Saturday, May 30, 2009

On Being "Good in Bed," or in the Kitchen, in the Woods or in the University Library

Greta Christina has a very interesting post up, discussing the phrase, "good in bed." Now as one who has been described in those terms by everyone in a position to know....Err, wait a minute - ok, yeah, so I've been described in those terms, but the mileage has varied here and there. But I think that I am pretty well qualified to discuss this topic, as there are reasons I have been, how shall we say, around the block - most of the city and quite a bit of the countryside. And no, it's not because I'm a Fabio, or because I am a Don Juan (though in some regards...). Indeed, as much as it pains me to admit, I probably don't even have the carnal skills of Ron Jeremy. We'll get to that in a minute...

Greta doesn't like the phrase "good in bed." My initial reaction to seeing the title was, neither do I... It's always rather bothered me because it ignores the importance of being, "good in the laundry room," "good in the kitchen," "good on the balcony, where the neighbors might catch us," "good on her desk at work," or "good in the university library." That has always been the problem I've had with "good in bed" and even after Greta's post it still is. If you're only "good in bed" you are missing out on some really great sex and a wonderful facet of human sexuality. This isn't to say that sex in bed isn't beautiful too, just that there is a whole world of sexuality to explore and if those explorations are limited to the bed and bedroom, most of the world of sexuality will be ignored.

Sex where you might get caught at it by others, is heady and especially exciting. It is important to take a great deal of care in choosing such a spot, because you don't want very good odds of the person catching you to be someone who should not, such as a child. But when it's done just right, it can make for absolutely incredible sex. One of my favorites when I was younger and first into wearing skirts, was to fuck out in the open, but hidden by draping skirts. On occasion I got busted - there are certain noises that are unmistakable. But I only did that sort of thing in adult only venues, usually private homes during open gatherings, hosted by people I knew wouldn't mind. Indeed, this occasionally led to rather bland parties, turning into quite memorable ones...Though it could also end up kind of awkward - but that is part of the excitement of public sex - trying to avoid the awkward and definitely trying to avoid arrest.

Sex in a natural setting can also be very exciting, even when there's little to no risk of getting caught - or if getting caught wouldn't be the least problematic or awkward. My favorite is hot, passionate sex near flowing water and flowering honeysuckle, lilac and/or lavender - the scents, the water and an aroused, sweaty body against mine - hell fucking yes!!! (I cannot stress enough, the importance of identifying and avoiding poison ivy and poison oak - and making sure that there isn't any anywhere even close to where you are playing - even if you usually aren't all that "athletic" with your lovemaking. Trust me, there are places you really don't want to end up with that problem and it seems like certain bodily fluids act as a magnet.) But that warning aside, sex in nature is awesome big fun. Plenty of room to move and lots of objects that can become tools or furniture to enhance the experience - finding the right spot can make for hours upon hours of excellent lovemaking - but be sure to bring plenty of clear fluids to drink, food to eat and comfortable blankets and possibly cushions. If you are going to be out there for large chunks of a day, you are going to want all of those things.

The next one is fairly specific to bibliophiles such as myself. I have to admit that I have something of a fetish for libraries and one time a used book store. Especially that used book store...I love sex around books - lots of books. Like the honeysuckle, lilac and lavender, the smell of books is a huge turn on for me. Little says fantastic sex like the rare books room, or a used book store after hours. Unless of course you somehow managed to hook up with a non-bibliophile, or worse, aren't a bibliophile yourself. I know such people exist in theory, but...Ok, now that I've gone all clammy...lets just assume that we're all bibliophiles and leave it at that...

And of course, there is sex all over the damned house or apartment (apartment common laundry spaces combine several aspects of kinky fun). If you don't at least venture out of the bedroom, you are needlessly missing out. You just need to be aware of a few things. Refrigerators do occasionally fall down. Dryers may move when running when you are fucking on them. End tables and coffee tables are not usually built nearly well enough - nuff said. Bending over the arm of the couch puts her (or his) pertinent bits in the perfect position. A good swing is easy to construct - just be very careful where and how it's mounted - unless you are experienced, do not attempt to mount one in a frame.

