November 12, 2020

SEX ON THURSDAY | Lao Tze and The Art of Post-Coital Banter

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The date itself was great. As recent Ivy grads living in New York do, we met on Hinge, the millennial’s go-to catalog of both eligible and ineligible singles. The digital prelude consisted of playful digs atCornell and Columbia’s sports programs, obligatory “Fuck Trump” talk and our shared affection for the filmography of Marty Scorcese. After a few days of feigned interest in her gap year in Italy (“ugh im soo jealous – ive always heard naples is beautiful”) and mutual social media vetting, we agreed to meet at a ramen joint in the East Village. 

She happened to live a few blocks away (what a convenient coincidence), so we went back to her place to smoke some medicinal reefer. And after a joint and nine minutes of Scorcese’s criminally underappreciated 2011 masterpiece Hugo, we found our way to her bedroom where, without too much detail (basically – me on top, her on top, me on top, sideways, me from the back, concluding with an unironic congratulatory high-five) and with the clarity of hindsight, I can confidently say we enjoyed one of the three greatest sexual experiences of my life. 

Sweaty and spread-eagled on her bed, we passed each other a Menthol Juul, listening to Daniel Caesar’s romantic banalities humming in the background. Basking in the post-coital glow that permeated the room, we resumed Hugo in a couple-y cuddle. And it was around when Asa Butterfield is busted for petty theft by Ben Kingsley when she turned to me and uttered the phrase I’ve only heard in the context of satirical SNL sketches and the anonymity of Reddit threads.

“You know — you’re the first Asian guy I’ve ever hooked up with.”

It’s hard to remember what my immediate response was. I want to say it was one of unequivocal indignation, but it’s more complex than that. It struck insecurities that Sarah Willis planted in my fragile eight-year-old heart on Valentine’s Day 2004 and brought flashbacks of navigating fraternities houses of white machismo during Rush Week. It definitely wasn’t malicious; from the tone of her voice, it almost sounded complimentary, as if romance was a duel and I was the one fortuitous chink that penetrated through her robust WASP armor. Should I respond with I no speak Engrish, or that’s pretty fucked or laugh it off completely? I guess I decided to wrap all of the above together:

“Umm … I’m not sure how to respond to that?”

So we sat there in silence, parallel gazes fixed on the now-uninspiring Hugo playing out in front of us. I wondered whether I should explain how the cultural emasculation of Asian men is rooted in policies of exclusion and disenfranchisement dating back to the first wave of Asian immigration in the 20th century. Whether she ought to know that “Yellow Peril” in America was a campaign actively promoted by her ancestors to engender anxiety and fear about men like me savaging women that looked like her.

Every synapse in my brain told me to contrive an excuse to get out of her apartment ASAP before she had the chance to pull the plot of Get Out on me. But I didn’t.

Instead we fucked again, but this time channeling the force of a thousand suns, carrying in each thrust the promise of all the American Dreams that ever existed before me. Every grunt reverberating across the globe from Tokyo to Terabithia, I laid pipe with the same vigor with which my ancestors tilled the rice paddies of the Korean peninsula. And as her moans crescendoed into exclamation, I heard from a distance the cheers and tears of immigrants from the decks of passenger ships on Ellis Island. As I felt the sound of the tired, the poor and huddled masses nearing, I saw President Moon Jae In gazing proudly upon me, arm-in-arm with Kim Jong Un, ready to celebrate with the united people of Korea. And just as Leonidas cried for Sparta years ago, I sounded my final barbaric YAWP over the roofs of the world. 

Checkmate, racism.

Oriental Orgasm is a graduate of Cornell University. Comments can be sent to opinion@cornellsun.com. Sex on Thursday runs every Thursday.