Last week, the lovely Julieanne asked readers and editors to share examples of the worst dirty talk we'd ever heard. Though I came up with a contribution without too much trouble, I found myself identifying uncomfortably strongly with the dumb-talking dudes in some of our scenarios.
Admittedly, most of the examples we all came up with were the sort of showy, presumptuous behavior that I consider to be perfect fodder for derision. If you ask someone mid-blowie if you can pee in their mouth or declare yourself to be a porn star, you probably deserve to be the subject of a little light mockery when the topic arises.
But as someone who has said some weird fucking things in the bedroom, I have to point out that it's a lot easier than you think to take a right turn on Overly Imaginative Avenue and end up way the hell out in Take Your Pants And Get Out Metropolis.
There was, for example, the time I sank my teeth into a date's vulnerable underbelly and hissed "My precious" in my best Gollum voice, accidentally forever dooming him to awkward hard-ons whenever he saw Peter Jackson's earnest beard. In my defense, we were in New Zealand and I was kind of grumpy with him for insisting we play Cake in the car all the time, so Pavlovian Tolkien-based sexy vengeance was at the forefront of my mind.
There was also the time I hooked up with an old friend at Wellesley, got a little too sleepy, and started rambling about the Supreme Court nominative process with her hand down my pants. Or when, later that same weekend, her attempts to unhook my bra inspired me to start chitchatting with her about the best tropes in Harry Potter fan fiction.
My problem largely stems from the fact that I am easily distracted, have a really active imagination and, most importantly, never fucking shut up. The stuff I say while naked isn't particularly failed dirty talk so much as an inability to tamp down on the urge to just spout out whatever pops into my head while I'm touching someone's junk.
Since modern society tends to associate basically everything with sex, that makes for a lot of stupid digressions that float to the surface of my consciousness at random intervals while getting laid.
"Say the thing about crow facts!" my Jerk Brain constantly suggests. "They'll LOVE it!" No, Jerk Brain. No, they will not.
I also don't tend to take sex very seriously, so I often think other people will laugh or at least pat me indulgently when I interrupt making out to explain, "Sometimes when you make noises in bed I envision them in comic-book style pop art sound effects."
More often, they just roll their eyes like long-suffering martyrs to the deity of my dumb sense of humor.
I genuinely try to keep the stupid comments to a minimum, but that can be a losing battle, particularly if I've had anything to drink. It's easier, I've found, to warn people ahead of time that I default to being kind of a goofball and to assure them that I won't be offended if they explicitly tell me to knock it off. You'd be surprised (OK maybe not) by how many people take full advantage of that last piece of advice.
Other idiot stuff that I've said in bed includes:
-telling a brief, useless story about my cat (not a euphemism)
-"Wait a minute, is that 'Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood?'"
-"Yo, can you imagine if we had broken my nose? What would we tell the ER people? Let's come up with a handful of excuses just in case."
-"This reminds me of an episode of This American Life I just listened to."
-"Can you stop and take a picture so I can send it to my best friend?"
-Accidentally talking about other people's genitalia in a favorable fashion
-"That Mexican food is sitting awfully heavy."
-"Do you think a werewolf and a ghost could have sex if the ghost concentrated hard enough?"
-"Have you seen the Parks finale yet?"
-"But seriously, the new Captain Kirk has legs for days."
-"I think my sunburn is starting to peel in the back."
-"Wait! We need a contingency plan for if one of us gets turned into a dog."
You get the picture. Lots of information that probably could and should have waited until everyone had their underwear back on, but which my hormone-drenched cerebral cortex deemed essential to share with the class as soon as possible.
The strange thing is that in my day-to-day life, I actually have a half-decent filter. I occasionally crack the inappropriate joke here and there, but I am capable of reading situations and responding accordingly.
But sex makes me feel at once vulnerable and courageous, like I'm so in sync with my partner's psyche that I can say whatever's on my mind without fear of, say, being gently mocked on a women's lifestyle website. Clearly, this is sometimes just an oxytocin-induced delusion.
Luckily, I have been fortunate enough to sleep with some very tolerant people, who at the least have no problem with telling me to shut the fuck up. It also makes it extra magical when my partners do take the bait. There's nothing really like lazily groping your girlfriend while earnestly discussing the problematic aspects of fandom with her, though it helps to have a planned dismount point lest the original activity get completely derailed.
Sex should be fun, I think. Sometimes it's fun to have intense, heavy-breathy missionary while staring into the eyes of your would-be soulmate and mouthing along to Bon Iver; sometimes it's fun to have dumb chats about NBC comedies and roll around on a mattress until one of you inevitably giggles too hard and topples off. As long as everyone's having a good time, I'd hope the occasional fact about crows is excusable.
Kate is Tweeting whatever pops into her head at @katchatters.