Sex around your living space is important. It is a very safe way to really explore you and your partner's sexuality and bodies. It affords opportunities to try many positions, use many objects and see your body and more importantly, your partner's body in a variety of lights, settings and interesting positions. Exploring one anther's bodies and your own is so very important to having an exciting, healthy sex life. Too many of us have some latent shame, hammered into us by a repressive society. Trust me, you have nothing to be ashamed of. We all have these bits that can be so many things and feel so many things. Celebrate who and what you are, in all your glory and celebrate your partner as well. Like me, I have a penis that is really small when it's flaccid. It gets to be fairly average in size when I'm hard, but it's a wee thing when I'm not - though I have pretty big, funny looking balls. I also have a few rather peculiar scars, including an interesting one on my left ass cheek that is it's own erogenous zone. I also have rather funny looking knees, the right more so, due to a scar. These aren't flaws though - to the contrary, these things are what make exploring your partner's body so much fun. Discovering the areas that turn them on - especially the areas they didn't even know turned them on. Finding fun little surprises - like funny shaped scars and the sometimes funny stories behind them.

But none of this has a damned thing to do with Greta's post. Her objection to "good in bed" isn't the same as my own, she's using the context of "good in bed" as it implies "a good sex partner." And hers is rather important too, though I question it to a degree - not the fundamental premise, but something more fundamental. To whit:

In my experience, once you have these basics, good sex isn't about learning a lot of fancy tricks or positions. It's about communicating: being able to say what you want without pessimism or fear; being able
to listen to what your partner wants without getting threatened or hurt. It's about being familiar with your own body and your own desires and responses, so you can communicate them in the first place. It's about being perceptive: paying attention to non-verbal signals as well as verbal ones. It's about giving a shit about your partner's pleasure in the first place, and being able to get aroused by their excitement as well as your own.

She ultimately concludes that good in bed should really be, good with your partner - or partners, because she, like myself isn't particular or judgmental.

The problem I have with this, is that being a good lover means that you are all the things described above or open to being those things - because not everyone has much or any experience as a lover. Personally, I would much rather fuck my hands, than go through the trouble of having sex with someone who isn't enthusiastic or who freaks out if you suggest they try this or that - or who won't tell you they don't like something you're doing or like something you're not doing. Less messy the hands and a lot less hassle, if all that one is getting out of sex is a fucking orgasm. Honestly, as far as orgasms alone are concerned, I rather prefer the orgasms produced by my hands and/or a toy or two. Sex is exciting because of the interactive qualities, because you are doing everything possible to make your partner explode in intense pleasure and they are doing the same to you. Sex is exciting when you are doing everything you can to make this sex the very best sex your partner has ever had and they are doing the same for you. Being a great lover is being the person who wants to provide that kind of experience for your partner - nothing more, nothing less. And while you may not always have the great sex, because you may not always be with a partner who wants to provide all that in return - because you may not always be with a partner who is also a good lover - if you are that kind of lover, you will always be "good in bed."


Abby Normal said...

Hear, hear, on getting sex out of the bed! I mean they’re great for comfort and privacy, little brothers climbing the tree outside my bedroom window not withstanding. But there’s a whole great big world of opportunity out there. Why limit your sex to just one tiny little rectangle of it? One word of caution though, I’d like to add ironing boards to the list of household items that don’t hold up well, which is too bad, because the narrow width and variable height holds a lot of potential. Hmmm, a market opportunity? But I digress.

Sex outdoors is great. There’s something about hiking and camping that’s an aphrodisiac to me. I can hike for hours up the side of a mountain, make camp bone weary and with every muscle complaining, and still be up for a bit of naughty. I love the clean air, the smell of plants and earth, the sounds of nature. But I think it’s the separation from day-to-day life that is the biggest factor. Out there I’m not thinking about deadlines, or a friend’s latest drama, or any of the other myriad distractions that vie for my attention as I go about my average day. When I’m out there I’m completely present in the moment. All my senses seem to be supercharged. I’m more aware of both my partner and myself, which can translate to some fantastic sex.

If you’re into sexual role-play, then the outdoors lends itself to a number of interesting scenarios. Recreating the Garden of Eden and The Fall can be fun if you don’t mind (or better yet, enjoy) a bit of blasphemy. For something a bit kinkier, a mock Sasquatch attack (read rape fantasy) can be really exciting. Nymph in the Woods (You want her? You’ve got to catch her first) can be fun for couples or for groups. My point is, get creative and have fun with it. Sex begins long before physical contact. Being a great lover is more than knowing where and how your partner likes to be touched. It’s about stimulating the mind.

