Tag Archives: sex

Intercourse and Intimacy

Steve, Steve, Steve,
Alas, you have disappointed me in your response to Sara, the woman with blow-job issues. After you’ve won my respect and admiration, you had to go and blow it (actually, I don’t think you can compete with Dan Savage at the Village Voice, but that’s a different matter).
Anyway, straight to the point, let’s get to the head of the matter. Your argument for sexual intercourse being more “intimate” than oral sex, well, that is one thing that I just can’t swallow. I mean, what’s this thing about “intercourse can make children”? If you are going to use this argument, at least stick it in where someone won’t notice it, instead of putting it front and center, right out in the open like that, and please explain your reasoning. Have you ever considered that realm of sexual exchange that has been receiving headlines lately, ( namely the Texas sodomy case) or sex between members of the same gender? Now, we’re not talking about making children here, (unless the sex involves two lesbians, a turkey baster, and a sperm bank).
I know, I know, the question was from a hetero woman and she wanted a “straight” answer, but let’s face it Duncan, there are many men out there who have tasted the “love juice” in more ways than just from their lover’s mouth. And there are many men who would also cringe with embarrassment and homophobia to admit they had tasted their own cum while jacking off, and if they did admit it, they would qualify that act with being curious, not perhaps admitting their own seemingly perverted tendencies.
As for the term “intimacy,” as in trying to figure out which is more intimate, oral sex or just plain intercourse, let’s not even try to answer that in so few sentences. Just defining what intimacy means could take up more than your column has room for, (and is perhaps going too deep for your particular genre) an issue that you touched upon when you mentioned every person being “unique” in what they consider to be intimate, and in what constitutes their preferences. Let’s just say that your answer was limited, and I understand why, it is your opinion after all. But I also wouldn’t want any sexual “deviants” out there to feel left out of the conversation because, I for one, like to have a few more options, creative avenues, and roles that I might play than those presented in your column. If I was to understand your argument correctly, then I would assume that most same gender sex was not as intimate (whatever that means, since we haven’t defined it) as hetero sex.
Signed
-Can’t Understand Much

First, let’s start with Dan Savage. He receives letters like: “can I get athlete’s foot from masturbating into my sneaker” or “can I get an infection from letting a dog lick my pussy.” I have 600 letters asking why there are no decent men in Santa Fe. You do the math. Goo in the shoe is funny, women with high standards are not.
Second, intimacy is created in many different ways (sometimes, without any sex at all). I apologize to all the same gender couples, sexual deviants, and cum tasters – I validate and applaud your sexual choices. I should’ve said sexual intercourse is more “intense,” instead of more intimate (but you’d probably whine about that too).
It seems self-evident that a sex act that can, potentially, create a person, is more intense than one that cannot. Let’s say that sexual intercourse didn’t produce children, but it just produced household appliances. Wouldn’t that be more intense than sex that couldn’t produce appliances? If a microwave oven popped out of your butt nine months after some backdoor boning, wouldn’t that make the whole thing a little more intense (not to mention, more painful)? Isn’t creating a person as interesting as creating a toaster?

“That subtle knot which makes us man:
So must pure lovers’ souls descend
T’ affections, and to faculties,
Which sense may reach and apprehend,
Else a great Prince in prison lies.”

-The Extasy, John Donne

Yes, I think the horizontal bone-dance (“that subtle knot which makes us man”) is special and more intimate than oral sex. So sue me. Since you’re a person who likes to celebrate diversity – why can’t you celebrate the diversity of my opinion?

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Self-Actualization

Dear Steve,
You, and all who have written on the subject of marriage, do not have the concept. Yes, far too many ill-prepared fools are getting married, because they are all getting married for the wrong reasons. True LOVE (not romantic love) is is an act, not an emotion. It is a choice. When two people decide that one-another’s needs and well-being are more important than their own, then they will both look out for each other better than they ever could have on their own.
I think that you are right about we North-Americans being too hung up on our own “super-specialness”. This pursuit of self-actualization completely negates the possibility of entering into such a symbiotic relationship, and thus marriages fail. In the end, I think we’ve all been eating too much granola (or maybe we need to eat more).
Signed,
Jim

I admit it, I’m a little tipsy right now, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do my job. It just means I can’t do my job well. Maybe it’s because I’m wasted, but I don’t get the granola thing. And, where exactly am I wrong on the subject of marriage? I‘m sure that I’m wrong about a lot of things, but you don’t really shed any light on what those things are. I agree that too many ill-prepared fools get married. I agree that true love is an act, not an emotion. Oh wait, no I don’t. Shit, I never really thought about it.

To be honest, my first thought is, yuck. Your mature kind of love sounds more, um, mature. But, it sounds like high school-guidance-counselor-love (not that there is anything wrong with high school guidance counselors). I guess that I want love to be an emotion. At the same time, I can see how it makes sense to want a relationship founded on reason, rather than emotion. I guess. I just have trouble imagining rational sex. Is it as good as emotional sex?

