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Other Writing I Do

TERRIBLE SEX TIPS: “4 Hot Sex Moves That Will Blow His Ever-Lovin’ Mind”

A begging lover is only attractive to a small percentage of the population...

Seriously, though, a begging lover is only attractive to a small percentage of the population...

Terrible Sex Tips is BACK, with my number-one supplier, Sean Jameson over on yourtango, and "4 Hot Sex Moves That Will Blow His Ever-Lovin' Mind."

(As with most Terrible Sex Tips, this piece is specifically directed toward women with cisgender boyfriends.)

On the one hand, thanks, dude, for giving me so many talking points over the last few months. On the other hand, I’m a little afraid of meeting Sean in person. I won’t be able to restrain myself from shaking him by the collar and yelling, “DAMMIT MAN, STOP.”

First of all, we can add this to our chart of sex-tip red flags: if anywhere in the top few paragraphs it says something like “go back to the basics,” we can trust this. THERE IS NOTHING NEW HERE AT ALL. The writer is temporarily in a holding pattern; they are waiting for the next couple's holiday to show up in the editorial calendar, or they are rummaging through the stack of press releases for the next sex trend, or they're frantically texting their girlfriend to get back to them about that new suction-cup clit stimulator with something coherent other than “oh my GOD BLRGHRARLGHRLGL.”

They’ve run out of news you can arguably use, but they have to put something in that sex-tip-designated hole, so they go back to the “tried-and-true”. Unfortunately, so often this common-sense truth is incomplete, insulting, or just flat-out unsupportable, so the resulting article is terrible, in a sort of droning, background, I’ve-seen-this-shit-before sort of way.

Also, MINUS A GAZILLION POINTS for anything that is promoted as leaving your partner “begging for more.” I do not like the image here. I do not like this as a relationship goal. Unless your power dynamic specifically has space for begging, I strongly feel that sex should be more asking and offering and negotiating and enthusiastic sharing. Anything else smacks of scarcity mode, which… no, we don’t need to encourage that in sex.

Blow-job. Sorry, Sean, but it’s just not true: not every man wants one, not every man likes them. Also, it DOESN’T need "only your mouth." If you’re not using your hands, at least every now and then, you’re setting yourself up for him guiding the proceedings—not always the wise choice—and you’re missing out on ball tickling, balancing in precarious situations, and/or getting full coverage when his dick is too long or your gag reflex is too delicate for deep-throating. USE YOUR HANDS, on yourself and him.

Move on from missionary, he says, and the link takes you to Sean’s article about 17 sex positions that men will love. (Here's my take-down of that one. I told you this guy is both my nemesis and my gold mine.) BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT’S IMPORTANT: pleasing “your man”. <grinding teeth> GRRGH. The point about you having a good time too never gets enough play, in my opinion. What’s out there is never truly collaborative. The sex-tip paradigm is permeated with this sense of barter. I’ll give you this, so that you’ll give me that. GODDAMMIT I HATE THE WORLD SOMETIMES.

Talk dirty. Oh god, no, Sean. You know what you like to hear, and you know what your girlfriends have said, although maybe they were trying to keep from busting out laughing the whole time, hard to know, because women get taught to cover up what they really think about men’s performances in bed, so you MAY NOT REALLY KNOW how dirty talk works, even in your particular case, Sean, LET ALONE in the general population. “You don’t have to sound like a porn star,” he says, which, right, this is something no one really wants. But if you just drop in groans or a husky whisper when you never have before, you WILL sound like a porn star, because your partner will know that it’s fake. How about just “TALK”?

Turn him on, by being turned on, “because no man wants to feel like a failure in the bedroom.” Ah. Hah. Right. Protect that male ego. Fake it, babe.

Yeah. Just because it’s “basic” doesn’t mean it’s not TERRIBLE.

*****

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Coming in from the cold: a family holiday story

You can't go far on a road like this, but it felt like an MARATHON.

You can't go far on a road like this, but it felt like a fucking MARATHON.

