Advice

Miss Information

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Have a question? Email erin@nerve.com. Letters may be edited for length, content and clarity.

Dear Miss Information,

After years of living with roommates, I finally have my own apartment. I’m looking forward to having guests of the adult variety, and I want to know how to turn my bedroom into a place where women will want to get down. A fuck-temple. Any tips? I’m in my late twenties, but having a single name on the lease is going to keep me on a college-kid budget. Interior Fornicator


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Dear Interior Fornicator,
Congratulations. Rather than hints from hipster Heloise, what you should be asking for are lessons in dirty talk. The freedom to be as loud as you want, whenever you want is exciting. You don’t even have to be having sex, either. Sometimes I get all yelly when I masturbate. For the amount of rent I pay on these four walls, you gotta spend every penny. If you’re not eating caramel sauce straight out of the jar while lounging on the couch naked and watching Project Runway, you’re not making the most of the experience.
While you don’t need a special environment for great sex, it’s nice to have a swanky setup as your home base, especially if you’re single. For the broke and non-domestically inclined, a brief shopping list:
1. Clean sheets. Get more than one set. I know this sounds like an extravagance, but it will make your life so much easier. No more sleeping on a bare mattress with the manufacturer’s tag scratching your face. No more having to come up with explanations for stains that seem mysterious (Is that human blood on your pillow?) but are actually mundane. (Nope, spaghetti sauce. What, you don’t eat pasta in bed while reading tabloids? Doesn’t everybody?)
2. A blotting instrument. Kleenex is the most sanitary, but bad for the environment and prone to leaving lint shreds in the private bits. A damp but well wrung-out washcloth is nice. Stay away from white and cheery-creepy kitchen patterns like sunflowers or picnic checks.
3. Liquids. Sex makes you thirsty, so you need something to replace all those lost (ahem) fluids. Water is good, but seltzer is even better. It’s cheap and easy to find, but not everyone has it on hand. It’s one of those little touches that makes you seem classy. Add a slice of lemon or lime and even Martha Stewart herself wouldn’t kick you out of bed. Also on the liquid tip: lube. Even if you’re not a fan, chances are someone else is. Stock one thick and jelly-like, and another watery and slippery.
4. A garbage can. Getting out of bed when you’re all sweaty and snuggly is the worst and anyone who chucks a full rubber on the floor deserves to have his nose (or balls) rubbed in it like a wayward house pet. Ideal is something that has a lining so you can toss a full condom in there and not have to worry about it sticking to the bottom and making a gooey mess.
5. An alarm clock. Correctly set. Your guest won’t appreciate a never-ending series of snooze pushes on a clock that’s set precisely forty-three minutes ahead. They’ll be too worn out from an evening of humping to do the mathematics. You won’t get any repeat visits if they show up late at their place of employment.
Other must-gets: A place to stash condoms. A candle with a light, mellow scent. A small, easy-to-use sound system. A lint brush for your partner’s clothes, if you own pets. Animals love to use anything black as their new favorite bed.
That’s about it for my boudoir hints. Anyone else got any suggestions?

 

Dear Miss Information,

I’m lucky enough to have rolled my best friend and boyfriend into one person. He’s all kinds of rad. But our sex drives don’t match. He’s a thirty-year-old warehouse manager, who comes home from work spent and exhausted six days a week, and can only think about beer, sleep and surviving on the little money he makes. I’m a twenty-three-year-old student, who pretty much wants to ride her boyfriend as soon as he walks in the door. I’m worried that my sex drive and his lack thereof could be fatal to our otherwise kick-ass relationship. Any suggestions? Antsy Arts Student

Dear Antsy Arts Student,
Let’s set aside the "sex" for a moment and focus on the "drive". You’re twenty-three and about to graduate. The world is wide open. He’s working his ass off, which is groovy, but the job itself sounds pretty stilted and dead end. Couple that with couch-lounging and beer-swilling and I’m seeing a sizeable opportunity for disconnect in this "kick-ass" relationship.
I’m wondering if the fact that he works a blue-collar job, and is older than you and in a different place than you’d probably imagine for yourself at the same age, is bugging the crap out of you. Therefore, "Do something! Change your life! Get up off the couch and interact!" becomes "Do me! Do me now!" in translation. Sometimes when we ask for sex we’re not really asking for sex — we’re trying to create a connection with our partner. We’re all familiar with the stereotypical single who sleeps around but is really looking for love. Couples can have that same kind of dynamic. His working a ton is affecting you, and you want some sort of reassurance that all the bullshit you’re going through will eventually mean something. Physical connection replaces emotional connection.
I feel conflicted about saying all this, Antsy Arts Student, because I totally realize I sound like one of those folks that I hate. Women can’t want to bone just to bone. It has to be about feeeeeeeeeeelings. Gross, right? Someone smack me in the clit.
If you want more sex, and it’s really just about sex, try doing the opposite of whatever’s not working. If you usually attack him before he hangs up his coat, try waiting until the next day or later in the evening. Are your come-ons mostly physical? Try putting on a porno tape and "accidentally" getting caught watching when he comes in the room. If you always try to talk to him about the issue right after you’ve been turned down for sex, try some random neutral time — Sunday brunch, in the car, or when you’re getting the barbecue grill out of storage for the season. If you’re very forthright, try being more indirect. And so on.
Finally, make sure he understands that sex doesn’t have to always be sex. An old boyfriend and I used to have an, "Okay, but you have to do all the work," agreement. Not super-romantic, but it serves its intended purpose and is perfect when you’re so riled up you’ll take it any way you can get it. Plus, it’s sometimes sexy to treat your partner like a piece of meat. They might find themselves responding more enthusiastically than expected.


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