Sex is fun.
It’s also funny.
People are comical in bed. This is not something you would know from watching television or movies where sex is always beautiful, when it’s not dangerous or terribly, terribly sad because it’s with the wrong person or the main character is using sex to self-destruct psychologically, spiritually, or even physically.
Get naked, tangle up your limbs in someone else’s, let go of your inhibitions and good sense and pride, and you will make yourself ridiculous.
Be glad if there are no videos of you in the sack.
Taking a break from my Battlestar Galactica addiction and preparing for the third season of Weeds, which begins in a couple of weeks, I’ve been going back through the first season, catching up on episodes I missed by watching them all from the first to the last, and one thing that’s struck me is that along with its main theme, which is how an essentially amoral society functions with a semblance of order and normalcy through inertia, hypocrisy, and regular infusions of money, lots of money, Weeds is also about how sex is just another part of life where people show themselves up as the weak and foolish animals they are.
Even the gorgeous and impossibly, irresistibly adorable Mary-Louise Parker, who can’t do anything, even aim a gun at a man’s crotch, without it being too cute for words, looks ridiculous when she’s got her legs in the air.
The fact that she’s wearing cowboy boots at the moment is a nice touch, because it’s in character, it’s right for the moment, and it adds to how silly she looks.
In an episode I watched last night, one of Parker’s character Nancy’s neighbors, the mother of her son’s best friend, shows up at the door and within minutes winds up in bed with Nancy’s brother-in-law, Andy.
The neighbor is played by Clare Carey who was last seen by me starring as Craig T. Nelson’s too perky, too spunky, and too permed daughter Kelly on Coach. Here she was again, fifteen years older and several thousands of degrees hotter, more proof that women in their late thirties and early forties are the sexiest creatures on the planet, a fact Weeds offers weekly proof of anyway in the persons of Mary-Louise Parker and Elizabeth Perkins, a sad fact of life for men around their age because, unless we are really lucky in the woman we married—lucky being she still enjoys our company and can bear the sight of us naked, and I don’t mean for a good laugh---we can’t enjoy their late blossoming without a messy divorce somewhere in the equation, theirs or our own and the emotional and logistical fallout from one or the other or both, which leaves the field open to younger, handsomer, unattached men sexy and beautiful forty year olds can have, and would rather have, with a snap of their fingers, but nevermind.
The sex scene between Carey and Justin Kirk, who plays Andy, is fairly explicit, without being graphic, and erotic but not at all pretty. There’s no romantic music, no flattering lighting, no over-choreographed dancing between carefully arranged sheets. The camera doesn’t swoop in and out, linger and then slowly scan, finding only the actors’ best features and most attractive curves. The scene is pretty much one straight on long shot of two very naked people doing some rigorous bare-assed fucking.
The comedy in the scene, besides the funny bicycling Carey does with her legs, is that Andy, who thinks of himself as the seducer and therefore the one in control, finds himself being out-fucked by this suddenly very demanding, very vocal, and very physical wild animal of a woman who, it turns out, is a biter.
Not a nipper.
She bites. She chomps down and draws blood.
Andy later jokes that if she were to die in a plane crash he could help identify her remains because he’s got her dental records, but she’s scared him, and turned him off. Of course, for reasons of plot I won’t get into here, he has to keep seeing her and fucking her, and now the joke is that each time we see them in bed again Andy has more flaming red bite marks and bruises on various parts of his skin.
Ultimately his body rebels at the abuse and saves itself by shutting down blood flow to his dick. Much to his chagrin and dismay he can’t get it up for Carey anymore, which, considering what we’ve seen of her, would seem to be an impossible violation of the laws of nature.
But the writers of Weeds know people and understand the ridiculous nature of sex.
Carey’s character, Eileen, is by almost every measure perfect. She’s nice, she’s funny, she looks great in and out of clothes. She’s putting no demands on the commitment-phobic Andy. She’s willing to see him just to sleep with him—or not sleep—as the mood strikes without expecting any promises or demonstrations of serious feelings on his part. She clearly loves sex.
But she’s a biter.
Another man might not care. Andy has tender skin and a big ego and he doesn’t like to be that vulnerable to another person’s whims.
Most TV shows and movies don’t deal with this aspect of sex—incompatibility between two people who like each other.
