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Things Popular Media Never Told Me About Sex

Who knew sex gets better when you think things through?

Image: Ian Dooley. Don’t believe what you see in media; the reality was not this neat and tidy.

I could tell she was up to something.

It was a simple enough question, I suppose. But there was something about the way she said it, some twinkle in her eye when she held up the can of whipped cream and said, “Hey Franklin, do you want some?”

We were sitting in the front seat of a massive old Ford LTD Crown Victoria, the kind of land yacht that only made sense in a bygone time, with a bench front seat the size of a sofa and a passenger compartment about as big as my first apartment.

We’d just finished grocery shopping—me, my best friend, and my best friend’s girlfriend, who was sitting between us. We, along with my wife, were in what might today be called a ‘polyamorous quad,’ though back then we didn’t have that language.

I shrugged, thought ‘what the hell, why not?’ and said “sure,” thinking she would, I don’t know, spray it in her mouth and kiss me or something.

Instead, she pulled off her shirt, sprayed a line of whipped cream down her body, leaned back, and beckoned me with a come-hither look. (Prior to this, I’d never quite known what a come-hither look even was, but trust me, once you’ve seen one, there’s no mistaking it.)

Sexy, right? I won’t disturb you with the details of what happened next, since they might…err, disturb you. Instead, I want this to be a warning, a cautionary tale of the kinds of things that can go wrong when you live a life of careless debauchery, filled with the sorts of adventures that might grace the pages of Penthouse Letters.

See, here’s the thing: It’s easy to get so caught up in the moment you lose all sight of the consequences of your actions.

We lived in Ft. Myers, Florida. We were young and naive, and so swept up in an automobile whipped-cream threesome we didn’t spare the slightest thought to what might happen if one gets whipped cream all over the inside of one’s car, then lets it sit for a day in the hot Florida sun.

The smell the next day was exactly as unfortunate as you imagine.

With age comes wisdom, or so I’m told. Some of that wisdom wrecked my ability to enjoy porn…and romantic comedies…and Penthouse Forums. “Yes, but who’s going to clean that up?” is something I find myself thinking, along with “well, that’s not sanitary,” “oh my God what about the bugs?”, and “wouldn’t that cause the copper to corrode?”

That’s the problem with sex in popular media: it doesn’t speak the truth. And I don’t just mean about the obvious things, like “you can’t pay for a pizza that way,” “that’s not why your sexy boss wants you to work late on the Dobbson contract,” and “I don’t care how buxom you are, you will never get a plumber to your house that fast.”

Sex is messy—that is, in fact, one of its many charms—but the sex we see in entertainment is sanitized, carefully stripped of all the unfortunate next-day smells if you fail to think things through.

These days, the more judicious, older me prefers to think things through a bit more and to choose partners who also think things through. That doesn’t mean being less adventurous, but rather choosing girlfriends who think to bring a pot of tea along when you go off adventuring among the California redwoods. Surprise pegging against a redwood tree larger across than my first apartment is made all the better with bug spray and post-pegging tea (English breakfast, black, two sugars).

Inevitably, whenever one talks about a detail-oriented approach to sex, some naysayer will argue that sex is best when it’s spontaneous when things just happen when people don’t talk about it. Talking about it, planning for it, lets the air out. Making careful, deliberate choices about sex leads to a sex life without sparkle. Discussing limits and boundaries and consequences turns what should be fun and exciting into a business negotiation with all the charm of life insurance paperwork. Right?

Well, not to put too fine a point on it, that’s all nonsense. Talking about, negotiating, and considering the consequences of sex can be hella fun…and save your car’s upholstery from rancid milk smell.

The key, you see, is to think about the negotiation as part of the foreplay. If you play it right, conversations about limits, interests, boundaries, and outcomes are incredibly hot. Imagine your hottest-ever sexting session, then crank the knob to 11. It’s like that. You’re talking about what revs your motor and gets your partner (or partners!) steamy, then exploring the overlap in between…how can that be anything but hot?

And honestly, a spot of tea after a deep-woods pegging session against a thousand-year-old tree is one of life’s little pleasures. But I digress.

Point is, sex is complicated, and like most complicated things, it usually goes better when you think it through.

Yes, Hollywood teaches us that spontaneous, sweaty, up-against-the-wall sex is best. But in Hollywood, there’s always someone else to clean up the whipped cream, and Hollywood characters don’t need to worry about sexual health or inadvertent pregnancy unless the plot specifically calls for it.

Plus, and forgive me if this seems obvious, you can still have spontaneous, sweaty, up-against-the-wall sex in a framework when you talk about it first. In fact, you can have a lot of fun with this, as folks in the kink scene know: “whenever I wear this necklace, feel free to just take me whenever you like.” That sort of arrangement only works if you talk about it and think things through in advance…and man, just the negotiation alone can be hot.

Good judgment, the saying goes, comes from experience, and experience comes from poor judgment. Whipped cream threesomes in the front of a car are definitely poor judgment, at least if you have to drive the next day. These days, the wiser me would likely suggest moving into the bedroom after the shirt came off and the whipped cream went on.

It’s more comfortable and smells better the next day.



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