When I was a young teenager, maybe 14 or 15 years old, the winter holidays started becoming particularly explosive around my family's house. I had fully left the Mormon church a year or so previously, and that, combined with my typical teenage volatility and my father's pointed slut-shaming and everyone's collective food- and fat-shaming, meant that I was constantly at loggerheads with my father, and seething with frustration about almost everyone else around me. I felt the family fabric not as a safety net or a blanket of warmth, but as a web of chains that was holding me down, and I lashed out at it with all the wordless frenzy of a trapped animal. I needed to get AWAY.

I remember one time during those winters when I did get away; I tore out of the house with no coat on, the day before Christmas. There was snow on the ground and in frozen ruts on the street, and I ran and stumbled and slipped on the ice and ran some more, all the while crying hot, desperate tears of rage that froze on my cheeks, but I couldn't feel it. My whole body had gone numb with the intensity of my emotions.

And then somehow a voice cut through the red buzzing haze. It was Oma (my Dutch father's mother). I turned around and there she was, walking quickly down the same frozen street, carrying her shawl.

"You can't be out here like this," she said. "You'll freeze."

I can't be in there anymore, I said as she wrapped me in the wool shawl that smelled like her.

"I know," she said. "I know it's really hard. You're different. It's going to keep being hard for a while. But you're strong. You're like me."

And then she hugged me there in the empty street. There were no cars out, so we could stand there for a while, right there in the middle of the street, me just huddled up and sniffling into her hair.

This is the time of year when that moment comes back around, a memory of when things started to become clear, that I would never be my family's daughter—not a good one, at least—but that I would always be my Oma's special one. Yes, she had her own axe to grind, she had been hurt by the Mormon church too, but I didn't know that then, and I don't care now. At that moment, it was just important for me to know that someone knew, that someone would come after me, that my anger and grief were not only forgivable, but understandable.

It is almost enough to make me wonder if I should not put more time in with my family, not for the people of my generation and older, but for the young ones, at least a few of whom will have their own real crises of faith and family, and will need the equivalent of an eccentric grandmother. They may need a weird aunt, someone who exists beyond the familiar bonds of blood and belief, who can hear and not judge, whatever the wildness that storms within. Of all the children that my siblings have popped out, odds are good that someone will be queer. Someone will be atheist. Someone will be feminist. Someone will have a secret to tell. Someone will run out into the bitter cold, unthinking. These could all be the same person.

Should I go back to be there, just in case? I don't know. That's asking a lot of myself. I'm sure my brothers and sisters wouldn't thank me, but then, they don't know. They don't know how my soul ached, lo these thirty years ago. No, it wasn't a fatal moment, and I would have gone back eventually; I wouldn't have frozen out there. But my heart might have.

Thank you, Oma.

*****

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TERRIBLE SEX TIPS: “Five Christmas Sex Positions for a Really Happy Holiday”

SO MUCH CHEESE...

SO MUCH CHEESE...

No, Cosmo. NO. BAD COSMO. No Christmas-themed sex tips. Santa is not getting you a goddamned thing this year, in retaliation for this tinsel-strewn tripe. The names are as cheesy as a Hickory Farms gift basket, the positions are Ghosts of Terrible Sex Tips Past, and let's be honest: anyone who actually celebrates this particular winter holiday is not gonna have time for any fancy-ass fa-la-la. At best, they'll be double-spiking their own drinks and falling asleep with self-stick bows on their heads. Festive!

The Stocking Stuffer

Give missionary a seasonal twist by lying on the edge of the bed, putting your legs straight up, and having him push them slightly to the side. Have him enter you from a standing position. Keeping your legs together makes you feel extra tight. Cozy!

Unless you're doing a lot of core-muscle workout already, this one is going to kink up your spine faster than eight hopped-up flying reindeer. You think your man is going to help you hold up your legs? Hah! He's going to be right off his head in ecstasy from how your normally floppy meat pocket suddenly fits him just right. What do you get the straight cisman who has everything? TIGHT FUCKING PUSSY.

On a One-Horse Open Sleigh, Hey!

Find a penis-level table (the back of a sofa works too) and lie down on your stomach with your butt at the edge and your legs hanging over. Have him grab onto your hips for dear life, lifting your legs and holding them up like a way sexier version of reins. On Dasher and Dancer, but mostly, on Vixen!

