Sex Advice From . . . Record Store Employees

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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 matters down-and-dirty. This week, we talked to employees of Amoeba Records in Los Angeles.

Mikey, 27 (shown above)

What albums would you recommend for a night of sex?
Portishead’s Dummy. Black Celebration by Depeche Mode. Anything by Barry White, of course. Something about it just feels so right.


A person finds out his lover and his best friend are having an affair. Who should the spurned person be quicker to forgive?
That’s a tough one. I’d say the friend. The girlfriend destroyed your intimacy. The bonds of friendship should be strong enough to withstand that. If that happened to me, I could still be close to the friend, but the girl . . . I can’t really verbalize it, but it’s just wrong, and it’s all her fault. Kidding. Sort of.

What’s the best way to instigate a threesome?
Alcohol. You get enough booze flowing, and you can get several people in bed with you. It only happened to me once, but it was pretty special.

What qualifies as cheating: flirting, kissing, fooling around or full-on fucking?
Actually shagging. A kiss can be forgiven. Same goes for some minor petting. It’s human to flirt. I’d draw the line at the actual act.

What’s the most diplomatic way to show your partner how to improve their oral sex technique?
Keep it in the moment. Don’t manually show them what to do; in my experience, that’s a bad way to go. In a roundabout way, kind of say, ?Ooh, you know what would really feel good?? Never say, ?You are doing that all wrong,” “Stop it” or “I want to go to sleep.” Emphasize only the positives.

What’s the best way for a younger guy to attract an older woman?
Tricky. Show that you’re mature, but at the same time emphasize that you have something exotic to offer. And I’m not talking just about his tender years. Young guys are a dime a dozen, but if you can be charming and show that you have a modicum of maturity, you’re pretty much in there, I’d imagine.

Does getting a happy-ending massage count as cheating?
No. Well, it depends on the context.

In the context of a masseuse jerking you off for money.

Under what circumstances should someone fake an orgasm?
Fatigue. I mean, I’ve been in sexual situations where, after a certain point, it’s just not fun anymore and it really would be better to fall asleep. So at that point, if one of the parties could terminate it, it’s probably for the best. There are no hard feelings, because the other person doesn’t have to know. It’s quite diplomatic.

What’s the key to truly great sex?
Spontaneity. Sexual relationships are sort of rote behavior, you know? You come over, eat, watch a movie, go to bed and then you have sex. When you least expect it to happen . . . there should be lots of that.

What are some do’s and don’ts for making an X-rated home movie?
I suppose we could all learn a lesson from Trainspotting: don’t return it to the video store. Don’t show it to anyone else. Keep it well hidden and out of your friend’s hands. To crystallize it: use discretion.

In a long-term relationship, how can you keep sex interesting?
Always be willing to experiment. The missionary position gets boring after a while. In multi-year, wedding-type relationships you just have to. Otherwise, what’s the point? Bondage, sex toys.

To that end, what are some common-sense tips for BDSM play?
Try and be with somebody that you trust. If you chafe easily, have a lot of lubricant on hand.

Tips for oral sex on wheels?
It should be avoided, but if you must . . . um . . . have an adjustable steering wheel. I highly suggest you ensure it’s fully locked. You don’t want that to shift halfway through. Tinted windows could be useful.

What is the optimal duration for sexual intercourse?
I’d say an hour.

Really? An hour of in-and-out?
As I’ve matured as a lover, I’ve found that it’s better to savor the act as a whole instead of fixating upon the release. An hour is pretty average, I’d say.

The national average is actually six minutes, and that’s pretty high compared to most countries.

What drug is the best supplement to sex?
I used to do it drunk, but that leads to a lot of sloppy stuff. I guess I’d say pheromones and adrenaline. They’re drugs, kind of.

Have you ever tried to score pheromones?

Should a straight guy be open to taking it from a girl with a strap-on?
Well, it’s not a first-date kind of thing. But sure, why not? As the relationship progresses perhaps.

What foods should a guy eat or avoid to improve the taste of his semen?
I think that anything protein-heavy and/or rich should be avoided. I think certain fruit juices are good.

What’s your no-fail cunnilingus technique?
Writing the letters of the alphabet with the tip of the tongue.

Oh, come on!
Really, it’s worked for me.

What if the girl is dyslexic?
Good one. Okay, well, I guess I’d say keep it varied. Variety!

If a girl reveals that she’s a massive fan of Sting’s solo work, should you still sleep with her?
I don’t think so. You mean like Soul Cages?

No. Tantric sex notwithstanding.

