September 21, 2011

Sampling Beds

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I am telling you this story to raise awareness about the countless hook-ups that have happened on those pristine-looking beds and couches at Pier 1.

It was roughly midnight. I was still in my long underwear from skiing by the time I arrived at a vague friend-of-a-friend’s house to see a guy. After a little drinking here, a little Beirut there, and a little of that funny party chit-chat that doesn’t actually impart any useful information, I found myself having a nice little banter with a new guy. He had a lot going for him that night: blue eyes, dark hair, alluringly foreign name and, most importantly, I had never laid eyes on him before.

I began to really like him when for some inane reason we took a cramped drive to his apartment with a friend and what felt like 10 tires (but was probably the more logical number 4) in the back of the car… I felt like I’d known him for weeks by the time we all tumbled out of the car covered in black-brown tire gunk and giggled our way into his apartment. When his friend conked out on his couch, we stayed at his place for the night, had sex and took another tire-full car-ride back to my car in the morning.

Nope, that is not the true ending. We didn’t have sex… yet. The night was not young but it was far from old. We made it back to the party and ended up taking a walk around the neighborhood. In the soft snow at the ass-crack of dawn, the conversation turned to his job at his family’s furniture store. Oh, look! Serendipitously, we happened to be strolling nearby said furniture store … how tempting those rows and rows of beds were in the showrooms! Many games of hide-and-seek later, and we followed the naughtier lure of the many poufs and chaises. On one of those leather couches I had my first one night stand (ONS).

I have not been totally honest with you: my goal of telling this story is not to raise awareness of furniture store frolics, or even to plant the naughty-seed for your next visit to Pier 1 (although hopefully I have done that anyway).

My story was all foreplay, and not the juicy stuff (sorry about those blue balls).  I left out the most crucial piece, which is a question I ask any of my friends when hearing about their adventures: Was it good?

Yeah, it was titillating, but not because the sex itself was awesome. Mainly it was good because he was exotic (yet paradoxically I was comfortable with him despite only having known him a few hours) and we were surreptitiously fucking in a showroom that had hundreds of deliciously different pieces of furniture to test.

I am not the biggest fan of the ONS because I feel it is rarely that great; it is exciting in the way that the gossip about a one-night-stand is exciting. It is tumultuous and concise, like a movie that takes place in a 24-hour span, but depth of feeling is usually lacking.

A few months after my first ONS I was even less of a fan. That guy and I ended up running into each other a couple weeks later and we dated for a few months after that. This was a really valuable sexual experience because I was able to contrast one-night-stand-sex to what can really happen sexually with a person over a span of months. We had sex in a few rather strange places, and way more positions, but we never topped the locale of that first night.

Obviously there is a negative correlation between the span of time you know someone sexually and how new the sex feels. The more sex you have with a person, the more you lose the fresh, exciting feeling. But the more you experience the same person on the shaggin’ wagon, the more awesome and fulfilling the sex gets. You get to know each other’s bodies, and yada yada yada.

Exciting sex is not the same as good sex (although they can occur simultaneously, of course). Running a red light is not the same feeling as stretching when you first wake up, although both can be exhilarating.

Having a one-night-stand that is full of fantastic, yummy sex in addition to being new and exciting is rare. It’s like picking someone off the street who you think looks like a good chef and having them make you a sandwich. Maybe they have the same tastes as you, or perhaps the last person they made sandwiches for really liked mayonnaise so they figure you probably like it too, or maybe it’s just a random combination of ingredients (at least you tried something new, right?). With a new chef also potentially comes that awkward time where you have to say, “this was nice … But I never want to eat that again,” which can never be phrased very suavely.

Finding that intersection of exciting and satisfying is tough. It seems that once you’ve got the exciting part, you’re probably going to have to work towards making it satisfying. Alas the fact that many longer-term couples want to “spice up” their sex lives shows that once you have satisfying sex, you’re in search of a new sandwich ingredient.

Where does that leave us? Well, all this talk of sandwiches is making me hungry, so I’m going to go make one. But whether you’re sailing in long-term lake or waiting to catch those one-night-stand waves, I hope you find your sex-legs amid all the ups and downs of excitement and satisfaction.

Lauren C. is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She may be reached at laurenc@cornellsun.com. Below the Bellybutton appears alternate Thursdays this semester.

Original Author: Lauren C.