Since I mentioned acting out a rape fantasy I feel I should point out that before any kind of rough play, physical or psychological, you should always make sure everyone involved knows ahead of time what they’re getting into and have a safe word worked out that will stop the action. I would hope everyone knows that, but I just in case.

Hmm, I don’t want to end on such a serious note. So, as the article mentioned, sex with a chance of getting caught can add some extra excitement. I remember this one time in particular. I was a teen and had just recently become sexually active. My girlfriend and I were in a park late at night. One little corner was particularly secluded, with lots of trees, a nice little creek and a couple of stone benches, the flat kind, without backrests. A row of houses bordered one edge. Their backyards poked right into the park. Still, all the lights were out. So we figured we’d go for it. We had a great time, knowing at any minute someone could come down the path or the cops could do one of their sweeps (the park officially closed at sunset). Thankfully nobody interrupted us. But we soon discovered that didn’t mean our little adventure had been unobserved.

We headed down the path out of the park when my girlfriend made a startled little squeak and gripped my arm. I looked over and noticed a man sitting on one of the benches maybe 10 meters from where we’d been fucking moments before. He had a big bowl of popcorn in his lap; I kid you not. I have no idea how long he’d been watching us. But I guess he enjoyed the show. I burst out laughing, waived and said hello. He chucked and returned the wave. My girlfriend tightened her grip even more, quickened her pace, and didn’t let up until we were safely away from the area. I figured that would be the last time she would be game for a romp in public. But, the very next night we had sex against the outside wall of hospital. It was her idea.

Come to think of it that’s the only time I’ve been caught having sex in public. Though I’ve been walked in on, spied on, and even, as I found out later, secretly recorded while having sex in a bedroom. How’s that for irony?

DuWayne Brayton said...

I managed to avoid getting caught in Waldo (Western Michigan University library) where I had the sex on a few occasions when I was a high school debater - but got caught the very first time at MSU's library. Technically I got caught once at Waldos too, but we got caught by a female librarian who looked rather longingly at the women I was with and then proceeded to shelve books close by and partially blocked off the aisle we were in. At MSU it was a security guard who while somewhat bemused, booted us out of the library...

I am glad you brought up the kink to be had in the great outdoors. It makes me think that I should write a post about fetish and fantasy. Sexuality means more than the genital configuration we prefer to play with. Come to think of it, this could work out as another great direction to go with my blogging. Sex, sexuality and the psychology of sexuality.

Thanks Abby...

Abby Normal said...

Oops: The guy with the popcorn chuckled, not chucked.

Sex, sexuality and the psychology of sexuality are three of my favorite topics. Sex and everything related has always fascinated me.

It probably started back in preschool. I had a tendency to find someone to share a mat with at nap time. I remember being confused by the fuss the grown-ups would make about it. Why shouldn't I curl up with some boy or girl I liked? I never went where I wasn't welcome. So why all the scolding? Stupid grown-ups.

The more upset they became the more curious I got. It was all such a big mystery. And of course the grown-us were always so awkward and nervous, I just knew there had to be some big secret out there. By kindergarten my mom caught me and a neighbor boy in the closet with our pants down... exploring. To her credit she didn't freak out (too much) or yell. She just sent the boy home and tried to explain about "private areas" and socially acceptable behavior. This slowed me down a little.

But not much. My curiosity only grew throughout elementary school, much to the delight of many of my babysitters. Not that I had sex with them or anything. I wasn't quite that precocious, or perhaps persuasive is a better word. But we would often stay up late talking about love, sex, and relationships. I wasn't the least bit shy and our conversations ranged from philosophical, to practical, to down right raunchy. I learned a lot from those young women and I think they learned a lot from me too. In fact a couple of them started actively seeking my advice, a real ego booster for me at that age. Hooray for positive reinforcement!

While many of my childhood interests have have lost their appeal, conversing about sex and related topics remains a fun pastime. Perhaps it's because I still feel there's so much more to learn. Or maybe I just like tweaking prudes.

Okay, it's both.

DuWayne Brayton said...

I am all about writing about the sex. I think it's an attractive topic, because it is so very complex. On the one hand, it is one of the simplest, primal aspects of human nature. On the other hand, it is also one of the most complex social interactions humans engage in.

I am really looking forward to writing about this with you around to expound on it. Though you best watch out with the whole trying to embarrass me - you may just find one or more of you more substantive comments on the front page...You probably will anyways...

Abby Normal said...

Heh, xkcd must read your blog.