Ah, yes, the core-jarring, hip-hoisting, hope-your-boyfriend-is-strong-enough Plow position. They have to put cute names on it, because otherwise it just sounds exactly as brutal as it is. So if you want to add to the season's disappointment and fuckery, by all means bend over the festal board, bruise your elbows, knock over some lit candles, break one of the table leaves… the wreckage will give you a good story for Christmas dinner!

Santa's Lap Dance

Have him sit down, leaning back, then back onto him, slowly guiding him inside you. Keep your feet on the floor and lean forward a bit. Bequeath him with full-on lap dance gyrations, and he will be more than happy to reach around and rub you on in encouragement. #AllAboutTheGiving.

I personally feel that any lap dance worth this name needs to involve balancing a plate of cookies and a glass of milk on your shelf-booty. Now THAT'S sexy. And let's be real, if you were going to be giving Santa a lap-dance, you would need to move his "bowlful of jelly" out of the way to get any kind of proper friction going on. And "allaboutthegiving", HAH. Sorry to be a grinch, but the reach-around this writer mentions doesn't happen under full lap-dance conditions. Who has arms that long?

The Island of Misfit Toys

In sideways 69 position, slide a vibrating toy into your vagina, then have him use a small clit stimulator on you at the same time. This will seriously unhinge you, but if you can manage to get it together, loop a cock ring around the base of his balls and use a masturbation sleeve on him. Or if he's into anal play, go all MacGyver on his ass (in this case, in his ass) and try a butt plug on him while you give him a blow job. Tricky to rig everything up, but there are no unwanted toys here.

This here's a matter of personal taste and level of concentration, but I frankly can't handle mutual genital stimulation even without the toys. When you start dumping the contents of your Christmas stockings all over each other, that gets confusing really fast. Do you have down a little towel or puppy pad for when that butt plug suddenly shoots out of his ass mid-suck? Can you hear each other over the cacophony of buzz? Do you have all the batteries?

Twas the Bang Before Christmas

Lean your head back over the edge of the bed in this modified missionary until visions of sugar plums dance in your head. Precarious and head-rush-inducing — in the very best way.

This thing about getting a head rush reminds me of kids spinning around and around on the playground so that they get dizzy enough to fall down. Also, I thought one of the most important aspects of missionary, for people who like it, was the eye contact? Just hold your breath a little bit, or make yourself hyperventilate; it's less strain on your neck.

Next year, Cosmo, I wanna see you honor the true spirit of the winter holidays by giving us some pagan positions. "Debauched Donkey." "Bed of Holly." "The Green Man Cometh." Give us something nice and nature-loving, thanks!

*****

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TERRIBLE SEX TIPS: 13 Things To Put On Your Ultimate Sex Bucket List

Seize the day, and watch out for the needles...

Seize the day, and watch out for the needles...

I can kinda get behind the idea of a sex “bucket list,” except what normally goes in these things in the media is one of two things: stuff that is so basic that you should nailing that shit most of the time anyway OR activities that are slightly-to-way more advanced than should be casually blurbed in a publicly available bucket list. They're trying TOO DAMN HARD. And frankly, if I see one more “sex with food” item that doesn’t explicitly point out the hazards of chocolate-near-cunt fornication, I will personally send to that publication a barrage of yeasty-vadge photos that will short out their server.

The particular article I'm getting twitchy about hits all the standard weak points of the breed, with the added benefit of frequent disclaimer language of “I hear that…” or “from what I hear…” This author has maybe tried a quarter of the items on this list, and is relying on her “imaginary-sex-friend” network for information about the rest. The resulting list is cheesy, predictable, and dangerous in spots. For the sake of the intellectual exercise, let’s take the general themes and ramp them up a notch, shall we?

Sex in public. In a port-o-pottie. In line at the post office. Cradled in the amoeba-like arms of the most visible public sculpture in a city where you have no previous convictions.

Threesome. People always imagine this on beds that are bigger than commercially available. Try this on a dorm bunk bed, or the back seat of a two-door Ford Fiesta. Bonus points if the car doesn’t belong to any of you.

