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There are as many ways to have sex as there are people in the world, which of course is incorrect, and I can back that statement up in no way whatsoever. I'd say maybe there are as many ways to have sex as there are Pokemon. That could be reasonable. So there's a lot, but not like an insane, unbelievable amount. That said, for all the ways there are to have sex, there's an equal number of ways to ruin that sex, intentionally or otherwise; blunders that just make the whole situation a wash. Rarely do you ever legitimately want to give up on sex when it starts, but sometimes you must.

I wrote not too long ago about awkward situations that make you feel like a dick, and backtracking sex was the first entry, but clearly the entire subject deserves more depth, as some people went so far as to disagree with me that it was even a thing that ever needs to happen. Let me assure you it's certainly a thing that needs to happen, and for more reasons than the hygiene and/or insanity examples I used in that article.

4
Dirty Talk Mishap

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According to a survey conducted by a sex toy manufacturer, 80 percent of people enjoy the use of dirty talk during sex. Of course, that's 80 percent of people who do surveys conducted by sex toy manufacturers, so we have to assume that, in the population at large, the number is somewhat lower. And that's where you need to be wary. If a certain percentage never use dirty talk, and then you can mark off other percentages of those who only use it sometimes, or some types, you're going to soon realize that there's probably only a niche population of people in the entire world who are OK with dirty talk that includes mention of things like colonic electro-stimulation or Adam West's torso.

Back in the day, I like to think the road to dirty talk was a lot like Frodo's journey with the Fellowship. At first there's only the far-off ominous threat of evil pursuing them and a handful of Ring Wraiths, and by the end it's Frodo climbing Mount Doom deep in the heart of Mordor while the rest of the Hobbits are facing off against a full-on Orc army. Adam West's torso is your Mordor, and you can't start your journey there. That's a place only giant eagles can rescue you from. You started in the dirty talk Shire saying classy shit like "I'm quite fond of the underside of your boobs, ma'am." And slowly, you and your purple-headed Samwise (you ladies have Pippin in a canoe) build up and up and a trust is established as your sexual rapport allows for it. So far, far down the road, when your sexual relationship has reached that point where you know how to fully and delightfully satisfy each other, you can really bust out the gems that would embarrass you in public should word of your filthy mouth ever get out.

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"No one must ever know of my penchant for filling my ass with custard."

Unfortunately, in our modern world, things like porn and hilarious college comedies have really accelerated the sexual experience, at least in the minds of people who ain't so bright. Some people seem to legitimately expect that sex should be happening as soon as they feel the need for it, and it had better be a facial-infused, filthy-talk boob-bouncing jamboree, or else they'll take their frosted tips and gemstone-chip necklace and go home. These are the kind of people who jump from first kiss to "lick my balloon knot like a starving dog hunting for Snausages" within seconds.

Dirty talk always has to be gauged lest you destroy everything. Sex is like Jenga, and dirty talk can be the load-bearing block that, in this case, is bearing your load, and it'll be on your hands if you do it wrong. Start too soon and too filthy, and you put the other person off. Bust out fetishes that are illegal even in most blue states, and you alienate your partner by making them think maybe you've escaped from some kind of institute.

3
The Shocker

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If you're about 17 years old or the kind of person for whom beer is an acceptable breakfast food, you find humor in the idea of the Shocker still. And yes, that means I may once or twice laugh at a Shocker joke myself, but it has to be a pretty good one, like with the pope and Raquel Welch in a boat. The magic has tarnished a little over the years.

For those not in the know, which would be I guess my grandparents and Benedictine monks, the Shocker is a sexual maneuver whereby a person makes a hand gesture consisting of an outstretched pinky finger, a folded-under ring finger, and the middle and index fingers extended together. From this position, one is required to insert the middle and index fingers (as a pair, mind you) into your paramour's fun zone while the pinky then follows suit through the back door. This is affectionately abbreviated to "two in the pink, one in the stink" more often than not, or, in higher society, "two in the gush, one in the tush."

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A pinky went here once. It was never seen again.

Of greater note than the act itself is what the act and its moniker signify. The Shocker was the general of the Dirty Proverb Army that took the Internet by storm in the early 2000s. It was at the forefront, leading compatriots like the Dirty Sanchez, the Angry Dragon, and the Rusty Trombone. The Shocker, with its snappy name and easy to emulate in public imagery, became the spokessmut for a generation.

The Shocker signifies one's desire to be novel and something of a frat-level derp in a sexual encounter. There's probably a time when you can sneak it in there and it'll be totally acceptable -- everyone likes cool sleight-of-hand tricks -- but the inclusion of the actual term "shocker" and the triumphant raising of the hand in said gesture are basically admissions that maybe you shouldn't be having sex just now because you're kind of an idiot. You're the kind of person who hides a camera in their room to film sex without the other person's consent, all the while oblivious of how that worked out for William Baldwin in Flatliners. Doing so may very well ensure that your sexual adventures meet an untimely end, and really, it's for the good of us all that your bullshit be stopped. You're making the rest of us look bad.

