January 26, 2011

Sneaky Sex: A Retroactive Guide

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Ah, winter break. For some, a time to relax in front of the fire with one’s favorite boating shoes and a glass of egg nog, laughing merrily and relishing the generosity of friends and family. For others, it’s a prime opportunity to squirrel away an entire bottle of cheap wine and then declare one’s bisexuality in front of one’s very conservative family at the dinner table. Guess which camp I fell into. Spoiler: I rounded out the night by watching Love Actually for the frillionth time and crying into a bowl of soy ice cream that had been in the freezer since last July. Aren’t the holidays grand?

Needless to say, the hangover-induced malaise served to remind me of one thing: it blows to go five weeks trapped in suburbia without the barest means of getting laid. Gone are the days of high school dances and pool parties, where my parents could be lulled into a false sense of my teenage celibacy by my braces, acne, and ever-expanding collection of Cowboy Bebop t-shirts. Little did they suspect the hurdles a virile young gentleman would leap in order to get his sweaty palm under the J.C. Penney bra of anyone with a B-cup and a basement.

Still, despite my relatively unsupervised youth, my all-girls’ school incubation meant that I went mostly doe-eyed into the wide, wet world of Nookie Without Notice. And I’m sure I cannot be the only one. Many of my late-blooming peers looked forward to flaunting their shapely Cornell calves at the has-beens-but-would-still-fucks of their high school locker room fantasies. But living at home, most find their parents’ efforts to get hip with the college crowd only extend as far as ignoring the occasional backyard bong hit.

For everyone who was summarily cock-blocked by their family this Hanukkah season, allow me to offer some belated advice of my own, honed by years of near-misses and necessary turtlenecks. I know such words are a bit marred by time, but even those of us planning to graduate this semester may find ourselves back in our childhood bedrooms, our hopes for some good, loud S&M slapped back down by the cruelest flogger of all: the current economy. The battle for at-home sex this past break may have been lost, but together, we will win the war.

First, whatever you do, try not to host at your own house. Believe you me: sneaking Grandma’s turkey baster away from the Christmas gravy preparations will be noticed, no matter how juicy the man-meat in question. For all us semi-closeted gaymos, illicit sleepovers are a little easier to pull off, but someone is eventually going to walk in on you playing the world’s least convincing game of hide-and-seek, no matter how hard you protest that your BFF’s clit is a totally appropriate base.

Moreover, consider the context. I have had one or two hilariously awkward encounters on my home turf, but they were all bracketed by the vaguely horrifying setting. Orgasms take a turn for the Freudian when the four-foot high Daniel Radcliffe cardboard head you finagled from Blockbuster in eighth grade is watching you try to Accio condoms. The first time I gave proper head, dude-I-was-dating and I tried to cover up my inevitable hacking by watching Toy Story 2 on my shitty basement VCR. Now I can’t look at that damn Pixar lamp without remembering how hard it was to keep a decent blow job rhythm to “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.”

Taking the ball to your partner’s court, as it were, presents its own set of problems. There is always the possibility of discovery. Unlike in your own house, where you can pull out all the bitch-fit stops on the “I’m an adult now and can suck on all the toes I want” argument, Mr. and Mrs. Boyfriend’s Parents are totally within their rights to give you the stink-eye after they walk in on you writhing beneath their son on the leather couch. Even so, the sense of abject fear fostered under your own parents’ roof is dampened somewhat by the opportunity for escape if necessary, which in turn makes mishaps all the more likely. Nothing is more uncomfortable than running into your fuck-buddy and her mom at the vegan café downtown, only to be burdened with the knowledge that last night’s pleasure-howls could be heard throughout the cul-de-sac. Overall, it’s always better to avoid the stare of “I know you have seen into my baby girl’s vagina.”

So what is a sad, sexiled, tax-dependent student to do? Above all, be honest. If you are caught out, the old “truth through sarcasm” technique works surprisingly well.  “Sure, Mom,” I have scoffed in the past, “That was totally a double-headed vibrator you heard last night. Please.” You’ll either completely charm her with your daughterly wiles, or you’ll weird her out to a sufficient degree that she’ll just stop asking.

I have to say, though, if all else fails, there is something deliciously 1980s about parking the car at a suitably deserted spot and tipping back the front seat. This does hold the dual dangers of overly attentive policemen and every bad urban legend made flesh, but with great intra-auto frottage comes great risks. If a drifter with a hook for a hand comes a-scratchin’, at least you know it’s better than catching yourself getting turned on by the twenty-four hour A Christmas Story marathon.

Kate C. is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She may be reached at katec@cornellsun.com. Ball You Discreetly appears alternate Thursdays this semester.

Original Author: Kate C.