Add a toy. Like a Speak and Spell, or the Lego Millenium Falcon. Like the sampler says, everything is a dildo, if you’re brave enough.

Swinging. On one of those double-wide porch swings, or tires hanging from a playground gym of dubious structural integrity and splintery wood chips underneath. If you’re not getting a thrill, you’re not swinging high enough.

G-spot orgasm. Pfft. G, P, U… Make up new lettered spots. Go for the J-spot and tell other people it was amazing. Together we can start a whole new sex trend that will have researchers chasing for years.

Sex marathon. Yawwwwnnn. I’m talking sex triathlon, in frigid waters and then straight onto a bike. You may have to recruit friends in to hand you vitamin drinks every now and then, but that can fold easily into swinging (above).

Sex with food. A rack of lamb is quite lovely, at least until the fat congeals, and for the veg*n option, well, you haven’t lived until you’ve eaten fridge-temperature tofu crumbles off of your lover’s body. Awww yeahhhh.

Try a new position. Something where you need a minimum of 30 minutes warm-up, daily pilates, and two to three years with Cirque du Soleil, at which point you should probably be taking it out of your bedroom and onto pay-per-view.

Sexy photo-shoot. Ask your photographer to smear Vaseline on their camera lens to give your photos a lovely soft-focus look, and then apply a generous layer on yourselves for extra highlights, Don’t forget the tarp. Now that’s sexy.

Master the female orgasm. It’s not enough to experiment with your partner and find it. You want to find it and pound it into submission.

Make a sex tape. But get arty with it. I hear a new dildo harness is coming out with a moisture-proof front pocket for smart phones**. Using a bio dick? Then duct tape is your friend-with-benefits.

Roleplay. Think way outside the box. The more awkward the better. Two five-year-olds. Your parents. Sid and Nancy, complete with obnoxious accents and safety-pinned clothes. Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock.

Add some kink. Add some more. Think you’ve added enough kink? You haven’t. Keep adding it until the negotiation and set-up and wipe-down takes more time than the actual kinky shit and then you might be heading in the right direction.

** I made that up, but it'll happen.

*****

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Occasionally people ask me for advice…

How much effort do you really want to put into getting that mask off his face?

How much effort do you really want to put into getting that mask off his face?

And I'm like, sure, hit me up, I'm not a psychologist, but I sure have opinions. So here's the note, and a clarifying exchange that the letter-writer and I had, and then my answer at the bottom.

*****

So, (this guy and I) had met only through a dating app, but we'd had pretty in depth text conversations about our various (shared) kinks. I identify as a switch with a preference towards being the dominant, and he'd always wanted to be dominated. So we discussed both sides of the spectrum, how I like to dominate, how he had always fantasized about being dominated.

I explained that I only like to dominated by a sexual partner that I know well, and trust, for fairly obvious reasons. But that generally rough sex, slapping, mild verbal degradation etc, are normal and enjoyable for me. He mostly expressed an interest in being dominated by me, it turns out that he has a big foot fetish which he's interested in exploring. It's also important to note that I very explicitly told him that I am not looking specifically for a bdsm-based relationship as I'm quite burnt out after the last one, and that whilst the sub/dom thing would be something we could explore as time went on, I would expect our sex to be pretty vanilla for the first little while.

We met for the first time last night, and both a little drunk ended up fucking back at mine. He immediately asserted himself as the dominant one, which I wasn't hugely enthused with, but it'd been a while since I'd gotten laid, and thought, sure, I can get roll with this. However, as it went on it become too rough, strong choking ( I have bruises today, which isn't always a bad thing, but these were not expected, a crucial point) also, jamming his fingers down my throat, and strong slapping... All whilst telling me to come (because of course that's how an orgasm works) and completely ignoring my body language that he should ease up.

I realise in the cold hard light of day that I should've just stopped it, instead I faked it, he came, I made an excuse and sent him packing.

Now the date itself was fine, I don't think he's a bad guy, just bad at reading signals and understanding limits and how you define instead of doing what you want. I want to give the guy some feedback so that he doesn't go on to do this with someone else.

I hope that's enough for you to be going on with, I feel it's actually a bit of an essay. And of course, no rush to let me know what you think, thanks again for your help!

so, you are not interested in seeing him again, though?