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2
Uncooperative Bed Height

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There are probably a few people in the world for whom this will never be an issue, the people who are of a perfect height and for whom nothing is ever a struggle. Your pants fit properly and never look like maybe you bought women's by accident, you can eat a pulled pork sandwich without getting any on your shirt, and you never need to question if a fart is ever going to accidentally be something more.

For the rest of us, as we struggle out of our old Guess jeans with meat juices on them to engage in some impromptu coitus, it will happen from time to time that you want to be in a certain position that requires your partner to be on the bed while you are off (if you want to substitute chair or ottoman here, go right ahead) and you'll notice at a very inopportune moment that the person who designed that furniture did not consult your groin when making the final decisions on various measurements, thus leaving you standing at the end of the bed looking like a toddler trying to reach for the cookie jar. This drastic misalignment will lead you to one of two solutions, one of which is correct and one of which is most assuredly not.

In a normal world with normal thoughts and normal actions, if you discover yourself too short or too tall to do something, you compensate. Get a boost, crouch down, or approach from another angle. It's so simple, even a chimp could figure it out. But, brother, a chimp doesn't do all his thinking from behind the confusing haze of a boner.

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"Maybe get a stool, dumbass."

You can read this and right away think "Well, change positions, dummy," and of course that makes sense here and now, but you don't know what it's like in that spot. At that moment, when everything is nearly lined up and perfect and you realize that something is awry, your first instinct may very well be to think "It's not that far." That is the same thing everyone in a viral video that ended in brutal physical trauma thought. Everyone who jumped off a roof, misjudged a skateboard's ability to grind a rail, tried to hurdle anything at all. They all thought their obstacle was easily overcome. They all took a chance. They all blew it.

Long story short, yes, I tried to make myself about 4 inches taller once by standing on a book; yes, I slipped; yes, I broke my ankle having sex. More accurately, I broke my ankle looking at where sex could have happened, because I don't know if just getting in once and then falling down counts as sex. Maybe legally, but not spiritually.

1
A Dog/Child/Elderly Relative

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Few things are as abrasive to an intimate act as an unwanted third party to that act. In much the way that, when you're at a urinal alone, you don't need a dude sidling up next to you to make this a buddy picture, when you're engaged in some sexual hijinks with someone else, it's pretty much universally agreed that if the dog takes the opportunity to slip his nose into your ass crack, you need to shut down production and reassess the situation.

More often than not, being interrupted by the dog is an easy fix. Some people apparently don't even mind the dog being in the room and watching, which I find off-putting if for no other reason than I feel like dogs may be judging my performance and I don't need that. And if they aren't judging, just what the hell are they looking at? Regardless, if a dog hops on the bed or the dryer or that pile of guests' coats with you, you can usually just push him off and get back to business, but occasionally the degree to which the dog has intruded may need to be addressed. Which is to say, if the dog's face makes contact with ground zero and/or a mounting takes place. No need to be embarrassed, it happens sometimes. Also you should totally be embarrassed. Dogs are shameless beasts and, like Cracked columnists, will occasionally lick whatever is put in front of them.

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"You taste like fear and wonder."

The problem here is that you feel bad about yourself in the soul after it happens, and it's hard to maintain composure. Is it OK to keep sexy times going if your poodle just ran by and licked your ball sack? That's a question a man has to answer for himself, but, you know, the answer is probably no. At least not right now. If the dog literally tried to hump you and be a fully involved participant, then no. No sir. That's like hitting reset on a video game. You take a few minutes, remove the dog, chat about the weather, maybe watch TV for a spell, then try to get back to it at a point when it can be reasonably considered an entirely different event.

Random walk-ins function in much the same but differently traumatic ways as a too-friendly pet. If amateur Internet videos have taught me nothing else, it's that a lot of people are willing to get naked on camera when the house is very clearly not empty and suffer the embarrassment of mom walking in while they're two knuckles deep in something best done in total privacy. The proliferation of "erotic" selfies out there depicting a woman with her kid in the background also indicate that the presence of a child isn't a deal breaker for some ladies, at least when it comes to gynecological cellphone photography, and that in turn makes us all sad on a societal level. If she's willing to take photos, she may be willing to engage in more in-depth shenanigans, and you really need to take a stand against that. All of these examples should stand as pretty decent indications that, on a cosmic level, some force of will wants you to not have sex right now. And if grandma bumbling into the room or an actual human child just standing right there isn't enough to convince you to reroute this parade, well, you might just be a terrible person, then.

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