TERRIBLE SEX TIPS: “The Best Sex Positions You Should Try Tonight”
There’s a particularly gloomy phrase that gets dropped into all kinds of self-help headlines:
… BEFORE YOU DIE
Do <X thing>, eat at <Y restaurant>, visit <Z hard-to-reach destination>… BEFORE YOU DIE.
I want to question this phrase. No, I want to interrogate the fuck out of it, in a bad-cop, “I don’t have time for this bullshit” sort of way. Not only is BEFORE YOU DIE a cliché, but also… like, for real, most people are already pretty well aware of their own mortality. We feel the grains of sand slipping away. Fuck those editors and headline writers for churning up manufactured urgency to use in marketing. Gross.
Besides which, it’s UNDERSTOOD that anything we want to do, we need to try before we die; there’s not a lot of potential for personal growth after we die. Undead sexual self-help is an unexplored genre for a reason. (Although I feel now that some permutation of Rule 34 means that it has suddenly blossomed, or will soon.)
The main title for this article already sounds urgent and definitive, but then it doubles down in the subtitle: An Illustrated Guide To 37 Sex Positions You Need To Try Before You Die, which now just sounds like “here’s a fuck-tonne of sexual positions that you need to try before you die TONIGHT.”
Except lots of pressure. Did you see the number up there? THIRTY-SEVEN POSITIONS (and locations, they cheated). These people are trying to reinvent the fucking wheel. Haven’t they heard about the Kama Sutra and The Joy of Sex? We don’t need any more catalogs, even if the unlimited real estate of the internet means that you can just include any damn thing that theoretically tickles your pickle.
I say “theoretically” because the first pass through this execrable catalog yields a higher than usual amount of “this position is kinda pointless, if not outright dangerous” and probably the writers/editors/bilge-spewers haven’t tested those at all.
For example, I always found scissoring with another girl a little lackluster. For penis-in-vadge, it’s a physical challenge with, frankly, not much payback. There’s going to be a lot of slipping out. You also have no way to reach your partner, and there’s a strong likelihood of someone getting a foot in the face (great for foot fetishists, not so much for everyone else). I feel like someone just got all hot to trot watching some mainstream girl-on-girl porno and said, “Hey, I wonder how well that translates?” Pro-tip: IT DOESN’T.
Then we have the positions that either imply or specify outright that one’s (female) partners be good at yoga, and the other ones that point out that you should either already be working out or this position will be a good workout. (Regular readers know how I feel about bringing workout psychology into sex.)
But leaving out the fantasy positions and the workout positions and the “location” positions (writers, don’t talk about blow-jobs in the front seat of a car without saying DO NOT DO THIS WHILE DRIVING), what we’re left with are your standard positions liberally sprinkled with gender stereotypes about what men want, e.g. dominance over women.
“Make this position more dominant by…” “One of the most dominant positions…” “A very submissive position for women…” Eight of the positions mention dominance or control for the man, specifically as a dynamic that every reader should both understand and desire; One of them even suggests the Blumpkin as a variation of the seated blow job, without a hint of irony. Not at all surprising, I suppose—this was written for a cishet male audience–but actually, I would like to know: how important is sexual dominance to guys? How important is it for guys to act like it’s important?
The more female-controlled positions, like the cowgirl, for example, aren’t framed as a power dynamic but as a work issue. In these positions, the guy can kick back and let the woman do the work. Which is the same fucking power dynamic, actually.
Other throw-away comments in this endless list really hammered it home for me, that there are some people whose sexuality I will never understand. For example, in the description for the reverse cowgirl position: “If you want to make eye contact and get a view of her from the front, a mirror could also be your friend here, although the “no eye contact” is one of the perks of this as well.”
No eye contact. I get that some positions have that built in, but… is that a perk? Why is that a perk? Who are these people for whom no possibility of eye contact during sex is a perk? Tell me, so I can STAY AWAY FROM THEM.
Giving props to the artist, the illustrations that go with this HUGELY long listicle are more lucid than normal, and actually look kind of beautiful in places. But that just heightens the contrast between the images and the language used to describe what is happening, e.g. baseline standard positions with frequent forays into gratuitous and untested acrobatics and seriously tired gender roles.
Sounds pretty terrible to me. Keep your recycled lists of crap coitus under double digits, and we’ll all be happier.
SO MANY TERRIBLE SEX TIPS, SO LITTLE TIME. You can give me the power that I need to keep on, by becoming a patron of mine on patreon!