All The Bed’s A Stage: The Act of Hooking Up

The Setting

When I was in ninth grade, my senior peer leader told me a story about having sex on a waterslide. Literally, going down a waterslide. In that moment, I was given the impression that this kind of sexual activity was relatively normal — maybe not for everyone, definitely not for the majority, but perhaps as commonplace as trying mushrooms or going to class high on April 20. Maybe a fifth of the population had had sex in some outlandish location.

When I started having sex myself, I realized how ridiculous this idea was. Little did I know: sex is difficult! I would have to magically gain an athleticism I know I don’t have in order to coordinate intercourse in most of the locations these stories detail.

Even when the novel location doesn’t involve tricky maneuvers, it’s often downright uncomfortable. When I was in high school, a new boyfriend once asked me if I was interested in hooking up in the sandpit at the school track. He had recently been named captain of the track team, so he proposed it to me with some narrative of “christening his dominion,” which allegorically doesn’t even make sense. Nevertheless, I complied.

On a Friday night, I laid my ass down on the sand and let his skinny body on top of mine. By the time two minutes had passed, I had sand up my ass crack. Right then and there, I realized adventure wasn’t for me.

Even stories of escapades on Browning tower and other locations on campus don’t spark me with jealousy anymore. Some people just underestimate the value of a nice, warm bed.

The Costume

I’ve never understood other straight girls' interest in matching underwear sets. I honestly believe, if no one ever sees it, what’s the point? Well, sure, the guy you’re hooking up with might see it. But there’s a 70 percent chance he won’t care at all. He also probably won’t even see! How often do you take off both your shirt and your shorts at the same time, pause, untangle yourself from whatever position you’re in, and take a moment to allow your partner to admire the outfit? The answer is probably never.

That said, I have caught myself being almost too apathetic about my under-attire during a hookup night. One night, my sophomore year, I finally caught the attention of a very attractive upperclassman. When I was getting ready to go out that night, I knew it was now or never for the hookup. Yet somehow, in all the effort I put into getting ready, I gave no thought to the underwear I was wearing.

This older boy was known for being sensitive, a “sad boy”, if you will. It showed in bed. He was sensual, and moved slowly. He asked, in a slow, earnest voice, to remove each article of clothing, instead of tugging at it and seeing if I would remove it myself, like most of my less-suave partners do.

He finally got me to the point where I was stripped to my underwear. “Is this okay?” he asked me, playing with the lace around the edges. I nodded, a little too turned on to give a coherent answer. He pulled them off, then gave me a look while he dangled them in front of my face. I had worn a leopard print thong. It was one of those ones you buy at Victoria’s Secret when you need underwear and they’re out of mediums in all the normal patterns.

I won’t be caught making that mistake again, but we still had great sex that night.

The Hair

Body hair. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it, am I right?

No one I know seems to know what to do with their body hair. Shaving? Ew, stubble. Waxing? Pricey, painful, inconvenient, and you have to wait for it to grow back. But apparently it’s really nice for a little while. Letting it rage? Totally an option, but not for everyone. Trimming? I just don’t trust my ability to give my pubes a neat haircut. It’s best to embrace that there are no good options, so don’t be embarrassed by the state of your genitals, just own it.

A side note: Many people I know default on shaving, but this is not always the wisest choice. To all the big spoons who are reading this: your pubic hair might be prickling your partner’s butt. It does not feel good. Please ask them if it bothers them. And little spoons: if you’ve ever fallen victim to prickly butt syndrome, please speak up!

I don’t have a lot of great stories about hair, but I do have a quick one about hair removal. I once got such bad razor burn that for a day I had to go commando, in a dress, because anything touching my skin down there incited uncontrollable itching. I also had to go to Target that day. So I went to Target, in a dress, with no underwear. It was a rush. I highly recommend it. The experience was 10/10.

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