if we’re going to use an electrical apparatus as metaphor, this is not a switch, it’s a slider along the whole goddamn body positive spectrum.

Yes, some people can bulldoze through discomfort, and for some things, “fake it ‘til you make it” is absolutely an awesome approach. I would like to humbly suggest, however, that naked sexing is a fairly advanced arena in which to start dismantling one’s body insecurities. What about the rest of us? How about some truly useful activities that can help edge us along?

  • Mirror gaze with self-touch. Start by getting comfortable in front of a mirror. Standing, sitting, reclining… your position is not important as long as you can see most of yourself. Beginning at the top of your head, look at your body in the mirror. Just observe it: the shadows, the dimpling, the hair, the texture of your skin, the coloring, the shape. If you find yourself avoiding one part of your body, or feeling a strong negative reaction to it, just make a mental note of it, say “I’m not comfortable, but I can come back to that”, and move on. As you view your body, trace the path of your own gaze with your hands. Observe what those shadows and dimples feel like, what the skin feels like where it’s rough or smooth, where the muscles lie under the skin, where the weight of flesh falls.
  • Fetishize my elbow! Prepare by making a short list of external body parts that feel relatively neutral to you, and writing those down on scraps of paper, which you put into a hat. Sitting across from your lover, take turns drawing items out of the hat, spending a few seconds appreciatively eyeballing that part of your lover’s body, and then lustfully describing that part or touching it, if they’re okay with it. Maybe it is what you can do with it or to it, maybe you focus on the visual aspect, or the tactile component, or all of it. Get super specific and stay positive. In fact, go ahead and get absurdly lavish in your praise! The person receiving this adoration of their elbow or whatever just needs to sit back and murmur “you know you want it” at regular and appropriate intervals.
  • O FACE! This is something for you and your partner(s) in the heat of the moment, when you’re about ready to come. (Do discuss beforehand!) Instead of what you normally do when you orgasm (sounds or faces), do something entirely different, something COMPLETELY wacko like, oh, I don’t know, bleat like a goat when you come, or stick your tongue out and cross your eyes. You may not be able to keep your erection or reach an orgasm like this, you may bust out laughing, but keep it up for a few times, and keep O Face in your regular rotation of sexy-time games. It’s an important and hilarious reminder that no O face that you naturally make can ever be as silly as goat noises.

I just made those sex tips up, but I can pretty much guarantee that they’ll be dramatically easier on the psyche than anything in the problematically titled article. You can work up to keeping the lights on. You can ease into body-part appreciation, starting with elbows and gradually ramping up to bellies. I do think most people will catch more hang-ups with silly games than with straight-up sexing.

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