Oh, Valentine’s Day. You filthy minx, you. Now, this week’s issue is a tricky one for me, because (unlike the rest of the year) I’m not the only one writing about sex today. What I love about this particular issue is that we get to see so many freaky, wonderful sides and examinations of the thing called coitus we all love so very dearly. But I think maybe today I deserve a day off from sharing my kinky exploits—I’ll leave that to my much more intelligent (and, in all likelihood, much better at sex) colleagues.
Two days ago, I walked into a supermarket and there was, get this, a section devoted to Valentine’s Day. About a quarter of the store was completely pink, with huge banners reminding you that your special someone will be fucking pissed if you forget to get them something. You know what I’m talking about—where they wrap up all of the regular candy in special sweetheart boxes so you can put the one you love into a sugar coma.
The other big thing about Valentine’s Day (as you have probably devised from reading this issue) is the immense pressure to have sex. Because if you’re young, hot, and single, you should perpetually be without your underpants or inhibitions—especially on V-day. For the record—I am absolutely on board with this, and if you read this column a lot, you know that I’m all for getting down and dirty, if that’s what you want.
I recently discovered the worst type of sex you can have. And it has nothing to do with size or effectiveness or smell. It doesn’t matter who you’re doing it with or where. As it turns out, the worst sex you can have is not situation-specific. Because the worst sex that you can have is mediocre sex. Blah sex. Yeah-okay-sure-but-can-we-finish-watching-the-Daily-Show sex.
This is the sex everybody’s familiar with. No spice, no muss, no fuss. Sex where you’re both there because you think you’re supposed to be. Given the choice between the worst sex I have ever had and blah-sex, I choose bad sex every single time. Why is this? Why would I choose the time where I literally got a Qu’ran thrown at me, or the dude that turned out to have three of everything, over blah sex? Because say what you will about bad sex, but at least it’s interesting.
Even in the most horrifying how-did-I-get-here moments, when you kind of want to call your mom and lament all the bad choices you’ve ever made, bad sex has your attention. You’re engaged in bad sex. In blah sex, you can be pretty much anywhere. It’s bland, it’s boring, and it’s probably (though not necessarily) in the missionary position. I would rather have bad sex and be fully engaged in every where-did-that-ham-come-from second, than sex on a Tuesday because Tuesday is “the night.” Flight of the Conchords fans will know what I’m talking about here. “Business time” can feel an awful lot like work. And for the record, I am not just talking about couples here. I have friends in longterm relationships that have incredibly freaky, crazy, Spiderman sex lives, and I’m super happy for those people. Blah sex is something that single people fall victim to as well. Like that moment where you’re on top of your fuck buddy thinking “Did I turn the washing machine on before I left?” If you’re not present or engaged with your own sex life, that’s a problem. And it won’t necessarily be fixed with more sex.
So here’s what I’m advocating: take a break. Focus on getting your breath in and out of you, instead of someone else’s genitals. You should be stoked to see a person naked, not mildly enthused. The constant pursuit of sex isn’t mandatory, and I don’t care what day it is—it ain’t worth it if you’re not in it to win it (pun intended). Take a break. Get a hobby. There’s this pervasive idea that on Valentines Day, being alone equals being lonely, and I take issue with that.
If sex means that much to you, and you’re not that into anybody, buy yourself some heart-shaped Rolos and go at it by yourself. Light some candles, put on some Sarah McLachlin, throw yourself against a wall and go to town. At least you know you’ll get off. Or try meeting new people, and find someone that you would totally change plans for. For the record I am not in any way advocating for or against falling in love here—sex and love aren’t mutually exclusive in my book. But do what you need to do to be present. Taking a break from sex, Valentine’s Day or not, does not make you a leper. Engage in your own sex life, and if that means calling a temporary timeout, that’s legit. Or bring a ham into the bedroom. Believe me, you’ll have your partner’s full attention.