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Sex Advice From . . . Poets

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Just as Warhol said that everyone can be famous for fifteen minutes, Nerve believes that anyone can be a sexpert for at least thirty seconds. This is a series in which we ask average citizens ? all representatives of a specific walk of life ? to school us on various sexual matters.

Because any chump with an AmEx card can send roses on V-Day, our gift to you is sex advice from the poets of Painted Bride Quarterly. (Fittingly, their new issue — No. 69 — is titled “Reciprocity.”)

JASON, 27

What technique do you recommend for delaying ejaculation?
Recite poems in your head. Maybe Auden or Lewis Carroll, because they’re rhythmic. You don’t want to lose the flow, but it’s just enough to distract you a little.

What advice would you give a woman who can’t reach orgasm during penetration and wants to make it happen?
You can have really amazing sessions without an orgasm. I think the multiple orgasm sounds fantastic, but women seem to have a harder time discerning what they want, and what will bring them to that. I would say she should focus on the process and find a partner who’s as dedicated as she is.

If you were trying to pick up a stranger in a hotel bar, what reading material would you use as a prop?
A copy of Lolita that’s small enough to fit in my back pocket. You’re calling attention to your ass, which is always good, and carrying things is really not that cool.

A woman in a new relationship is on antidepressants and has to fake her climax. She doesn’t really want to tell her new guy about either the meds or the acting yet. If things work out for them, does waiting make the deception worse?
That guy is going to feel really cheated. He’s going to think he was this great lover bringing her to the heights of pleasure, and then it turns out that actually, she’d prefer that they don’t even touch. Also, it gives someone who’s prejudiced about depression the chance to fall back on “Why didn’t you tell me?” They don’t have to face the fact that they have issues.

promotion

Can you give me a no-fail role-playing scenario?
There are certain archetypal role-plays that people get into, like cheerleader/football player or doctor/patient, but I’ve never encountered one that didn’t make me feel like a high school drama student.

Is the word "pussy" ever inappropriate or offensive?
When it’s being called "my man-pussy," that’s a problem.

At what point does casual dating become a relationship?
If you don’t know, it isn’t serious.

Describe your best tongue trick for oral sex.
Breathe through your nose, and keep enough space in your mouth that you can move your tongue around freely.

What’s the best passage to read aloud to get you and/or your partner in the mood?
"A Squeeze of the Hand." It’s a chapter in Moby Dick, and it’s really hot.

In Moby Dick?
It’s the dirtiest thing I’ve ever read. It’s about the men squeezing the whale sperm into oil. They’re all in this huge vat of oil, sort of touching and squeezing each other. I don’t know if it translates if you’re straight.

Give me one key word or phrase on how to make sex great.
Breathe through your nose.

JENNIFER, 36

Have you ever worked ?e’er? or ?ne’er? into a sentence during sex?
Yes, I have said, "I need more air" and "Sorry, I should have used Nair."

Is it okay for a lady to request anal penetration, and how might she best do so?
It’s not for everybody, but if you want it, I think you have to come out and say,"Fuck me in the ass."

When revealing the number of sexual partners one has had, is it okay to lie? If so, by how much?
It’s okay to lie by one digit. Or you could cut the first number off.

Got any advice for someone looking for unsketchy sex online?
You’re not going to find it. You’re going to find a lot of masturbation.

What do you tell a friend who says, ?My boyfriend always calls me Mommy during sex. Why do you think that is, and what should I do?’
It just means he’s a bottom, but I’d say he’s creepy. I’m fully into the ?Daddy’ thing, but there’s a big difference between "Daddy" and "Mommy."

What technique do you recommend for delaying ejaculation?
Check your email.

What advice would you give a woman who’s having trouble orgasming during penetration and wants to make it happen?
I just saw in the New York Times that this woman is selling a little finger-dealie that’s supposed to be the invention of the year.

And it can be used while being otherwise penetrated?
Yeah, and it wouldn’t even be distracting to a man who was afraid of one of those big Panasonic back vibrators.

What qualifies as cheating: flirting, kissing, fooling around, or only full-on fucking?
Kissing. And if my husband asked for another woman’s phone number, I’d be furious.

What drug is the best supplement to sex?
Marijuana. Also, something that gets your penis hard for six hours sounds like it might help.

How can a person masturbate while in a long-term relationship without making oneself or one’s partner feel guilty or inadequate?
That’s a private thing, like taking a crap. Just do it in the shower — it’s part of your ?getting ready’ time.

Describe your best tongue trick for oral sex.
I completely unscrew mine and leave it on the bedside table.

What do you do about your teeth?
I can unhinge my jaw like a Komodo dragon.

Can you give me a no-fail role-playing scenario?
John Ashcroft and a naked tableau of women portraying the fruits of American labor. And he’s dressed like Alice in Wonderland, with the little blue pinafore and everything.

