Advice

Sex Advice From Emily Mortimer

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On drunk hookups, lesbian crushes, and her weird love of Kid Rock.

This Friday, Our Idiot Brother opens in theaters. Emily Mortimer plays the rich, uptight sister to Paul Rudd’s stoned goofball. We sat down with Emily and talked to her about lesbian crushes, getting drunk, and her weird love of Kid Rock. 

Who's better in bed, British people or Americans?
That's a very difficult question to answer. But my husband is the best in bed in the world, and he's American. So I guess therefore American. 

I'm sure that will please a lot of our readers. So, I love my boyfriend — but he pretty much wants to hang out on the couch and smoke pot all day. That was cool when we were in college, but these days, I'm career-driven and trying to work hard. How can I get him to grow up? 
[laughs] I think it's quite difficult to get someone to stop smoking pot, in my experience…

Do you smoke pot?
I don't, because it disagrees with me. I mean, not for lack of trying; it's just not for me. I walk across the room and I can't remember how I've gotten there. I start getting paranoid that people think I'm boring. 

My girlfriend likes to smoke pot before we have sex. In fact, she doesn't really like to have sex without it. Am I right to be offended, or is that just what some people need?
I think that's just what some people need. It's whatever blows your hair back, right? Some people like to be high. I don't think you should take it personally. 

I don't smoke pot, but I have a hard time meeting people without alcohol. It's kind of hard to pick someone up without alcohol, wouldn’t you agree?
That's the English way of doing things! It's much easier. I mean, I never dated in America, so I never had to deal with that weird stuff that you guys get up to. But in England it was very easy — you would just get really drunk, and get off with someone in the back of the taxi. It was not a negotiation. In England you just hang out with a lot of friends and get very hammered and end up snogging somebody in the taxi on the way home. And if you don't like them, you didn't have to snog again, because you were drunk. 

What drink do you send to Emily Mortimer?
At a pub? Oh, it's been so long since I've been to a pub. It's so sad. I would have a say a gin and ginger ale. Or a pint of lager, and a whiskey chaser. 

I keep meeting beautiful and talented women in my office. Most people frown on dating at work, but to me it just makes sense; we have similar goals, similar interests and so on. Should I just take the plunge?
Oh, yeah. Date wherever you can. Life is hard enough without narrowing your options about where you can meet people. Why not? To me that seems much easier than going on some date with someone you've never met before and hoping for the best. At least at work, you know what you're getting into. I guess it's difficult then if it doesn't work out, but take it wherever you can get it, honestly. 

You met your husband on a movie set. Who picked up whom?
I invited him back to my flat, after we'd been to a Russian wedding together. I was giving a reading at this wedding, because I'd studied Russian in University. I had some Russian friends who were getting married in London, and he had asked me out for that night, but I told him about this wedding.

So he invited himself along and he held my hand in the wedding, and then went to the pub and got drunk, and then I asked him if he wanted to come back to my flat, which in England is what you do. It doesn't necessarily mean you want to sleep with someone. But apparently in America that means you're going to sleep with them. So he came back, lucky him, and started to kiss me, and I said, "Oh, I'm not sure about this, I just broke up with someone," which he thought was weird of me, because I had done the inviting. So then he said to me, "Don't worry, I'm not going to fall in love with you." At which point I took off all my clothes. 

You were like, "Oh, we'll see about that!"
"Yes, you bloody are." That was his pick-up line — "Don't worry, I'm not going to fall in love with you." It worked. 

So the Emily Mortimer move is to invite someone back and take all your clothes off?
My move is to get drunk. And then it's all a bit of a mess. 

Are actors better in bed?
No. I don't think so. Not necessarily. 

I love your English accent. It's a cliché, but has it ever gotten you laid?
Yes! I think it helped me with my husband. I think he was a total snob about my accent. I think he was into me for all the wrong reasons, basically. And now he's stuck with me. 

We have a game in the office called, "I'm not gay, but if I were…" Is there a woman you'd cross the line for?
It's very rare that women come on to me. In fact, I don't think it's ever really happened. There was a girl in my year at school who was a lesbian, and she pretty much made a pass at everyone in our year except for me, which I took very personally. Like what was I, chopped liver?

But I was having my hair cut by a woman of the lesbian persuasion recently, and she was giving me very detailed descriptions of a romance she was having with a middle-aged woman, who has never been a lesbian but had four children by different men. And it was so sexy, so for a second I thought, "Oh, that might be fun." 

So the answer to the question is "sexy lesbian hairstylists?"
[laughs] Yeah! Well, I’m into the whole notion of being awakened by some sort of voracious lesbian thing.

Like there’s some brave new lesbian world out there. 
Yes! And also, in America, it seems that all my girlfriends have had lesbian stages. Everybody seems much more open about that kind of thing there. In England we're all so repressed still, so we don’t do that.  

That's funny, seeing as you're all getting wasted and snogging in taxis.
I know! But it just shows that we're so repressed that we have to get drunk in order to do anything. So for a second, while she was talking about being a lesbian, I thought, "Oh yeah, that would be nice." I do have that kind of maybe-I've-missed-out thing. Another thing I feel like I've missed out on is the American teenage years. You know, summers in America. 

Like the American high-school-cheerleader-and-football-player thing? I'm Canadian; I totally relate. We didn't even have a football team at my high school. 
Yeah. I also have this kind of weird crush on Kid Rock. 

Kid Rock?
I keep watching these Kid Rock videos, and I show them to my husband, and I keep saying, "I wish I could have known someone like Kid Rock". 

Emily, I was behind you all the way with the Americana thing, but, really, Kid Rock?
Well, I saw this video of him on a speedboat with all these girls in bikinis surrounding him, and it just looked so exotic to me. To me, that looks so exotic. So now my husband and brother-in-law tease me that all I want is to be dressed in a Confederate-flag bikini.

With a forty in your hand?
Yeah, dancing around in a Kid Rock video. 

I'm very proper and prim, so guys tend to cast me in a friends-only, hands-off mode. How do I get them to make a move on me?
Stop being so prim! You've answered your own question. I guess you've got to let it be known. Basically, my answer for everything is just get drunk. 

I love that. Okay: trim, shave, or wax?
I'm very, very negligent in that area. I'm really not the person to ask. I was in a movie where I was naked [Lovely and Amazing], and people kept saying what a brave move it was. And I thought it was sexy to be sort of natural, and I thought my husband thought it was sexy too, but finally the truth came out: he did not. I suppose he was suffering in silence. To answer your question, I would like to say, "All of the above." But I'm far too lazy to deal with it. 

Last question: I'm in love with my boyfriend, and we plan on getting married in the fall. I think we might be soulmates. How do I get him to try anal sex?
[laughs] Get drunk!