Every once in awhile, I can HEAR myself getting old.
Like, for instance, today, when my antique credenza was late in being delivered and I demanded aloud, of no one, "Where the HECK is my antique credenza?" Then later, when a friend and I were texting and she asked me if I knew about the trend of dudes punching chicks in the head during sex. She was the third person to mention sex punching in as many months!
"Sex punching?" I asked myself, vigorously rubbing linseed oil into my beautiful new credenza. "Is this a thing?" Then I rubbed Icy Hot on my aching joints and enjoyed a lukewarm tea, in a limited edition Franklin Mint mug painted with a picture of Glenn Miller and His Orchestra. Glenn Miller! Now there was music.
OK: back to sex punching. I first became aware of the phenomenon when I was having dinner with my favorite LA ex a few months back, and he brought up the fact that two of the girls he had recently had casual sex with wanted to be punched.
Not spanked. Not slapped. Punched, friends! Homeboy is six-foot five! If he punches you, you are definitely going to go to work looking like you've started an underground fight club with an invisible manifestation of your id.
It would be one thing if this were just my ex, because he dated me so he's obviously got a flair for attracting kooky perverts. But then a guy emailed the advice column I write asking if it was okay to punch a girl if she asks for it, and how hard should he punch her?
Seriously, I'm paraphrasing, but I bet Dear Abby never got "Exactly how hard should I punch a woman? I'm speaking of course of in the head area. During sex. -- KO'd By Etiquette in Des Moines."
AUGH. Then this from my friend Julie:
And now you're up to speed. Let's clear some stuff up real fast.
Casual Sex: PRO.
Rough Sex: PRO.
Rough, Casual Sex: PRO (with caveats).
Punching Me in the Head: CON. CON! CON!!!!
Even the people I know who are into the more outré kinds of BDSM -- you know, scarfing, electro stim, needles (Yes! Needles! I met a guy in college! These people are out there! They are scary!) -- do not like to be punched. Punching, close fisted punching, can lead to serious shit like busted teeth and broken jaws.
I'm really open minded, obviously, and what you and your partner do in the privacy of your boudoir is all of your deal. But could we please not mainstream this in the way we have, say, certain other sex moves that people think are totally fine to do without asking (see please: the butt, putting digits into. It is NOT FOR EVERYONE, fellas! When you assume, you make an ass out of you and the person making involuntary dolphin noises in protest.).
There are certain things where you should have to ask first, politely, like a vampire entering a home. "May I punch you in the head?" See? Polite.
But, because I write an advice column and have slept with the occasional clueless gent (I won't get graphic out of respect and politesse, but The University of Phoenix could make a mint off of offering associate's degrees in the "Mysteries of the Female Body"), and I am opposed to things entering the ass lexicon without my say-so.
So basically, my concern is twofold:
ONE: For the women out there requesting the punching. Have you guys been punched? It hurts! And not in a sexy, pleasure pain way, in an OWWWW FUCK, MY EYES kind of way. It's like the same reason you don't give somebody an Indian rope burn during sex. It's painful and sort of annoying! That's why you "punch" your little brother and "slap" your sexy times friend.
TWO: For ME. I don't want this to become convention! Clearly a person should not and probably won't initiate roughness during sex if you don't ask for it. But sometimes it just kind of happens, and I'm not comfortable with the implication that left hooks are just on the table. If I pull a dude's hair in the moment, I don't want to have to worry that he's going to cold cock me. There's a difference between a pleasantly unexpected "Hey, that kind of hurt" handprint on your ass and having to go to the hospital because there are women out there purporting to be some kinds of pornographic invulnerable Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots.
Also, what profession are you in when you're cool with being casually punched in the face? Stuntwomen? Senseis? MAC counter people?
Listen. Clearly incorporating any kind of violence into sex is something you should discuss first and be safe about. Clearly it is never okay to hit somebody without their permission. But can we please draw a line in the sand between sexy stuff like surprise shoulder blade/neck biting (PRO!) and dispensing impromptu street justice? This just takes sex to a weird place where I'm going to end up roundhousing somebody and punctuating my blow jobs with Mortal Kombat "FINISH HIMMMMMMM!" yells.
I don't know. What's your opinion on all this? I'm not opposed to mixing a little peanut butter violence into my sex chocolate. (Whips and chains excepted, as they take me to kind of a Renaissance Fair place that I'm not totally comfortable with.) But PUNCHING? Who are you guys? Didn't you see "Million Dollar Baby?!" Spoiler alert: Million Dollar Baby dies!
Stop asking for this! If you want to be punched, stand near me in Zumba. Don't do it in a way that's going to make the rest of us afraid to spontaneously kink out.