I'm not sure... Like I said, everything else about the guy is fine, the sex was just very disappointing.

My answer partly depends on what you are hoping for as outcome. Also... "disappointing" is a very different thing from "boundary-breakindg"

That's fair. I think I felt so disappointed because he broke boundaries that I felt I had fairly clearly outlined for him, does that make sense? I think I would like to see him again, and see if we can fuck in a more... I don't know how to put it... Consensual and I guess maybe controlled is almost the right word? Way, or if we are just not compatible. But I think either way, I want to let him know that ignoring my explicit instructions, and my implicit body language was wrong.

**********

First of all, props for having those boundary-setting, kink-exploring conversations before meeting up . Those can be awkward, as well as fun/hot, but they're really important, especially if BDSM/fetish sex of any sort is on the table for either of you.

Unfortunately, those conversations only work if people enter them in good faith and treat them as actual negotiation, not just dirty talk and fantasy, ungrounded in actual needs for actual potential future fucking. Some people may think that hey, if their partner is down for one kind of kinky fucking they'll be down for the rest of it, but that's an obvious fallacy and so full of entitlement that I'm not even sure how to engage with it. And some people … don't care. This guy could fall in this category, too, and also not be open to change around that. Some people really don't care. They got theirs.

Your date almost certainly knows that ignoring your boundaries and requests and preferences was wrong. You totally used your words well. I am not sure that he was holding those conversations with you in good faith, owing to the fact that subsequent fucking didn't unroll as discussed. This mess is definitely in his court, and holy fuck do I want to kick him hard in a delicate place. If he is not now writhing internally as he thinks about what he did, then he is actually a shithead.

I appreciate your desire to set the matters straight with this guy, but you really need to think hard about where you want this to go, and why. I have to assume that you are feeling a good strong pull in the non-sex part of the chemistry, otherwise you wouldn't still be thinking about this. If you're not feeling the potential, you just want to take a stand, that's fine, too. On behalf of the rest of the women that this guy might go after, thank you for wanting to educate him, but it's not your job and he may be irredeemable.

(Also, we need to bear in mind your safety. He knows where you live. If he is still making advances, you are the only one who can judge how safe it will be to reject those advances.)

If you sit with this for a little and decide that, yes, you want to ask him for a rematch, meet up in a coffee shop first. (No drinking on this particular date, so you can be fully present.) There you can say something like, "We didn't have a chance to debrief after our date last time, and I wanted to do that now. I'd like to see you again, and I'd like to try fucking again, but the last time was totally not what I expected, based on our conversations, and I didn't like it." Then you lay out the things that happened that you didn't like, and go ahead and ask him the hard questions: why did you do that when I said I didn't want it? Did you notice that I wasn't being enthusiastic? Why did you keep going? How exactly is what you did to me, without my request, being submissive on your part?

See, I'm not sure I would put effort into a conversation like that, on the strength of one date, but if you really think something is there and you want to see if educating him will help, then you are going to have to have that awkward conversation, in the cold light of a coffee shop pastry case. Watch and listen to his answers very carefully, and keep your eyes and ears open for anything that triggers the eject button. Like, does he get defensive, or angry? Does he turn it around on you ("why didn't you say anything")? Keep your pass to Nopeville handy at all times.

If, on the other hand, you're not planning to see him again, you can take this conversation to email or the social media platform that you met him on. And it's not a conversation, it's just an announcement: "I had a nice time, and then we had sex and you ignored everything we had negotiated beforehand. If you are interested in more than first dates with women, and sex that violates consent in a dozen ways, you may want to reconsider that strategy."

In both of these cases, face-to-face conversation and text-based, I encourage lots of "I statements": when you did X, I felt Y and that sucked. Then for the face-to-face, if you get good engagement on that first bit, you can ask, "How do we move forward to keep that from happening again?" But if you just want to give him that message, send it to him as a ritual, something you're doing for yourself, not to change him.

Good luck, and keep me posted!

*********

What would you do, if you were the letter writer? I mean, what the ever-loving fuck, right? Throw your thoughts into the comments!