Ryan, 25 (right)

What albums would you recommend for sex?
DJ Shadow’s As Introducing is a good record. Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On. Hmmm . . . there’s one more that I can’t think of yet. It’ll come to me.

A person’s lover and best friend reveal they’re having an affair. Who should the spurned person be quicker to forgive?
The best friend. Bros before ho’s any day, that’s my motto.

What’s the best way to get two women into bed?
Right now, I’m having trouble getting one in my bed. So two would be a lot of booze or drugs, I guess. Some kind of cocktail of intoxicants. But then again, in this town [Los Angeles] people are way fucked up, so perhaps this might be an easier place to do that. Yeah, I’d say come to L.A.

What’s the best way to persuade your partner to try anal sex?
Just ask her if she’s ever tried it. It’s worked for me before. It doesn’t hurt to ask. That’s the part that definitely won’t hurt.

Is it cool for a straight guy to take it from a chick with a strap-on?
Whatever’s clever.

I have friends who have done that, actually. But, y’know, that’s their business.

What qualifies as cheating: flirting, kissing, fooling around or full-on fucking?
Kissing, man. Kissing and everything from there on up. A friend of mine is in that predicament right now. His girl called him and is all like, “I made out with some guy,” and he’s like . . . y’know? And it’s happened to him before! You just have to end it right there. You gotta play fair, man.

What’s a diplomatic way to ask your partner to improve their oral sex technique?
Watch a dirty movie and just show them. Or use play-by-play. Be open, and make things very comfortable. Say “do this” and “do that.” It’s all about communication. I mean, we’re not perfect. We’re not like the dudes in the pornos who do it up all crazy. We’re just people. Keep it real. When you’re fully naked, you’re super-vunerable. You have to be honest and open with yourself and those around you.

What’s the best way for a younger guy to attract an older woman?
Man, I’d like to find out. A girl who’s thirty-one or thirty-two. They are totally in their prime. They are thinking about sex on exactly the same level as I am, which is awesome. They’re on the same page. Girls in their mid-twenties are all lovey-dovey when you do it. I’m like, “Save that for someone you care about.”

Under what circumstances is it okay to fake an orgasm?
I dunno. Girls might do that all the time. We can’t see behind their curtain, and to be honest, you don’t wanna nose around back there, because you could end up hurting yourself. But I mean, if they’re faking it to make some dude [points to self] feel like he’s the man, that’s no good.

What foods can a guy eat to improve the taste of his semen?
I have no idea. I’ve never tasted my own semen.

Oh come on — everyone’s tried it!
I swear to God.

How to make sex great: one key word.
Role play. Once I did this role play with my girlfriend where she was all slutty, but I pretended it was my first time having sex. It was fucking awesome; it takes a while to get to that comfort zone. Or try exhibitionism: doing it where people might see. That’s pretty hot, man. We did that once, but I think only a few deer saw us. They weren’t fazed though, not scared at all. It’s like the only natural thing they’ve seen people do, probably.

What are some do’s and don’t s for making an X-rated home movie?
I was watching something about this on E! the other day. If you’re gonna do it, just keep it to yourself, dude. All the Hollywood shit — ?Oh, it was stolen!? — is so fucked up. People from Hollywood are twice as fucked up as anyone else on the fucking planet.

What are some common-sense tips for experimenting with BDSM?
Keep an open mind, and get some liquid courage in you, if you need it to say what you want.

Oral sex on wheels — any tips?
I’m from Boston, man, so I’d say don’t do it in the snow. You’re gonna crash. I almost wrecked on the highway doing that shit. My buddy was doing it, and the girl knocked the car into neutral [makes high-pitched revving noise] while they were on the interstate. That was really bad. So do it in an automatic.

What’s a no-fail cunnilingus technique?
You’ve just got to feel it out.

Writing the letters of the alphabet with the tip of the tongue?
No way. Watch pornos, man. They know how to do it. I guess the thing to remember is that every girl is different. I saw some stuff at an oral-sex demonstration and told a female friend of mine, and she was all, “No way, that’s completely wrong.”

How long should sex last?
Well, isn’t it scientifically proven that a man can only last four-and-a-half minutes or something like that? Without being on drugs, I mean.

. . .
I mean, it could be four minutes or four hours. Time loses meaning. I’d say about ten minutes. You can get really tired. I mean, I’m not a jock who works out all the time. Y’know, optimum is between five and ten minutes. I’m going to say seven minutes. Some guy told me that no man can go longer than four. But that could be an urban legend.

What drug is the best supplement to sex?
Weed, probably. I dunno. Ecstasy is retarded. You’re like, ?Water is awesome?, ?I love smelling.? It’s stupid. Sober is the best way. Sober or drunk.

