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Throughout the history of civilization, etiquette has been subjected to all manner of indignities, not least among them the accusation that it is a bit of a drag. But “etiquette” is just a fancy word for being considerate of your fellow citizens — whether that means not talking with a mouthful of mushy peas, or showering before receiving a rim job. And so, it is with great pleasure that we give you this excerpt from Nerve’s Guide to Sex Etiquette, set to hit bookstores on January 27. (Stay tuned for more excerpts in the coming weeks.) If you choose to abide by these guidelines (for the most part), you should be rewarded with the most vulgar, uncivilized sex of your life.

Sincerely and affectionately,
Em & Lo


hen inviting a paramour to one’s abode, the gracious host ensures their guest’s stay is as comfortable as possible. No need to redecorate; after all, your space is a reflection of who you are — excepting, of course, if you are a filthy pig, in which case betraying yourself and procuring a Swiffer is in order.
    Whatever your personality, your bedroom should be a sacred space for rest, relaxation, and rolling in the hay. Any reminders of everyday stresses — CNN on the television, files you brought home from the office, denture glue, stacks of unpaid bills, indeed, your cell phone — can fill your room with negative energy. So get rid of the clutter. You would do well to take note of Hollywood sex scenes — they are lessons in sexual scene setting, with their dramatic, flattering lighting, and soundtracks that create and maintain the mood. (Pay no mind to the fact that they are usually between two Beverly Hills hotties with impossibly perfect bodies in totally unbelievable scenarios.) Everyone has better sex with candles lit and moody tunes on the stereo just loud enough to muffle any accidental, impolite emissions, but soft enough not to disturb the neighbors. It is not at all crass to make a mix CD or cassette for formal boot knocking; it is, however, crass to label it as such. A true lady or gentleman always retires a mix CD after retiring the partner — unless, of course, it is a casual sex mix CD. And do show some restraint with the lighting of candles; more than ten and you are dangerously close to goth territory. A more subtle approach is to simply dim the lights, or install low-wattage bulbs.


    Even more important than atmosphere is cleanliness. How pristine you keep your sleeping quarters is suggestive of how you keep your genitals. This correlation will not be lost on your overnight guests. Put them at ease by putting away the clutter and keeping your room clean. The active gentleman or lady always launders the sheets between sleepover guests or every two weeks, whichever comes first.
    Even if you or your partner uses another form of birth control, and whether or not you are male or female, gay or straight, you should always have fresh, quality condoms and/or oral-sex dams on hand, stored in a cool, dry place. Only geezers, sexists, and idiots believe that it is a masculine responsibility. A lady or gentleman takes sole responsibility for their own sexual health.
    Your duty as host requires you to be vigilant on a few more matters of d├ęcor. One pillow may be sufficient for you, but you should have at least one extra, if not two, for a guest. If you have only one pillow (and really, there is no excuse), then you must give it up to your guest. If you are old enough to be having company over for sex, then you are old enough to have a bigger bed than twin size (no matter if you live in a closet-size studio in New York City). Pictures of exes (innocent or dirty) should be put away out of respect for your guests. If you are currently seeing other gentlemen or ladies, do remember to turn down the volume on the answering machine — you must be honest about your sexual status, but you may never flaunt it. It is not expected, though it is a nice touch, to have quality manmade lubricant on hand — just not in a five-friggin-gallon vat on your nightstand. Keep tissues by the bed for quick clean-ups. And store your condoms discreetly but conveniently. It should go without saying: Leave no opened wrappers — or worse, used rubbers — in sight, even if they are in your wastebasket.
    Gentlemen and ladies are like Boy Scouts: They are always prepared. You should be forever at the ready to take on the roles of both gracious host and sex animal. Even if you are suffering a dry spell now measured in years rather than months, that is no excuse for neglecting the duties outlined above and allowing your house to fall into a state of disrepair. Your never know when the gods of good manners will shine down on you and reward you with a surprise guest at your door . . . in a uniform . . . with a raging case of nymphomania. That said, we do understand that circumstances may arise that make it nearly impossible to fulfill some of these duties: pets die, earthquakes happen, depression weighs upon us like a debilitating X-ray blanket, the Game Show Network starts replaying your favorite season of The Price is Right. If, for whatever reason, your living quarters are serving double duty as a gigantic petri dish growing sundry molds and bacteria, you have three options when faced with the opportunity for sex:

    1. Hope your newly found friend suggests their place first. You may not invite yourself over to their house. To do so would put your friend in an awkward position of possibly having to deny you. Moreover, you risk characterizing yourself as a leech. The most you may do is regretfully inform them that your home is temporarily uninhabitable. Refrain from going into the gory details of why, but do not be so vague as to allow their imagination to complete the picture (a banana peel rug, a cockroach infestation, inflatable furniture, your significant other). Assuming your “problem” is not a current girlfriend, boyfriend or spouse, this is one of the few times a small, white lie is acceptable.
    2. If it is completely understood and agreed upon by both parties that all intentions are purely carnal (i.e., that neither of you is simply looking for a few more hours of scintillating conversation), then you may, as a bold and romantic gesture, suggest getting a hotel room. You must, however, expect to pay the full price of the room yourself, having made the suggestion. And it goes without saying, the hotel you stay in should be exceptionally cleaner and more comfortable than your home in its current state, lest the point be moot.
    3. Tell your special friend you would like nothing more than to whisk them back to your chalet this instant, but you think you should wait and take things slowly. At least as slowly as it takes to make your manor presentable. Being — or faking being — a hopeless romantic never goes out of style.

here for more excerpts and information about

Guide to Sex Etiquette for Ladies and Gentlemen

Em & Lo (Emma Taylor
and Lorelei Sharkey), former Nerve sex advice columnists and authors of
Nerve’s The Big Bang and Sex Etiquette, are getting into
politics this fall: They’re embarking on a six-city tour called “Sex Ed
for Grown-Ups.” Presented by NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, their
hour-long show combines skits, on-the-street interviews, faux music
videos, audience participation and Q&As to cover everything from
anatomy to activism, from safer sex to the Supreme Court, from gay
rights to gadgets. Every show is free, open to the public (18+) and
guaranteed to learn you something new. Click here for tour
cities and dates