And there’s the rub, right. What drives those ill-prepared fools into the arms of romantic love? Sex. Or money. People who get married for money are incomprehensible to me, so I will not even address them (except to say that they must have experienced a time in their lives when they felt tremendously insecure). Okay, money doesn’t really play into romantic love (I’m pretty drunk right now). That just proves my point about sex, right? Sure.

But do people say to themselves, “oh, I think I’ll marry so-and-so because they light my figurative fire.” No, it’s one of those unconscious things. But you probably aren’t ever driven by unconscious motivations to be with someone you probably shouldn’t. Still, the rest of us are often drawn to someone for reasons that are not entirely rational. In fact, it may be the very primitive nature of our feelings that drives us to do something as inconceivable as share our lives with someone else.

You suggest that self-actualization is somehow part of that North American feeling of “super-specialness”. I disagree. When I spoke about “super-special people”, I was referring to those individuals who feel like any assault on them is an assault on the very soul of truth and justice. For this reason, the super-specials cannot endure any infidelity in their marriages. I don’t remember why I am talking about this, but there must be a point.

Oh yeah. Self-actualization is identical with the idea that we are all equally special and worthy of forgiveness. If I am right, then self-actualization would serve the purposes of romantic love by creating a more tolerant atmosphere in which love could grow. Sorry, that was so hokey. If you are right, and the pursuit of self-actualization completely negates the possibility of romantic love, then we should all do our utmost to avoid romantic love, because it would suck to give up self-actualization. I hope that you are wrong. Because I want to be self-actualized, but I don’t want to be a sixty-year old bachelor who brings pictures of my dog to family reunions (not that my dog isn’t totally cool).

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Sexy Ugly

Dear Steve,
Why is it the men you’re least attracted to are the best in bed? (I had a male friend tell me once he only dated ugly women because beautiful women were lame in bed.)
-Andrea

I hope you’re not too disappointed, but this is the first time I’ve heard that theory. I can only speak from my own experience, and I have not found your theory to be true. That being said, I’ll attempt to explain your experience.

Possibility #1-
Unattractive people try harder. It’s always nice to be appreciated, and, perhaps, unattractive people are more appreciative. Conversely, it might be the case that beautiful people don’t try as hard. I can easily believe this. I have been with some gorgeous women who consider it a tremendous honor just to let you see them naked. That can be a bummer. Still, the best lover I ever had was an astro-babe. Which brings me to…

Possibility #2-
Maybe your friend is wrong. Maybe unattractive men make better lovers, but not necessarily unattractive women. Most men are so damn superficial that how a woman looks is still a big part of their whole sexual experience. Moreover, effort is more essential to a high quality male performance. Most guys I’ve talked to agree that they don’t require a great deal of effort from their partners in order to have a really great time (though it’s always nice). On the other hand, the women I talked to agreed that a little extra effort is always nice. I don’t know what it’s like to be a great looking guy, but I know that I’m lazy. If I thought I could get away with less effort because I was good looking, I’d probably do it.

Possibility #3-
I find it a little spooky that your friend only has sex with ugly women. I’m also a little uncomfortable with the term “ugly women”. Nonetheless, maybe your friend has better experiences with unattractive women because he feels less threatened by them. Maybe it gives him a feeling of control or power. It might be that he is better able to maintain emotional distance from a woman if he is not attracted to her. Any way you slice it, it kind of freaks me out.

Possibility #3A-
Maybe you have better experiences with unattractive men because you are less comfortable with a man you find attractive. Maybe it’s a fear of becoming too attached to someone. However, I’m inclined to believe that unattractive men, on the whole, make better lovers . I’m not going to find out for myself.

Possibility #4-
Maybe it’s some divine law meant to make life more fair. You either get to be good looking or good in bed. I would really like to believe this, but I can’t. A friend of mine is a model, and he has women lining up around the block at two o’clock in the morning. I don’t think it’s just because he’s good looking. You know what I mean?

The Bottom Line-
Brace yourself, I’m about to get pretty corny. I believe that 99% of the whole sexual dealy-bob is chemistry. It’s not a question of who’s a good lover, it’s a question of who’s a good lover for you. Back when I was a complete moron, I hooked up with this one girl because a friend of mine told me that she was the most spectacular lover in the universe. That was not my experience. Likewise, while some women have found me to be an adequate lover, others have sent me brochures with such titles as “How to regain your sex drive” and “Rediscovering your libido”. What works for one person usually doesn’t work for another. Pretty obvious, right?

Whoever your lover is, I suggest you tell him what you like, and what you don’t. It’s such a cliche, but communication is really important. If that doesn’t work, take one of those unattractive love-gods and treat him to a makeover.

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