Usually it’s the case that sexual incompatibility is a sign of the main character’s current and temporary bedmate’s character flaws. In comedies it’s just proof that that character is a loser or a weirdo. In more serious movies, mush and dramas, it’s a sign of spiritual incompatibility. In all other cases it’s a sign of that character’s pathological and dangerous strangeness.
Incompatibility and incompetence—and the two often go together obviously, in that incompetence makes for incompatibility, but it works the other way round too; people who are incompatible in bed will be inept and awkward with each other—are the usual features of most casual sex. The sad truth is that you usually can’t tell whether or not you will like having sex with someone until you are having sex with that someone. Good sex between relative strangers is a lucky accident or a sign that one of the partners is gifted teacher and the other a willing and eager and compliant student. Great sex, however, is a like a pas de deux—or if you’ve been lucky, a pas de trois. If you’ve ever been a happy participant in a pas de quatre or more, I don’t want to know about it.—and it takes practice and requires time. The partners have to know each other’s moves. And then there’s the matter of chemistry. You can’t just put any two good dancers on a stage and expect that they will turn out a performance like Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse.
Sometimes, no matter how good they have been with other partners, they can’t find a rhythm and wind up stepping on each other’s toes.
Styles clash too.
Most of my own erotic adventures, and misadventures, as a single guy took place between the time I was a junior in high school and my final year of grad school. This means that most every girl I dated was young and relatively inexperienced and I was young and relatively inexperienced. This had its upside in that being young and inexperienced it was generally the case that neither of us recognized how young and inexperienced the other was, which did not cut down on the awkwardness or the comedy, but did keep us from being disappointed. We were glad for what we got. Well, I was, at any rate. I have only their word for it that they were too.
But the other thing about our being young and inexperienced is that we hadn’t yet developed our personal styles and tastes.
When you’re young and inexperienced you’re often too scared to try things or suggest things or to let certain things happen again, things that you might learn later, through more experience, you really, really, really like.
Maybe I was just lucky and dated only reasonably inhibited girls. But I never found myself in bed with a biter.
Or anyone else whose tastes or style struck me as just too weird.
I’m not saying that nobody ever tried anything that could be described as kinky—or that young and relatively inexperienced lovers might think of as kinky—there just was never a moment when I was suddenly thinking Oh my God, this girl is insane!
Now some of these girls were insane. But their insanity expressed itself emotionally not sexually. Which is how it happens that the most embarrassing and awkward sexual memories from my misspent youth aren’t actually sexual but post or pre-coital.
Some Saturday night when I’m feeling lonely and nostalgic and in the mood for making myself miserable I may write a post about a few of those memories.
As it is I’ve written a long post about how I kind of, sort of, maybe, half-heartedly wish I could write a post about a biter or two in my past.
It’s not exactly a regret, but I often wonder what my romantic life would have been like if the blonde hadn’t trapped...um...if I hadn’t fallen in love with the blonde when we were both so young, if I had lived the life of a single guy until I was into my early 30s, dating actual adult women, as opposed to girls on the brink of adulthood or women who were chronologically adult but hadn’t gotten the hang of being an actual adult yet.
Which is to say that I wonder what it would have been like to have slept with a lot of different adult women.
You’ll notice I’m assuming I would have slept with a lot of women. I know, I know. I also think that if I had stuck with baseball past little league I’d have grown up to be the starting center fielder for the New York Mets—Dykstra played it too shallow—and if I’d joined the Navy I’d be an admiral commanding my own battle group right now.
On the other hand, I’m sure that if I’d gone into politics I would never have gotten elected dog catcher anywhere and if I’d become I doctor my name would have become a synonym for malpractice insurance before I was jailed and the AMA took away my license. So give me the benefit of the doubt when it comes to my judging my own potential.
If certain trends that began in my college and grad school days had continued into my late twenties, I would not have become Sam Malone, but to put it as Archie Goodwin would, I’d have shared breakfast with more than a few beautiful women.
And I’d probably have skipped out on breakfast with a few more, because I’d have met my biters.
And no doubt another few more would have skipped out on breakfast with me, having met in me their idea of a biter.
But, and I don’t know whether or not I’m sad to say it, I’ve got no teeth marks on my skin or on my psyche.
If this was a different kind of blog I’d be asking you right now to tell us about the biter in your past.
What’s the weirdest thing anyone ever did with you that made you want to skip out on breakfast?
But this isn’t that kind of blog.