Sex Advice From Kurt Braunohler

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"So you’re looking to spice up your love life a little bit? Well, why not try putting oregano in the condom?"

by Jeremy Glass

Kurt Braunohler is a stand-up comic and NPR contributor best known for his work with Kristen Schaal. He's also the host of the new IFC game show Bunk, which premieres tonight at 10:30 EST. Also, according to Wikipedia, he "currently teaches balloon animal creation at a New York Wendy's, specializing in worms, and flatworms."

Which gets you laid more often: "I’m an NPR contributor," or "I’m a stand-up comic?"
"NPR contributor" does lull the ladies to sleep a lot. So that's an advantage, but usually I feel too weird having sex while they’re asleep. And "stand-up comic" makes ladies think I'm incredibly poor. But, if you're poor enough and have low blood sugar, you probably can’t fall asleep that easily, so it’s the combination of the two that works the most.

You and your long-term girlfriend decided to do an experiment where you did a "relationship rumspringa." Rumspringa is an Amish tradition where Amish teens get to live outside of the community and then decide if they want to return. With you guys, you decided to sleep with other people for a month. How’d that go?
As one would imagine taking relationship advice from an isolationist culture with a huge methamphetamine problem would go: poorly. It went off the rails really quickly. The craziest thing that happened was I had sex, for the first time, with another person at age thirty-one. The first person as an adult, really. Weirdly enough, everything was crazy to me because I had never been single before. So even just having a one-night stand, I was like,"People do this?! This blows my mind!" I was overwhelmed by the whole experience.

What kind of couple does it take to make a "free pass" work?
There are two types of people who can make open relationships work. There's the mature and evolved type — so mature and evolved that they're boring. They're boring as shit, and I don't even understand why they would want to do it. And the other type are people who are so horribly damaged that they can’t even see how fucking crazy and damaged they are. And they just think the craziest shit is normal.

So where are you on this boring-crazy spectrum?
I’m somewhere in the middle, because we tried it and it fell apart.

I don't know how to date casually. I feel like I fall in love with every girl I meet. What did you do to separate emotions from sex?
I used the Cesar Millan technique: every time I felt like I was falling for the girl during the first date, I would poke myself in the neck, just hard enough to distract myself from falling in love. Also, any time I felt the urge to say "I love you" I would replace it with "I've got loose stools." And that would push them away, because it’s easy not to fall in love with someone who’s always saying "I've got loose stools."

My girlfriend and I feel like we're married, but we're not, and we both think we’re a little young to feel this way. What can we do about this? (Aside from sleeping with other people?)
So you’re looking to spice up your love life a little bit? Well, why not try putting oregano in the condom? That will definitely spice things up a bit. Also, you can dress up a homeless man and invite him to watch you make love — that changes the game a lot.

I'm seeing a girl, and I think she thinks we're dating, but I think we're just hooking up. How do I talk to her about it without crushing her soul?
A good way to let a girl know that you're not into her, but that you want to continue to sleep with her is, as you orgasm, yell, "I'm just into this casually!" And then if she asks you about it, tell her that's just the way you orgasm.

Everybody talks about all the ways to rekindle romance in a relationship that's gone "cold.” But is there a point at which a relationship might not be worth saving?
I think you know a relationship is on its last breath when you come home and the sound of the air conditioner in 1000% more pleasant than listening to the other person talk. If you find yourself saying: "Shhh, I'm listening to the air conditioner," then that’s probably a situation that should end. But I'm not saying you should get involved with the air conditioner, because trust me — it’s going to be a one-way street there.

I think of myself as good in bed, but I'm incredibly (and occasionally, hilariously) bad at dirty talk. I either end up sounding timid (and therefore weird) or like an overzealous male porn star (and therefore weirder). Any tips?
It doesn't matter what you say, it's how you say it. And if you're worried about feeling timid, then why not keep a dictionary next to the bed and just lustily read different words? "You wanna aardvark this?" "Applesauce in my mouth." "You’re an angelfire." Or just quote Moby Dick. And then every time it says "Moby Dick," put in "my dick."

According to your stand-up, you're a slow-and-steady-wins-the-race type lover. Have you ever been with someone who had a totally different approach? What did you do about it?
I once had a woman whose approach to sex was not having it with me, and that really threw me off. She just wouldn't return my phone calls or my texts and I was like, "This is totally different from any way I've ever experienced to making love to another person." And I was like, "Well, I guess that's her thing." So I would just masturbate outside her house.

I’ve been dumped before for being "too nice," but I hear over and over again that girls want a nice guy. What am I doing wrong here?
Girls don't want a nice guy. Girls want romance and excitement and fun — and nice guys can sometimes provide that, but more often they're just trying to please you. If someone's always trying to please you, they're never going to please you. It's the same rule as doing improv: if you're trying to be funny, you rarely are. If you're actually being yourself, and honestly responding, that's often very very funny. You have to be a little bit of — I'm not going to say a jerk — but you have to be aggressive. You can be aggressively nice, but that frequently comes off as stalking. If you're just inherently a nice guy, someone's going to find you and like you for who you are. So don't stop being nice, but maybe don't lay it on so thick that you come off as low-status all the time, because that seems creepy.

I've been seeing this guy recently, and  we'll have a couple of great dates over a few days, get along well, have awesome sex — and then he'll disappear for a week or two. Is he a secret agent or does he just have some really weird hang-ups? He's always the one to call back, so I know I'm not just pursuing him what's going on?
Oh, he's dating someone else. He's not a secret agent, he just lives in New York City. Either that or he doesn't like you that much.

I just found out that this guy I'm dating once had sex with a prostitute. It was years ago, and he’s clean, but I can't get it out of my head. Any hints on getting over this particular hump?
That is a hump. That is a paid-for hump. My recommendation for her to get back at him is hire herself a prostitute and fuck him and then they'll be even and she won't have to worry about it anymore.

But then you have to find yourself a reputable male prostitute.
Good look finding a reputable male prostitute who's not by a park in Baltimore.