If a girl reveals herself as a massive fan of Sting’s solo work, should you still sleep with her?
Fuck, no! Sting is the Antichrist. Same goes for Phil Collins. She could get away with, like, the first Police record, maybe. I’d have more respect for her if she were really into Bell Biv Devoe. Actually, that’s my third record! Poison by Bell Biv Devoe. Now that’s a sexual album. The last few tracks on that record? Raunchy. Same with R. Kelly. He rocks innuendo like no other. A lot of respect for him, man.

Michael, 29 (right)

What albums would you recommend for sex?
I would say Cocteau Twins. Something . . . [looks toward world-music section] . . . ethereal.

A person finds out his lover and best friend have been having an affair. Whom should the spurned person be quicker to forgive?
My best friend? I couldn’t forgive him for that. Can I say both? I’d probably sooner dissociate myself from both.

What’s the best way to instigate a threesome?
Wine. And be honest about what you’re after. It’s really important that everybody be in the same frame of mind and wanting the same thing, or else . . . problems.

What’s the best way to persuade your partner to have anal sex?
Promise her you’ll be gentle, and then actually be gentle. And use a lot of lubrication. I mean a lot.

What are grounds for breaking up with somebody: flirting, kissing, fooling around or full-on fucking another person?
What was the one after kissing?

Third base.
Somewhere just after the kissing. A little bit of kissing is okay; that’s probably forgiveable. But anywhere around third base is grounds.

What’s a diplomatic way to show your partner how to improve their oral-sex technique?
You’ve gotta say something like, ?Let me show you what I like.? Don’t make it sound like there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it.

Even though we all know there is?
. . . just a way that you prefer it. Keep it a personal thing.

What’s the best way for a younger guy to attract an older woman?
Maturity. Don’t act immature. If a young, virile dude can also hold a decent conversation with an older woman, I’d think that might be the ticket.

How about hanging out in places where mature women gather?

Does getting a massage with manual release count as cheating?
Oh, hands down.

When is faking an orgasm justified?
Um, if you don’t like the person and you just want to end that right there. Maybe then. But you should still really just be honest with the person. Honesty is always the best policy. If you’re doing it all wrong, you gotta tell them. It’s better than having them think, ?This totally gets him off? while you’re thinking, ?This sucks?. So be upfront about it. The further you go down that road, the harder it is to come back out.

What foods can a guy eat to improve the taste of his semen?
I’ve got to be honest with you, I’ve never tasted semen. But to guess, I’d say potatoes are probably good for that. Nothing crazy spicy like curry.

In a nutshell: what makes for a great sexual experience?
Number one, the person you’re with at that moment. Number two, repetition. If you’re totally hot for each other, you’ll wanna do it again and again and again. Your body will surprise you.

What are some do’s and don’ts for making an X-rated home movie?
My advice: lighting. You gotta get the lighting right. They should be really bright, because if you’re going to all that trouble, you really ought to be able to see everything.

You sound like someone who downloaded Paris Hilton’s night-vision sex romp.
I haven’t seen that, actually.

What are some ground rules for experimenting with BDSM?
Don’t break bones. Try not to puncture skin too much. A little pain is fine, but you don’t want blood spewing out all over the place.

Oral sex on wheels: any tips?
Don’t bite. I’m from Seattle, where there are lot of potholes in the road, so I would say don’t do it while driving through Seattle. The roads are great here in California though.

The girl of your dreams — beautiful, smart, funny, sexy — turns out to have once been a man. How do you react?
Well, there are a lot of pretty men out there. But if I was already involved, hmmm . . . it’d be hard to swallow.

I’ll do the gags, okay?
It’s a tough one. If you’re into her, it really shouldn’t matter.

What’s your no-fail trick for giving mindblowing oral sex?
Sloppy is the best. Just go at it. Get your face all in there. All the way. No holes barred. Ha ha ha.

What’s the optimal duration for intercourse?
Sometimes I’d like to go for a good hour, hour and a half, but I end up blowing it after fifteen minutes. Optimal? I ‘d say try for an hour.

In a long-term relationship, what are some good tips for keeping things interesting?
Keep an open mind, be into different things. Look into tantric sex.

Like Sting?

Would you still shag a girl if she was a huge Sting fan?
Oh boy. [exhales deeply] Um . . . sure. Everyone has a guilty pleasure.  

Interviews by Grant Stoddard. Photos by Jen Choi.

Do you have sex-advice questions for manicurists, cheerleaders, peep-show customers, fraternity or sorority members, doormen, taxi drivers, first-grade teachers, or any other members of the general public? Send them to

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