ADA, 27

Have you ever worked "e’er" or "ne’er" into a sentence during sex?
I don’t think poetry belongs in the bedroom. You have to pick your moment carefully when you want to talk dirty, and try not to get too flowery with your language.

Is it okay for a lady to request anal penetration, and how might she best do so?
I’m a big fan of doing, not saying. You can show him — if he’s paying attention.

What’s the best film to get someone in the mood?
That scene in Buffalo 66, when she’s standing on the bed and he’s holding her, is phenomenally sexy to me.

What’s a sure-fire way for someone who lacks experience to satisfy their partner when having sex for the first time?
The best advice that I could offer would be to closely observe that person’s movements, groans, and moans. Hopefully they can say ?Yes, that!’ Even in poetry workshops, they say "Yes, and ?"

And in improv classes.
It works the same way!

What songs do you use for seduction?
Traditional Latino music. I’ve had success with that.

If you were trying to pick up a stranger in a hotel bar, what reading material would you use as a prop?
I’m in South Beach right now, so if I went over to the Delano, it would be with David Berman’s Actual Air. It’s a great book of poems, and anyone who approached me and knew of him would be golden.

How many dates should one go on before sex?
Most of my long relationships have been with people I’ve had sex with on the first date. So there’s your answer.

What qualifies as cheating: flirting, kissing, fooling around, or only full-on fucking?
Kissing starts that spiral. I’m not saying it can’t be forgiven, but kissing is a really intimate act.

What drug is the best supplement to sex?
I don’t do drugs, but if I did, maybe I would say that marijuana was wonderful. Although some people get too distracted by it, like, "I’m hungry" or, "This is too funny."

Is the word “pussy” offensive?
Not in a sexual context.

Generally, how do you know when casual dating becomes a serious relationship?
When you find yourself saying, ?Why do I feel the need to tell this person that I picked up eggs at the market?’ Obviously, there’s some attachment there.

Describe your best tongue trick for oral sex.
Always use both hands, and use a lot of pressure. I’m very purposeful with my tongue. Precise, not sloppy.

How can a person masturbate while in a long-term relationship without making oneself or one’s partner feel guilty or inadequate?
During sex? I think that could be hot. We have a lot of things to work with, and we should use them all.

TONI

Is it okay for a lady to request anal penetration, and how might she best do so?
Talk about things that might be intriguing. When she gets to the one she wants, gasp a little and say, "Oh, that might be fun!" Then move on quickly.

What’s the best film to get someone in the mood?
I like The Unbearable Lightness of Being. You have a long time to sit and touch knees with somebody.

What do you tell a friend who says, "My boyfriend always calls me Mommy during sex. What should I do?’
Call him "Papi" and get right into it. Otherwise, find out whether you have to wear that apron and put your hair in that bun every time you go to bed.

What technique do you recommend for delaying ejaculation?
A big rubber band. Actually, a little teasing might help. But not too much teasing. That tends to send people over the edge.

What advice would you give a woman who’s having trouble orgasming during penetration and wants to make it happen?

Lube.

How many dates should one go on before sex?
At least one. But sometimes that one is pretty good, and that’s about all you want to do with that person.

A woman in a new relationship is on antidepressants that inhibit orgasm, so she fakes it. She doesn’t really want to tell her new guy about either the faking or the meds yet. So should she just keep lying until the relationship peters out, or wait and see if it gets stronger? If things do work out, does waiting make the deception worse?
I think she should slowly make it harder and harder for her partner to satisfy her until he has to do something else to help her. That way she never has to tell that she’s been faking it, but she can also stop pretending.

Can you give me a no-fail, role-playing scenario?
The boy in the jeans and leather jacket has always been exciting to me, whether it was a boy or not.

What qualifies as cheating: flirting, kissing, fooling around, or only full-on fucking?
Once you hit that bed and start sharing those body fluids, you are truly cheating. Up to that point, you can come back from almost anything.

What drug is the best supplement to sex?
Does it have to be illegal? Because I would say really strong, sweet coffee. There’s something about the caffeine, and it being warm. It gets you very excited, and then you have this surge of energy from the sugar.

How can a person masturbate while in a long-term relationship without making oneself or one’s partner feel guilty or inadequate?
Right there next to them, smiling at them the whole time.

Describe your best tongue trick for oral sex.
Warm tea in the mouth of the person who’s performing the oral sex.

Give me one key word or phrase on how to make sex great.
Take your time.

Do you have a favorite passage for getting yourself/your partner in the mood?
There’s this poem by Pat Parker that kind of makes me laugh, but also gets me in the mood. It’s called "For Willis," and she’s describing the sounds her lover makes when he’s coming — ?Oh God, Oh Jesus! Oh God, Oh Jesus!’ — and then she says, "Once again, some dude is getting credit for something a woman has done."  

Interviews by Emily Mead.

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